Kariba is a town in Mashonaland West province, Zimbabwe, located close to the Kariba Dam at the northwestern end of Lake Kariba, near the Zambian border. According to the 1992 Population Census, the town had a population of 20,736.
Located in the Zambezi Valley, Kariba is hot all year round.
Kariba town is the centre of the tourist industry for the Lake Kariba region. Kariba town provides accommodation in various hotels and lodges. There are two casinos in the town and several restaurants. Many of the attractions in Kariba for the tourist are water-based. Fishing, game-viewing and house-boating are the most popular activities. A visit to the Kariba Dam wall is also impressive along with a visit to the crocodile farm. In 2006 only three of the hotels were open. They were Carribea Bay, the Cutty Sark Hotel and the Zambezi Valley Motel in Nyamhunga.
The town was established to house workers who were constructing the dam in the mid to late 1950s. It was the childhood home of the local cult leader Emmanuel Sadiki, who preached in southern Zambia during the late 1980s. The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority ZESA employs workers in the hydroelectric power station. Kapenta fishing is also an important industry, though it has been affected by fuel shortages.
Kariba has three main suburbs: Mahombekombe, the older poorer lakeshore high density suburb, Nyamhunga the newer high density suburb and Kariba Heights, the wealthier inland suburb and home to the Operation Noah monument. Kariba Heights as the name suggests is located on hills and the views of Lake Kariba from the Heights are fantastic