Green Safaris are thrilled to announce a ground-breaking addition to their fleet of eco-friendly safari experiences, the world’s first electric dhow. Based at Tongabezi Lodge, just upstream of Victoria Falls, this innovative vessel, is a game-changer for sustainable tourism in Africa and a proud testament to Green Safaris commitment to reducing their carbon footprint while offering unique and unforgettable experiences for their guests.
Pioneers of the ‘silent safari’ the eDhow joins Green Safaris fleet of environmentally powered vehicles extending beyond e-Cruisers (electric game vehicles) to e-Boats and e-Mountain Bikes. This new addition is a marvel of modern technology that runs completely silently on the Zambezi River with none of the intrusive fuel engine noises or emissions typical of traditional fuel-engine boats. Powered by a 10Kw electric motor, the eDhow provides an experience unlike any other with the opportunity of sneaking up on dozy crocodiles and basking hippos undisturbed from the safety of the boat.
The eDhow is recharged through a sustainable power source that provides the Livingstone area with electricity derived from the nearby Batoka Hydroelectric Power Station adjacent to the magnificent Victoria Falls. Green Safaris have plans for solar power in the future, but right now are content knowing they are tapping into a different kind of renewable energy and that their eDhow is powered by the very river it floats upon. During preliminary tests, the eDhow demonstrated remarkable efficiency, using only 10-15% of its capacity during a typical 3-hour sundowner cruise. This efficiency, combined with a 6-passenger suggested capacity and 8-passenger maximum capacity, makes it a practical and eco-conscious choice for guests seeking an intimate and eco-friendly safari experience.
Not only is the eDhow environmentally friendly — which was Green Safaris primary reason for the change — it also boasts fantastic safety and reliability, even when compared with standard petrol-engines. The engine has more than enough power to make its way through the stronger currents of the Zambezi River, and electric motors require significantly less maintenance.
The eDhow is an inspiring example of local craftsmanship meeting sustainable innovation. Constructed from Mukwa, a Zambian hardwood known for its durability, the design was inspired by traditional dhows found on Likoma Island, Malawi, where sister lodge Kaya Mawa Lodge is located. Under the guidance of Koos van den Steuijt, an experienced boat builder from the Netherlands, the team of carpenters at Tongabezi Lodge ensured that the construction methods and designs met the highest standards, guaranteeing a vessel built to last.
“The eDhow is not just a novel addition to our safari experiences but also a testament to the potential of sustainable travel and green technology in the African tourism industry. As pioneers in this field, we hope to inspire other operators to follow suit, ultimately contributing to the preservation of Africa’s breath-taking landscapes and diverse wildlife.” Said Green Safaris Founder, Vincent Kouwenhouven.” As far as we know the eDhow is the first electric dhow not only in Africa but also in the world. Its debut marks a momentous step towards a greener future for safaris, proving that we can offer extraordinary experiences without compromising the environment.”
(For the sake of transparency, the world’s first claim is based on an intensive amount of research, but if you know of another electric dhow in the world, do let us know. Green Safaris will be more than happy to hand over the title, as their priority is not to be first for the sake of first, but first for the sake of many!)