I recently had a fantastic trip on board the houseboat Return to Eden on Zimbabwe’s Lake Kariba.
There are a million reasons to take a trip on a houseboat on Lake Kariba, but here are my top 10:
1. It’s relaxing. Sometimes even a trip in the bush can be tiring, with early starts and late nights around the fire and the whole business of setting up camp. On Return to Eden there is nothing to do but relax.
2. There’s something special about game viewing from the water. Instead of driving bumpy roads or spending long hours inside a vehicle, on Lake Kariba’s houseboats the game viewing is from two tender vessels – aluminium platforms on pontoons. It’s quiet, sitting moored and watching the elephant come to you, and the visibility for photography is great.
3. Sundowners on the water. Enough said.
4. Someone else cooks. Even if you opt to take the boat on a self catering basis (you can also book ‘Return’ with all meals supplied) Chef Chris will cook all your meals for you. He’s a great cook.
5. Someone else washes up.
6. The weather is perfect. Winters on the lake are sunny and warm and even in summer there is usually a refreshing breeze off Lake Kariba’s 5,500 square kilometre surface.
7. You can fish and go game viewing at the same time. Heck, you can even fish, game view and have a sundowner at the same time!
8. The game viewing is great: plenty of elephant, hippo, crocodile, waterbuck and other antelope and, if the lake isn’t too high (and flooding the shoreline grazing) you’ll see big herds of buffalo. I’ve often seen lion from the water, including a pride chasing waterbuck into the shallows.
9. Even if you’re not a twitcher you won’t fail to be impressed by the birds. There is an amazing array of birds, including kingfishers, cormorants, storks, herons and the ubiquitous fish eagle – the sound of Kariba.
10. Zimbabwe needs you. All is far from perfect with that country but since they changed their currency to the US dollar (Rands are also accepted) it’s become easier for tourists to travel around Zimbabwe. Tourism will play a big part in the nation’s eventual revival, so lend a hand.
Fancy floating off into the sunset? Take a houseboat trip on Lake Kariba with Getaway Adventures.