Tuesday 25 September 2012

Rhodesia's Lake Kariba

Pg1-Cover, Lake Kariba

Kariba is Many Things

KARIBA is many things. To the sight-seeing tourist the giant masonry that holds back the world's largest artificial lake  is now one of Rhodesia's greatest sights, second, possibly, to the Victoria Falls; to the engineer, Kariba and its power  station is one of the world's finest technological achievements, an example of the genius of modern man; to the fisherman, the waters of Kariba are a fabulous fishing ground, especially for the much-sought-after fighting tiger; and  to the ordinary holidaymaker, Kariba is the place for a carefree holiday by the lake in hotel, motel or camp.

It should be noted that this guide is confined to the eastern end of Lake Kariba. The lake is so vast that other parts have not been included.

Pg2-1, Lake Kariba
Above: A view from Camp Hill, with Lake View Motel in the foreground and the Kariba Yacht Club in the sheltered bay below.

Lake Kariba can be readied by road and air.

Road; In Rhodesia the main road from Salisbury to Zambia is taken as far as Makuti, where there is a secondary road  turning off to the left, which leads to Kariba. The road from Salisbury to Makuti, a distance of 180 miles, passes  through Sinoia (72 miles) and Karoi (126 miles). From Makuti the road winds for 40 miles up to  the Kariba Airport  turnoff to the left, and continues another 10 miles to Kariba Township and another mile to the dam  wall itself. Total  distance from Salisbury to the wall—231 miles. In Zambia the shortest route is via a turnoff to the right  from the main  Kafue-Salisbury road, 11 miles north of Chirundu. The distance to the dam wall from the turnoff is 42  miles of  secondary road.

Air: Air Rhodesia, the national airline, operates scheduled air services to Kariba daily, Monday to Friday, linking it with  the country's main centres. Airline transport between the airport and resort hotels and motels is available at a nominal  charge. A wide range of all-inclusive Flame Lily holidays, most of which include a visit to Kariba, are available from the  principal centres of Rhodesia and from Malawi, South Africa, Mozambique and Mauritius. These holidays often include  a launch or game-viewing cruise on the lake.

Customs and immigration posts of Rhodesia and Zambia are situated on either side of the dam wall and are open 6  a,m. to 6 p.m. between April 1 and September 30, and 6 a,m, to 7 p,m. for the other half of the year, Rhodesian  customs and immigration authorities are on duty at the airport to deal with scheduled over border flights.

There is more to see and do at Kariba than viewing the wall, fishing and boating.

Wherever you are staying you will find it most rewarding to visit the resort sites. Each has its own atmosphere, outlook  and amenities, which will add variety to your stay at Kariba.

Pg2-4, Lake Kariba

Above: Blue lake, sky and distant mountains are seen from the Lake Drive, which skirts the water's edge near Kariba.

Pg 2-2, Lake KAriba
Above: The unique Roman Catholic church of St. Barbara is situated on Kariba Heights and has
many features to interest the visitor.

A tour of Kariba township, 1,200 feet high on a hill overlooking the lake, should also be made by every visitor. The township is reached by a full-width, tarred highway that winds up through the hills, affording the visitor  magnificent views over hundreds of square miles of lake scenery. Sunsets seen from this high vantage point arc truly  awe-inspiring. A visit to the Roman Catholic church of St. Barbara should certainly be made while in the township.  Built by the Italian employees of Impresit, the main contractors for Kariba, in memory of those who lost their lives while  the dam was being constructed, the unique design is perfectly suited to its surroundings. The central altar and statues  of the saints of the national groups engaged at Kariba are of especial interest.

Pg2-3, Lake Kariba
Above: Kariba is the ideal place to acquire a tan,either on this private beach at the Venture Cruises
Motel, or at the swimming pools at hotels and motels.

Below: Yachting is a joy on the vast waters of Lake Kariba, and regular regattas are held by the thriving Kariba Yacht Club. Visitors with their own boats arc always welcome at the club, which has a fine lakeside clubhouse. Power-boating on the lake is also allowed on the lake
Pg2-5, Lake Kariba

Small boats of all descriptions are on hire at most resorts for trips on the lake or for water-skiing. Instruction in this thrilling sport is also offered at several resorts. Game-viewing cruises along the eastern shore of the lake, where elephant can be seen, are also provided daily. There is also a 44-seater craft, the Djoya, which is liquor-licensed, operating cruises. A cruise across the lake and up the zig-zag Sanyati Gorge is most rewarding and provides excellent fishing.

April to September, which are the dry winter months, is the most popular visiting period, although the whole year  round the holidaymaker will find much to do and see. The hottest months are October and November, although the  fishing is particularly good in these months and lake breezes counteract the seasonal rise in humidity.

Wherever you stay in Kariba you can hire boats, rafts or cruisers and set off" on fishing expeditions with all the advice  and assistance you require. Fishing tackle can be purchased at resorts.

