All along Lake Kariba

The story of Matusadona National Park begins with a flood. In the late 1950s, the waters of the Kariba Dam swelled and spilled over into much of the Zambezi Valley. This flood gave rise to Lake Kariba and—thanks to its waters—the shoreline exploded with rich grassland, attracting large populations of wildlife. Elephant, buffalo, waterbuck, and zebra made these new shores and islands their home and, where they settled, Matusadona was established.

This history of ecological change has made Matusadona a mecca for game-viewing. The mighty Big 5—especially the buffalo—roam the park, and sightings of the endangered black rhino are possible. Sable antelopes graze the grasslands, while hungry wild dogs can be found skulking not too far behind. The waters of Lake Kariba are brimming with hippos, crocodiles, and tigerfish, while the cormorants and fish eagles soar through the sky overhead. 

Spanning some 1,400km², Matusadona’s landscape is as diverse as its wildlife. The grassy shoreline gives way to thickets of mopane forests at the floor of the Zambezi Valley which, in turn, reaches up towards a rugged escarpment. This makes Matusadona the perfect spot for travellers seeking to combine a watery vacation with a rich and varied safari experience.


  • Situated along Lake Kariba, the largest man-made lake in the world
  • Home to the Big 5, with the buffalo population being especially prominent
  • If you’re lucky, you may just spot the endangered black rhino as well
  • The Park’s landscape is ecologically diverse, making for a varied safari experience
  • A paradise for birdwatchers—with ample opportunity to spot the mighty fish eagle

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