Upper Zambezi & Lake Kariba

Both the Upper Zambezi and Lake Kariba lie far from tourist hubs, offering beautiful scenery, peaceful atmospheres and fantastic wildlife viewing.

The mighty Zambezi River has its origins in Zambia, and is Africa’s fourth largest waterway, forming the country’s border with Zimbabwe. It is a lifeline for many communities as well as for a wealth of bird and animal life.

The Upper Zambezi region lies a little west of the river’s best known feature – Victoria Falls – towards Botswana. This area is particularly scenic, and offers some seriously good bird-watching, whilst hippo, elephant and buffalo are commonly seen in and around the river and its tributaries.

Lake Kariba was created in the late 1950s, following the completion of the Kariba Dam. Measuring over 220km in length and up to 40km in width, it is the world’s largest man-made reservoir. Gamefish – including the legendary tigerfish – thrive in its waters, whilst huge flocks of waterbirds, handsome raptors, Nile crocodiles and pods of hippopotami ply its banks.

Safari lodges in both these areas offer a very relaxed and peaceful experience, far from the hustle and bustle of tourist hubs such as Victoria Falls. Boating is an integral part of any holiday in either location, whilst game drives can also be undertaken in the incredibly varied habitat – ranging from forest to grasslands – in search of the plentiful plains game and predators that rely on the Zambezi’s waters for survival.


Upper Zambezi & Lake Kariba Highlights

  • Two very scenic areas set far from busy tourist hubs
  • Offering peace, quiet and fantastic wildlife viewing
  • A wide range of activities from game drives to walks
  • Cruises on the Zambezi River or Lake Kariba
  • Excellent safari lodges with quality guides

When To Go

Moderate temperatures and lack of water elsewhere in Chobe National Park and Savute make the “winter” months of May through to September the best time to visit. However, gameviewing is good in this reserve all year round.

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The following are some of the lodges that we recommend in the Upper Zambezi and Lake Kariba regions. For information on additional accommodation not featured, please contact us.



The following itineraries are just some of the many experiences that we can design for you. All of our tours are private, independent and tailor-made to your personal travelling requirements. Please contact us to begin creating your personalised Zimbabwe experience.

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Zimbabwe Overview

Why should I travel to Zimbabwe? Zimbabwe offers amazing wildlife experiences, from the safari parks and reserves along the mighty Zambezi River and Lake Kariba to the vast wilderness of Hwange National Park. The jewel in the country’s crown is the spectacular Victoria Falls. The country has a long history and the ancient stone city of Great Zimbabwe gave the country its name.

When is the best time to go to Zimbabwe?The dry season (May-Oct) is the best time for gameviewing as the bush dries out and game congregates at the precious remaining waterholes. Late in the dry season, there will be much less water going over the Victoria Falls, whilst at the height of summer there will be a lot of spray and it may be more difficult to see the falls.

What is the culture of Zimbabwe? Zimbabweans are known for their rich culture, dance and music traditions. They are also recognised for their fine art and craft including basketware, pottery and the famous Shona stone sculptures. The two main tribes are the Shona and the Matabele.

What is the climate in Zimbabwe? Moderate climate (22°-29°C) though hotter in the Zambezi Valley and around the Victoria Falls where temperatures can reach 40°C. The dry season is from May-Oct when almost no rain falls and the days are warm and sunny. Nights can be very cold with sub-zero temperatures from Jun-Aug. Oct is the hottest month. Rain falls regularly in the summer (Nov-Mar/Apr) turning the bush lush and green.

What can I combine Zimbabwe with? Zambia, Botswana or South Africa. Chobe National Park in Botswana is just across the border and can be easily reached by road from Victoria Falls. Zambia and the town of Livingstone is across the river from Victoria Falls.

How to get to Zimbabwe? Fly from Johannesburg to Victoria Falls. Alternatively you can easily take a road transfer from Livingstone in Zambia or from Botswana. For an Edwardian-style, luxury rail experience travel by Rovos Rail from Pretoria in South Africa to Victoria Falls.

Do I need a Visa for Zimbabwe? Please call us on 1300 363 302 or visit or FAQ page

Do I need vaccinations for Zimbabwe? Please call us on 1300 363 302 or visit or FAQ page

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