Zambia, Lake Kariba 2016

    • Lakeview Lodge, Kariba
    • View from chalet at Lakeview Lodge
    • Beware of crocs
    • Chalet at Lakeview Lodge
    • Dust at Sinazongwe
  • Zambia is a fantastic country, but the roads can be very intense, and overland access to national parks such as South Luangwa, Liuwa Plains, Sioma Ngwezi, Nyika and even Kafue is exhausting. If laid-back is your style, and you happen to be in southern Zambia, consider a detour to Lake Kariba en route to Lusaka. Heading towards the uncrowded and the understated (unlike the eastern lakeshore with its houseboats), we ventured into the deep countryside.

    As elsewhere in Africa, here too the saying holds true: “Good roads, bad people. Bad roads, good people.” The road to Kariba is winding with spectacular mountain views and banana plantations. It descends quickly,  and on the approach to the fishing village of Sinazongwe, the surface becomes dusty and potholed. To your utter frustration, there are typical deviations alongside the newly built road which just needs finishing touches. If you’re stuck behind another vehicle, you eat dust for kilometres on end. But everywhere the locals were delighted to see our ZA Land Cruiser and we acted like royals, waving non-stop.

    Lakeview Lodge overlooks golden sand and rocky boulders, with cattle on the beach and lazy waves lapping the shore. There is no formal campsite in the garden setting, but the rustic chalets won’t break the bank. If you insist on pitching your tent, they will give you the key to a shower. Chikanka Private Island, where Lakeview has a second lodge privy to game sightings, is a 40 minute speedboat ride away, but we just put our feet up and absorbed the stillness.

    That is, until the pontoon-type kapenta rigs started chugging out towards the deep. Sardine-like kapenta, fried in batter, has been a Kariba staple since the sixties. Overfishing is rife; the latest survey counted more than a thousand fishing craft. These are mainly active at night, when the catch is lured into nets with lights, and any notion of peaceful sleep is thwarted.

    Where to stay

    Lakeview Lodge, Kariba K714 per chalet