Lake Kariba &
Matusadona National Park

Matusadona National Park at Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe’s north is far from tourist hubs, and offers beautiful scenery, a peaceful atmosphere and fantastic wildlife viewing.

Lake Kariba was created in the late 1950s, following the completion of the Kariba Dam. Measuring over 220km in length and up to 40km in width, it is the world’s largest man-made reservoir. Gamefish – including the legendary tigerfish – thrive in its waters, whilst huge flocks of waterbirds, handsome raptors, Nile crocodiles and pods of hippopotami ply its banks.

A small national park of just 1,400km², Matusadona sits on the shores of Lake Kariba. There is good game viewing along the shores of the lake home to elephant and crocodile as well as further into the park. The “Big 5” can all be found in the park as well as other general game including buffalo and numerous antelope species. There is also a great diversity of birdlife thanks to the ever-present lake attracting a multitude of species including the impressive African Fish Eagle.

Along the lakes shoreline are a number of absolutely sensational lodges. One of those lodges is Bumi Hills Safari Lodge, set atop a remote hilltop in a private wilderness concession, offering mesmerising views over the lake below. The lodge offers a very intimate experience with just 10 spacious suites, including a 2-bedroom villa complete with a private butler, safari guide and dedicated safari vehicle. A wealth of activities are available including guided walks, day and night game drives, boating and catch-and-release fishing.

Location

Why should I visit Matusadona National Park & Lake Kariba?

  • A very scenic area set far from busy tourist hubs
  • Offering peace, quiet and fantastic wildlife viewing
  • A wide range of activities from fishing to guided walks
  • Cruises on Lake Kariba 
  • Beautiful safari lodges with quality guides

When is the best time to visit Lake Kariba?

Like other destinations in Zimbabwe, Lake Kariba is best visited during the dry season – June to October. Game viewing is particularly good towards the end of the dry season (September and October) when animals tend to congregate around the lakes edge. Temperatures during these months are high (33-35⁰c) but game viewing is at its peak. Outside of peak season, April, May and November are also good times to go when there are fewer travellers. Some 240 species of bird can be found in Matusadona National Park, and from December to March (during the rainy season) birdwatching is at its best. 

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Accommodation at Lake Kariba and Matusadona

The following are some of the lodges that we recommend in the Lake Kariba and Matusadona National Park. For information on additional accommodation not featured, please contact us.

Bumi Hills Safari Lodge

Bumi Hills Safari Lodge boasts one of Africa’s finest wilderness locations set on a series of hilltops overlooking Zimbabwe’s vast Lake Kariba.

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