Zambian Lakes

Zambian Lakes are of two types, man-made lakes and natural lakes. The man-made lakes are Kariba and Ithezi tezhi, and the rest are natural lakes like Bangweulu, Tanganyika, Mweru-Wantipa, Mweru-Luapula and Lukanga. Of these Zambian Lakes, the largest are the lakes Bangweulu, Tanganyika and Kariba.

Lake Bangweulu

Lake Bangweulu is a beauty among the Zambian Lakes. In local language, 'Bangweulu' means 'The Place Where the Water Meets the Sky.' And it’s true when you look at the waters of Lake Bangweulu, the lake seems to be blending with the sky at the horizon.

Zambian Lakes

Lake Bangweulu lies between Luapula and Northern Provinces of Zambia. It is found in the Bangweulu wetland which consists of the Bangweulu Swamps, the Bangweulu floodplain and the Lake Bangweulu itself. The lake expands in size when its swamps and floodplains get flooded after the rainy season.

The lake supports one of the largest fisheries in Zambia. The most abundant species are catfish, bream, yellow belly and tiger fish.

The largest town on Lake Bangweulu is Samfya, which originally was a fishing village. Chilubi Island is the largest island, though it is partly in the lake and the other part is in the swamps. Other islands are Mbabala Island, Chishi Island and Lifunge Mwenzi Island. There are numerous other smaller islands as well.

Out and About

Most of the activities are centered on the lake and the sandy beaches of Samfya town, and accommodation is most readily available in the town. The Lake Bangweulu area is home to the black Lechwe and Sitatunga.

Lake Kariba

It is one of the biggest man-made lakes in the world and by volume it is Africa's largest man-made lake. It came into being when a dam was built on the Zambezi River. Lake Kariba was filled between 1958 and 1963. The Lake has magnificent views with stunning sunsets.

It has a number of fish species like tiger fish, Kariba bream, barbell, tilapia and Zambia’s most common fish delicacy, kapenta. Like most Zambian Lakes, it sustains a thriving fishing industry.

Out and About

Apart from commercial fishing and sport fishing, a lot of other popular activities on Lake Kariba include boating, lake cruises and canoeing. An annual tiger fishing competition is held which attracts anglers both from within and outside the country.


The Lake has a number of motels and lodges near or on its shores. Accommodation is very much available if you wanted to lodge near the lake. The following are some of them; Lake Kariba Inns in Siavonga town, Nataizya Guest House, Manchinchi Bay Lodge, Sandy Beach Safari Lodge and Lake Safari Lodge.

Lake Tanganyika

Lake Tanganyika is located in the northern province of Zambia and it’s shared by Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Tanzania and Zambia. But only 7 percent of its surface area is within Zambia. Lake Tanganyika is home to more than 350 different species of fish and fishing is the main economic activity.

By volume, Lake Tanganyika is the second largest freshwater lake and the second deepest after Lake Baikal of Siberia. In Africa, it is the second largest lake after Lake Victoria. Ruzizi River in the north is the largest inflow into the lake.

Out and About

Water activities are popular on Lake Tanganyika. You can go fly fishing, boating, skiing, scuba diving, tubing and snorkeling. All these and more are offered at most lodges located along the lake.


Accommodation is abundant in Mpulungu town, which is located on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. The town is full of guest houses and Lodges with varying levels of standards. On the edge of Mpulungu town is Nkupi lodge, and situated on the shores of the lake are Kasakalawe lodge, the Tanganyika lodge and Mishembe lodge. A short distance away from the town is Isanga Bay Lodge (with camping facilities), Ndole bay and Kasaba bay.

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