Siavonga District Profile
Siavonga District is located in the Southern Province of Zambia and precisely stretches between latitudes 15.50° to 17.35° South and longitude 28.1° to 29.0° east. The district covers an area of about 3413 Sq.Km. It is bordered by the Kafue and Zambezi Rivers in the North and East, Gwembe and Mazabuka District in the West and Northwest, Lusaka District in the North and Lake Kariba in the South. In addition, the district shares an international boundary with Zimbabwe across Lake Kariba and along the Lower Zambezi River up to its confluence with the Kafue River. The map below shows the location of Siavonga District in the Southern Province.
Location of Siavonga District in the National and Provincial context
Physical Natural Features
Siavonga District is characterized by an escarpment zone which drops sharply from the plateau in the north to the valley which is now partly covered by Lake Kariba. The North-eastern part of the valley is bordered by the Zambezi and Kafue Rivers. The valley has an altitude of 500 to 600 meters but further decreases in the northern part of Lake Kariba to 400 to 500 meters. Ecologically the district is divided into three zones: The escarpment area lying at about 1000 to 1200 meters above sea level runs from the Southwest to the Northeast of the district and is characterized by hilly terrain and a sparse population. The valley floor lying about 600 to 800 meters above sea level is characterized by very hot and dry weather conditions and high population density. The Kariba Lakeshore lies at about 400 to 600 meters above sea level and is characterized by the undulating landscape which experiences periodic inundation when high hydrological flood levels are attained. The lake flood waters usually recede rapidly with the onset of the dry season.
The climate of Siavonga is one of the hottest and driest in the country. The mean annual temperatures are about 25° C while the maximum temperature is about 40° C. The minimum temperature is above 10°C.
The mean annual rainfall is about 650 mm. The rainy season starts from middle November and ends in the middle of March. This results in a long dry season from April to November. The rainfall is erratic and insufficient. Further, dry spells of up to three weeks during the rainy season are also common in the district and this adversely affects good harvest of the rain-dependent crops.
Geology and Soils
Siavonga has a total land area of 3,413km2 of which only 540km2 is arable. This represents approximately 15 % of the total district land. Further, 10 % of this arable land is degraded. The land in the district is composed of the following soil types:
- Alluvial soils are mostly found along the lakeshore, the lower Zambezi and Kafue Rivers. These areas are most suitable for agriculture activities owing to the high fertility of the soils;
- The clayey soils are common in the valley areas that are susceptible to seasonal flooding. Some of these soils have vertical properties which make them relatively difficult to manage for agricultural purposes.
- Loamy sand soils dominate the escarpment area but are shallow and comprise of a considerable amount of grit which is subject to erosion.
The dominant vegetation cover is the Miombo woodland which covers the escarpment and its surrounding areas. The Miombo woodlands are open woodlands with grass covers. The lower Zambezi Valley and along tributaries such as Bbendele and Kafue Rivers and some low lying areas along the lakeshore are covered by Mopane woodland which is characterized by one-storeyed woodland with open deciduous canopy and long grass cover. The Munga thorn bush occurs on some of the deepest and most fertile soils especially along valley floors such as Lusitu, Sikoongo and Simamba.
Political Boundaries and Leadership
Siavonga district is made up of ten wards which collectively form the constituency. The following are the wards:
All the wards are represented by elected councillors in the Council. The Council is headed by the Council Chairman. Central government projects and activities are coordinated by the District Commissioner. The administrative head of the Council is the Council Secretary.
The total population for Siavonga is 41,816. The most populated Ward is Kariba ward, where the township and administrative offices are located, with a population of 16,118 (representing 38% of total population). The least populated ward is Nanyanga with a population of 2,526 (representing about 6% of the total population. Below is the population distribution for all the wards in Siavonga District:
|S/N||Ward||Household Number||Male||Female||Total||18yrs and above|
The current annual growth rate for Siavonga is 4.3%
Siavonga has a total land area of 3,413 square kilometres, of which only 540 square kilometres is arable. This represents approximately 15 % of the total district land. Siavonga has two land tenure systems. These are customary and state land tenure systems. The map below outlines the township boundary.
Land in the township (planning area) is used in different ways, especially residential development. Below is the table showing the land use type within the township.
Table showing Current Land Use Pattern in Siavonga
|Land Use Type||Hectarage||Percentage|
|Places of Worship||14.68||0.24|
|Open Spaces and green belts||39.70||0.70|
|Playfields and Play Grounds||34.00||0.50|
|Other Uses & Undefined Land Use||5414.05||88.52|
Source: Siavonga Land Use Map
For available land parcels within the township, the following are in existence:
- About 100 hectares unplanned state land at Blacksoil and Game area
- About 10 hectares of unplanned land at BP
- About 60 hectares unplanned state land at Mitcho
- About 4 hectares at Matinangala turn off.
