Apr 172009


Lake Cahora Bassa is Africa’s fourth-largest artificial lake, situated in the Tete Province in Mozambique. The Cahora Bassa Dam system is the largest hydroelectric scheme in southern Africa with the powerhouse containing 5 x 415MW turbines. It is one of the three major dams on the Zambezi river system, the others being Kariba and Itezhi-Tezhi. However, Itezhi-Tezhi is not on the main stream of the Zambezi, but on its tributary the Kafue River. A considerable kapenta fishery has developed in the reservoir. The kapenta is assumed to originate from Lake Kariba where it was introduced from Lake Tanganyika. Annual catch of kapenta in the Cahora Bassa dam in 2003 exceeded 10 thousand tons. It is widely believed that there is a breeding colony of Zambezi Shark “trapped” inside the dam. As the Bull Shark is known to travel >100km upstream, this phenomenon does not conflict with existing scientific and biological fact. In particular an ocean-dwelling species, bull sharks are perfectly capable of living in fresh water for their entire lifespan. Local tribes have indeed reported sightings (and attacks) by this isolated community of shark, although these have yet to be substantiated with hard evidence.

Lake Cahora Bassa - Dam Wall



Location (15° 36′ 54.4″ S, 30° 26′ 21.6″ E to 15° 35′ 8.71″ S, 32° 42′ 16.2″ E)

The lake has reached a maximum length and width of approximately 250 km and 38 km respectively, flooding an area of 2,700 km² with an average depth of 20.9 m. To the east, a ferry at Zumbo connects to the Zambian town of Luangwa across the Luangwa River. Tete is about 160 km from its eastern shores.

View Lake Cahora Bassa in a larger map
service providers

Service Providers

The ship Kuza travels fortnightly between Zongo and the Cahora Bassa Dam. Probably.


open whatsapp
What can we do for you?