During our research with the RiverRover hovercraft
at Mwandi Hospital further down the Zambezi we had often been told of the
Kalabo and the potential usefulness
of a craft with these capabilities there. Considerable interest was shown
by people working in the area so it was decided to venture into the
Plain with the craft to give them a taste of her capabilities (and
Our ideas ... and some of theirs were reshaped and their request became
one for a rather larger craft.
To be able to operate safely, usefully and economically in this remote
and sensitive region, linking people around the flood plain in a regular
and appropriate way.
We have been told that no hovercraft service can be viably operated
over such a distance, even in the affluent, speed and novelty conscious
North, West and East!
How much less possible is it in one of the poorer parts of Africa .......?
Initial survey work has emphasised the need .. and maybe the possibility
Deeper studies are needed not so much to confirm the need or enthusiasm
locally for such a service, or even the possibility of its sustainability
(although that is vital); but to see whether and how it could fit into
the complex pattern of life in the region - in such a way as to enhance
existing transport and social structures rather than undermine them.