Bruce Ndlovu, Sunday News Correspondent
OVER the past few weeks the luxury house boat, African Dream, has been the talk of the country.
The eye catching monster, which was assembled in the capital, blazed a trail around the country as it was transported to what would be its final destination within Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls.
In Bulawayo it proved to be a showstopper, turning heads as many scrambled to catch a glimpse of this monster which in the end was both a beauty and a beast, making the streets of Bulawayo beautiful one lazy day while claiming trees to clear a path for it.
The same had happened in Masvingo a few days earlier and after its parade in the City of Kings, the same again happened in the coal mining town of Hwange where it became a mid-afternoon sensation and in Victoria Falls as well.
Rarely has a boat grabbed the attention of a country the way that the African Dream did. However, the country’s streets are not its natural habitat and the boat was always going to find its way to the calm waters of the Zambezi in the end.
Although it was impossible to miss on the streets of Bulawayo, few of those who watched its journey would have known much about the luxury boat which got a police escort through most of Zimbabwe.
In fact, a ride on the boat is hardly affordable for the ordinary Zimbabwean. While their eyes feasted on its beauty from the outside, those seeking a more intimate look inside the African Dream would have to part with a cool $5,749, sources claimed.
Included in that package is air transportation from Johannesburg to Kasane, Botswana (where the cruise begins), and excursions such as a visit to a Namibian school to meet the students and teachers.
Built in Harare, the African Dream will host a mere 16 passengers. Those who manage to make it onto the boat will have a chance to take in the scenic beauty of Africa in its all glory, as the boat will take guests along the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers through Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The African Dream is 40 metres long and seven feet wide, which is considered relatively small for a luxury house boat. Those who hop inside the boat will have to prepare themselves for a leisurely ride, as it will only travel at six knots or 11, 1 km per hour.
Eight staterooms, each 18 square metres, await passengers while all the rooms will have balconies.
Guests will be served by a crew of eight in a restaurant, a lounge and on a rooftop terrace. The boat also includes a sun deck with 360 degree wrap-around view that gives passengers the chance to gaze at the wilderness from all angles and hot tub make for those that want to relax. A lounge and restaurant providing an ideal view of the surrounding landscapes were also built into the boat.
Owned by CroisiEurope, the boat is set to spearhead the company’s foray into Southern Africa, with a second houseboat already lined up for 2018.