British grandfather raises £15,000 after tackling the Zambezi

A retired policeman from Plymouth in south-west England recently raised £15,000 for charity after spending four days on Zambia’s mighty Zambezi River.

Trevor Broome, aged 62, spent each night beside his raft on the river bank, as he and an international team navigated their way from Victoria Falls and through the Batoka Gorge and beyond along 126 kilometres of the river’s powerful rapids.

Broome made the decision to tackle the river after his eight year old granddaughter, Evie, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in October 2013.

Broome raised significantly more than his initial target of £10,000. All proceeds will be donated to JDRF, the world’s leading charitable funder of type 1 diabetes research.

Speaking of his “incredible adventure” on the Zambezi, Broome said: “I consider myself a very competent swimmer and I’ve always been a keen surfer, but this trip took me way out of my comfort zone. The ferocity of these rapids was amazing; I capsized four times – once every day. . . I’m just glad that the fitness training I put in before going to Africa paid off, and I was really grateful for the professionalism of the rescue kayakers. . . I admit, I felt real fear on more than one occasion, but I was relieved at having completed the journey.”

He went on to say:

“I travelled with ten others on two rafts, carrying our equipment and food for four days and nights on the river . . .We slept under the stars beside the rafts, as tents were impractical. The hippos and crocodiles, thankfully, became less common as we went along. . . On three occasions we had to carry the rafts and equipment overland to bypass huge waterfalls, and relaunch in the rapids – it was exhausting work.”

But it was obviously well worth it in the end. Another great story from Zambia’s greatest river, which has certainly had its fair share of great stories over the years.