Lake Kariba is the world’s largest man-made reservoir. That alone should make it priority on any tourist’s go-to places.Add the houseboat excursions that can see you view game from within the lake, the amazing sunsets, the fishing extravaganza and the mere scenic views and you have yourself one of the best places to visit, not just in Zimbabwe, but the whole world.
However, with all the aforementioned, there is still room for improvement.Tourists, by their very nature, are difficult to please and want variety of activities even next to world wonders like Lake Kariba and the mighty Victoria Falls.
Ever since 1958, when the Zambezi River was dammed at Kariba, the water, the game, the views, the fish variety and the scenery has been there.What has lacked are other activities in and around the almost natural attractions. This is where Jacob Parichi, a 37-year-old Kariba native, has come in with his “Kariba Quad Bike Adventures.”The man is the board chairperson of Face of Kariba Trust who noticed a gap in the Kariba entertainment space and established the quad bikes in June — despite the Covid-19 lockdown.His is the first quad bike adventure tour in Kariba resort town and it has thrilled many a visitor.
Many tourists in Kariba are taking an hour or two to try the quad bikes and many are returning for more. “It is a unique, thrilling, educational and eco-friendly adventure as tourists ride quad bikes through the beautiful lake shores and secluded areas with experienced crews,” said Parichi when asked about his quad bikes. “There is much opportunity to see wild animals which include hippos, zebras, elephants and fresh water crocodiles in their natural environment along the lake shore. We have long trek in natural environment which is very cool and picturesque panorama.
“Also available to watch are fishing boat rigs and houseboats, boats harbours, sunset trek and above all, interactions with the Local Kariba community doing what they know best — fishing.”
He added that “quad biking is a fun way to ride with the wind blowing your hair, dirty water spray hitting your skin and the feeling of pure freedom and exhilaration coursing through your veins. “The sheer bliss of skipping across the mud’s surface is an incredible experience for adults and teenagers since it can be learned easily.”The quad bike rides are a literal stone throw away from the shore at the recently constructed Luna Hotel next to Carribbea Bay along Harare and Dam wall highway where there is a rhino statue.
He said the idea came from his former schoolmate.
“This quad bike business was inspired by a former schoolmate from my Masters Degree programme at MSU, Aida Dangarembwa who went to Bali, Indonesia where she saw this project,” said Parichi. “She then gave me several projects she thought will awake Kariba and quad bike was one of them. She then assisted me with advise to set up the project.”
Parichi had to sell his personal favourite vehicle to get working capital without assistance from any financial institution or any stakeholders, and the fact that he did it during a pandemic era where there were strict measures in place did not make it any easier. He described it as a leap of faith.Parichi loves the role quad biking plays in adding to the list of activities to do in Kariba.
“Definitely, this will promote the industry as more people will have an extra activity to do in Kariba besides game drive, sun-set cruise which are the only activities that are available,” he said.“There should be activities in Kariba that are a game changer that will give a pull effect to those who love outdoor activities and quad bikes have been one.”Besides quad bikes, he has a list of other fun activities that he wants to introduce to Kariba, but he is keeping his cards close to his chest.