Zimbabwe. June 2023.

 4.  Matusadona National Park and Kariba.

Maakwe Camp to Matusadona National Park

This was our longest day driving over horrible corrugated, badly maintained gravel "roads."   We had a damaged rim on our van and had a puncture on one of the bakkie wheels - at least with being in a group it didn't take too long to change the wheels!  Once again the best part was passing through villages - but being careful to avoid all the aminals on and alongside the road.  We also passed a lone cyclist... - rather him than me on that road! 

We crossed several rivers, some had narrow bridges.

Matusadona National Park

Matusadona is now run by African Parks and as a result the access road has been improved and a new ablution block has been built.  We spent a couple of nights here and would have loved to stay longer.

We didn't drive out in the Park at all as we had a couple of repairs to do on the van after the battering it got getting to the Park, however we still had a great time with magnificent sunsets and sunrises and watched visits by several elephants.

The campsite has quite a few shady trees and is set on a peninsula so you get magnicent sunrise and sunset photos over Kariba. 


 It was a short walk across the peninsula to watch the sun set over Kariba.   On the second evening there was a herd of impala on the shoreline of the lake. 


 Our campsite was on the eastern side of the peninsula.  We were all up early on both mornings to enjoy the sun coming up.  Dries was always up first and had the fire going so we could sit and enjoy the view.

Moon Set

We had a full moon at Matusadona.  On the second morning I kept going from one side of the camp to the other as I took photos of the sunrise and then ones of the moon setting.


We all enjoyed watching the elephants who visited the campsite or wandered down to the Lake.  They were all bulls, sometimes on their own but also joining together sometimes.  Later in the afternoon 4 of them spent ages by the Lake.

Driving to the Pontoon.

None of us were looking forward to another long day of driving on awful roads to Kariba so we were all happy to discover that we could take a pontoon over the Lake to Kariba town instead. 

Crossing Lake Kariba

I had to back the bakkie and van up the 2 ramps onto the pontoon and position it in the far back corner so that the other vehicles could get on.  Once we were all loaded the tow boat was hitched up and we started our 2 hour trip to Kariba town.  

We were able to put up our awning and Karel put his up as well so we had good shade on the trip across the Lake.  Bernadette used our kitchen to make us all lunch.  Once at Kariba we were pulled to the shore by a couple of tractors.   


Taking the pontoon meant that we arrived at the campsite mid afternoon on a Sunday and enjoyed a relaxing time at the campsite.  Early Monday morning we went to a garage where we were able to get a new tyre for the van before we went for Mana Pools.  We met up with the others and did a bit of shopping before driving to Kariba Dam Wall. 

The main sluice gates are currently closed and there's a large coffer dam so that work can be done at the base of the dam wall which has been damaged by the force of the sluice gates water.

Last updated: October  2023