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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars


Zimbabwe - 22 March, 2001



Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe (campsite) S1632.236' E02845.825' 533 m
Lake Kariba houseboat transfer 45 km
Pontoon safari
Finish Nyakasanga Lodge (houseboat), Matusadona National Park, Lake Kariba S1645.391' E02835.234' 488 m


30,413 km

9,493 km


Weather: AM:  Cloudy, occasional rain and cool. PM:  Partly cloudy, occasional sun and very hot.  Cool at night.



Daily Journal Entry:

We wake up to one of the worst days we have had in terms of weather.  It was cloudy and raining.  Today we will be heading out to a houseboat on Lake Kariba and we need to spend the morning getting our stuff ready for the next few days, including food and drinks.  We cannot do much else because of the weather.


Around 11:30 AM we transfer our stuff to the transfer boat that will take us out to the houseboat, which is anchored in Lake Kariba on the shores of Matusadona National Park.  After we get everything loaded up, they have some troubles starting one of the engines, so we hang around for a while.  To keep us from getting bored, we watch a lung fish slide his way down the beach to the water's edge.  The lung fish is able to live outside water for extended periods of time and it was amazing it slide its way down the sandy beach down to the water.  We were not sure were he came from.  We all cheered when he made it.


Just about then, they decided to head off using one engine.  It would be slower, but at least we would get there.  We slowly progressed across the lake to the house boat. Part of the way along, they managed to get the engine started, so things speeded up then.


Zimbabwe01_Kariba1_Transfer_2587_Web.gif (180930 bytes)

As we approached the shore near the national park, we started to see all the trees drowned when the lake was created out of the Zambezi river when the Kriba Dam was built. They make quite an eerie sight, in particular at sunset and night time, with their branches reaching up into the sky.


Zimbabwe01_Kariba1_Pontoon01_Jac_2588_Web.gif (193805 bytes)

We finally got to the houseboat around 5 PM.  We quickly got sorted out and got our rooms, prior to getting ready to go on a pontoon safari.  They have pontoon boats that cruise on the lake up up along the shore of the lake.  They are very civilised - with chairs and all.  We headed off by 5:30 PM.


Zimbabwe01_Kariba1_Pontoon10_Sunset_2600_Web.gif (143937 bytes)

On this pontoon safari we see a number of animals, including goliath heron, hippos (lots), impala, crocodile, spoonbills and fish eagles.  The most interesting was hippo city where there were dozens of hippos.  They would be laying almost fully submerged under the water, with only their heads showing.  Every once in a while they would submerge and then, after a while, re-emerge with a big blow of air from their nostrils.  We could also see when they were running under water - we could follow the ripples in the water and their air bubbles.


Zimbabwe01_Kariba1_Pontoon13_Sunset_2603_Web.gif (165680 bytes)

But the highlight of the evening must have been the sunset.  It was amazing.  It kept getting better and better, with the colors changing until it finally burned itself out.


We get back to the houseboat shortly before 7 PM and take a shower prior to heading up to the upper deck for a pre-dinner drink.  It is very cool and comfortable on the upper deck and we have a nice relaxing dinner and a few drinks.





















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