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Lake Kariba
Coordinates 17°S 28°E / 17°S 28°E / -17; 28Coordinates: 17°S 28°E / 17°S 28°E / -17; 28
Lake type Hydroelectric reservoir
Catchment area 663,000 km²
Basin countries Zimbabwe, Zambia
Surface area 5,400 km²
Water volume 180 km3 (40 × 1012 gallons)
Surface elevation 485 metres (1,591 ft)
Islands Chete Island
Sekula
Chikanka.

By volume, Lake Kariba is the largest man-made lake and reservoir in the world. It is located on the Zambezi river, about halfway between the river's source and mouth, about 1300 kilometers upstream from the Indian Ocean, and lies along the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Lake Kariba was filled between 1958 and 1963 following the completion of the Kariba Dam at its northeastern end, flooding the Kariba Gorge on the Zambezi River.

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

Contents

Physical characteristics

Lake Kariba is over 220 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 one of the world's largest man-made reservoirs.[1] The enormous mass of water (approximately 180,000,000,000,000 kilograms, or 180 petagrams [200 billion tons]) is believed to have caused induced seismicity in the seismically active region, including over 20 earthquakes of greater than 5 magnitude on the Richter scale.[2]

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

Ecology

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.

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

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

Protected areas

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

In popular culture

Lake Kariba and the Kariba Dam provide the setting for roughly 300 pages of the L. Ron Hubbard science fiction novel Battlefield Earth, which in 2000 was adapted into a film of the same name. The novel itself was a bestseller, but the film adaptation was very poorly received. In 1966, in a Saint Hill Special Briefing Course lecture entitled "About Rhodesia", L. Ron Hubbard claimed to have owned a hotel resort on Lake Kariba.(Citation Needed)

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References

See also

External links

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Kariba article)

From Wikitravel

Contents

Kariba is a town in Mashonaland, Zimbabwe.

Get in

Kariba is 365 km from the capital city Harare

Do

Lake Kariba is a great place to fish and enjoy the wild life that visit the shores of the worlds largest man made lake. One of the most popular ways of travelling along the lake is on a houseboat. Houseboats tour companies travel along the river giving you an opportunity to fish and enjoy the wild life that drinks along the banks of the river.Tiger fish and bream are the two most popular fish found in the lake. Houseboat tours can take up to five days with evening spent camping on the shore of the lake.

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