There are few things more spectacular than the Mediterranean-like vista that is Lake Kariba. Sprawling to cover 5000 square kilometres, at the heart of southern Africa, Lake Kariba offers a remote and underutilised water wilderness hard to find anywhere on the continent. And, there is no better way to experience it, than to take a luxury cruise aboard the Lady Jacqueline.
Elegantly appointed, the Lady Jacqueline is a 65′ steel mono-hull, boasting luxurious accommodation consisting of two air-conditioned stateroom cabins complete with bathroom-en-suite, with two additional bunk rooms amidships (sleeping four and two people). The middle deck houses a spacious, air-conditioned saloon equipped with a music system, TV and video (affording the comforts of home for those requiring these facilities).
The upper deck offers an element of privacy ideal on a cruiser of this type, a place where guests are alone and free to bask in the sun, or sip ice cold drinks from the bar while the crew pamper your every need. A small splash pool is incorporated into the front deck, negating the need for bathers to brave the lake waters, especially when moored.
Powered by twin in-board diesels, Lady J is able to undertake long-distance cruises. Main silent-run and back-up generators supply constant 220v power when required, and with a nine day cruising range (up to a maximum of five hours per day), she is capable of cruising the length of the lake, although for logistical reasons normally stays within the bounds of the western basin.
Evenings are spent moored at secure locations along the Matusadona National Park shoreline in the heart of Africa’s wilderness. Unlike land-based resorts, guests are able to squeeze every minute out of the day, sipping sundowners or fishing from the tender boats as the sun dips to the western horizon.

Lady Jacqueline Location & Info

Sample Itinerary


DAY 1: The first day on the Lovely Lady Jacqueline commences with a cruise from Bumi Hills to the Ume River. A stunning, untouched wilderness, the Ume boasts one of the best game viewing areas on the lake as it is well serviced by the Bumi Hill Anti-Poaching Unit (BHAPU). Not only is there a one-of-a-kind game viewing experience but some of the best fishing one Kariba is all the way out here. Unequalled views and an Al Fresco Luncheon on the top deck on the water is the ultimate day on the world’s largest man-made reservoir.

DAY 2: We invite you to sit back and relax whilst soaking in the spectacular views, sounds and remote beauty of the Matusadona National Park, as we embark on the four-hour cruise to Changa (behind Spurwing and Fothergill Islands).

Matusadona National Park is in Northern Zimbabwe and was formed in the late 1950’s. Matusadona was proclaimed a non-hunting area on the 7th November 1958 before being declared a Game Reserve in 1963 and only in 1975 did Matusadona become a National Park. Its vast area encompasses a combination of pristine and rugged wilderness, magical mountains and is home to an abundance of wildlife.

Back in the late 1950’s when Kariba Dam hydroelectric power station was being built and the dam wall constructed, the Kariba gorge was flooded and as it was home to thousands of animals along with the local Tonga people, relocation was required for the animals. Rupert Fothergill lead a wildlife rescue operation that lasted five years, calling it ‘Operation Noah’ Operation Noah saved over 6000 animals which were largely relocated to Matusadona National Park. The Matusadona National Park, locally known as the ‘Matuzviadonha Hills’ stretch along the lakeshore between the Sanyati and Ume rivers. The word ‘Matuzviadonha’ means ‘falling dung’ and came from the common sightings of elephant dung seen rolling down the steep slopes on the escarpment.

DAY 3: On the final day, we take a leisurely three-hour cruise to Palm Bay well-known for lion sightings. Should you wish to go for a game drive or a walk, Spurwing Island will be happy to oblige (additional costs apply). And sometimes, when the water is high enough and an island has formed, we can arrange a beach braai, fire crackling, sun setting… Another sought-after option to consider is a magical boat cruise to the Sanyati Gorge. *Kindly note that there is an additional park fee, should you wish to cruise up the Sanyati Gorge.

DAY 4: A leisurely cruise back to base, saying goodbye to the magical mountains of the Matusadona National Park.

Getting There

The Lady J is moored at Bumi Hills, Lake Kariba.

Bumi Hills Airstrip is serviced by daily charter flights ex Vic Falls and Harare.
Flying time is approx. 1,5hrs from both destinations.
There is a free road transfer from the air strip to the vessel.
***Please note that only soft bags, with a maximum weight of 20kgs are permitted for the charter flight.

Lady J Specifications

Minimum 4 and maximum 10 guests in cabins. More can be accommodated on matresses up to 14 (not recommended).
Twin Volvo Penta turbo inter-cooled main engines with a 17Kva Onan marine generator.


