Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Interview With Explorer Planning to Walk the Zambezi River

The Zambezi River stretches for nearly 1600 miles (2574 km) across central and east Africa, meandering its way through Zambia and Angola, as well as along the borders of Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe, before flowing into Mozambique on its way to the Indian Ocean. Its route passes through thick forests, pastoral grasslands, and dense swamps that are at times nearly impassable. Along the way, the river features numerous rapids with intense whitewater, and more than a few waterfalls – including the absolutely massive Victoria Falls, often referred to locally as the "Smoke that Thunders." In other words, the Zambezi follows a route that is remote and difficult, which is exactly why one explorer wants to trek it.

Starting in November of this year, British adventurer Chaz Powell will set out to walk the entire length of the river, source to sea. He'll undertake this major expedition not just for the challenge and adventure, but to raise awareness of the rising amount of wildlife crime taking place in Africa and other parts of the world, where poaching has become a serious issue.

Recently, Powell sat down with my friends over at to talk about his expedition. In that interview, he discusses what inspired him to become an adventurer, his biggest expedition to date, and his motivations for wanting to walk the Zambezi. He also talks about some of the logistics of the walk, the challenges he'll face along the way, and some of the animals he expects to encounter in the wilderness. Those include lions, elephants, hippos, rhinos, crocs, and a host of others.

When asked about his experience in the field, Chaz admits that he has done some overloading in Africa, and campervaning in Australia, but he has never undertaken a journey like this before. That could prove dangerous out in the wild, where traveling on foot is quite different than anything else he's done.

The expedition is expected to take about six months to complete, and Powell says he plans on wrapping it up around April of next year. You can follow his progress both on Facebook and Twitter, as he ramps up his preparation and gets ready for his November departure. This should be another interesting journey to follow in the weeks ahead.


adventurelisa said...

What an exciting expedition! I know a guy who paddled the Zambezi. Biggest risk, more than the hippos and crocs, is malaria.

Kraig Becker said...

I have to imagine that is a major concern throughout the area. With how wet and humid it is along the length of the river, the area has to be rife with malaria.