Kariba Moods

© Sunset over Lake Kariba

The winter-hazed green is framed by distant-mountain blue and breeze rippled grey.

The dominant moods of Kariba are blue and grey, but Kariba is not only about blues and greys. It is a place where the sun rises and sets in a fiery passion that burns into the soul leaving you scarred forever.

Kariba - Images of the Moments

The names of the islands and places of Kariba ring with the memories of the dramas of the past, of a time of great change and uncertainty, a time of hope for the future and despair for the past. The echoes of Operation Noah - that momentous feat to save animals stranded by rising waters - can still be heard in this man made wilderness.

An Island called Starvation

A name borne out of drama

A testimony to a struggle

Borne out of change,


Man's testament

Now merely a name

An interlude in nature, in time.'... the colours of green, the baobabs, the brooding Matusadonna mountains embracing the valley and the clouds spilling over the escarpment' ... and we are drifting toward the hippo. A goliath heron stands motionless at the waters' edge and a baobab, arrogant, ageless commands the valley...'
The water shimmered, sun-touched jewels dancing to the tune of the wind, stretching to the distant hills of Zambia, hills etched in shades of blue. .. we drifted toward the shore, the only sound the water lapping the boat, the scene before us timeless. The elephant showed no reaction as the boat came to a stop, touching the shore a mere ten meters from him. All around waterbuck, zebra, warthogs, guinea fowl and more elephants filled the senses. Impalas, tawny touches on the landscape. ..''The shadows were lengthening, casting their intent on the golden-green grass of the floodplain. Acacias, drowned and bough-broken, glistened in spider-web. Herons and egrets hunted motionless in the shallows ...'

Winter sunrise - Gache Gache Estuary

The oranges of dawn reflected on the still water, broken occasionally by ripples of passing scene-stealers. Dead trees, gaunt yet dramatic reminders of a not-so-distant past, were silhouetted. The colours were changing, lightning, each moment more dramatic than the last.

The sun rose in a dust-stained, smoke hazy sky, peeking watery-orange through the silent bush and I watched as it whitened in its climb from the horizon. A momentary silence was shattered by the turtle doves. And I watched!July 19 Gache Gache estuary: ' ... is nestled at the foot of the Matusadonna, now blue-brown in the heat-haze. A light breeze, teasing the water into sun-touched jewels, lightly splashed the air with cool. Jacanas and crakes hopped on the weeds feeding, probing the plants for insects. It was quiet, heat-induced quiet, except for the squawking of the hornbills and the occasional territorial piercing of a fish eagle. Baobabs, ancient sentinels, kept watch over the valley.

There was a sharp crack from the opposite bank, a branch breaking. An elephant was feeding. I searched the opposite bank, but there was no movement, no sound, then I caught a glimpse of grey ...'


'The water shimmers, sun-touched jewels dancing to the tune of the wind, stretching to the distant hills of Zambia, hills etched in shades of blue. The wind has slowed to a breeze, barely stirring the mopanes in their colours of green. Waves are still lapping the shore, but more gentle and soothing now, not the wind-whipped fury of earlier.'

Ume River

In the bays that checker the shore herons hunt in their pose, motionless, in ambush and impalas are alert to the waters edge disturb complaining plovers. There'll be buffalo and elephants wading and splashing and a fish eagle calling across the bay.

Sentinels rise out the water from another time. Once green, before the water rose, they are now drowned, but alive in this new wilderness.

Spent storm clouds, some black some a sun-brushed gold, mingle in the sky with patches of blue on white.

Then the evening calls.

Sengwa River - evening

Human voices echo in silence

In the silence beyond the wilderness calls

The wind has stilled

Rippled silhouettes in evening colours

Are splashed on the calming surface

And the shoreline, etched in gold,

Is touched in shades of red and green.By Leigh Kemp.
South and East African Safaris
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