"Kariba - The One With The Dam" Kariba by stevezero

Kariba Travel Guide: 16 reviews and 17 photos


At Kariba we stayed at the Lakeview Hotel on the shores of Lake kariba. The building and decor are very sixties, but the food here is wonderful, as are the views of the lake from the rooms
There is plenty of wildlife to be seen without even leaving the hotel grounds. Large numers of baboons frequently visit the hotel and their antics can be most amusing.
We also took a cruise on Lake Kariba to see the wildlife and to watch the sunset. The lake stretches for over 5200 square kilometres and was formed in 1959 after the dam was built. At the time it was the largest man made lake in the world.

The Dam

From our hotel it was only a short walk to the Kariba Dam. Becuase the dam straddles the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia you have to pass through a customs post, and leave your passport with the guard there before you can get on the dam wall itself.
The concrete arch dam across the Zambezi River at Kariba Gorge, on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe was completed in 1959, the structure is 420 feet (128 m) high with a crest 1,899 feet (579 m) in length and a volume of 1,032,000 cubic m. The dam creates Lake Kariba, and it supplies some 6,700,000,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, generated by Kariba North Bank and South Bank companies (Zambia and Zimbabwe, respectively). Its creation required the resettlement of more than 30,000 Batonka tribespeople of Zambia and the evacuation of thousands of wild animals ("Operation Noah"). Some Africans initially opposed construction of the dam, seeing it as a symbol of the unpopular Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, which dissolved into Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and Zambia in 1963. Later, however, the dam was accepted because of the inexpensive electric power it furnishes to Zambia's prosperous copper industry.

  • Intro Written Dec 11, 2004
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