Nzira Issue 10

Page 1

NZ RA Travel Zimbabwe

Somalisa Camp






December 2018

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Heading to the magnificent

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December 2018

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Somalisa Camp Hwange

16 Elephant Relocation A 700km Journey

18 The Little Guys Spiders and Scorpions

21 The Rickshaw Run

Tuk-Tuk tour through India

24 Visual Vibes NIAA

26 Sapi Concession A glimpse of Greater Mana Expeditions

28 A thing about trees Eastern Highlands

30 The Exhilarating Kariba

39 Gallivanting in Gonarezhou October 2018

Destination Planning

32 The Painted Wolves Mana Pools

42 Phezulu Guest Lodge Victoria Falls

45 Musango Safari Camp New fossil finds

48 Bundu Bakkie The Isuzu KB300

50 Vintage and Classic Car Run


Patrick Mavros The Legend

Great Zimbabwe

54 The Kopje’s Hidden Secret Resurrection Bush Tea

56 Recipes By Chef Lawrence and Real Food

58 Travel Gear The Outdoor Store

61 Puzzles Crossword and Sudoku

62 Bark of the Urban Baboon In the spirit of Christmas

Have something to share? We are always happy to receive photos, articles and letters. Please email to Nzira


From the

Editor ow ironic that a couple of months ago I should download and keep a quote from the famous naturalist and broadcaster, Sir David Attenborough, to use for a special occasion:


“No one will protect what they do not care about, and no one will care about what they have never experienced”. That special occasion has arrived and in this edition Nick Dyer gives us a taster of his story and photographs culminating in his exceptional coffee table book called “Painted Wolves; A wild dog’s life”. All profits will be donated to the Painted Wolf Foundation. Nick worked for several years alongside the BBC film crew as they captured footage for the new ‘Dynasties’ series which is narrated by none other than Sir David Attenborough and which took place in our very own world-renowned, Mana Pools National Park. Another coincidence: On a recent cycling trip to view some rock art, north east of Harare, I was pleasantly surprised to find a painting that resembled a dog. Big round ears, the angle of the tail; this can only be Lycaon pictus – a wild dog – a painted wolf. Without the incredible work and tireless efforts of conservationists who are totally dedicated to protecting our parks and wildlife, we may well remain only with rock art and photographs to show future generations what we never managed to preserve.

Editor Debbie Swales

Publisher Mike Garden +263(0) 772 209 162 Tel: 024 2782720

Advertising Rudo Nhamoinesu

Design and Layout Tamuka Nyoni Tel: 024 2782720 +263(0) 775 363 706

DISCLAIMER Whilst every effort is made to check the content of any article, the directors will not be held responsible for any errors or omissions in such articles. We accept that all articles and photographs sent to us are the sole responsibility of the authors and we do not accept liabitity for any misrepresentation. Events listed, the dates thereof, and prices are printed using information supplied to us that we are satisfied is correct at the time of printing.Nzira publication is the exclusive property of Ndeipi (Pvt) Ltd.

NZIRA TRAVEL MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTIONS, DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR Nzira Travel Zimbabwe produces a bi-monthly travel magazine that is aimed at showcasing the beauty of the country and the various outstanding destinations that it has to offer. To subscribe to Nzira please send your details and payment to our Softrite offices at 37 Victoria Drive, Newlands, Harare, or contact us on 024 2782720. Your issue will be delivered bi-monthly. Subscription costs are $50 for 6 issues. InfoNzira Nzira

Take care of yourselves, take care of your environment and in so doing you will take care of your future; your children’s future.


As we bid farewell to 2018 I leave you with this New Year’s resolution: Don’t just talk about the journey. Do it!

