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Lake Kariba Ferry Service

Due to recent schedule changes - all enquiries should be sent directly to our Kariba office on https://www.zambezi.co.uk/sslkba/

"Save time, fuel, money, frayed nerves, over 1250 km of driving (unless you travel through Zambia) and at least one nights hotel stop by taking your car the length of the lake using the Kariba Ferry service. You and your family can relax in the spacious panoramic windowed saloon, laze in the open deck or enjoy the upper shaded deck whilst someone else does the driving."

Planning a trip on the Kariba Ferry

The voyage takes approximately 22 hours in each direction, during which time you will be served with three nourishing meals together with morning and afternoon tea or coffee which is included in our tariff. There is a fully stocked cash bar aboard.

A Typical Day Aboard "Sea Horse" or "Sea Lion".

The vessels depart on their voyages promptly at 09:00. Intending passengers are advised to be at the departure/loading point not less than 1 hour prior to sailing. For security reasons, once vehicles are loaded, access to vehicles is restricted. So do not forget to pack an overnight bag with personal and other requirements.

"Soon after departing from Andora Harbour, to our right the Dam Wall may be seen along with the Sampakaruma Group of islands in the fore-ground, named after a local chief. The small rocky outcrop to the left of these is called Rhino Island, so called due to the rescue of a particularly belligerent Rhino during the famous "Operation Noah". This being the widest point of the lake at 32 kilometres.

After cruising across the south eastern basin, we arrive at the Sibilobilo Lagoon, which is formed by a series of islands along its northern border and is over-looked by the well known Bumi Hills Safari Lodge. This whole area abounds with many varieties of game and birds, numbers of which may frequently be seen at the waters edge. Binoculars at this time are a decided advantage. The animals swim regularly between the islands and indeed to and from the mainland. A cold buffet lunch will be served at this time. As we leave the lagoon via the gap between the Lubangwa and Namembere Islands, most passengers settle down to an after lunch nap in our fully relining bed/armchairs. The ferry continues its journey between the northern shores of the islands forming Sibilobilo Lagoon and another chain of islands which form a channel. Game is often seen in this area. We now enter the "Kota Kota" Narrows which is named after the mountain on the northern shore.

The lake then opens into the Sengwa Basin through which we travel some kilometres offshore. Weather and time permitting, your captain will stop, for those who wish it, to allow a refreshing swim in the warm semi-tropical waters. Passengers should note that whilst we consider swimming in open water as being safe, it is at their own risk! It is strictly prohibited to climb on the roof and passengers are reminded that they are required to obey all instructions from the captain or crew.

Shortly thereafter, you will almost certainly be witness to an African Sunset second to none, whilst enjoying a cool sundowner from the bar before dinner is served at approximately 20:00.

You may wish to have an after dinner night-cap as your crew steers you through the night under the constant supervision of the captain, aided by radar. The ferry passes the Sinamwenda River and then on to Kudu Island where a slight course change takes you into the Chete Gorge, so named by the Batonka tribesment who traded and fished along the river before the harnessing of the Zambezi. At this point, there were a series of swirling rapids that prevented them from proceeding any further hence the name "Chete" meaning the end or finish. The gorge narrows to less than 400 metres wide before we once again sail into open water."

Having passed a number of islands, Binga and through the Sebungwe Narrows, the ferry will dock at M'libizi at around 07:00 whereafter off-loading you may continue your journey.

The ferry service may be used by those without vehicles either on our Karibean Cruise, which encompasses the return trip starting from either end, or alternatively, as a means to the other end which is very popular with the back packers, who would thereafter hitch-hike to their next destination.  An option worth considering as a backpacker is to take the flight between Victoria Falls and Kariba - it's appreciably quicker and often cheaper!

N.B. When making enquiries regarding vehicles other than standard types, please supply full dimensional details as to overall length, width and height. Special attention must be paid to non-removable attachments. Overall lengths of car and caravan or trailer combination must be given when coupled. Under no circumstances change your vehicle or add a trailer without first contacting us to ensure that space is available for such alteration. In such circumstances, Kariba Ferries reserves its right to refuse to load your vehicle against forfeiture of the fare paid in full.

Regrettably, due to non-arrivals, we have to advise that we cannot confirm a booking until we are in receipt of a 50% deposit. Should this not occur, Kariba Ferries reserves its right to resell the booking. Final payment is due 45 days prior to sailing, likewise should this not occur, we reserve the right to resell the booking. Late bookings can often be accommodated "out of season", bookings required during school holidays and peak season must be done well in advance - we recommend a minimum of six months.

Cancellations will be charged at the following rates:

  • 31 days or more ...................10% of fare
  • 15 - 29 days ........................ loss of deposit
  • 14 days or less ....................  forfeiture of full fare

Please note that no animals are allowed on board.

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UK Head Office
Ermington Mill, Ivybridge, Devon, PL21 9NT
Tel: +44 1548 830059 Fax: +44 870 094 1881
Mobile: +44 7900 582746 
e-mail:info@zambezi.co.uk

African Head Office
The Heights, Kariba, Zimbabwe
Tel: +263 61 3351  Fax: +263 61 2291
Cell: +263 91 343616 
e-mail: info@zambezi.com

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