Kariba Safari Lodge, introducing the WOW factor

Wild Zambezi • 5 February 2019

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The little town of Kariba nestles against hills flanking the famous gorge where the waters of the Zambezi River were captured in the late 1950s, forming the biggest man-made lake in the world (at the time).  It's a beautiful location - with spectacular views over Zimbabwe's "inland sea", and all the tourism potential of a Zimbabwean "Riviera".

But, for the past few decades, the town has had a lack-lustre feel - isolated from the  international attention that its glamorous big sister, Victoria Falls, has always attracted. 

Kariba is a harbour town - jumping off point for lake activities - cruiseboating, houseboating, motorboating, fishing, Zambezi canoeing and cross-lake transfers to the safari camps in the Matusadona National Park and beyond.  Somehow Kariba has always struggled to attract visitors for its OWN sake.   

       

Enter the newly opened, Kariba Safari Lodge -  spectacularly located in 33 acres of natural  woodland in the fold of one of Kariba's hills overlooking the lake.

If anything is set to introduce a WOW factor to Kariba town - this is it!

The focus of this beautiful new lodge is its stunning view - magnificently displayed from an expansive, central reception area.  A huge wooden deck is flanked by two cleverly-designed dining/sitting/bar-area arms held wide to embrace the "Riviera" view of the lake, its islands and the blue, far-distant hills 30 kms away.  

Add to this the exceptionally friendly, warm and attentive service provided by the staff at the lodge (many of whom come from within the Kariba community), and guests cannot fail to be impressed.  

Kariba Safari Lodge can accommodate at least 34 people in medium to luxury-level style.  It will be a welcome addition to the hospitality options available in Kariba Town, since it is large enough to accommodate groups, but intimate enough to have a safari lodge "feel". 

Its nine individual 2-bed lodges and eight, larger, double suites are on several levels set into the steep mountainside.   

All the rooms are tastefully and artistically decorated, and have modern, en-suite bathrooms, supplied with solar-heated water, and private lake view patios. 

Our suite had a magnificently comfortable king-size bed with crisp cotton linen and an expansive, walk-in mosquito net which incorporated a ceiling fan - highly essential in the hot Kariba climate.  The rooms are not air-conditioned, but a cooling air-flow is maintained with ceiling fans and gauzed (un-glazed) windows.  The suite verandahs are large, with comfy-cushioned lazy lounge-beds facing out to the view between the trees - perfect for relaxation on hot afternoons.

A separate conference facility is in the making and there are plans for a lakeside beach bar and entertainment area at the bottom of the property where a jetty will lead out into the lake and guests will be able to bath in the waters of Lake Kariba protected by a custom-designed "swimming cage".

One of the challenges for this property is the steepness of the terrain.  Because the accommodation units and central/pool area are all at different levels, there are steep staircases EVERYWHERE. 

We are told that there is a plan to use golf-cart-type transport vehicles to assist guests to move around the property more easily.  This will certainly help. 

Alternatively, elderly guests may find it more convenient to stay at the new 16-bed Crowned Eagle Boutique Hotel which is currently being constructed at the top of the hill above Kariba Safari Lodge (with similar, stunning views across the lake).  This is scheduled to open later in 2019.

Both these properties are part of the Zambezi Cruise & Safaris group which operates a circuit with a fleet of luxury cruiseboats on Lake Kariba linking the Victoria Falls end of the lake (out of Binga) and Kariba Town itself, with add-on journeys to Mana PoolsHarare, Hwange and other Zimbabwe tourism destinations.   

Wild Zambezi stayed at Kariba Safari Lodge as a guest of Zambezi Cruise & Safaris.  We extend our grateful thanks to them for this opportunity.

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