Sailing the Great Lakes of Africa (Zambia, Malawi, Tanxania, Mozambique). - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 7 Old 10-29-2018 Thread Starter
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Sailing the Great Lakes of Africa (Zambia, Malawi, Tanxania, Mozambique).

Any one ever sailed the Great Lakes region of South East Africa? I might have an unexpected opportunity to visit Zambia. I am wondering ifthere is any reasonable way to go sailing in this region?

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post #2 of 7 Old 10-30-2018
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Re: Sailing the Great Lakes of Africa (Zambia, Malawi, Tanxania, Mozambique).

Following.
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post #3 of 7 Old 10-31-2018
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Re: Sailing the Great Lakes of Africa (Zambia, Malawi, Tanxania, Mozambique).

A couple of years ago, we chartered a 30' Wharram catamaran on Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe. The border between Zimbabwe and Zambia runs through the lake. It's one of the largest (if not the largest) hydro reservoirs in the world (approx 20 miles wide and 120 miles long. When it was flooded in the 50's, no trees were cut down. When we were there, the water level was at historic low levels due to drought, and the normally underwater tree tops stuck out of the water in an eerie way.

We took a guide with us, and were very glad we did. No charts, no electonics of any kind, and we were on the bottom of the food chain there. We beached the boat each night, and were greeted by crocodile tracks, and hippos every night. The guide kept us in one piece and knew the lake like the back of his hand. It was an unforgettable sailing trip, and that old Wharram sailed pretty well.
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post #4 of 7 Old 10-31-2018
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Re: Sailing the Great Lakes of Africa (Zambia, Malawi, Tanxania, Mozambique).

Damn! Do you have any more pictures?

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on a starboard tack
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post #5 of 7 Old 11-01-2018
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Re: Sailing the Great Lakes of Africa (Zambia, Malawi, Tanxania, Mozambique).

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Originally Posted by Minnesail View Post
Damn! Do you have any more pictures?
Here are a couple more...

The first is of the boat we rented. The second, another shot at the lake. The third is of the Kariba Dam, which makes Lake Kariba a Lake. That's Zambia on the other side of the dam. Another reason for the guide is that you can be arrested and boat confiscated if you wander out of Zimbabwean waters. Of course, there was no way of knowing that you did, as we had no charts or navigation instruments. Our guide was invaluable in that regard.

On another note, concerning the first couple of pics I posted above, there was no filter or photo manipulation on those shots. It really looks like that. I have never been where I remember the sun being so intense. Daytime temps peaked a little over 100 F. Our guide was motoring the boat when we came upon those hippos in the trees. I wouldn't have had the nads to get that close. His piece of advice was never get between a hippo and the water. Hippos kill more people over there than lions do. There were lions in the area, as well, but we didn't see them.

The boat had a net between the amas that could be lowered down for a swim. I was quite happy to do a bucket bath on deck, though my wife and daughter followed our guide's lead in using the net. Now, we had just seen crocs in the water not 10 minutes before they dunked. Luckily, her life insurance was up to date! I watched for crocs...

My daughter does nutrition research in Zimbabwe, and is there much of the year, so we had a first rate tour guide. She ferried us all over the country to various federal parks when we were there. The county is beautiful, and the people are wonderful. The roads and infrastructure, not so much. What would be a moderate trip by car in this country, would be an epic adventure there.

The last pic was taken in Hwange National Park. That particular bull was telling us "close enough" with his ears. Any closer, he would have charged. Unfortunately, there have been instances in Hwange where poachers manage to poison groups of elephants just to remove their tusks. These guys don't forget when humans do them wrong, and can be very dangerous.
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post #6 of 7 Old 11-01-2018
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Re: Sailing the Great Lakes of Africa (Zambia, Malawi, Tanxania, Mozambique).

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Originally Posted by sesmith View Post
A couple of years ago, we chartered a 30' Wharram catamaran on Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe. The border between Zimbabwe and Zambia runs through the lake. It's one of the largest (if not the largest) hydro reservoirs in the world (approx 20 miles wide and 120 miles long. When it was flooded in the 50's, no trees were cut down. When we were there, the water level was at historic low levels due to drought, and the normally underwater tree tops stuck out of the water in an eerie way.

We took a guide with us, and were very glad we did. No charts, no electonics of any kind, and we were on the bottom of the food chain there. We beached the boat each night, and were greeted by crocodile tracks, and hippos every night. The guide kept us in one piece and knew the lake like the back of his hand. It was an unforgettable sailing trip, and that old Wharram sailed pretty well.
Wow ! what a wonderful adventure.

The hysterical laughter you hear as you drive a way in your"new" boat ..... is the seller.
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Re: Sailing the Great Lakes of Africa (Zambia, Malawi, Tanxania, Mozambique).

This sounds like a great adventure. I guess the lake is all sand or mud underneath, so the worst to go wrong isn't really that bad!
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