Front Cover Image Somalisa Expeditions

Rock Dog


s e l a w S e i Debb

December 2018

We, at Nzira, take pride in presenting you, the reader, with yet another anthology of essays covering a diverse range of travel destinations in and around Zimbabwe. As we move into the festive season our wish is that these articles might encourage you into taking time out from the madding crowd to enjoy a holiday break with your family and friends. We, in Zimbabwe, are privileged to have so many beautiful places to visit right here within our borders. Have a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Mike Garden Publisher

Christmas is just around the corner.... new stock is arriving just in time for some presents. Mazari Out Door Adventure Clothing donates 50 cents from every garment sold to the Bumi Hills Foundation! Mens Fishing shirts, Casual Shirts, Shorts, Trousers. Ladies Shirts, Shorts, Trousers and Dresses. Come down and see us @ 62 Mutare Road Msasa WWW.TSELENTISGROUP.COM N. TSELENTIS PVT LTD is a proud supporter to the



Š African Bush Camps


Article Mike Garden Images Mike Garden and African Bush Camps


Everything is specifically designed to leave no noticeable footprint



December 2018


s our small plane descended onto the Manga airstrip, we noticed a couple of elephant siphoning cool clear water from a pan which was being filled by a solar panel operated borehole. The journey from the runway to Somalisa tented camp in Hwange National Park, takes about 25 minutes through teak woodland, along well defined tracks in the kalahari sands. Barely five minutes from the landing strip at this same waterhole we had just viewed from the air, we were treated to a birding spectacle. First, a pair of Secretary birds walked proudly through the vlei, followed by an African Harrier Hawk (Gymnogene) searching the sturdy trees nearby for the eggs of weaker, unsuspecting birds, whilst a majestic Martial Eagle sat quietly in the shallow water with large yellow eyes peering at this unwanted intruder.

Even though Hwange is home to some 45,000 elephants, it is a such a vast piece of real estate that there is, effectively, only three elephants to every square kilometre. During the dry winter months, they all tend to congregate around water holes giving the debatable impression that there are too many in the park. In October, the peak of the dry season, water levels are low, the grass dry and unpalatable and during this time, fresh green leaves on the trees give off a bitter taste. Elephant are easily irritated under these conditions and given to loud trumpeting at all times of the day. They do, however, come right up to the suitably barricaded verandah in the front of the dining area of the camp and slurp up copious quantities of water from the plunge pool. Guests sip on their gin and tonics whilst watching these enormous animals quenching their thirst, seemingly without concern.


Š African Bush Camps

Operated by African Bush Camps (ABC) and situated in the south east corner of the park, Somalisa is split into three separate camps. The main one has seven independent lodges, whilst Somalisa Acacia is designed around families and Somalisa Expeditions is set ten minutes away with smaller A-frame tents and less frills. On arrival, visitors are greeted by very friendly staff offering a wonderfully scented wet flannel to freshen up and wipe away the dust before being shown to a beautiful custom designed, spacious tent with solid wooden flooring raised off the sand. The king size bed seems larger than king and is very comfortable with sink-into pillows. The bathrooms have an unusual design in olde style brass and copper, with twin basins and porcelain faucets. The bath is deep and free standing and one can laze in the tub, gazing out into the African bush as you soak. An open air shower compliments this set-up allowing you to cool off on hotter days. After freshening up in our rooms, we were presented with a delicious meal of sirloin steak, cooked medium rare and served with a very tasty monkey gland sauce.

Š Mike Garden



© African Bush Camps

© Mike Garden

The beauty of staying in a remote camp like Somalisa is the fact that you are completely cut off from the outside world, allowing the full benefit of this special time away from your daily routine. No cell phones, email or internet. No noisy traffic or aeroplanes apart from the vehicle taking you on a game drive and the occasional plane bringing in guests to the lodge. Pure silence, except for the gentle clink of glasses to wish your travelling companions “Bon Appetit”. One of ABC’s main focuses is conservation and inclusion of the nearby community. Everything is specifically designed to leave no noticeable footprint. They believe that education of the local people is an integral part of their sustainable development.

