Kariba, Zimbabwe

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Coat of arms of Kariba
Coat of arms
Kariba is located in Zimbabwe
Coordinates: 16°31′S 28°48′E / 16.517°S 28.800°E / -16.517; 28.800Coordinates: 16°31′S 28°48′E / 16.517°S 28.800°E / -16.517; 28.800
Country Zimbabwe
ProvinceMashonaland West
DistrictKariba District
 • Total26,451[1]
Time zoneUTC+2 (CAT)
Area code(s)061

Kariba is a town in Mashonaland West province, Zimbabwe, located close to the Kariba Dam at the north-eastern end of Lake Kariba, near the Zambian border. According to the 2012 Population Census, the town had a population of 26,451.[1]

Located in the Zambezi Valley, Kariba is hot all year round.


The pre-colonial population of the area were Tonga.[2]

The town was established to house workers who were constructing the dam in the mid to late 1950s and was constructed by the contractor Costain.[3] After the completion of the dam wall and the power station (Kariba South Power Station) quite a few impressive monuments were built in the early 1960s i.e. the Roman Catholic church located at the Kariba Heights(St Barbara) and next to it the Pat McClean Theatre named after Patricia McClean a well known wealthy resident of Kariba Heights.

Kariba was the childhood home of the local cult leader Emmanuel Sadiki, who preached in southern Zambia during the late 1980s.


Kariba is located on Lake Kariba, a reservoir created by Kariba Dam on the Zambezi River.[4] Kariba has three main suburbs: Mahombekombe, the older poorer lakeshore high density suburb, Nyamhunga the newer high density suburb and Kariba Heights, the wealthier hilltop suburb and location of the Operation Noah monument. As the name suggests the heights overlook the surrounding region and offer impressive views of Lake Kariba and the opposite lakeshore to the south.

The town has road links connecting it to Harare and to the border of Zambia. It is serviced by Kariba Airport, and has ferry service to Victoria Falls via Mlibizi Fishing camp.


Kariba town is the centre of the tourist industry for the Lake Kariba region.[5] Kariba town provides accommodation in various hotels and lodges. There are two casinos in the town. Many of the attractions in Kariba for the tourist are water-based. Fishing, game-viewing and house-boating are the most popular activities. Tourists also visit the Kariba Dam wall and local crocodile farms.[6]

The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority ZESA employs workers in the hydroelectric power station. Kapenta fishing is also an important industry,[7] though it was affected by the nation-wide fuel shortages,[8][9] and in the 2010s by drought.[10]

ZB Bank Limited, a commercial bank, maintains a branch in Kariba.[11]


In the twenthy-first century, the town of Kariba faced many of the nation-wide problems brought on by the depressed national economy, including lack of foreign currency.[12][13] The town had difficulty in revenue collection.[12][14] As a result, its fleet did not received proper maintenance nor replacements, which was also true of its water and sewage system, which suffered chronic pump breakdowns.[12][13] Kariba also continued to have a large number of unoccupied housing units, left over from the construction boom, units which generated no income.[12]


Climate data for Kariba (1961–1990)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 31.0
Average low °C (°F) 21.8
Average rainfall mm (inches) 191.6
Average rainy days 16 13 10 3 1 0 0 0 0 2 7 14 66
Source: World Meteorological Organization[15]


Kariba Heights Primary School. Nyamhunga High School

Nyanhewe Primary School

Mahombekombe Secondary School

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Population Census National Report 2012" (PDF). Zimbabwe National Statistics. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 January 2017. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  2. ^ Colson, Elizabeth (1971). The social consequences of resettlement: The impact of the Kariba resettlement upon the Gwembe Tonga. Human problems of Kariba, No. 4. Manchester, England: Manchester University Press on behalf of the Institute for African Studies, University of Zambia. ISBN 978-0-7190-1033-0.
  3. ^ van der Lingen, M. I. (1973). "Lake Kariba: Early History and South Shore". In Ackermann, William C.; White, Gilbert F.; Worthington, E. Barton (eds.). Man‐Made Lakes: Their Problems and Environmental Effects. Geophysical Monograph Series, volume 17. Washington, D.C.: American Geophysical Union. pp. 132–142. doi:10.1029/GM017p0132. ISBN 978-0-87590-017-9.
  4. ^ Balon, Eugene K.; Coche, André G., eds. (2012). Lake Kariba: A man-made tropical ecosystem in Central Africa. Monographiae biologicae, volume 24. Dordrecht: Springer Verlag. ISBN 978-94-010-2334-4., reprint of the 1974 edition published by W. Junk.
  5. ^ Kawadza, Sydney (24 September 2018). "Resort areas must be accessible: VP Chiwenga". The Herald. Harare, Zimbabwe. Archived from the original on 24 September 2018.
  6. ^ Revol, Brigitte (1995). "Crocodile farming and conservation, the example of Zimbabwe". Biodiversity and Conservation. 4 (3): 299–305. doi:10.1007/BF00055975.
  7. ^ Marshall, B. E.; Junor, F. J. R.; Langerman, J. D. (1982). Fisheries and fish production on the Zimbabwean side of Lake Kariba. Kariba studies, no. 10. Salisbury, Rhodesia: Trustees of the National Museums of Rhodesia., reprinted by the Trustees of the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe.
  8. ^ Dziva, Byron (10 July 2007). "Fuel shortage brings Zimbabwe to halt". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 27 January 2011. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  9. ^ "Fuel shortage rocks Zim". Newsday. 6 September 2018. Archived from the original on 7 September 2018.
  10. ^ Mugano, Farai (9 April 2016). "Hunger, power cuts in Zimbabwe, Zambia as lake hits record low". Science X. Archived from the original on 12 April 2016.
  11. ^ ZB Bank Limited Opened Kariba Branch In 2012
  12. ^ a b c d Chirinda, John Tafadzwa (25 September 2018). "Richard Kamhoti confirmed by Kariba". Bulawayo 24 News. Archived from the original on 25 September 2018.
  13. ^ a b Mangirazi, Nhau (6 September 2018). "Kariba town runs dry". Newsday. Harae, Zimbabwe. Archived from the original on 25 September 2018.
  14. ^ Murwira, John (17 May 2018). "Kariba $11m debt". The Herald. Harare, Zimbabwe. Archived from the original on 16 June 2018.
  15. ^ "World Weather Information Service – Kariba". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 13 May 2016.