Zambezi expedition

Posted: 07/18/2011 in all marine news

Joseph Mwenda –

The Zambezi River which stretches 1,000 kilometers from the Angola border in Chavuma to the Victoria Falls has never been rowed in its entirety, at least until this August when a fearless team of Zambian and British adventurers do the unthinkable.

 Boat racing has been done on the river only for short distances and what comes to mind is the Zambezi River International Regatta which is held in Livingstone. But this group of water enthusiasts will attempt to row down the Zambezi in three double sculling boats with the aim of raising about US$50,000 for Village Water, a charity organization that seeks to provide access to clean drinking water to villages in North Western Province.

 The Zambezi River, which has been recognized as one of the top 10 waterways in the world for boating and white-water rafting activities, flows through wild and dangerous terrains such as open stretches of rapids, some only passable by carrying the boats through the surrounding bushes.

 In some areas like the Barotse flood plain, the fourth largest river in Africa can be 25 kilometers wide and the waters, though weedy, are normally calm. But it does not guarantee any safety given the hippo and crocodile population.

 That however, will not discourage the rowers from conquering a million meters for a million litres hence they have nicknamed the expedition “Operation Hungry Hippo”.

 This journey to Victoria Falls will demand discipline, determination and endurance. The team appears geared to row the Zambezi from the Angola border to the mighty Victoria Falls in under 15 days only.
 “We expected to row up to 70 kilometers in eight hours during the day and camp on the banks of the Zambezi in the night before embarking again on the journey to Victoria Falls,” says expedition leader Tim Cook.

 Cook, who is also the pioneer of the adventure, originally wanted to do a usual expedition by sailing down the Atlantic Ocean in celebrating his 50th birthday this year.

 “One of my sons said why can’t you do something unusual, dad, say row down the Zambezi? so I said to him that was not possible because no one has done it before. Then later I tried to look up Google Earth and zoomed in, and then I realized that it was actually possible,” he says.

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