Zambezi Cruise Safaris

Located on Lake Kariba on Zimbabwe’s northern border

A safari cruise on Lake Kariba is an experience like no other and will leave you with many wonderful memories. Kariba is one of the world’s largest man-made lakes and is situated halfway down the iconic Zambezi River and approximately 90 km after the mighty Victoria Falls. Zambezi Cruise Safaris has a fleet of three luxurious houseboats on Lake Kariba offering comfort, delicious food, great experiences and typically friendly Zimbabwean service. 

With cruises that can traverse the full 250km length of the lake as well as in and around a number of beautiful bays and islands, this is a truly unique African Safari. Sit back and soak up the breath taking scenery or partake in the many offered activities on an all-inclusive basis.

Lake Kariba really is a ‘must do’ destination which offers a unique opportunity to cruise one of the world’s truly special water wildernesses offering both amazing scenery and unparalleled wildlife experiences.

The vast expanses of Lake Kariba forms a boundary between Zimbabwe and Zambia and its extensive shoreline is home to large populations of wildlife. A cruise safari will provide endless wonderful photographic opportunities and is very popular with wildlife enthusiasts, birders and fishermen alike.

Kariba sunsets are legendary with the lakes waters and evening sky turning into a stunning array of glorious golds, reds, oranges and yellows. Adding to the spectacle are the silhouetted skeletal remains of the lakes famous petrified trees which provide a unique reminder of a time past. Kariba’s magnificent scenes really are second to none.

A typical day on board starts with an early morning continental breakfast followed by game viewing or fishing from the tender boats( smaller boats that travel with the main vessel and are used for activities), allowing you to explore the expansive waters of the Lake, experiencing the unbeatable scenic views, abundant birdlife and possible wildlife sightings.

The boom of the Ground Hornbill resounds from the shoreline and Pells Fishing Owls can often be found in the high branches and riverine patches. The notorious cry of the African Fish Eagle echoes from all around the lake.

The Matusadona National Park boasts a unique combination of pristine rugged wilderness, together with the water frontage of the Lake. It is one of the sanctuaries of the Big Five and is famous for its abundant elephant population which feed along the shoreline.

Try your luck fishing for Kariba Bream, Cornish Jack or the infamous Tiger Fish or simply snap away in this photographer’s paradise. Back at the main vessel, a delicious brunch is served on deck as you sail off to our next destination along the lake shore. Lake Kariba stretches endlessly into the distance, a vast unpolluted lake with hazy colourful horizons providing picturesque landscape views.

On arrival guests explore the nearby creeks and inlets which have abundant hippo and crocodile populations or they can simply relax with a cool drink and watch the world drift by. In the evening enjoy a sundowner and soak up the legendary Kariba sunset as you cruise back to the main vessel.

Zambezi Cruise Safaris offer small, intimate cruises which traverse the entire 250 plus kilometres of the Lake and can also connect you to all of our partner products on the lakes shore of the Matusadona National Park, as well as some of the finest safari lodges/ camps and mobile operators in Mana Pools / Hwange National Park and Victoria Falls.

Besides the set travel dates and cruise itineraries Zambezi Cruise Safaris offer ‘Full Charter’ options for private groups, conferences, weddings and functions. The vessels are intimate unique products and without doubt the best Kariba has to offer. 

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At A Glance



Zambezi Cruise Safaris operate three houseboats The Umbozha (28 people):

  • 9 cabins, teak furnishings, fully air-conditioned.
  • 2 Master Cabins with queen-size beds
  • 3 Double Family Cabins with double beds and two adult bunks
  • 2 Twin Family Cabins with twin beds plus two adult bunks
  • 2 Double Cabins with double beds
  • Lounge and dining area. Stylish interiors.
  • 4 m x 3 m pool with shade & sun deck.

The Shikra (30 people):

  • 10 twin/double cabins. All with en suite and fully air conditioned
  • Large air conditioned lounge and dining area
  • Shaded pool deck with an open air back deck for al fresco dining and suntanning

The Karabezi (14 people):

  • 5 main cabins. Teak furnishings throughout.
  • 2 Double bedded Cabins with interleading child cabins with 2 bunks
  • 2 Twin Cabins
  • 1 Twin Cabin with bathroom opposite
  • Fully air conditioned lounge/dining room
  • Open plan deck with seating area and jacuzzi.
  • Third sun/viewing deck with 6 loungers, this area is often used for sleeping out under the stars.

