Craven Solutions’ business development manager Louisa Millington helped to raise a huge £25,000 for people in Lower Zambezi, Africa, following a charity canoe adventure down the Zambezi river.
She took part in the fundraiser back in July, which was part of the Zambezi Connection charitable programme. The trek was set up to try and help improve the lives of local children and their school, something that will most likely be achieved with the amount that has been raised.
Millington said: “We canoed 120km across a total of 4 days, in which we encountered crocodiles, hippos, water buffalo and elephants whilst sailing on the river.
“It was absolutely breathtaking to see all of these wild animals in their natural habitat and how beautiful they are, which was just an amazing experience.”
Millington and the team camped out for 5 nights on sand islands in the middle of the Zambezi, between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Embracing the camping life, the team had to collect wood, light their own fires and cook their own food.
Whilst they were there, the team also visited the local school of the lodge the trip was organised with, and handed out donations from families, friends and colleagues, which also included clothing for the children.
She said: “Visiting the school was a very heart wrenching day. They were all so grateful of everyone’s donations, and they even put on a dance and a band for our arrival.
“It was literally the best feeling in the world, words can’t even describe how wonderful it was to see all of the children so happy.”
On the last day of the trip, Millington and the team visited Conservation Lower Zambezi, a non-profit organisation committed to the protection of wildlife and the sustainable use of natural resources in the Lower Zambezi.
The funds raised will now go to several rural schools to help with issues such as personal health, conservation matters and education.
However, despite the team enjoying the trip, Millington reported that they did face a few encounters with the hippos.
She said: “We had one scary moment on the river when it got a little narrow, and we bumped into a pod of around 50 female hippos. This saw us having to slow down and stop, gathering together and then gradually passing by without disturbing them.
“We also had a lone hippo come through the camp one night, and he just looked around and then went. We all had to stay silent and just wait for him to pass, and I will admit that was a heart beating moment!
“Despite the trek being physically hard and sometimes a little scary, it was definitely mentally rewarding. I had such a fabulous time, and it was definitely a once in a lifetime experience that will stay with me forever.”