March 25

World Water Day & National Water Week 2013


March 25, 2013

“Water is the driver of Nature.”
Leonardo da Vinci

A few nights ago, I discovered just how vital water really is when my water supply was untimely turned off after my amnemonic room-mate forgot to pay the bills. Middle class problems…

Suddenly, menial tasks such as bushing my teeth, washing up and cooking became an effort I wasn’t used to. Maybe I’m being a tad dramatic, but go without water for a day or few and you too will see just how pivotal water is to our existence.

World Water Day

On a continent as arid as Africa, water is a vital, sought-after substance that brings sustenance, fertility and ultimately, life. The stats of the global water crisis are dismal: nearly 1 billion people live without clean drinking water. 6 to 8 million people die annually from the consequences of disasters and water-related diseases. Not very inspiring statistics.

But there is something we can do…

The United Nations on World Water Day:

Celebrate Water!

Instead of mourning the global water crisis, this World Water Day, held last Friday on 22 March, the aim was to celebrate the water that we do have, from Africa’s rivers to its deltas, from its lakes to cascading waterfalls.

We encourage you, as South Africa’s National Water Week continues until 27 March this year, to do just that. Venture out into the wilds of Africa with us to explore the natural waters still here for us to enjoy.

"One and a half billion people in the world have to use contaminated water, the main vehicle for disease. In Africa, 4 out 5 deaths are linked to water. The lack of drinking water is one of the fundamental causes of hunger, disease and poverty." - Arena International
“One and a half billion people in the world have to use contaminated water, the main vehicle for disease. In Africa, 4 out 5 deaths are linked to water. The lack of drinking water is one of the fundamental causes of hunger, disease and poverty.” – Arena International

Where To Go

  • A trip to Lake Victoria is almost like stepping back in time. There are no hordes of tourists or safari vehicles – just endless blue water and lakeside villages stretching as far as the eye can see. Experience it from Tanzania or Kenya –  sail on these ancient waters, catch gigantic Nile perch and fish like a local.
  • The Zambezi is Africa’s 4th largest river system, after the Nile, Zaire and Niger Rivers. It runs through six countries on its journey from central Africa to the Indian Ocean. Its unique value is that it is less developed than others in terms of human settlement and many areas  along its banks, such as the Zambezi National Park and Zimbabwe‘s Hwange National Park.
Sunset mokoro ride over the Okavango Delta
Enjoy a sunset mokoro ride over the Okavango Delta
  • Described as “the river which never finds the sea”, the Okavango River in north-western Botswana disappears into a 6,000-square-mile maze of lagoons, channels and islands known as The Okavango Delta. Read about one of our consultants’ Botswanan adventure in our blog, Break Away To Botswana.
Vic Falls from Zimbabwean side
The mighty Victoria Falls from Zimbabwean side
  • Celebrated as one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Victoria Falls, known as “The Smoke that Thunders” by the local people, straddles the boundary between Zimbabwe and Zambia. From bungee-jumping to swimming in Devil’s Pool (a small lagoon, enclosed by rocks, on the edge of the most beautiful waterfall in the world), experience the Vic Falls your way.
The magic of the Sardine Run
The magic of the Sardine Run. Photo by Jean Tresfon
  • Africa is embraced by two oceans – the warm exotic Indian Ocean and the crisp blue Atlantic. Each offers their own treasures in the form of biodiversity and marine life. The coast of South Africa  is littered with phenomenal dive sites, including for wrecks, and world class beaches where you can do anything from sunbathe and build sand castles to kayaking and snorkelling in the shallow waters. Read more about the amazing, kaleidoscopic coral reefs here.
Explore the beaches of Cape Town, South Africa - seen here is the popular Boulder's Beach with its unique penguin colony
Explore the beaches of Cape Town. Seen here is the popular Boulder’s Beach with its unique penguin colony

Africa’s waters are a treasure trove of excitement, beauty and enigma. You could spend years exploring them and still never see all that there is to see.

At Rhino Africa we work together with our recommended lodges and hotels that make a concerted effort to conserve and protect, not just water but all natural resources. Contact your Rhino Africa consultant to start planning an exciting yet responsible African safari.


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About the author 

Matthew Sterne

Matt discovered a passion for writing in the six years he spent travelling abroad. He worked for a turtle sanctuary in Nicaragua, in an ice cream factory in Norway and on a camel safari in India. He was a door-to-door lightbulb-exchanger in Australia, a pub crawl guide in Amsterdam and a journalist in Colombia. Now, he writes and travels with us.

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