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Lake Kariba

Lake Kariba
Lake type Hydroelectric reservoir
Catchment area 663,000 km2
Basin countries Zimbabwe, Zambia
Max. length 223 km (139 mi)
Max. width 40 km (25 mi)
Surface area 5,580 km2
Average depth 29 m (95 ft)
Max. depth 97 m (318 ft)
Water volume 180 cubic kilometres (43 cu mi)
Surface elevation 485 metres (1,591 ft)
Islands Chete Island

Lake Kariba is the world's largest man-made Zambezi River.

The Zimbabwean town of Kariba was built for construction workers on the lake's dam, while some other settlements such as Binga village and Mlibizi in Zimbabwe and Siavonga and Sinazongwe in Zambia have grown up to house people displaced by the rising waters.


  • Physical characteristics 1
  • Ecology 2
  • Protected areas 3
  • Footnotes 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Physical characteristics

Lake Kariba is over 223 kilometers (140 mi) long and up to 40 kilometers (20 mi) in width. It covers an area of 5,580 square kilometers (2,150 sq mi) and its storage capacity is an immense 185 cubic kilometers (44.4 cu mi). The mean depth of the lake is 29 meters (95 ft); the maximum depth is 97 meters (320 ft). It is the world's largest man-made reservoir, four times as large as the

  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

External links

  • "Lake Kariba". Retrieved August 11, 2005.
  • "Dam Statistics: Africa and the Middle East Regions". World Commission on Dams. Retrieved August 11, 2005.
  • "Lake Profile: Kariba". LakeNet. Retrieved August 11, 2005.
  • World Lakes Database entry for Lake Kariba


See also

  1. ^ "Kariba". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2007-07-31. 
  2. ^ "Evidence for Incipient Rifting in Southern Africa". Geophysical Journal International. Retrieved 2007-07-31. 


The portion of Lake Kariba which falls within Zimbabwe has been designated a Recreational Park within the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Estate.

Protected areas

Fish eagles, cormorants and other water birds patrol the shorelines, as do occasional herds of elephants.

Gamefish, particularly tigerfish, which was among the indigenous species of the Zambezi river system, now thrive on the kapenta, which in turn encourages tourism. Both Zambia and Zimbabwe are now attempting to develop the tourism industry along their respective coasts of Lake Kariba.

Before Lake Kariba was filled, the existing vegetation was burned, creating a thick layer of fertile soil on land that would become the lake bed. As a result, the ecology of Lake Kariba is vibrant. A number of fish species have been introduced to the lake, notably the sardine-like kapenta (transported from Lake Tanganyika), which now supports a thriving commercial fishery. Other inhabitants of Lake Kariba include Nile crocodiles and hippopotamus.


The lake has several islands, including Maaze Island, Mashape Island, Chete Island, Sekula, Sampa Karuma, Fothergill, Spurwing, Snake Island, Antelope Island, Bed Island, and Chikanka.

[2].Richter scale of greater than 5 magnitude on the earthquakes in the seismically active region, including over 20 induced seismicity The enormous mass of water (approximately 180,000,000,000,000 kilograms, or 180 petagrams [200 billion tons]) is believed to have caused [1]

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