A Wanstead man who was attempting to travel down a the world's longest lake was forced to trek 250 miles after his kayak was destroyed by a storm.

Ben Harris, 21, aimed to be the first person to solo kayak the length of Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania to raise funds for a youth homelessness charity.  

He had travelled just over 215 miles when the storm hit and destroyed his kayak - forcing the him to rethink his plans.  

The student then spent 15 days hiking another 250 miles to his endpoint Burundi, which sits at the northern tip of the lake.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Ben Harris' routeBen Harris' routeThe storm was not the only thing Mr Harris faced, he was rescued by a fisherman after capsizing in crocodile-infested waters. 

A local man also plugged holes in his leaking kayak with melted plastic from a bucket.   

Mr Harris said: “It has been the most challenging and exciting six weeks of my life.  

"I’ve learnt a lot, dealt with a lot and had to put up with a lot.  

"When I look back at it all now, I can’t help but smile.”  

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Mr Harris setting off in his kayak.Mr Harris setting off in his kayak.

He raised just under £8,500 for the homeless young people Centrepoint supports.  

Sarah Squires, Community and Events Fundraising Manager, from Centrepoint said: “Ben’s determination to complete his challenge has been incredible to watch and we’re incredibly grateful for his support.  

“He couldn’t be raising funds for homeless young people at a more critical time.  

"We know the Universal Credit uplift is due to end this month and thousands of young people are facing homelessness in London.  

"Thanks to Ben and others like him, we are in a position to support as many of them as possible.” 

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Relief - reaching his end pointRelief - reaching his end point