© African Bush Camps

Game drives are conducted using ten seater landcruisers, taking guests to the Ngweshla plains to view the abundance of wildlife that Hwange is so well known for. Cooler boxes are, of course, mandatory with a stop for afternoon sundowners and time to meet and chat to your fellow guests. Just after 5 am the following day, we all met at the ‘boma’ for a healthy continental breakfast before setting off in the land-cruiser at sunrise, covered with a warm poncho to keep out the early morning chill. By 6.30 am we had come across a small pride of seven lion and lioness lying prone, with noticeably full bellies, giving us all such wonderful photographic opportunities. It was a successful drive with sightings of a wide variety of wildlife including roan, kudu, sable, wildebeest and black-backed jackal. One of the unwritten must-haves of any safari experience is to be accompanied by a top class guide. Our driver, Honest, lived up to that in many ways. Cruising along at a steady 25km/hr he came to a stop alongside a seemingly inconspicuous tree. Quietly, he took out his binoculars and showed us a tiny African Barred Owlet. On another occasion he asked us to alight from the vehicle and walk over to a false mopane tree (Guibourtia coleosperma) where he showed us the exposed skin and head of a large African rock python tucked up in a crack nearing the end of his annual hibernation. Contact African Bush Camps 10 December 2018

© Mike Garden

Dinner in the evening is always served just before 8pm giving you plenty of time to relax, shower and change into more appropriate attire for the candlelit meal. Guests are seated at the dinner table under the stars, eating and chatting about their experiences and sightings of the day. Once our taste and thirst was suitably satiated we all moved over to sit around the warm campfire. Overall, the trip to Somalisa was a great experience; far from the madding crowd and away from the constant technology that we seem to be subjected to in our daily lives. Why don’t you consider taking your partner and family to this stunning camp for a few days and revel in some very special ‘Time Out?’


Kudu On Guard

Image Paul Leleu Nzira



December 2018

Patrick Mavros

The Legend that is Patrick Mavros Article Louise McAllister Images Patrick Mavros


is charisma, charm and sheer presence fill the biggest of spaces, while his minute attention to detail reaches into the tiniest of places. Whether old or young, whether addressing a single child or a hall full of people, when Patrick Mavros tells a tale, everyone listens. And so it is with the pieces he creates out of sterling silver. Every piece tells a tale and every one has a story. Painstakingly handmade with immaculate attention to detail, every single Patrick Mavros design has been worked on by the man himself, or one of his four sons. Since he carved his very first pair of earrings as a gift for his lovely young bride, Catja, over 40 years ago, Patrick Mavros has been unstoppable. “I have been a soldier, a baker, and a candlestick-maker,” Patrick laughs. But the real secret to his success, he says, is a simple combination of family, a proudly Zimbabwean heritage, hard work and a passion for excellence. Place the feet of a tiny member of Patrick’s Named Ele Herd in a piece of plasticine, and the footprints it leaves behind are an exact and tiny replica of the real giant. Such is the miniscule detail that goes into each masterpiece. From its humble origins it has grown into a family-run business that spans the globe. With flagship stores in London and Nairobi, and state-of-theart workshops and studios in Harare and Mauritius, Patrick Mavros has become Africa’s definitive luxury brand.

In spite of this, the world-acclaimed brand has never lost that personal touch. Every single Patrick Mavros piece has been inspired, designed and handled by a member of the Mavros family before it reaches its final destination, and its final destination could be anywhere in the world – favoured by kings, and world leaders, authors and actors, models and international moguls alike, you’d be forgiven for assuming that owning a piece of Patrick Mavros would be out of reach for the ordinary person. “I have made sculptures as big as a table top, and pieces that have taken years to perfect, such was their intricacy and size, but I always tell the people who visit me at my studio at home in Harare the same thing – my success is forged from the tiniest rings and the smallest pairs of earrings. They are my most important pieces - and I will never lose sight of that.” Nzira


Patrick Mavros

Inspired by nature, and the animals that surround them, Patrick, Catja and their four sons each bring a unique strength to the family and to the business. They are passionate about Africa, and are fiercely proud of their Zimbabwean heritage. The family places huge emphasis on adding value to Zimbabwean natural resources and this is done through a combination of the artistic skill of Zimbabweans and state of the art technology.

