Mlibizi Houseboats

Mlibizi is a popular fishing location, a village in Matabeleland North, on the western reaches of Lake Kariba. It is the western terminus for Lake Kariba ferry services.


The little fishing village and boating harbour of Mlibizi lies at the extreme western end of Lake Kariba and is the traditional terminus for the passenger and vehicle ferry service that plies Lake Kariba. Link to Kariba from here on a 22-hour overnight journey via Kariba Ferries.

The overnight ferry service which carries vehicles (but has roof space for only three high-roof 4x4s) is a popular way for visitors to traverse the lake to Kariba town from the Hwange/ Victoria Falls area - or vice versa. Be aware, however, that sailing dates for the ferry can only be confirmed if there is a minimum of 30 passengers on board. Early booking is essential.

The ferry departs at 0900hrs but passengers need to embark an hour before this. Some tour operators in Victoria Falls and Hwange offer road transfers to Mlibizi for travellers without a vehicle. However, since the transfer journey is 3+ hours long from Vic Falls, unless you want to make an extremely early morning start, it is usually more convenient to stay in Mlibizi the night before the ferry departs to Kariba.[1]


Accommodation in Mlibizi is restricted to a few privately-owned lodges, self-catering houses, a small hotel and a lakeside resort (self-catering chalets and a campsite) next to the ferry terminal. Pontoon-style boats can be hired for fishing at a daily rate.


Coordinates: 17°56′18.49″S 27°04′32.63″E
It is about 75 km NE of Hwange.
A single gravel runway exists. Suitable for light aircraft.
It is former commercial farming land Kavira Forrest land and Manjolo communal lands lie to the south.

Other information

Msuna & Deka are popular fishing centres along the Zambezi River between the Batoka and Devil's Gorges.
There are many accommodation locations available, including Mlibizi Resort, Bahiara Mlibizi, and Mlibizi Lodge.

Further upstream the river opens up at Msuna, (featured in our main image photo courtesy Shaun McMinn Photography) where a number of attractive fishing lodges and chalets are available on a self-catering basis on the mainland or on Msuna Island.

Upstream of Msuna Island, at the confluence of the Deka and Zimbabwe Rivers is the strangely-named Deka Drum - a remote fishing location overlooking the Zambezi River - and yet further upstream (80 kms from Victoria Falls, just below the downstream end of the Batoka Gorge), is Sidinda. There are a few private fishing camps in these areas.

Further Reading





For assistance with booking accommodation, houseboats, transfers and activities in and around the Mlibizi, Msuna, Deka and Sidinda areas, contact:

  • Baobab Bookings (agent in Harare & Kariba)
  • Heartveld Adventures (agent based in Kariba)
  • Simwenge Fishing Lodge (Deka) (bookings from Harare)


  1. Wild Zimbabwe; Mlibizi, Msuna & Deka, Wild Zimbabwe, Published: 2019 , Retrieved: 22 October 2019
  2. [Katherine Sayce (Ed), Tabex, Encyclopedia Zimbabwe], Tabex, Encyclopedia Zimbabwe, (Quest Publishing, Harare, 1987), Retrieved: 25 July 2019
  3. Mlibizi Accommodation: The Best Places to Stay, Mlibizi Accommodation, Published: 2019 , Retrieved: 22 October 2019
  4. Mlibizi Lodge, Mlibizi Lodge, Published: 2019 , Retrieved: 22 October 2019