  • 2 Double Cabins en suite (shower, toilet and hand basin) – Air Conditioned.
  • 1 Bunk Cabin Twin bunk beds Pullman style (2 Beds).
  • 1 Bunk Cabin with 2 sets of Bunk Beds Pullman style (4 beds).
  • Above bunk cabins are airconed through a centrally locted aircon unit.
  • Separate Bathroom (Shower, toilet and hand basin).
  • Limited mattresses and mosquito nets for those who wish to sleep on the top deck.
  • Separate crew quarters with their own ablutions.

On Board Equipment:

  • Jacuzzi.
  • Garmin GPS navigational equipment and depth finders.
  • The galley is equipped with microwave oven, deep freeze and fridge.
  • There is a bottle cooler and a triple door bar fridge on the upper deck and an ice maker.
  • The saloon has a bar fridge.
  • Spacious upper deck with bar area, sunbathing deck and dining area.
  • The saloon is fully air conditioned. It has a DVD home theatre, colour TV, video and a CD player.
  • A selection of natural history books, novels, videos, CD’s, DVD’s, board games, cards etc. are available.

One tender boat (including a caddy tank of fuel per day) is included in the all inclusive rate. Guests have the choice of the the following, please advise prior to charter:

Osprey – 40hp 4 stroke, seats 4 (Small, fast and light in fuel)
Falcon – 85hp 2 stroke engine, seats 8 (Fast and powerful, used a lot of fuel)
Raft – 25hp 4 stroke, seats 12 (Slow but comfortable uses less fuel)

Sample Menu

Due to the fact that nothing can be guaranteed in Zimbabwe we cannot give specific meal plans as these do change on a daily basis depending what is available in the country. The following is an idea of what is normally prepared.
There are 2 options available:

OPTION 1 (Recommended):
Early morning (approx. 6h00): Coffee with rusks, muffins, cereal etc.
(Guests then depart for early morning fishing or game viewing).

Midday brunch (approx. 11h00): Consisting of bacon and eggs, savoury mince, toast etc. (The tender boat will then be prepared again with a cold box for clients who wish to go fishing again and game viewing until sunset).
Afternoon tea/coffee (approx. 15h00): Cake/ biscuits and savoury snacks will be served.

Dinner (approx. 20h00): Usually consists of a roast or steak, roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables. Followed by dessert i.e. apple tart and cream/ malva pudding/caramel tart or fruit salad etc. Tea/Coffee.

Full breakfast (approx. 8h00): Consisting of bacon and eggs, savoury mince, toast etc.

Lunch (approx. 12h00): Would normally consist of a pasta, cold meat and salads, fish and chips, steak etc. (The tender boat will then be prepared again with a cold box for clients who wish to go fishing again and game viewing until sunset).
Afternoon tea/coffee (approx. 15h00): Cake/ biscuits and savoury snacks will be served.

Dinner (approx. 20h00): Usually consists of a roast or steak, roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables. Followed by dessert i.e. apple tart and cream/ malva pudding/ caramel tart or fruit salad etc. Tea/Coffee.

Kindly note: No meals will be awaiting guests upon arrival at the vessel but can be done within 1 hour of arrival. Should clients wish the meal to be ready on arrival there will be a surcharge for the food goods to be transferred in advance.

We do our best to get drinks & catering as per request but this is not always possible due to limited availability.


1541M_Eric Ettisch

11 – 14 June 2016
a fabulous time, just a pity the trip down to Binga was so long and the roads were terrible, other than that the crew on boat fantastic, Range, transfer agent, a good communicator the falls beautiful. Pity about the police road blocks and the state of the infrastructure…very little game seen Hippo Crocodile and good bird watching, even though Stephen did his best to take us to to exclusive bays….Falls guide also very good, a country of lovely polite people. Drinks & Food very expensive prohibitively so $3 a soda & $4 a tot of gin

J.J Betten – Part of group 1541M

Overall experience; must comment on road quality to Binga. Arrived late day one slept on board, cruise started day two. Cruise food good !! Poor game spotting which detracts from positive referals. All referals and pick ups were spot on. A’zambizi lodge OK. poor room clean up ( done in the afternoon) and limited and super expensive wine selection.


23 – 28 Sept 2017
The whole experience was top class at Flame of Africa! Thank you.

Lady Jacqueline E-Brochure

A Walk through the Lady Jacqueline

Why A Houseboat Holiday

Lady Jacqueline Houseboat

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