Address: Patrick Mavros, Haslemere Lane, Umwinsidale, Harare Cell: +263 (0) 772 165 555 +263 (0)772 165 556 Website:


December 2018

Their work does not end there. Conservation, educational and antipoaching initiatives are extensive; Patrick Jnr’s Pangolin range bearing unique testament to this. This designer range was launched in London in 2016 and has helped to put the world’s most trafficked mammal at the forefront of conservation awareness. If you haven’t yet visited the Patrick Mavros studio in Harare, you are missing out. Nestled on a hill in the Umwinsi Valley, the story goes that Patrick Snr built the window frame of the studio before he laid a single foundation. His team walked around carrying the frame under Patrick’s careful direction until he could see the perfect view within its four borders, and that is where the studio came to rest… Whether this is true, or whether it is a rural myth that has become part of the legend that is Patrick Mavros, it is nevertheless arguably the most magnificent view in Harare. A visit to this magical location is simply a must. Whether you meet the man himself, or not; whether you come away with a perfectly wrapped piece of jewellery or not; whether you have time for a tour of the workshop, or not; you will most certainly leave enriched, and infused with the romance and passion that is, quite simply, Patrick Mavros.



A 700km Journey Article and Images Hemmersbach Rhino Force


etween August and October 2018, one hundred elephants were relocated from the Sango Wildlife Conservancy in the south east of Zimbabwe, to the Rifa Concession in the Zambezi Valley more than 700 km away. Hemmersbach Rhino Force is financing one of the largest wildlife relocations in the country’s history. This has been conducted in co-operation with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority together with the Sango Wildlife Conservancy. “As too many elephants live in the Sango Wildlife Conservancy, we have decided to save their lives and protect them from culling,” says Ralph Koczwara, CEO of the Hemmersbach Rhino Force. “This Rhino Force funded and organized relocation project, covers a distance of almost 700 km. The elephants have been relocated, in their family groups, in twelve separate operations.” 16

December 2018

Their new home is the Rifa Concession, an 850 square km national park, located in the Zambezi Valley in northern Zimbabwe and operated by Hemmersbach Rhino Force. Ralph Koczwara welcomes the action as clear evidence of the success of direct action in nature conservation: “Hemmersbach Rhino Force is very happy to enable the relocation of the elephants. The move is only the first step. Our direct action mission in Zimbabwe is to return the black rhino to their natural habitat in the Zambezi Valley. This place is considered as the origin of the black rhino but almost all of the 2,000 that were living there in the past, were killed.” To this end, the Rifa Concession was leased by Hemmersbach Rhino Force with an anti-poaching mandate for the entire Hurungwe Area. Now the few survivors can return together with many younger conspecifics to their homeland. All these returnees will be guarded by Rhino Force and ZimParks special units.

Elephant Relocation

The Elephant Relocation Exercise This was a massive operation. Around fifty people were involved, assisted by the game capture team of African Wildlife Management & Conservation (AWMC) based in Harare, Zimbabwe. Large trucks, trailers, a helicopter, cranes and winches were necessary for lifting the animals which could weigh up to 6 tonnes for a large bull. At break of day, the helicopter pilot would fly off to locate a herd from the air which would then be rounded up by the helicopter. Once the trucks, crane and manpower arrive at the area the entire herd is quickly darted by the two vets from the helicopter, all at the same time, to ensure family groups are not separated. Once the drug has taken affect and the animal is asleep, the vets ensure their trunks are in the correct position in order to breathe properly and continually check their vital signs. The elephants are then hoisted, using thick rubber belts and placed gently on to a rubber mat on the trailer. It is a very slow and calculated operation therefore ensuring that no animal is harmed. The elephant is secured on the flat bed trailer and driven slowly to the collection point where it is gently moved, still on the rubber mat, into the recovery box. When the entire herd is in the recovery box, the vets administer the antidote in order for them to walk themselves into the truck. The journey to Rifa would take about 24 hours. The closed trucks were driven through the night to avoid unnecessary stress and excessive temperatures. Drinking water was provided and elephants were regularly sprayed to avoid overheating.

