Lake Kariba & Matusadona

  • Destinations
  • Zimbabwe
  • Lake Kariba & Matusadona

Why Go

A short charter flight from Victoria Falls takes you to where the wilderness still reigns. Rugged hills flatten out onto grassy, bird-covered floodplains as they meet Lake Kariba, a vast, flooded valley teeming with water-life. The Matusadona National Park is one of Zimbabwe’s classic big game reserves but its relatively remote nature means it is little-visited, making a Matusadona safari ideal for safari travellers looking to stray a little off the beaten-path.

Such a wild and well-watered landscape makes Matusadona an excellent destination for wildlife viewing. Long known for its concentrations of elephant, buffalo and lion, the park is home to leopard and cheetah as well as rarities such as African wild dog, sable antelope and both black and white rhino. There are aquatic animals to see – hippo and crocodile – as well as savannah ones: giraffe, zebra, warthog and many types of antelope. The scenery is spectacular – ghostly tree skeletons in the lake, distant shimmering mountain ranges – and Kariba sunsets are famously extravagant.

There are several safari lodges set in Matusadona, overlooking Lake Kariba and offering not just morning and afternoon game drives but boat cruises, fishing trips and guided nature walks too. You’ll find family-friendly camps as well as idyllic honeymoon suites and there’s always a private bathroom, comfortable facilities and somewhere to recharge your camera batteries. The standard of guiding is very high and you can arrange for specialist birding or fishing guides.

The best time to go on a Matusadona safari is during the May to October dry season; wildlife concentrations at the lake increase steadily as the months wear on and you’ll enjoy mild sunny days and cool nights from May to August but hot and humid weather in September and October. Once the rains have set in – usually by early January, Matusadona is mostly inaccessible.

Recommended for adventurers, wildlife photographers and discerning safari travellers, a Matusadona safari is usually part of a wider itinerary, taking in destinations like Victoria Falls and Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe and the Chobe National Park in Botswana to give you almost unparalleled opportunities to see big concentrations of Africa’s biggest wildlife. View our recommended itineraries or simply contact Safari Online for a tour based on your requirements and budget.

Lake Kariba & Matusadona on the map

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WHAT TO DO

ACTIVITIES TO LOOK FORWARD TO

1. TRACK BIG CATS

Home to one of Africa’s largest concentrations of lions as well as healthy numbers of leopards & cheetahs, Matusadona is a big cat paradise & great for their rivals too – spotted hyenas & crocodiles!

2. CRUISE KARIBA

Swop a game drive for an afternoon’s boating on the lake & sit back with a cold drink to stunning scenery & the sight of wildlife coming down to drink; highly recommended in the dry season.

3. WALK THE WALK

A Matusadona safari gives you the chance to lace up your boots & walk with armed guides through big game country, picking out the fascinating natural details while keeping an eye out for the heavyweights.

4. FISH FOR A TIGER

Cast a line overboard for Kariba’s infamous fighting fish – the tiger fish – complete with razor-sharp teeth & plenty of attitude; it’s a catch & release policy but there’s time for a photograph too.

5. FISH-EAGLES AT SUNSET

There’s no sound more quintessentially Kariba than that of the African fish-eagle, ringing out across the lake & best enjoyed as the setting sun turns the world red & purple.

Tailor-Made Safaris

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ACCOMMODATION

OUR RECOMMENDED LAKE KARIBA & MATUSADONA LODGES

Changa Safari Camp
Changa Safari Camp
In Short: Perfect for safari enthusiasts & romantic travellers
Location: Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe
Luxurious & intimate with a secluded lakeside setting, Changa offers plenty of different safari activities as well as opportunities to relax in a hammock & enjoy the view. Known for its impeccable service & recommended for safari enthusiasts & romantic travellers, Changa has elegant, naturally-cooled suites which each feature a private veranda with outdoor hot tub & shower.
FROM:
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Rhino Safari Camp
Rhino Safari Camp
In Short: Game-rich, comfortable rustic accommodation
Location: Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe
One of Matusadona’s more rustic accommodations, Rhino Safari Camp has wonderful views over Kariba & offers all you need for comfort including a plunge pool. It lies in a game-rich area & mixes drives with walks & boating to deliver a comprehensive safari with excellent guides; it is not recommended for families with children under 16 but is highly recommended for adventurous safari travellers!
FROM:
Musango Safari Camp

