Kariba Airport was privately owned by the Federal Hydro-Electric board, which was established in June 1894 and was reconstituted as the Federal Power Board in May 1956.
The airport was then relocated to a new site to improve the aerodrome to accommodate DC3 aircraft. This project started in 1955 and was completed in 1958. The new airport was opened in November 1958 after the then Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) had provided telecommunications, fire and rescue equipment and other essential facilities and services.
Important extension works involving the taxiway, apron, runway and clearways were carried out to enable the Queen Mother’s Canadian C4 aircraft to use Kariba Airport from July 1959 to June 1960. The length of the runway is 1,650 metres long and 18 metres wide and can accommodate aircraft of up to 41,000kilogrammes. Jet A1 and AVGAS are available at the airport.
Kariba Airport is located in northern Zimbabwe close to the Kariba Dam, the largest man-made lake in the world, which provides a significant proportion of the country’s electricity requirements. It is also a wildlife haven popular with nature loving tourists and venue for international tiger fishing contests. Lake Kariba and Zambezi River area are home to a large variety of bird and animal life. Kariba’s main attractions are game viewing, canoeing, fishing trips, sailing, village tours, hunting, bird watching, cruises, quid-biking, para-sailing and charters, speed boating among a variety of other activities. The annual Kariba Invitational Tiger Fishing Tournament (KITFT), which is one of the biggest fresh water angling events in Africa, attracts over 800 international and local anglers.
Flight time is less than 20 minutes from Kariba Airport to airstrips on popular sites along the Zambezi Valley such as Bumi Hills, Kiplings, Fothergill, Mana Pools, Mana West, Chikwenya, Tiger Bay, Rifa and Gachegache.