To prepare for their release, the Rhino Force Anti Poaching Manager, Pete Clemence and Concession Manager for Rifa, Bert Keightly, with 10 men to assist, had to cut roads through the bush and construct crossings through river beds to enable the large trucks to reach the fenced boma. On arrival at the boma, the elephants would calmly walk out of the truck and remain there for several hours whilst being monitored being monitored by Rhino Force and ZimParks rangers. The matriarch of each herd was fitted with a GPS collar (Global Positioning System) to enable Pete, his rangers and ZimParks research office to record. To date, all of them have settled down in Rifa and are doing well. Prior to their release there were approximately 150 elephants in the Rifa area. Without the approval from Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority this translocation would not have been possible and the organisations concerned are very grateful to Zimparks for their kind assistance. About Hemmersbach Rhino Force Hemmersbach Rhino Force is a direct action conservation initiative, dedicated to protecting one of the most endangered species on earth. The teams use innovative tactics and technologies to preserve the genes of African rhino species, prevent the killing of rhino and uncover and combat all other illegal actions in the Southern African bush. All activities are fully self-financed by the IT company, Hemmersbach, to ensure complete independence and maintain full focus on conducting the required measures on the ground.

The Route

Chinhoyi Harare

Key: Start End

Gweru Masvingo

For further information: Email: Website: Nzira



e have many animals in our wonderful country. When visitors come to Zimbabwe, they often only scratch the surface of our enormous natural variety, focusing on the famous big game etc. Many locals also overlook the smaller creatures and perhaps don’t really know much about them. This article is about a few of those small and seemingly insignificant animals that are often dismissed as scary, disgusting or simply uninteresting. I will hopefully show you that they play a bigger part in our world than you might think. Of course there are so many of them, that I could fill the pages of the Oxford Dictionary describing them but I will now simply talk about a few of the most feared and least understood.

The Little Guys

Little Article and Images Tristan Egremont-Lee

Scorpions First on our list is the scorpion. Everybody recognizes a scorpion when they see it, with its pincers and infamous stinging tail but not many actually know what it eats or what eats them. Although small, they are a key species within the insect world and could be described as an apex predator within their domain. They will eat a range of prey such as millipedes, spiders and centipedes, keeping their numbers in check. Scorpions themselves are kept in balance by larger predators such as birds and small mammals. So next time you come face to face with a scary scorpion – please don’t squash him!

Fun Facts

The “deathstalker” scorpion Leirus quinquestriatus from North Africa is arguably the most poisonous scorpion in the world, although can seldom actually kill an adult human. It is a member of the Buthidae family, of which we have two species in Zimbabwe, Parabuthus granulatus and transvaalicus, our most dangerous local scorpions (both of which occur only at lower altitudes, so we don’t need to worry about them in the high-veld!) The “deathstalker” venom is currently being used in medicine to help treat tumors in patients.

spiders This is one of the largest and most diverse group of creatures to discuss. Some are tiny, some are huge. Because of their variety, they are very significant for the ecosystem. Many people would instinctively kill them on sight or even have nightmares about huge tarantulas but it is worth considering that spiders are likely to also have nightmares about us! Spiders help the balance of nature in many ways. Like scorpions, they keep a variety of insects in check although some in South America even eat birds and fish. They themselves are preyed upon by a huge variety of predators. Even humans eat tarantulas. In South America their legs are considered a delicacy. Who knows, you might even get superpowers if they bite you!!

