REPORT RECEIVED BY KARIBA INFO FROM A CONCERNED PARENT:
This years end of O and A level houseboat trips will probably be the last for many boat owners.
We have received several reports of shockingly bad behaviour on a good percentage of the 30 odd houseboats that were out over the period 1-5 December.
Firstly the drunken state of many of these teenagers on arrival to Kariba and the quantities of booze placed on board for further drinking was mind boggling. How parents can allow kids so young to drink such large quantities of hard tack & other booze is just unbelievable.
There have been reports of kids jumping from the top of houseboats into the lake (in dangerous areas) and into splash pools, two houseboats had their main engine keys “stolen” by other kids – one of these houseboats had to hot wire their engine to get back to harbour. If they had had to start that boat in an emergency, can you imagine the disaster of having no keys.
There was damage to individual houseboats, such as large quantities of glasses being broken, equipment on board being messed up, furniture and fittings being damaged, etc.
These kids seem to be a law unto themselves. Many had no respect whatsoever for the crews who worked around the clock to ensure the safety of these very drunk teens. There was even an incident where one of the Captains left his boat due to abuse.
Remember that these kids are all from Zimbabwe’s so-called “prestigious” schools – what kind of a message does this bad behaviour send out when this sort of thing is going on, mostly in full view of parents who were on the boats to “keep an eye”.
It would seem also that a lot of the kids don’t have any respect for the houseboats themselves, crew, the environment and the wildlife – littering all over and there was a report of gun shots being fired at Antelope (boats were parked near a wildlife feeding station) – this turned out to be fire crackers. No one is saying that these kids can’t have fun but when it means being malicious to property or abusive to staff or others, then a line has to be drawn.
It must be noted though, that there were a lot of kids on boats that were very well behaved, no damage to the boats and no abuse of crew or others.
It just seems such a pity that, again, because of some badly behaved kids, others are again to bear the brunt and not get the chance to enjoy themselves on these boat trips which will most probably not take place again for the next lot of O and A level students because the boat owners have had enough.