The Matusadona: Kariba Cruiser

Lake Kariba's Luxury Motor Cruiser


Not your average ‘houseboat’, Matusadona is certainly the most striking cruise boat on Lake Kariba. Harnessing the mighty Zambezi River  for hydroelectric power,  the massive Kariba Dam has a surface area of approximately 5,400 square kilometres of pristine waters and an abundance of wildlife–the new home of “Matusadona”, launched in December 2012.

Introducing Matusadona

Painstakingly built over a number of years, with all imported materials and finishes, “Matusadona” is the epitome of style and comfort on the lake.

Enjoy the ultimate in barefoot luxury on a family holiday aboard your private safari cruiser on Zimbabwe’s iconic Lake Kariba. Cruising the shores of one of Africa’s last remaining true wilderness areas, MV Matusadona is perfectly combined with a visit to the Victoria Falls and offers the ideal extension to a land based African safari.

Famous for its overwhelming sunsets, wildlife viewing and tiger fishing, Lake Kariba is surrounded by the Matusadona National Park and a number of wildlife areas on the Zimbabwean side of the lake.

MV Matusadona is the only motor cruiser of its kind on the Lake and is easily accessed from Kariba International Airport, the Bumi domestic airfield and from the safari lodges situated within the Matusadona National Park and surrounding safari areas.

Three spacious, air-conditioned cabins offer accommodation for up to six passengers. Each cabin is made up with a queen size bed and offer an en-suite bathroom.

Finished in African hardwood timbers and furnished with rich fabrics, leather and Egyptian cottons, Matusadona has been described as “an intimate luxury lodge on the water”. Measuring 28.6 m in length, MV Matusadona is the epitome of style and comfort on the lake.

Matusadona is accompanied by a speed boat and a game viewing pontoon for safari activies as well as a general tender boat.

Travelling to a different and secluded mooring every day, you will always awaken to a new experience. With the gentle lapping of waves, frequent grunts of hippos, the distant lion’s roar and the eerie cry of the Fish Eagle, you are in the real African wilderness, whilst cocooned in the lap of luxury.

On warm summer evenings, sip on refreshing cocktails in the Jacuzzi under the stars, or at the bar. It hardly ever gets cold on Kariba, but on the odd chilly African evening, warm up with a Cognac or a steaming mug of hot chocolate in the cosy saloon.

Matusadona is perfect for an amazing family holiday, a romantic honeymoon or simply a break from ‘real’ life. Step on board, it is time to relax!

Visit our image gallery for a look inside the Matusadona

Meet the Team

Crewed by a friendly and professional Zimbabwean team, you will have your own private Captain, Chef, Steward and Deckhand, who will make you feel so at home that it will be almost impossible to leave.

Newturn Jack

MTT1 Cpt Newturn Jack

Tendai Mapurazi

MTT2 Tendai Mapurazi

Conwell Mapurazi

MTT3 Conwell Mapurazi

On-board manager
Scott Brown

MTT4 Scott Brown


Matusadona is chartered out on a fully catered basis. This includes:

  • Accommodation on board
  • Activities operated by Matusadona
  • Lake access and National Park Entry Fees
  • All catering, including local beverages at the bar
  • All fuel based on:
    • Cumulative average operation of the main engines over a maximum of 3½ hours per day (start u p to shut down).
    • Combined average operation of generators over a maximum of 12 hours per day
  • 4 Crew members
  • Daily laundry service
  • Positioning of Matusadona at either Marineland or Bumi Hills for boarding and disembarking.

The charter excludes:

  • Road, air or other transfers to Matusadona
  • Activities operated by third parties (Morning Game Drive at Bumi Hills Safari Lodge is offered at US$ 100 pp).

Passenger Capacity

Matusadona is ideally suited for groups of up to 6 guests. The vessel measures 28.6 meters in length and 6.85 meters on the beam. She comprises 3 decks:

Cabin Deck | Lower
3 en‐suite guest cabins with queen size beds are located on the lower deck. A 4th en‐suite single cabin is allocated to your on‐board manager. These cabins are accessed via an indoor staircase from the saloon. The spacious crew quarters are accessed through a separate entrance on the bow.

Saloon Deck | Middle
The middle deck comprises a gourmet galley (including washing machine, tumble dryer, 2 fridge‐freezers, electric oven, gas hob, microwave), the wheelhouse, an al‐fresco breakfast area and an indoor saloon.. The indoor saloon offers a dining area and coffee station, a business desk and a lounge complete with DVD player, sound system, a choice of board games and a small library collection.

Palm deck | Upper
The spacious open plan outdoor entertainment area on the upper deck offers 360 degree views of Lake Kariba and offers 2 lounge areas, dining area, bar and an open air jacuzzi.

Technical Information

To provide our guests with all modern comforts and smooth sailing, we have equipped Matusadona with:

  • 2 x 420 HP Catepillar diesel engines;
  • 2 Generators │ 10kVA and 25kVA;
  • On‐board water filtration system (reverse osmosis) to provide purified drinking water throughout;
  • Inverter system for lights and some power points during the times that the generators are not in use;
  • Ice machine with a capacity to produce over 40 kg of ice per day;
  • Air conditioning throughout the Saloon and Cabin Decks.

Safety on Board

Matusadona is equipped with:

  • life jackets,
  • extuinguishers,
  • fire blankets,
  • radio equipment,
  • satellite telephone.

Cellular reception is intermittent and dependent on our location on the lake. Our on‐board manager is qualified in advanced First Aid.

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