Lake Kariba: A Journey of Marvels, Marsel Mishaps, and Fishing Triumphs!

After a day off to visit the majestic Vic Falls, we set off for Lake Kariba—a true marvel of engineering, boasting the title of the world’s largest manmade lake. With its impressive dimensions of 240 km in length and 40 km in width and covering a whopping 5500 sq km, it’s like looking out to the sea at some points in the lake. 

Lake Kariba came into existence following the construction of the Kariba Dam in 1959. This monumental feat led to the flooding of the Zambezi River into the Kariba Gorge. This undertaking sparked controversy due to its displacement of the Batonga tribes residing in the valley. The ecological impact was profound, with native wildlife facing the brunt of habitat loss. Despite these challenges, “Operation Noah”  (!!) was seen as a beacon of hope. This initiative aimed to mitigate the damage by rescuing stranded animals (in two’s) from newly formed islands created by the rising floodwaters. Through the heroic efforts of dedicated teams utilizing boats, over 6000 animals were spared from peril, underscoring the power of human compassion in the face of adversity. (Just joking about the pairs, LOL)

The journey was nothing short of spectacular, with twists, turns, and elevation changes that kept us on our toes (and our seats). But amidst the breathtaking scenery, Marsel, our trusty companion, decided to add a little drama of his own.

Just when we thought we were cruising along smoothly, Marsel’s throttle cable decided to play hide-and-seek, leaving us momentarily stranded on the roadside. The C clip fell off, and hence, the rod fell off, so Marcel was just idle. But with a new C clip put on, Marsel was back in action! Who knew a C clip could fall off?!?!

We rallied through many villages, including Zimba, Kalomo, Choma, Batoka, Muzoka, Pemba, Chisekesi, Gwembe, Lukonde, and Fumbo. The locals adored the cars and cheered us along. The border crossing into Zimbabwe had five different offices to deal with, one of them being under a tree by the river! It took some time but was smooth. 

We spent the next day and night on a houseboat on the lake, which is chalk-a-block with crocodiles, so no swimming at all. However, the fishing was another story. A bunch of us went out, and I became the Fishing Queen of Kariba. I reeled in a tigerfish (check out those chompers!) and a tilapia. It was such fun with the crocs surrounding our tiny tender boat!!!