The most sought-after fish at Kariba is the tiger fish, closely followed by the tilapias or "bream" family. The latter  include the red-bellied bream (Tilapiamehnopleura), the plankton-eating bream (Tilapia macrochir), and the green bream (Sargochromis codringtoni). Other specics of fish to be found arc the chessa, n'kupi, bottlenose Cornish jack, and (in the swampy areas) the lung fish. There are also barbel, electric barbel, the giant catfish (known to Rhodesians as vundu), squeakers (an excellent tiger bait), silverfish (Labeo species) and eels.

Each year in September the Rhodesia National Anglers' Union hold an international tiger fish team tournament at Charara that attracts entries from all over southern Africa.

Pg3-1, Lake Kariba

Above: Elephants on the shore at Bumi Hills. The nearby Matusadona Game Reserve has a high population of wild life, much of which can be seen at the waters edge from passing boats.

Pg3-3, Lake Kariba

Above: A shady spot to park the caravan and camp at the Mopani Bay site, which is on the lake shore.

Pg3-4, Lake Kariba

Above: The interesting bays and inlets along the shoreline can be fully appreciated from viewpoints at Kariba Heights.

Below: A typical sunset over the lake.

Pg3-5, Lake Kariba

The double-curvature concrete arch dam has a maxi- mum height of 420 feet, a crest length of 2,025 feet and carries a 40-foot-wide road. It contains approximately 1,275,000 cubic yards of concrete. There are six flood gates, each 30 feet high by 31 feet wide, whose combined discharge capacity is 336,000 cusecs (2 million gallons a second).

The capacity of the lake when full is 149 million acre feet. The length from end to end is about 170 miles, the maximum width 20 miles, and the total area about 2,000 square miles.

The public are allowed on to the car park on the southern end of the dam wall where close-up views of the wall and gorge are obtainable. Permission must first, however, be obtained from the immigration officer at the border post.

Pg5-1, Lake Kariba

Tuition in the exciting sport of water-skiing is provided at several lakeside establishments.

Below: Game-viewing trips are operated daily.

Pg5-4, Lake Kariba

At Kariba there are two hotels, both offering air- conditioned rooms with private bathrooms: the Kariba Hotel, 1,200 feet  above the lake in the township, and the Cutty Sark, on the lake shore. Two motels, the Lake View on Camp Hill, and Venture Cruises on the lake shore, provide accommodation in an attractive setting, the Lake View particularly offering a range from air conditioned, self-contained lodges to inexpensive fishermen's huts. The hotels and motels are fully licensed and their bars and restaurants provide for the "casual'' visitor, as well as their own residents. A camping andcaravan site is situated at Mopani Bay, where, as the name suggests, the large, level site is shaded by tall trees inhabited by mopani squirrels. Harbour and mooring facilities are provided at all establishments, except the Kariba Hotel. All hotels and motels have their own swimming pools and other recreational facilities, and at one there is also a chip-and-putt golf course.

Forty miles up lake, on the southern shore, is the Bumi Hills Hotel, which is situated on a promontory 400 feet above the lake. Game can often be seen on the shore below from the hotel verandah. The hotel can be reached by air or by boat.

At the western end of the lake, reached from turnoffs from the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls road are resorts at Binga and Msuna Mouth, catering mainly for the fisherman. There are at present no scheduled boat services traversing the length of the lake, but visiters can make the 170-mile journey in their own craft. All visitors embarking on any journey on the lake, other than coastal cruises, should notify the Lake Navigation Control Office and acquaint themselves with regulations and safety procedures.

Pg5-3, Lake Kariba

Above: From the gardens of the Cutty Sark Hotel the Matusadona Mountains can be clearly seen.

Below:  The Kariba Hotel is situated 1,200 feet above the lake, and from its terrace and bedrooms views over hundreds of square miles of lake scenery are obtainable.
Pg5-2, Lake Kariba

A cruise to Bumi Hills takes you past the Matusadona Game Reserve situated between the Sanyati and Bumi rivers. This reserve is not at present open to the public, but much game, especially  elephant, can be seen from the lake.

Pg5-5, Lake Kariba
Above:  A fine tiger fish, its huge teeth much in evidence. Such catches are not unusual and provide the sporting fisherman with a challenging fight.

Further detailed local information may be obtained from the Visitors' Bureau maintained at the Kariba Service Station  by the Lomagundi Regional Development and Publicity Association.

P6-1, Lake Kariba

Reprinted from RHODESIA CALLS by Mardon Printers, Rhodesia, and issued by the Rhodesia National Tourist Board.


Extracted and recompiled by Eddy Norris for use on Our Rhodesian Heritage Blog from material made available by Darryl Burlin. Thanks Darryl.

Comments are always welcome, enter direct or send them to Eddy Norris at orafs11@gmail.com and they will be uploaded accordingly.

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At 27 April 2013 at 08:41 , Blogger Unknown said...

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At 26 November 2013 at 20:13 , Blogger Unknown said...

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