THE African Dream boat, owned by a French-based tour operator, is making its month-long journey back home after it was blocked from entering Botswana.
BY NOKUTHABA DLAMINI
The houseboat, which successfully exited the Zimbabwean side last month, had remained stuck at Kazungula Border Post as Botswana authorities denied it entry for no apparent reason.
The African Dream boat left the border post yesterday morning under heavy escort and was likely to arrive in Victoria Falls the same evening.
According to sources, the boat manufacturers, GDI Engineering of Msasa, Harare, were now planning to take it to Lake Kariba.
The 33-metre houseboat, which brought business to a halt in every town it passed through last month, was expected to operate as a floating luxury hotel between Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe along Chobe and the Zambezi River and had bookings lined up for the festive season.
According to head engineer Forbes Chimhoga, the houseboat, which has 20 twin bed suites, has a carrying capacity of 360 people and can be hired for special occasions such as weddings and conferences.
Chimhoga could not be reached for a comment, but had previously denied to comment on the impasse.
The African Dream boat’s top deck has a spacious bar, 300 000-litre swimming pool and a dining room among other necessities.
The boat, which took 10 months to build, was constructed in Msasa, Harare and is powered by two 660-horse power engines.