The African ‘Ti­tanic’ Does $5 000 a ride float your boat?

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Farming - Sun­day News Correspondent

OVER the past few weeks the lux­ury house boat, African Dream, has been the talk of the coun­try.

The eye catch­ing mon­ster, which was as­sem­bled in the cap­i­tal, blazed a trail around the coun­try as it was trans­ported to what would be its fi­nal des­ti­na­tion within Zim­babwe, Vic­to­ria Falls.

In Bu­l­awayo it proved to be a show­stop­per, turn­ing heads as many scram­bled to catch a glimpse of this mon­ster which in the end was both a beauty and a beast, mak­ing the streets of Bu­l­awayo beau­ti­ful one lazy day while claim­ing trees to clear a path for it.

The same had hap­pened in Masvingo a few days ear­lier and after its pa­rade in the City of Kings, the same again hap­pened in the coal min­ing town of Hwange where it be­came a mid-af­ter­noon sen­sa­tion and in Vic­to­ria Falls as well.

Rarely has a boat grabbed the at­ten­tion of a coun­try the way that the African Dream did. How­ever, the coun­try’s streets are not its nat­u­ral habi­tat and the boat was al­ways go­ing to find its way to the calm wa­ters of the Zam­bezi in the end.

Al­though it was im­pos­si­ble to miss on the streets of Bu­l­awayo, few of those who watched its jour­ney would have known much about the lux­ury boat which got a po­lice es­cort through most of Zim­babwe.

In fact, a ride on the boat is hardly af­ford­able for the or­di­nary Zim­bab­wean. While their eyes feasted on its beauty from the out­side, those seek­ing a more in­ti­mate look in­side the African Dream would have to part with a cool $5,749, sources claimed.

In­cluded in that pack­age is air trans­porta­tion from Johannesburg to Kasane, Botswana (where the cruise be­gins), and ex­cur­sions such as a visit to a Namib­ian school to meet the students and teach­ers.

Built in Harare, the African Dream will host a mere 16 pas­sen­gers. Those who man­age to make it onto the boat will have a chance to take in the scenic beauty of Africa in its all glory, as the boat will take guests along the Chobe and Zam­bezi Rivers through Botswana, Namibia, Zam­bia and Zim­babwe.

The African Dream is 40 me­tres long and seven feet wide, which is con­sid­ered rel­a­tively small for a lux­ury house boat. Those who hop in­side the boat will have to pre­pare them­selves for a leisurely ride, as it will only travel at six knots or 11, 1 km per hour.

Eight state­rooms, each 18 square me­tres, await pas­sen­gers while all the rooms will have bal­conies.

Guests will be served by a crew of eight in a restau­rant, a lounge and on a rooftop ter­race. The boat also in­cludes a sun deck with 360 de­gree wrap-around view that gives pas­sen­gers the chance to gaze at the wilder­ness from all an­gles and hot tub make for those that want to re­lax. A lounge and restau­rant pro­vid­ing an ideal view of the sur­round­ing land­scapes were also built into the boat.

Owned by CroisiEurope, the boat is set to spear­head the com­pany’s foray into South­ern Africa, with a sec­ond house­boat al­ready lined up for 2018.

Bruce Ndlovu

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