Or, Through Binga To Binga
There had surely never been a trip quite like it, even in the long history of Zambezi exploration. The bare outline, for anyone who hasn't heard yet, was a follows. Three of the Explorer rafts shot the world-famous white-water Stretch,
from below Victoria Falls to where the Zambezi gives way to Lake Kariba at Deka Mouth (Stage 1). At Deka, outboard motors were attached to the rafts and a cruise across Kariba began (Stages 2 and 3). One motor and one raft were
lost in the "Binga Bay Bonfire Bash". Stage 2 ended at Chalala fishing village near Bumi Hills, where Christmas was celebrated. From there, the two rafts cruised on to Kariba town (Stage 3), where New Year’s Eve was spent (in divergent ways) and the planned trip ended. A sort of Addendum followed, with six of us going off to the hike in the Eastern Highlands for a few days.
The Stage One crew had the satisfaction of doing one of the world's most sought-after white~water stretches (indeed, they acquired an American girl rafter who had badly wanted to do it). The two Kariba stages achieved the true
Explorer sense of "doing it where (as) it's never been done before". Cruising along less than a metre above the water at eight knots - where fish could (and once did) jump into the raft and where Crocs, hippo and sunken trees were real
hazards - made for a Kariba experience different from the luxury yacht, the chartered houseboat or the high-powered speedboat. To the Kariba community of mainly rich holidaymakers, this motley crew perched on the rubber flanks of
midget boats or coming ashore carrying loads of katundu, looked like some sort of refugees or Vietnamese Boat People - we found the expressions on some onlookers' faces priceless.
The Eastern Highlands "addendum" experienced one of Southern Africa's best hiking areas in the Chimanimani mountains, especially Mount Binga.
Your scribes face the same dilemma as their Viking predecessors who composed
the Sagas about great expeditions and voyaqes.......
...... so we'll try to steer a middle course between long-winded narrative and