- Various Hilltops
These parcels have not yet been planned and are treated as land banks for future use and investment
The economy of Siavonga comprises the formal and informal sectors. The main subsectors in the formal sector are fishing, tourism, agriculture and energy. Others are mining, trading and transport.
The informal sector is characterised by fish trading, second hand and new clothes and footwear, small-scale fishing, trading in vegetables and other foodstuffs, beer brewing, carpentry, production and selling of traditional handicrafts, trading in groceries, restaurants, bars and charcoal burning.
Agriculture is one of the main economic activities in Siavonga. The table below outlines structure and distribution of farmers in Siavonga
Farmer Structure and Distribution
|Number of Farmers||Unclassified
The table next demonstrates the planted area for maize since 2006.
The table below shows Planted area for maize in hectares
|Planted Area (ha)||N/A||5750||7322||N/A||6670||8971||9100||9846||5843||2876|
|Harvested Area (ha)||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||3521||6254||3374||7345||4067||2267|
|No. of Farmers||N/A||N/A||12682||12322||12322||12322||12322||5007||4752||2193|
The table shows the numbers of Livestock and Farmers involved.
The table shows the number of livestock in the district as of 2016
|Livestock Category||Size of Head/Flock||Number of Farmers|
|Other Fowls (Specify)||N/A||N/A|
Another important economic activity in the District is aquaculture (fish farming). The table below shows the number of fish cages, annual output and the common fishing methods.
|Number of Fish Ponds||Annual Fish Output (MT)||Number of Farmers|
|Type of Gear||Number of Fishers||Fleet Size (describe***)||Fishing Methods|
|Gill Nets||250||80 Banana boats
|Ring Nets||65||171||Kapenta Fishing|
The main tourist attractions of Siavonga are the Kariba Dam (dam wall) and the scenic beauty of the lake that resulted from the damming of the Zambezi River. The dam wall, a spectacular architectural masterpiece, provides tourists with opportunities for sightseeing and photographing. Lake Kariba provides great opportunities for boat cruising, fishing, sightseeing and water sports such as water skiing, paragliding, jet skiing, microlight flight and windsurfing.
Other tourist attractions in Siavonga are the Zambezi River which offers great opportunities for viewing of wildlife especially hippopotami, elephants and crocodiles and canoeing and fishing adventures to tourists, the hilly landscape which provides beautiful scenery, crocodile farms, Ng’ombe Ilede National Monument which is an Iron Age Site and the culture and way of life of the local Valley Tonga people. There are also some hot springs and other sites such as the Nankwilimba Caves which are rarely visited by tourists due to lack of publicity and difficult accessibility due to bad roads.
In addition, there are some events that are organized by lodge/hotel operators in Siavonga held annually which include the Siavonga Canoe Challenge, Siavonga Tiger Challenge (Tiger Fishing Competition) and the Siavonga Power Boat and Jet Ski Challenge on Lake Kariba. Also held annually is the Lwiindi Ceremony, a traditional ceremony to honour the spirits of the ancestors and celebrate the onset of a new rainy season to ensure good rains and a good harvest. The ceremony is an ancient Tonga ceremony performed every year in late November or early December across the Zambezi Valley by the Tonga people.
The photos below show some of the tourist attractions mentioned above which are found in Siavonga District.
Hydro Power Generation
The Kariba North Bank Power Station supplies electricity that is used for various social and economic activities in homes, offices, lodges and guest houses, shops, restaurants, filling stations and workshops. This has helped to improve the living standard of people mainly in the planning area and to facilitate the development of the above stated economic activities. Not only does the power station supply electricity locally for domestic and commercial use but it is also one of the biggest distributors of power in the country. Below is the brief outline of the power station:
- KNBPS is an underground Hydro-Power Station
- Construction commenced in 1968 and the last Unit was commissioned 1n 1977
- Initial installed capacity @ 600 MW
- Unit 3 and 4 fully uprated to 180MW
- Units 1 and 2 Generators Uprated to 180MW (electrical output)
- 2 New Units, 5 and 6 @ 180MW each, total 360MW commissioned in 2014
- Power is evacuated by three 330kV Lines
However, it should be noted that ZESCO also plays a very important role in the socio-economic development of the district. It social provides services such as housing, recreation, domestic water supply at Micho, transport i.e. at funerals and other services.
ZESCO is also one of the biggest employers in the District. this employs that some local people employed by ZESCO have a regular income, which provides social security.
The Kapenta fishing industry currently has a total of Seven Hundred and Forty-Eight (748) employees of whom Seven Hundred And Twenty- Seven (727) are male and Twenty-One (21) are female. This means that out of the total number of employees in the Kapenta fishing industry only three per cent (3%) are female.
