Rowing the Zambezi River in Support of Clean Water

by Francis Highton in London, England, United Kingdom

Rowing the Zambezi River in Support of Clean Water

Total raised £2,830

£5,000 target 12 days left
56% 64 supporters
Keep what you raise – this project will receive all pledges made by 10th June 2024 at 7:12pm

In July 2024, myself and a team of elite rowers are setting out to navigate the Zambezi river in support of clean water

by Francis Highton in London, England, United Kingdom

This summer (2024), a team and I will be rowing 900km down the Zambezi River in Mozambique. This is the final leg of a years-long quest to row the full length of the Zambezi River, which began in 2011.


First covering a stretch of the upper Zambezi from Angola to Victoria Falls, the three further expeditions have included a non-stop crossing of Lake Kariba and the first ever rowing expedition through the Kafue National Park. This link here shows a video from this latter, most recent expedition in 2018, if you want to get an idea of what it was like: ( ).

Our diverse, multi-national team includes Olympic rowers from Team GB and several African countries, Oxford & Cambridge Boat Race winners, and other elite rowers from all around the world.  

There will be two stages to this final expedition in order to navigate the greatest stretch of the mighty Zambezi.

  • The first is an approximately 600km row from Tete in northern Mozambique heading downstream towards the Indian Ocean, navigating treacherous waterways home to crocodiles, hippos and, in the final 250km, sharks! This stretch will involve many wild-camping sites on islands in the channel and on the wild and remote riverbanks.
  • The second leg is across Africa’s fourth largest artificial lake, Cahora Bassa. We will be launching from the dam at the lakes eastern end and rowing 350km back ‘upstream’ towards the border with Zambia that comprises the western edge of the lake where the Luangwa River tributary meets the Zambezi.

The funds raised in this campaign will be used for the following:

  • Village Water ( )  – this incredible organisation inputs wells in villages throughout Mozambique and Zambia. In the areas they are active, only half the population has access to safe water and just 1 in 3 people has a safe place to go to the toilet. Safe water, sanitation and hygiene are the building blocks of community development, the basic ingredients that help all other changes to happen. Since 2004, VillageWater has reached over 1.7 million people to date across both countries, and 97% of the installed water pumps are still working. Thanks to their tireless efforts, there has been a 92% drop in diarrhoea, a 90% decrease in girl’s school absenteeism and a 77% decrease in eye infections.
  • Learn-to-row courses across Zambia, bringing community sport to the forefront.

Thank you so much your support. We are all so excited to complete this huge challenge in support of a critically important cause very close to our hearts and those of our local collaborators. 



Show your support

Payment and personal details are protected