Fun Facts

Scientists are starting to see promising uses for spider venom for the treatment of chronic pain, blood clots and heart problems.


December 2018

Image: Above Uroplectes flavoviridis – probably the most locally common scorpion in Zimbabwe (and not severely harmful)

Jumping spider eating a Catydid

Š Chris Collyer



Mango de Tzondzo MOZAMBIQUE

What to expect

Email :- Tel :- +27 790 390 824

A modern clean and well appointed house with large windows and sliding/stacking beach front doors. All 5 bedrooms have air What to expect conditioning, en-suite bathrooms,hair dryers and fitted wardrobes. The 6th is a bunk room with 3 bunks,also air conditioned & attachedand is a crib with changing table,Mosquito net with attachment for the crib,high chairand feeding table & moveable stairs beach barrier. front doors. All 5 A modern clean well appointed house large windows sliding/stacking The main bedroom's bathroom has a bath & large shower. bedrooms have air conditioning, en-suite bathrooms,hair dryers and fitted wardrobes. The 6th is a bunk room The kitchenair is well equipped with two&Minus 40 fridges,is2 additional stand by fridges (1 has table,Mosquito icemaker),stand alone icenet maker,chest with 3 bunks,also conditioned attached a crib with changing attachment for the freezers,dishwasher, washing machine and tumble dryer. There is a gas stove / oven. crib,high chair feeding table & moveable stairs barrier. The main bedroom's bathroom has a bath & large shower. The property comes with a large braai & Weber BBQ. From the veranda you can see the start of the bazaruto archipelago with Paradise Island and Bazaruto Island in view. During the

you are also likely to see whales, dolphins and turtles when out at sea. The property overlooks the Indian Ocean with The kitchenright is season well equipped with two Minus 40 fridges, 2 additional stand by fridges (1 has icemaker),stand amazing sun rise views. alone ice maker,chest freezers,dishwasher, washing machine and tumble dryer. There is a gas stove / oven. No internet/wifi provided; however

there is a vodacom aerial near the house which provides good cellular and data signal.

Guest access with a large braai & Weber BBQ. The property comes

The property can be accessed by dirt road behind the dunes and it is a short 8 minute drive from the centre of Inhassoro. The road from Inhassoro is unpaved 4x4 vehicle recommended GPS co-ordinates Latitude -21,5813 Longditude 35,2460

From the veranda you can see the start of the bazaruto archipelago with Paradise Island and Bazaruto Island Guest services in view. During right season youthat areservice alsothelikely There isthe a management team available house. to see whales, dolphins and turtles when out at sea. The They can be called needed. Management ,sometimes,sun arrange extra services, such as home help, cleaners, maids etc property overlooks the when Indian Ocean withcan amazing rise views. at an additional cost.Its recommended you inform them if required early as it's not always available. Please ensure you get a quote for these services. Sue Dunlap - +25 88 4300 5592 Debbie - +25 88 4417 8388

No internet/wifi provided; however there is a vodacom aerial near the house which provides good cellular and data signal. Other things to note You can hire boats from local companies in Inhassoro which are ideal for day trips to Paradise Island and the Archipelago. This is

Guest access perfect for deep sea fishing, snorkeling or scuba diving if you have the equipment. The property can be accessed by dirt road behind the dunes and it is a short 8 minute drive from the centre We recommend MARLIN FISHING CHARTERS (Charles Lee - +25 88 4706 6784) who have competitive rates. of Inhassoro. The road from Inhassoro is unpaved 4x4 vehicle recommended GPS co-ordinates Latitude Weblink: -21,5813 Longditude 35,2460 Guest services There is a management team available that service the house. They can be called when needed. Management can ,sometimes, arrange extra services, such as home help, cleaners, maids etc at an additional cost.Its recommended you inform them if required early as it's not always available. Please ensure you get a quote for these services. Sue Dunlap - +25 88 4300 5592 Debbie - +25 88 4417 8388 Other things to note You can hire boats from local companies in Inhassoro which are ideal for day trips to Paradise Island and the Archipelago. This is perfect for deep sea fishing, snorkeling or scuba diving if you have the equipment. We recommend MARLIN FISHING CHARTERS (Charles Lee - +25 88 4706 6784) who have competitive rates. Weblink:

