Monday, 12 September 2011

Hwange Safari Lodge, Zimbabwe, via Victoria Falls

Pano of Vic Falls
Posting this from Gordon's laptop, as Apples are a bit too quirky for this pub: the very lovely Hwange Safari Lodge in the Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe's largest at 1,400 sq. km.  In total Zimbabwe has about 10,000 sq km of parks and the ones we've seen, passed through or stayed at, are well run and maintained, huge wildlife refuges and providing employment at the dozens of camps and lodges throughout here, Botswana, Namibia and  South Africa.
Yesterday we came from Katima in North-east Namibia, into Botswana briefly, then back out to North-west Zimbabwe, passing by the Foot and Mouth control point, where we had to stand on disinfectent pad, and drive the car through a pool, supervised by the lovely, and generously proporitioned Sently, which means "perfection", who also moonlights (or daylights) as souvernier stall holder, where I bought a little hippo. Bit my tounge just in time not to say "I should name it after you, Sently", when she said to me "you should name it after me!" laughing that open, loud lovely african laugh. (piccie of her and me to come, can't do with this machine...).
Sently ("Perfect"), shows the correct technique to control Foot & Mouth
Then on to the Victoria Falls.  Fabulous.  Or, "Awesome", as our Kiwi crews-mates, would say.  I thought you'd just wander up to a fence and gaze at some falls, but it's a whole park, with acres of paths and rain forest where the spray makes it moist and humid giving succour to forest-lets like the Peak in Hong Kong.
Then a lovely final 140ks to here, along a road fringed by yellow-leaved African Teak trees, for all the world like autumn oaks, and Acacias,  with the odd fire along the verges, which we thought deliberately lit to clear them.
Dinner, a Braai (bbq), with warthog on the menu: not bad, like beef, just chewy a touch, and apres by the fire.  It gets cold these parts still, as we're quite high: all along Nabibia to here has been above 5,000 ft, and it's still 3,000 ft.
This morning up at the crack of dawn for a open-topped tour of the park: buffaly, zebra, giraffe, elephant, and so it goes, but none of the sexy predators yet.   They're there, we saw the tracks, maybe this arvo.
Reminder: pop over to Sandi's blog and the Team Namibia blog: links at right of this blog.
Dave, Peter and Steffen, Vic Falls Park

Carmen "Mercedes",  at the Vic Falls