Siavonga Town

Siavonga Town    " The Riviera of Zambia " 
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.


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Siavonga Town    " A Resort for the international traveler " 
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 and lodges in Siavonga catering for a variety of needs and there are also a number of Guesthouses available to cater for a range of 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.

The main industry 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).

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 west and includes the towns of Siavonga and Chirundu. The district has 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.

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