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About Lake Kariba

In Zimbabwe specifically on Lake Kariba, houseboats have been in use since the creation of the lake in the late 1950s/early 1960s. This is undoubtedly one of the most luxurious ways to experience the Zambezi basin and all the associated wildlife, as it is possible to view a lot of game as they come down to the water for drinking, and to cool themselves down.

Lake Binga

Binga is a fishing centre and an administrative hub created for the Tonga people who were moved out of the Zambezi valley when Lake Kariba covered their traditional homes. It is reachable via a tar road which turns off the main Bulawayo-Victoria Falls road near Hwange. Binga has a servicable tarred airstrip accessible by small charter aircraft.
Binga is a good place for visitors from Bulawayo, Hwange or the Victoria Falls to access a housboat holiday on Lake Kariba without having to go all the way to Kariba town. Binga also makes a good stopping point for self-drive visitors aiming to drive the long, slow 4x4 gravel road along the southern shore of Lake Kariba.

Much of the accommodation in Binga is privately-owned, so visitor facilities are limited and mostly self-catering. There are some lakeside villa options and small lodges as well as couple of campsites. The once-popular hot springs rest camp and campsite is still operational, but currently in need of refurbishment. A few houseboats are available for hire and one or two lodges also hire out fishing boats on a daily basis. A more up-market lakeside fishing and safari camp lies east of Binga, adjacent to the Chete Safari Area.

Aid workers and missionaries in this area have helped the displaced Tonga community with medical and educational facilities, and with community-owned natural resource management (CAMPFIRE) schemes which encourage people to use wildlife resources without destroying them. A thriving co-operative handicraft industry has also been developed, focused on traditional Tonga basketware, beadwork, drums and carved stools and doors.

Chobe

One of the largest concentrations of wildlife in Africa can be found in the Chobe National Park. This park is the most diverse and the third largest park in the country. The Chobe River is one of the main watering spots during the dry season and attracts wildlife such as Elephants, Giraffe, Sable and Cape buffalo. This part of the Chobe River flows along the Northeast of the park. This is a main attraction for visitors as this busy area o f the park is close to the Victoria Falls.

The park is known for its concentration of elephants as it is one of the top in Africa and also the most continuous. It is estimated that there are some 50 000 elephants that are currently supported by the Chobe National Park.

Zambezi River

The Zambezi River is the largest river that flows into the Indian Ocean and it is the fourth largest river in Africa. The river is 3 540 km long and its basin is 1390 square kilometres.

The Zambezi rivers most notable features are Chayuma Falls, Ngonye falls and Victoria Falls. The river also provides two main sources of hydroelectric power provided by the Kariba dam and the Cahora Bassa Dam as well as a smaller power station near Victoria Falls.

The Victoria Falls is classed as the end of the upper Zambezi and the start of the middle Zambezi. This is where the second gorge is situated. Across this gorge is the famous Victoria Falls Bridge where the Bungi Jumping, cable slide and gorge swing takes place. Below the falls is the stretch of river that is regarded as one of the best rivers in the world for white river rafting and kayaking.

The delta has a diverse ecological system and many habitats such as open grasslands and fresh water swamps. The area is home to around 450 species of birds and is said to be the best area in Southern Africa for bird watching. Most houseboats along the Zambezi River offer luxury cruises that include the opportunity to get up close and personal with the wildlife.

As well as birdlife, cruising along the Zambezi River will also provide a chance at seeing wildlife such as Reedbuck, Eland, Lions, Leopards, Cheetah, and Spotted Hyena. The Zambezi River also supports wildlife such as Hippos, crocodiles, monitor lizards, buffalo, zebras, giraffes and elephants.

The river is also a famous and prime fishing spot as it supports several hundred species of fish. Species that are caught have been as large as 10kg and often include Cichlids, Catfish, Tigerfish, Yellowfish and the Zambezi Shark.
The Houseboats in these particular areas can accommodate between 6 and 30 guests and feature facilties such as, Air-conditioned twin cabins, Entertainment Decks, Bars, Dining areas, Plunge pools, Jacuzzis, Private decks and Tender boats. The tender boats offer access to activities such as Bird Watching, Fishing, Game Drives, Walks, Canoeing and touring the near-by village.