20 December 2018

Rickshaw Run

The Rickshaw Run Article and images Tom Maberly


n the 10th of August 2018, myself (Tom Maberly), Luke Saunders and Campbell Saul – The Babwe Bandits, embarked on an adventure that would span almost through the length of India all in our beloved Tuk-Tuk named Patricia. We were taking part in an event called The Rickshaw Run. Starting in the far north of India in the harsh and unforgiving deserts of Rajasthan, close to the Pakistan border, we would ultimately travel just over 3400km in two weeks on some of the worst, most dangerous roads we had ever come across, all the way down to the lush green state of Kerala.

The state of the roads was one thing, but the other drivers and vehicles on them, was another. It didn’t take us long to workout that our glorified lawn mower was right at the the bottom of the food chain which, in order went: elephant, cattle, camels, trucks, buses, cars, motorbikes, bicycles, people, monkeys, dogs and finally the three wheeling hot cake (us). Two lane highways were turned into six and oncoming traffic would not acknowledge you being there. They drive on your side of the road and do not know how to turn their bright lights off. We avoided night driving at all costs.

With two spanners, a spark plug socket, duct tape and a pair of pliers, we hit the ground running. Day one started with the opening ceremony followed by all the competitors racing out of the start gate and trying to get an early lead. We had travelled a marathon 6 km before Patricia over heated for the first time and we had to pull over to give her a breather. We thought we were pushing too hard, so we backed off a bit and trudged on. 2kms later, she overheated again. Not a great start. Luckily, myself and Luke are mechanics and armed with an eager trade assistant, Cam, we got down to diagnosing the drama at hand. We found the carburettor to be blocked so at the expense of our precious petrol, we cleaned her out and set off again. This would be the first of many breakdowns and by no means the worst.

Image: Above Watching some bush TV after a long day on the road.

Driving through Rajasthan was brilliant. When locals heard news of three mad men in a bright pink tuk-tuk coming their way, they lined the roads in anticipation of a quick, rare sighting of The Babwe Bandits. They shouted what we took as encouragement and offered us copious amounts of the sweetest most delicious chai tea you ever did taste. Camel sightings became the norm and the sound of the 7 horsepower, one-cylinder beast which drove Patricia became harmonising to the ears. Image: Below Wet weather. We ascended into the hills to get clear of the floods.



Rickshaw Run Image The road Hierarchy

Image Take a break.

The hot air limited us to 40km/h when on the good roads and averaged 20km/h on the back roads. Slow going but we were unfazed. Spirits were high and there was laughter all round. It took us a couple of days to get clear of the 40 plus degree heat as we moved closer to the cooler west coast of India. We were quickly finding small ways to beat the system. For example, working off the theory of ‘Indian time’, we were able to progress a lot further if we got up earlier as the locals only really get moving around ten o’clock in the morning, allowing us to beat rush hour traffic and get clear of the cities before the madness began. As we got further South, we were made aware of the once in a generation flooding which was happening on the west coast. We experienced this first hand in the city of Ahmedabad. The highway was closed due to flooding so we had to take a different route. Adamant to get to higher ground, we made a run for it. We found ourselves waste deep in a slow flowing river, pushing the old girl out. We were grabbing our kit as it floated past us 22 December 2018

Image Spending a night in the Thar desert, northern India. We rode camels for a few hours to get to our campsite under the stars.

