Siavonga, the second most important tourist town of Southern Province. Located on the shores of the magnificent Lake Kariba, Siavonga is only two and a half hours drive from the Capital City Lusaka on good roads. Siavonga is growing in popularity and offers many tourist attractions including a variety of comfortable hotels, lodges and guesthouses to suit all budgets, relaxing getaways and holidays, conference facilities, houseboating, lake cruises, water sports, boating, canoeing, sport fishing, beautiful scenery, fabulous sunsets, birding, cultural village tours, visits to the Dam Wall and Powerstation and many other tourist events organised throughout the year.
Siavonga is also home to Zambia's kapenta fishing industry, an important high protein staple food supplied mainly to the Zambian market. Crocodile farming also takes place, supplying some of the best quality skins to the fashion industries throughout the world. The lake is also conducive to commercial fish farming of tilapia and more investment in this area is taking place. The quarrying and cutting of natural stone (an attractive "glitter stone") is also done and recent exploration for other minerals also promises new investment in mining ventures within the District.
One of the most important non-tourism industries if of course the generation of electricity - the primary reason for the building of the dam wall and the creation of Lake Kariba. The Kariba North Bank power station is undergoing expansion and once completed it will become the largest power station in Zambia and one of the largest hydro electricity facilities in Southern Africa.
With the growing tourism industry and new developments in other commercial activities, Siavonga offers many investment opportunities be they in tourism, fishing, support industries such as retail shops and the supply of goods and services, and other business and commerce.
Whether you are a tourist or an investor in business, come a see what Siavonga has to offer.
THE ESSENCE OF SIAVONGA
The Kariba Dam was constructed between 1956 and 1960, creating at that time the largest manmade Lake in the world - Lake Kariba. At the time of its construction, the Kariba Dam was known as “one of the engineering wonders of the world”, a double curvature concrete arch dam wall standing at a height of 128 metres above the river bed and spanning 617 metres across the Kariba gorge blocking the path of Africa’s second largest river – the mighty Zambezi. The building of the Dam wall created an “inland sea” stretching 280 kilometres in length, covering an area of over 5,500 square kilometres and holding back more than 180 billion tonnes of water. The Dam Wall is host to two of Southern Africa’s most important electricity generating stations, Kariba North Bank Power Station on the Zambian side and Kariba South Bank Power Station on the Zimbabwe side, between them generating a total of 1,320 Mega Watts of electricity.
The Kariba Dam has undoubtedly contributed to the economic and social development of Zambia, Zimbabwe and the Southern African Region. Lake Kariba today is not only the home of one of Southern Africa’s most important sources of energy, the formation of the Lake gave birth to the town of Siavonga, and created a vibrant commercial fishing industry and a continuously developing tourism industry offering some of Africa’s most breathtaking scenery with a diversity of fauna and flora, hotel accommodation, sports fishing, water sports, house boating and a variety of other tourist activities.
Come and enjoy the hospitality of Siavonga
Situated on the north shore of Lake Kariba, Siavonga is the second largest tourist destination in Southern Province. The town is only two and half hours (on good tar roads) from the Capital City Lusaka, and within easy reach of the border crossings at Chirundu and Kariba. The main attraction is of course Lake Kariba itself, and Siavonga is becoming widely known as the "Riviera of Zambia". A visit to Siavonga would not be complete without a visit to the magnificent Kariba Dam Wall, towering 118 metres above the Zambezi River, across the Kariba Gorge. At the time of construction in the 1950's, the Kariba Dam was known as one of the engineering wonders of the world and was once the largest man-made Lake in the world.
If the Dam Wall was considered one of the "engineering wonders" of the world, the Lake itself can be considered as one of the "engineered wonders" of nature. Sadly much of the "big game" on the Zambian side of the Lake has disappeared, although this can still be found west of the Kota Kota peninsular. However, the Lake is host to a wide variety of fish species including the mighty Zambezi tiger, various species of tilapia and nembwe, and of course the colossal vundu and barbel. Birdlife is also prolific with Zambia's national bird the fish eagle in abundance. Hippopotamus and the Nile crocodile are also frequently seen and occasionally small mammals are evident. As the Lake was flooded, the forest land in the valley was inundated with water. Much of the forest can still be seen rising above the vast waters of the Lake and after being 50 years submerged, the trees still stand as monuments to the history of what once was the Zambezi valley. At sunset, these monuments create some of the most breathtaking scenery on the African continent. The Lake, coupled with some of Africa's unrivalled landscapes make an incredible canvas for the artist and photographer alike. What Lake Kariba lacks in wildlife, it certainly makes up for in its scenic beauty, birdlife, lake activities, and affordable accommodation.
There are several comfortable hotels, lodges and guesthouses in Siavonga catering for a variety of needs and and budgets. Most of the larger hotels focus mainly on the conference market in addition to tourism, but the smaller hotels, lodges and resorts focus specifically on tourism and provide a wide variety of tours and activities including, boating, fishing, sunset cruises, canoeing, water sports, walking, sightseeing, bird watching, cultural village tours, visits to the Dam Wall and Power Station. Also available are one, two or three day canoe safaris and/or river rafting on the Lower Zambezi River and overnight Houseboat charters on the Lake from one to ten day cruises.
One of the main industries in Siavonga which is closely tied to the Lake is Kapenta Fishing. There are several commercial Kapenta fishing companies in the town producing one of Zambia 's staple high protein foods. Kapenta is usually sun dried and packed in bulk ready for market. Some companies also produce frozen Kapenta packaged ready for the supermarket shelves. Commercial bream fishing and farming is also done on the Lake, most of which is grown in large floating pens from fingerlings bred locally. Harvesting of the bream is normally done when the fish reach about 300 grams and the product is packaged ready for dispatch to shops and supermarkets around Zambia .
Siavonga also has two commercial crocodile farms. The Nile crocodile, a prolific species around the Lake and rivers, is bred from eggs either from the farm's own breeding stock or collection of 'wild' crocodile eggs from the Zambezi River. The hatchlings are grown to about one metre and culled. The skins are then processed and sent overseas to be made into fashion accessories such as shoes, handbags and belts etc. The crocodile tail also provides an exotic culinary delicacy mainly sold to hotels and exclusive restaurants.
Siavonga is also home to the second largest Hydro PowerStation in Zambia which is the reason for the Lake's existence. The Kariba North Bank Powerstation operated by the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) and consists of four huge generators producing up to 700 MW of energy to Zambia (about one third of Zambia's electricity generation capacity). The Kariba North Bank Powerstation is currently undergoing expansion and once completed it will become the largest power station in Zambia and one of the largest hydro electricity facilities in Southern Africa.
Other industries in Siavonga include the cutting of a natural stone into tiles for use in the construction industry and most recently the discovery uranium in the district promises to bring new prosperity and jobs with the opening of several uranium mines.
Siavonga is a small town but has banking facilities, a post office, hospital, several small general stores and shops where most commodities can be found, and a vibrant local market where traders supply anything from locally grown produce to hardware.
The Siavonga District and Local Government Administration covers an area south of the Zambezi escarpment from the Kafue river in the east to the the Lufuwa river in the west. The District is serviced by two major border crossings with Zimbabwe, one commercial port at Chirundu and the other tourist border crossing at the Kariba Dam. The rural areas are administered by four Chiefdoms which include Chief Simamba, Chief Sikoongo, Chief Chipepo and Chief Sinadambwe.
The people of Siavonga offer you a warm and friendly welcome to the District whether it is for business or for pleasure and will do everything possible to assist you and make your stay both productive and enjoyable.