Hands-on Expertise

  • We’re based in Africa
  • Consultants Travel in Africa
  • Knowledgeable team
  • Expect great customer service

Accredited & Bonded

  • SATSA – Bonded Membership (2061)
  • ATTA Membership (204387)
  • Fully Independent & Owner Run
  • Travel Support from Start to Finish

Reviews

It was a safari of a lifetime and exceeded all of our expectations!

Our mom grew up in Central and South Africa so we had visited the continent many times. My sister and I wanted to take our teens and husbands to Africa to experience the magic. We had a limited budget but big and specific expectations and by some miracle Walter was able to manage both.

Heather (USA)
Professional, quick and top of the edge service!!!

From the very first contact we’re very happy about the respond time and quality of information from safari-online.com. Based on the received first tailor-made quote, which is a weblink with all the details about the flights, photos of the lodges etc. we knew that this is “our” partner for this trip. Our expectations were excelled!!!

Lukas (Germany)
Walter has always been an excellent communicator and has supported us fully

We have been to Africa for 24 of the last 27 years so know a bit about what is involved. Walter has arranged the details for the last couple of years, and has done a superb job. He is always quick to respond and comes up with answers immediately……..no evasive tactics, always head-on!

Roger (UK)
Safari Online were extremely efficient and absolutely charming to work with.

Our 28-day itinerary took us to South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana. A magnificent and unforgettable adventure. Everything ran smoothly and efficiently from the flights, transfers, rides, connections, etc. Absolutely wonderful! Can’t thank them enough!

Ann and Mario (Canada)
Karina was absolutely instrumental to our safari success.

Our experience with Safari Online was excellent. After becoming very frustrated trying to search for a safari destination on our own, we turned to Karina for help and she was a lifesaver.  We had an amazing safari adventure at the lodge–the experience of a lifetime–and are so grateful for her help. We literally couldn’t have done it without her!

Chris (USA)
Very helpful good suggestions for holiday ideas always available for questions good organising

Excellent service and they supplied good suggestions for our holiday they also organised all internal flights and arranged check in for us so we had no worries while on holiday. We have had a most memorable holiday staying at wonderful places thanks to Sabrina and Safari Online. Would recommend Safari Online to organise your holiday.

Lorraine (UK)
Professional, patient, efficient and responsive. Met all our travel needs and requirements spot on

Communication was excellent – I asked A LOT of questions and did a ton of research myself and Walter was extremely patient with me and very responsive. he was straight forward and extremely professional. Tour itself was excellent – an incredible experience and one never to be forgotten. Everything was spot on.

Neena
An incredibly well organised tour with no hassles whatsoever.

Safari Online understood our needs and was able to present us with sensible options to choose from. It was evident that this tour operator has knowledgable and experienced agents who can arrange a seemless tour. We were provided with a professional online itinary which was comprehensive and easy to use, knew exactely what to expect, and encountered no stumble blocks along the way.

Gwen (AU)
Safari Online made our fantastic family holiday dream come true!!

Safari Online have been nothing but professional and incredible from the time we made our first enquiry to the last day of our stunning holiday. Nothing was too much trouble for Walter. We are now starting to plan our next family Safari for 2019. Guess who we will be booking with??? Safari Online we hope you are ready!!!!!

Penni (AU)
Best trip I have ever been on. Highly recommend.

Would highly recommend. Safari online asked questions when booking and were efficient and knew exactly what we were looking for in terms of accommodation and animals were wanted to see. Gave advice on a few little extras with no pressure, which we did and am very grateful which make trip even more exciting. Would definitely recommend booking with them.