As you can imagine, there have been many adventures on my travels so far – too many to recount them all now, so I’ll give you some of the main highlights. I’ve had a few challenges with health (bad chesty cough, and a recent stomach bug) but have recovered mostly now.
Tuesday, 2 August
After leaving Victoria Falls, we changed trucks and travelled to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second largest city, population 1.1 million. It has big, wide streets, quiet and calm atmosphere. Visited Cecil Rhode’s grave, and what may be the largest museum in Africa. We enjoyed really nice, upgraded accommodation with a Muzungo couple... including a hot shower!
Here, we went to Matopos National Park to chase the white rhino, some 60 kms from Bulawayo. Saw two rising adult rhinos at about 1300 kgs, after tracking them for a few hours. We got within 30 metres of them - simply awesome! Just as we were about to take a picture of a nice sunset, another on the tour saw a big grey “rock” move. It turned out to be the largest male rhino in the park, weighing in at over 3000 kgs. We got to within 20 metres of him before he started walking towards us. He is Swaziland 4 and at 48, is very old; the oldest known in the park. This was one of our best days on tour. We also saw native bush people’s rock paintings in a high cave and then climbed up on top of it for a great 360º view. We saw Steinbox, Warthog, Baboon, Impala and much more today.
Wednesday, 3 August
The next day, we travelled to Antelope Park, Gweru. This must be the best camping resort in Africa, with dining, fires, court yards, pick your meat kitchen, lakes, 94 lions in a multiplication programme, elephant and other animals. We all upgraded to a homestead with a nice fire place. I did a lion walk that afternoon with lions eight and ten months old. Got to stroke them and walk with them – I have photos J
Friday, 5 AugustWe continued our travels, heading to Lake Chicamba, Zimbabwe and the Vilanculos Coast, Mozambique, via Christmas Pass, dropping down into Mutare, Zimbabwe's third largest city. We really enjoyed stopping for lunch just over Christmas Pass by some awesome red and orange flower bushes/trees. Great market here.
Sunday, 7 August
At Larium today, at the Vilanculos Coast. We took a “Dhow Safari” (boat ride in a traditional skiff) to Bazarulo Island for snorkelling on its reef, hiking around it and a great lunch. Set sail at about 9 am, returning under motor at 5 pm after really enjoyable day out.
Tuesday, 9 August
We drive south on the coast 260 kms to Inhambane and Tofu Beach. We stayed in Fiji-like chalets at Barra Lodge Resort for two nights - the best spot all holiday! Palm beaches, quad bikes, swimming, whale-shark and dolphin watching and snorkelling. This is Mozambique at its best.
The plan for the next few days is:
Thursday, 11 AugustDrive 540 kms to Mozambique's capital, Maputo, to stay overnight.
Friday, 12 August
Cross the border into South Africa early and drive to Kruger National Park for an afternoon and evening game drive.
Saturday, 13 August
At Kruger National Park in South Africa for last game drive before heading to Jo'burg.