Airport and Road Access

Air Guests can fly into Kariba on scheduled Air Zimbabwe flights three times a week however flights can be cancelled at short notice. Alternatively, there is a new fly in package from Victoria Falls to Binga with connections to Hwange and Mana Pools. Private charters are also available. Road (Self drive) Harare-Kariba : 360KM ( between 4 & 5 hours) reaching Kariba Town and making your way to the Departure Harbour which will be Kariba Safari Lodge. Pamuzinda – Kariba : 379KM 4-5 Hours Victoria Falls – Binga : 311KM ( 4 hours ) reaching Masumu River Lodge which is the departure harbour. Hwange – Binga : 209KM (2-3 hours) Road Transfers:

Victoria Falls HotelsBinga Harbour$ 75$ 95
Chobe LodgesBinga Harbour$ 100$ 125
LivingstoneBinga Harbour$ 90$ 115
Hwange Main GateBinga Harbour$ 75$ 95
Pamuzinda Safari LodgeKariba Harbour$ 75$ 95
HarareKariba Harbour$ 75$ 95

 Approximate Road Transfer travel times

  • Victoria Falls to Binga (5hrs)
  • Hwange Main Gate to Binga and Binga to Hwange Main Gate (3hrs)
  • Chobe Lodges to Binga ( 6hrs)
  • Livngstone to Binga ( 5hr30min)
  • HRE International to Pamuzinda(1hr30min)
  • Kariba/ Mana Pools(4hr30)


Road transfer rates:

FROM/TO TO /FROM One WayReturn
Victoria Falls HotelsBinga Harbour$ 75$ 95
Chobe LodgesBinga Harbour$ 100$ 125
LivingstoneBinga Harbour$ 90$ 115
Hwange Main GateBinga Harbour$ 75$ 95
Pamuzinda Safari LodgeKariba Harbour$ 75$ 95
HarareKariba Harbour$ 75$ 95

Approximate Road Transfer travel times:

  • Victoria Falls to Binga (5hrs)
  • Hwange Main Gate to Binga (3hrs)
  • Chobe Lodges to Binga ( 6hrs)
  • Livngstone to Binga ( 5hr30min)
  • HRE International to Pamuzinda (1hr30min)
  • Kariba/ Mana Pools (4hr30)

General Information:

  • All rates are quoted in US Dollars (USD) or Equivalent INTL Currency
  • Zambezi Cruise Safari – Terms and Conditions apply
  • Rates are inclusive of all taxes and levies ( where applicable )
  • All road transfers are based on a minimum of 4 pax
  • Zambezi Cruise Safaris reserves the right to amend the published transfer rates


Fully inclusive rates include:

  • Accommodation twin share or single
  • All meals and snacks
  • Drinks – local drinks including beers, wine, soft drinks and spirits. Premium brands not included.
  • Coffee & tea available throughout the day
  • Fishing equipment

See ‘Accommodation’ above.

Location Pin


Kariba Safari Cruises are based on Lake Kariba. 

Guests board at either Masumu Lodge in Binga ( Victoria Falls side ) or at Kariba Safari Lodge in Kariba ( Mana / Harare side). 
Both sides have road access and airstrips/airports.
The boats will be moved according to which boat is being used for which bookings.  
There are set departure dates for the lake cruises which will link up and down the lake. 


There are a number of things to do whilst cruising the lake. These include:

  • Fishing
  • Boat cruises
  • Walking safaris
  • Game viewing
  • Birding
  • Photography
Sign Post


To See and Do:

  • Visit the mighty Kariba Dam
  • Explore the many inlets 
  • Visit Bumi Hills Safari Lodge, Rhino Camp or Changa Safari Camp (by arrangement)

The Matusadona National Park is in the Eastern Basin of the Lake and here you are likely to see a variety of animals. It is home to the Big Five and has herds of established and settled game which are used to boats and human activity. Herds of buffalo and elephant can be seen feeding on the shorelines along with Zebra and many antelope, lions can sometimes be heard in the night and are regularly seen from the tenders. There is great birding along the lake shore and many river inlets. On the Binga / Victoria Falls side of the Lake there is abundant birdlife including such treasures as Pells Fishing Owls, Fish Eagles and Black Eagles as well as large hippo and crocodile populations living in the inlets and bays. This is a safari area and not a National Park. The area is fairly mountainous and there are usual sightings of klipspringers, bushbuck, kudu and other antelope plus numerous baboons and rock hyrax.

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