Find another way and save the Zambezi River from commercial shipping!
by Inge Skliros
(Brandon, MB Canada)
Elephants crossing to an island
The thought that the Zambezi River may be converted into a commercial waterway chills my soul! I fell in love with this mighty river on my very first trip to Africa in 1984 when I canoed down her waters for 7 days. It was an unforgettable experience and I have returned to paddle down the river each time I come back to Africa to relive how Livingstone might have viewed the river on his exploration of Africa. I have been back 5 times and although the Zambezi still weaves it's magic, she has already changed enormously since 1984. On the Zambian side, powerboats ply the waters and lodge after lodge spoils the darkness and still of the night with its lights and generators. To think of ships going down the river, disturbing the pods of hippos and possibly causing carnage, scaring away the wildlife coming to drink at its shores is unthinkable! Mana Pools NP is a World Heritage site, and it would be totally spoiled by commercial shipping along the floodplain. Zimbabwe can still generate income through tourism but if commercial interests spoil one of the most beautiful areas in all of Africa it will drive tourists away to other African countries. The Lower Zambezi in particular is an unspoiled area teeming with wildlife, especially on the Zimbabwean side. It would be a crime to destroy one of the last thriving wilderness areas in Zimbabwe in the name of commerce.
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