Houseboats on Lake Kariba

Forming the boundary between Zimbabwe and Zambia and stretching 280kms in length and 40kms wide, an ideal holiday playground for superb fishing, game viewing, birding, sailing and safaris

Lake Kariba is a paradise for tourists who want to catch a glimpse of unspoiled Africa, from the tranquility and safety of a houseboat

On a houseboat cruise you’re truly away from it all for the most relaxing holiday on earth

  • Lake Kariba Boats For Sale
    Houseboats for Sale
    Lake Kariba pontoon houseboats for sale. All boats have tenders for fishing or game viewing and jacuzzi or swimming cage. Boats are in good condition and...
  • Kariba lake ferry service
    Kariba Ferry
    Scheduled Ferry Boat Service Sailing Between Binga And Kariba Town - Saving You Time And Money. Relax As You Cruise The Full Length Of The Beautiful Lake Kariba
  • Binga Zimbabwe
    Binga Houseboats
    For A Fantastic Tiger Fishing Getaway With Easy Access From Victoria Falls On Tar Roads. Houseboats Offer The Ideal Holiday Environment, Relaxing Under The Sun, Cruising...
  • Kariba Houseboat Pontoons
    Kariba Pontoons
    Good Selection With Houseboats Ranging From 12 Guests To 24, Budget To Luxury. Most Boats Have Jacuzzi, Swimming Cage, Tender Boats For Fishing And Good Complement Of Crew
  • Lake Kariba Cruisers for Rent
    Kariba Cruisers
    Well Designed For Families Or Small Groups, Cruisers Offer An Affordable Holiday On Kariba. Select From Large Choice Of Boats For Great Fishing, Game Viewing & Sheer Relaxation

F.A.Q –  When to Go

Where the season never ends
« The cooler months of April to August when the weather is beautiful one day and perfect the next, are very pleasant
« The fishing is better in the hot summer months of September to March
« Over Easter and Xmas houseboats are generally fully booked
« October is Tiger Fishing competition time at Kariba

« Xmas and New Year is when every boat is on the water for PARTY TIME and the best time to book for this period is at least six months in advance


Loraine Finaughty ( your local consultant ) son, Blair holding freshly caught Kariba Bream

Getting There
Kariba is 366 Kms from Harare,  806 Kms from Bulawayo and 3 hrs by road from Lusaka
Charter planes and boats operate between Kariba and island lodges as well as Mana Pools
Flights to Lusaka and road transfers (3 hrs) to Kariba are popular
Binga to Kariba or vice vesa. Bookings are available on a per cabin basis, the first of its kind on Lake Kariba
Mlibizi to Kariba with vehicle. ( western end of the lake to the eastern end at the dam wall)

Arriving before departure date
Lake Navigation rules do not permit people to stay in the harbour overnight, unless special arrangements have been made prior to your arrival. You will have to seek alternative accommodation if you arrive after 5pm

On Board a houseboat

No smoking is allowed in any of the cabins, only on the open decks.
The sun is harsh so remember your sun tan lotion and a broad-rimmed sun hat.

Houseboats generally sleep 10-12 people, so most people try to fill up the boat to keep the cost per person as low as possible.

Tender boats on a boat are quite important as you need to move up and down the shoreline game viewing or fishing. Should the boat not have tender boats, you can hire speedboats from Kariba harbour to take with you on your houseboat trip

Facilities On Board
Refrigerator/Freezer, Stove , Oven , Microwave, Pots/Pans, Dishes & Cutlery, Coffee Pot, Cooking Utensils, Linens/Pillows, TV/VCR, Clothes Hangars , Hot & Cold Water, Cleaning Supplies, Garbage Bags, Biodegradable Soap, BBQ / Braai, Cooler , Outdoor Furniture, AM/FM stereo/CD player, Marine Radio, Fire Extinguisher, Life Jackets (emergency use only), Emergency Flares, First Aid Kit, compass, Tender Boat on tow. Crew: Captain, Chef and or Deckhand in their own quarters

Air-conditioning & Generators
Lake law is that all generators be turned off after 10 o’clock in the evening. This means they are no use for sleeping in cabins, however are very pleasant when having dinner in the dining room. Most people enjoy the fresh air on the top deck.

The generators on the boats can only run for a maximum of five hours a day. This is sufficient time to keep the deep freezes and refrigerators cold.

On air conditioned vessels, the air conditioners will only be turned on while the generators are running

How much will fuel cost?

It depends on the size of the boat, distance travelled and how much air con you use. Diesel boats tend to be much less expensive to operate.

Charter Distances
The major determination when costing a boat is its fuel consumption, so these distances are usually not negotiable.
Please note that most houseboats and cruisers are moored in Kariba. However we also have some vessels on the western tip of the lake (Binga/Mlibizi).
It is advisable that when chartering a houseboat/cruiser, a stay of not less than 3 nights and not longer than 5 nights is recommended.

Vessels are rented out on either a bareboat/self-catering basis (no meals/refreshments/teas/coffees) but there are also various catering options available – which are recommended. Most charters leaving from Kariba, dependant on the length of the booking, will spend the duration of the charter at various mooring points along the Matusadona National Park shoreline (south of Kariba town)

Fishing Gear
Only basic gear is supplied on a few boats.  Fishermen should bring their own rods, tackle etc. Bait can be purchased along the sides of the road or in the harbour before boarding.  Clients should speak to the captain regarding the best places to fish

National Parks Fees – Zimbabwe national parks   charge a separate fee for Lake usage and fishing Usage, please make sure you carry cash for this

Adverse Weather Conditions
Weather conditions on the lake vary from time to time and can change very quickly.

The Captain & Crew

The Captain and crew are there to ensure your stay aboard the houseboat is comfortable, enjoyable and as safe as possible.

Their employment contract has a strict NO ALCOHOL ON BOARD HOUSEBOATS condition and if broken will result in their IMMEDIATE DISMISSAL from employment, forcing unnecessary hardships upon them. It is important that you DO NOT attempt to encourage crew members to drink alcohol

Once you board the boat The Captain’s word is FINAL – and passengers will not be allowed to interfere with the running of the boat – failing which the charter can be cancelled and returned to harbour

Are pets allowed : No

Feeding Animals
The animals you see in the Park are WILD animals and it is strictly prohibited by law

Noise Levels:  Please remember others and keep noise levels to a minimum, especially when your boat is harboured on the shoreline of the Matusadona National Park or close to other houseboats.

Do we have to clean the boat before we leave :  you don’t have to swab the decks but the boat should be returned in the same condition as when you boarded.

Can we make a fire on shore:  Definitely No

Can we leave the houseboat to go onshore?
Passengers are reminded that you are not allowed to walk more than 20 metres from any boat moored on the Matusadona National Park shoreline, unless you are accompanied by a registered Zimbabwean Professional Guide who has an operator’s license for the Matusadona National Park.  Anyone breaking this rule is liable to a large spot fine and/or arrest as is the ship’s captain.

Is it OK to take along toddlers?
A young toddler on a boat requires constant observation, in case they fall overboard. As long as you take proper precautions you and they can have a great houseboat vacation. Make sure they have a comfortable life vest and keep it on them at all times. Have things for them to stay busy with during slower times so you don’t end up having to entertain them nonstop. Some boats provide netting around the deck which is also a help. Read More

For Tour Enquiries o/h g.m.t. +2
Phone Us – +27 31 776 3757

houseboat safaris
User Rating
5 based on 1 votes
Service Type
houseboat safaris
Provider Name,Kariba Town,Zimbabwe-
Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe
Kariba Houseboats