Big boat spec­ta­cle on Zim high­way

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Syd­ney Kawadza

THE African Dream, a house­boat be­lieved to be one of the big­gest house­boats to have been built in Zim­babwe and has been a spec­ta­cle along the HarareMasvingo High­way, passed through Masvingo city yes­ter­day af­ter a painstak­ing five-day jour­ney from the cap­i­tal.

The house­boat, with a car­ry­ing ca­pac­ity of 300 peo­ple, was built at GDI En­gi­neer­ing in Msasa, Harare, was on its way to Vic­to­ria Falls en route to Botswana.

The boat han­dlers chose to use the longer route to Vic­to­ria Falls to avoid traf­fic con­ges­tion that is as­so­ci­ated with the Harare-Bu­l­awayo High­way, as that could have re­sulted in a ma­jor dis­rup­tion of traf­fic flow.

Ac­cord­ing to crew mem­bers trav­el­ling with the gi­gan­tic house­boat, the jour­ney to Vic­to­ria Falls would take a fur­ther 10 days.

“We are mov­ing at ap­prox­i­mately 30km/hour on good roads like this one (Masvingo-Bu­l­awayo Road), but the jour­ney from Harare to Masvingo was painstak­ingly slow,” said one crew mem­ber.

Ac­cord­ing to the Fish­er­man Magazine, the African Dream, which branched off the Harare-Masvingo High­way is head­ing to­wards Bu­l­awayo on its way to Vic­to­ria Falls.

In Vic­to­ria Falls, it will cross Kazun­gula Border Post into Botswana, where it will be launched onto the Chobe River.

The house­boat will op­er­ate as a float­ing lux­ury ho­tel — the big­gest ever to op­er­ate on both the Chobe and Zam­bezi rivers.

“For the tech­ni­cal mind, the ‘ship’ will mea­sure an impressive 33.4m (109’) in length, with an eight me­tre beam (26’) — wider than the en­tire road — boast­ing three spa­cious decks, of which the up­per-most deck will be re­moved for the jour­ney,” ac­cord­ing to the Fish­er­man Magazine.

“Though her to­tal weight once com­plete is 157 tonnes, she will be stripped to around 100 tonnes for the three-week long road trip.”

The boat is be­ing ac­com­pa­nied by a po­lice es­cort, and a plethora of tech­ni­cians, in­clud­ing some from Zesa Hold­ings.

The house­boat car­rier will av­er­age around 10km/ hour, stop­ping ev­ery few kilo­me­tres to al­low road traf­fic to pass.

“If you are on the roads in the next three weeks between Harare and Masvingo, or Bu­l­awayo and Vic­to­ria Falls, you might need to ex­er­cise a lit­tle pa­tience,” the Fish­er­man Magazine warned.

The ma­jes­tic boat has pro­vided a spec­ta­cle as road users and on-look­ers jos­tle to take pho­tos.

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