The tourism industry (lodges) has a total workforce of Three Hundred and Four (304). Two Hundred and Thirty-Five (235) of these are male while Sixty-Nine (69) are female. This means that the industry is dominated by male workers who represent 77% of the total workforce.
The Central Government has a total workforce of Four Hundred and Sixty-Eight (468) of which 270 are male and 198 are female. The interpretation is that 58% represents male workforce. The Local Authority, on the other hand, has 130 employees comprised of 90 permanent and contract as well as 40 casuals.
Apart from Central Government, there are Non Governmental Organisations that are operational in the district namely Celim and Harvest Help Zambia with a total workforce of Twenty Eight (28) of which nineteen (19) are males whilst nine (9) are females. Males account for 68% of the total workforce.
Siavonga Comparative Advantages
Siavonga District has various comparative advantages in relation to other districts. These are outlined below:
- Siavonga is home to the Lake Kariba, which is the biggest man-made lake in Africa. On top of helping to produce electricity, this lake provides a lot of economic activities for the people of Siavonga such as fishing, crocodile farming and others. It also attracts local and international tourists who come to look at it.
- Siavonga is also home to the Kariba Dam, which also attracts tourists because of its architectural and historical importance. The dam is a big asset in terms of hydropower production.
- Siavonga houses the biggest power station in Zambia, the Kariba North Bank Power Station. This station transmits electricity to different parts of the country and is the biggest formal employer in the district.
- Siavonga has a humid and sunny weather for the most part of the year due to its geographical location (valley). Therefore, it is ideal for such investments as solar power stations and others.
- Siavonga has various traditional historical sites (i.e. shrines and caves, the ing’ombe ilede and others). These have the potential to turn Siavonga into a serious tourist destination.
- The proximity of Siavonga to the capital Lusaka and also neighbouring Zimbabwe, where tourism is a serious activity, gives it an advantage in terms of development and tourism development.
- In comparison to other districts in the province, Siavonga is only second to Livingstone when it comes to standard accommodation facilities and other hospitality activities. This makes it a desired choice next to Livingstone for holidaymakers, with the potential to develop further.
- The hilly nature of the district and curved roads makes Siavonga an attractive place for adventure and site viewing.
- The larger part of Siavonga is still maintaining its natural features
Tourism Potential for Siavonga
- The main tourist attractions of Siavonga are the Kariba Dam (dam wall) and the scenic beauty of the lake that resulted from the damming of the Zambezi River. The dam wall, a spectacular architectural masterpiece, provides tourists with opportunities for sightseeing and photographing. Lake Kariba provides great opportunities for boat cruising, fishing, sightseeing and water sports such as water skiing, paragliding, jet skiing, microlight flight and windsurfing.
- Other tourist attractions in Siavonga are the Zambezi River which offers great opportunities for viewing of wildlife especially hippopotami, elephants and crocodiles and canoeing and fishing adventures to tourists, the hilly landscape which provides beautiful scenery, crocodile farms, Ng’ombe Ilede National Monument which is an Iron Age Site and the culture and way of life of the local Valley Tonga people. There are also some hot springs and other sites such as the Nankwilimba Caves which are rarely visited by tourists due to lack of publicity and difficult accessibility due to bad roads.
- In addition, there are some events that are organized by lodge/hotel operators in Siavonga held annually which include the Siavonga Canoe Challenge, Siavonga Tiger Challenge (Tiger Fishing Competition) and the Siavonga Power Boat and Jet Ski Challenge on Lake Kariba. Also held annually is the Lwiindi Ceremony, a traditional ceremony to honour the spirits of the ancestors and celebrate the onset of a new rainy season to ensure good rains and a good harvest. The ceremony is an ancient Tonga ceremony performed every year in late November or early December across the Zambezi Valley by the Tonga people.
- Tourist facilities currently existing in Siavonga are lodges, guest houses and a campsite. In Siavonga planning area, there are fifteen (15) lodges and guest houses of which one (1) is a water vessel (the Southern Bell houseboat) operated by Protea Hotels.
- The lodges and guest houses in the planning area currently have a total of 287 rooms with a capacity of 428-bed spaces. This will soon increase once two new lodges currently being constructed are completed.
- In addition to accommodation, other facilities and services offered by lodges and guest houses are bars and restaurants offering food and beverages, conference facilities, swimming pools, gymnasiums and saunas, internet services, pool tables, self-catering facilities. The lodges also offer a number of water-based activities to visitors which include boat cruising, water skiing, tubing, canoeing and fishing adventures. The campsite offers camping equipment and necessities.
District Priority Areas
- Infrastructure development
- Sensitization and Capacity building