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KARIBA


DAM WALL OBSERVATION POINT GETS A FACELIFT

Tendai Mushangwe from the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority in Kariba advises that the Observation Point building, which provides this awesome view over the Kariba Dam wall, is currently undergoing renovations.

Kariba Dam Wall

“We have repainted the building inside out and we will now be putting up the pictures about the dam, Operation Noah and others on the wall.

Please bear with us, as we try and make the whole place better for visitors.

We hope to have everything sorted by Easter, so that we can all be proud of our mini-museum” he says.

Visitors to Kariba should not miss out on seeing the Dam Wall.  There are two ways of doing this:-

1.      The easy way is to self-drive or take a guided trip to the Observation Point.  On the main road leading towards the Zimbabwe/Zambia borderpost, take the turn-off marked “Observation Point”, at the Shell Service Station directly above Mahombokombe and Kariba Town.  Keep right for a few hundred metres and you will find a little parking place occupied with ladies selling Kariba crafts.  The Observation viewpoint, with its little museum, tourist information office and craft shop is up a small flight of steps.

2.     Even though the Kariba Dam Wall spans the Zambezi River in the “no-man’s land” between the Zimbabwe and Zambian borderposts, visitors are permitted to walk onto the wall.  There is no charge. You simply leave your vehicle at the borderpost, present your ID document or passport at the customs and immigration building, requesting permission to visit the wall, and walk the short distance down to the dam.  You then collect your documents on your return.  This is a trip well worth doing, if you have a bit of time.  But be aware that it can be very hot walking even a short distance in the Kariba Gorge in the hot September-April season.  Take a hat, sunscreen and some water.  Being on the dam wall itself and gazing over its parapet gives you an accurate idea of the sheer vastness of this massive engineering feat, and the views down the Kariba Gorge are stunning.  The experience is particularly thrilling if the dam’s floodgates are open.  The roar of the water shooting through the wall and thundering into the gorge below, throwing up a vast plume of spray, is truly awesome.


GOOD “GREEN” SEASON BREAM FISHING

Derek Adamson from Marineland reports in his March newsletter that this year’s rainfall in the Kariba area has been intermittant and sporadic, with levels slightly above the annual average. “This has still resulted in full and dense foliage in the surrounding bush, and the elephants and baboons are now gorging themselves on the Marula fruit ….

Bream Fishing at Kariba

The water levels in the lake have now risen enough to flood in to the grass, so shallow fishing is improving. There are numerous reports of good bream fishing (see left), especially in the Ume and Tashinga areas despite the fact that river flow into the lake along the Matusadona shoreline can cause the water to be muddy and discoloured during the rainy-season months….

While out on a boat trip in March, we rescued a National Parks speed boat with an anti poaching team that had run out of fuel while on patrol in the Sanyati Gorge. Very encouraging to see that these anti fish-poaching efforts in this area are continuing.”

Derek also writes that in April he is retiring as GM of Marineland, Kariba’s largest houseboat harbour, after 6 years in the job.

WILD ZAMBEZI wishes him well and thanks him for his regular and informative updates from Kariba.

For more information about the harbour, its facilities and services, see this link: Marineland


BIRDING BONANZA AT BUMI

Bumi Hills reports in their blogpost The Bumi Beat  on a recent visit to the safari lodge by birding specialists Ian Riddell and Celesta Von Chamier from Birdlife Zimbabwe.

The birders clocked up a very respectable list of 143 bird species in the Bumi wildlife area alone, with another 20 outside.  As well as all the usual waders, woodland birds and raptors common for the area, they were particularly excited about the Maeve’s Starlings and a Black-bellied Bustard, as well as two migrant species, the Common Ringed Plover and Common Whimbrel.   Bumi’s foreshore is also one of only two known spots in the Zambezi valley for the very special Rosy-throated Longclaw.

This wonderful photograph was taken when an African Fish Eagle who was minding his own business was chased off by an aggressive Bateleur in a spectacular aerial display.

Being right on the shores of Lake Kariba and close to the Matusadona National Park, there are probably about 400 bird species in the area of Bumi Hills, which is a very good reason to visit, whether you’re a bird fanatic or not!

For more information and contact details, see this link:  Bumi Hills Safari Lodge


HOLIDAY SPECIALS IN APRIL

GACHE GACHE LODGE – LAKE KARIBA

The fish are biting, the sun is shining, the drinks are cold… at Gache Gache Lodge on Lake Kariba, which is offering a great special rate for visitors during the two “extra long” weekends in April :  18 – 22 APRIL 2012   and  28 APRIL – 1 MAY 2012

$120 p/p/p/n. Children Under 12 half price and Under 4s – free

What are you waiting for? Book now!

For more information and contact details see this link:  Gache Gache Lodge


ZAMBEZI VALLEY


KANGA CAMP – MANA POOLS

SPECIAL: APRIL-JUNE 2012

African Bush Camps are offering a 10% discount per person for all guests looking to stay at Kanga Camp in Mana Pools for a minimum of two nights between 1st April and 30th June 2012.

In addition, guests staying at this camp for three nights or more will have the opportunity to spend a night at “Kanga Under the Stars” (pictured left).   Here open-air bedded platforms have been built on the edge of a dry river bed and guests can enjoy falling asleep under a starlit African sky while listening to the calls of the wild.

A visit to Mana Pools usually provides exceptional wildlife sightings.  You can now get there more easily by light aircraft with Safari Logistics’ new “Air Taxi” service.  New camp managers, Sean Hind and Sara Short will be there to greet you and introduce you to this incredible and unique wilderness experience.

For more information and contact details, see this link:  African Bush Camps


TAIL ENDER…  Some serious airport security on the airstrip at Bumi Hills!

Wildlife on the Airstrip at Bumi Hills