by Thanda Mhlanga on July 9, 2018
4 min read

Breathtaking views of mountainous panorama and the still waters of a majestic lake while lounging on the sundeck of a safari cruiser? This is no dream but a reality aboard the Matusadona, a luxury houseboat on Lake Kariba. As you traverse this epic waterway, spot elephant, hippo and crocodiles on the shore and wake up to the most glorious landscapes in this region of Zimbabwe. Spend days exploring its top attractions and spotting its wildlife before retreating to the luxury oasis of your decked-out home-away-from-home aboard a vessel.

Lake Kariba is the largest man-made lake in the world

A home-away-from-home on Lake Kariba
Photo credit: Matusadona

Rhino Rating:



Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe


A divine way to spend a family holiday or romantic getaway cruising the crystal waters of Lake Kariba while a dedicated crew takes care of your every need. You and your loved ones can spend days exploring this wildlife-rich region while calling a fully-equipped houseboat home. Inside your mobile hideout you will enjoy all the comforts of home and more; from a comfortable lounge area, an open deck to artfully decorated cabins with en suite bathrooms.

Lake Kariba is best enjoyed through a slow cruise

Luxury and comfort
Photo credit: Matusadona


The Interior

Three cabins can host up to six passengers. Each suite has a queen-size bed, en-suite with a toilet and shower, air conditioning, storage spaces and plush linens. The bedrooms are decorated subtly with elegant use of leather, Egyptian cotton and lustrous woods. There’s a tropical flair to the decor with its soft, organic materials, muted colours and artful use of space. Notably, views of the lake can be enjoyed from within the showers – a definite treat!

The Matusadona is best experience over a minimum of 3-days

A house or a boat? It’s both.
Photo credit: Matusadona

Food on the Matusadona includes the occasional 'catch of the day'

Decked-out spread
Photo credit: Matusadona

At a glance

Along with the houseboat’s luxury accommodations and superior service are the activities on offer including game drives on the Matusadona itself or on smaller speedboats. Navigate the scenery and wade through the epic gorges of this landscape or enjoy a guided game drive in an open 4×4 vehicle courtesy of Bumi Hills Safari Lodge. Alternatively, you can spend an afternoon fishing or sunbathing on the boat as it drifts along before embarking on a sunset cruise.

Dining Experience

The culinary experience aboard the Matusadona is a highlight. With meals made from locally-sourced produce on offer – and an impressive array of home-made baked delights in the coffee station – guests will be spoiled for choice. There are no set mealtimes on board but morning bakes are always on offer, including rusks and muffins. A sumptuous brunch is typically served at 10am then sweet and savoury snacks are on offer with afternoon tea. Both lunch and dinner consists of hot and cold dishes but,  since guests book the entire boat for their use, meals and drinks are tailored to the group’s taste and desires.

The crew will also pack you a selection of snacks and drinks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic, to savour on your daily excursions.

Guests on the Matusadona can lounge or partake in daily activities

The leisure side of life
Photo credit: Matusadona

Best time to go

Though Lake Kariba enjoys warm year-round weather, the best time for a visit is from April to August when the average temperature is 25 degrees Celsius and skies are clear. Evenings can get chilly so a sweater and/or light jacket is good to bring along.  Also worth noting is that in summer (from mid-November to mid-March) this region can experience heavy rains in the afternoon.

How to get there

You can reach the Matusadona Luxury Houseboat through Kariba Airport or Bumi Hills Airfield. The property also offers a shuttle from various tourist destinations in Zimbabwe as well as Chirundu and Lusaka in Zambia to the dock.

Wildlife can often be viewed along the banks of Lake Kariba

Idyllic game viewing
Photo credit: Matusadona

Perfect For

A family seeking a digital detox and or a couple, or several, looking for a romantic getaway without interruption.

Yearning for Lake Kariba? Let our team of expert travel consultants create the tailor-made Zimbabwean holiday of your dreams to include several days on this luxury houseboat by clicking here.