Zambezi. The First Solo Journey down Africa's Mighty River, by Mike Boon
An extract from an an adventurous and dangerous solo journey in a kayak down the mighty Zambezi River during which Mike Boon made 3000 kilometres in 100 days.
Marion Whitehead from Getaway wrote: „There were two good reasons the 3000-kilometre Zambezi had not been navigated from source to sea before: the war in Mozambique and the war in Angola. Oh yes, and innumerable man-eating crocodiles, short-tempered hippos and raging rapids, boils and whirlpools through very long, inaccessible gorges. You could add malaria, dysentery and a bunch of other nasty diseases too. Soon after peace was declared in Angola in 2002, Mike Boon packed his Necky Eskia kayak and launched it at-the river's source near Mwinilunga in Zambia, close to the border of Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Within minutes, a snake slithered across the water towards him and drifted alongside. They stared at each other for several seconds. Boon acknowledged the implied message of danger ahead, then leaned forward and paddled on into the adventure of a lifetime. But he was looking for more than adventure. After years of corporate life, he felt deadened in spirit. The journey down the raging river was a search for healing and inner peace. He paddled alone, unsponsored and unsupported by any land-based team, often through uncharted sections of river, pushing his 50-something body way past its limits. In the first week, Boon survived a near-death experience after being sucked into a huge whirlpool. Getting arrested by Angolan soldiers forced him to confront his own past as a youngster in the SA Defence Force undertaking cross-border 'raids'. Along the way, he revelled in the natural beauty and wildlife, chatting to elephants, kingfishers and hippos, and mourned the bush-clearing practices that left the banks denuded in places. Boon made friends with local people, marvelling at their offers of hospitality in the midst of abject poverty. His one concession to the raging river was the gorge below Victoria Falls, which he paddled in a raft with local guides who had warned him he faced certain death if he attempted it in his kayak. After 99 days and much soul searching, Boon paddled into the Indian Ocean at Chinde in Mozambique, having found his way not just to the sea, but to his restored inner self. The book is illustrated with a map of the river and colour pictures taken on the trip. It's a well written, riveting read...“
DAYS 1 TO 12: Source of the mighty Zambezi to Cazombo, Angola
DAYS 13 TO 18: Cazombo to Luena and back to Cazombo
DAYS 19 TO 23: Cazombo to Caripande and theborder with Zambia
DAYS 24 TO 34: Chavuma Mission to Kanja
DAYS 35 TO 40: Sioma to Mutemwa, heading for Caprivi
DAYS 41 TO 50: Caprivi to Victoria Falls
DAYS 51 TO 57: Vic Falls to Kariba
DAYS 58 TO 67: Across Lake Kariba
DAYS 68 TO 74: Kariba to the Mozambican border
DAYS 74 TO 85: Across Cahora Bassa
DAYS 86 TO 90: Cahora Bassa to Tete
DAYS 90 TO 99: Tete to journey's end
A record of canoe or similar craft expeditions descending the Zambezi
This is an extract from: Zambezi. The First Solo Journey down Africa's Mighty River
Book title: Zambezi. The First Solo Journey down Africa's Mighty River
Author: Mike Boon
Cape Town, 2007
Hardcover, dustjacket, 18x25 cm, 192 pages, many colour photographs
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