Image Badami Cave Temples. Cut into the sandstone rock.

until we got out of the water. Soaking wet, we drained the engine of water, cleaned up the spark plug and tried our best to dry everything out. Patricia was ready to go! We soldiered on. We decided to steer clear of the west coast which was receiving its worst flooding in over 100 years. Floods were not the only danger; disease and landslides were imminent. Our finishing point was relocated to Bangalore which is where we arrived on the afternoon of the fourteenth day. What an incredible adventure we had and while doing it were able to make it into an awareness/fundraising campaign for the Kariba Animal Welfare Fund Trust (KAWFT), an organisation very close to our hearts as Zimbabweans. We wanted to acknowledge and make aware the amazing work the KAWFT team does and how important it is that we all support them. We aimed to show people that fundraising can be a lot of fun and we hope others follow suit. Thank you to all the incredibly generous Zimbabweans who came together through this campaign. It really showed what we are all about.

KAWFT was formed by three Kariba residents, intent on treating and helping injured or distressed wild life in the area. In conjunction with Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, they also began anti snaring patrols to combat the ever increasing poaching issues and many snared, wounded animals have been darted, snares removed and the wounds treated, allowing the animals to make full recovery. For further information, please contact: Sonya McMaster +263 772 874 352 or +263 778 733 784 Debbie Ottman +263 773 996 487 or +263 784 512 921 Email: Facebook Kariba Animal Welfare Fund Trust Kariba Website



Article and Images Debbie Swales in association with NIAA

The famous Spanish artist Pablo Picasso once said, “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls�.

Image: Above Title/ Nom de Plume: Queen Gentle Artist: Joana Chimbela School: Rainbow Preschool Grade: 0 (ECD)

Image: Above Title/ Nom de Plume: Mbare Mbare Artist: Twin Rivers Eryn and Vainavi School: Twin Rivers School Grade: 7

Image: Above Title/ Nom de Plume: No More War Artist: Storks Class School: Rainbow Preschool Grade: 0 (ECD)

Image: Above Title/ Nom de Plume: Bikita Artist: Nevio Muchada School: Hartmann House Grade: 7

This event was kindly sponsored by Innscor Africa Limited

To discover more about Allied Arts go to their website: Facebook Group: National Institute of Allied Arts (NIAA) Email:

24 December 2018

Visual Vibes

he purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls. This was certainly the case for me when, what was supposed to be a quick ten-minute visit to the annual Visual Arts Festival held at Hartmann House in Harare, ended up being extended to over an hour as I stood in complete admiration of the display of extreme talent created by our country’s younger generation. Entries were received from 62 schools (48 primary and 14 secondary) from around Zimbabwe.

Image: Above Title/ Nom de Plume: Derean Jokeout Artist: Andrea Whittin School: Hellenic Academy Form: U6

Image: Left Title/ Nom de Plume: Carie Artist: Erica Robertson School: Hellenic Academy Form: L6

Over one hundred years ago, The Society for the Advancement of Music and Art was formed in Bulawayo, which later became The National Institute of Allied Arts (NIAA). The aim was to nurture, maintain and grow all art forms over generations to come and this has certainly been maintained. The institute has four annual festivals; Visual Arts, Literary, Speech and Drama; Vocal and Instrumental. Each festival culminates in a concert or exhibition of outstanding entries, at which the public can sample and enjoy the different forms of art. The 2018 curriculum has done this year’s annual exhibition proud under the theme, “Zimbabwe Today”. Titles ranged from the environment to transport, music and dance evoking contemporary responses to all Zimbabwean traditions, literally teeming with life. For anyone wanting to see a complete snapshot of Zimbabwean culture, the Allied Arts is the place to be.

Image: Right Title/ Nom de Plume: Bubu Artist: Buyisiwe Dlamini School: The Heritage Senior School Form: L6

Image: Left Title/ Nom de Plume: Gambit Artist: Tapiwa Mufunde School: Gateway Primary School Grade: 6



Sapi Concession A Glimpse of Greater Mana Expeditions Article Shelley Cox Images Shelley Cox and Great Plains Conservation

© Shelley Cox

A the dusty airstrip and we disembark,

s our aircraft gently touches down on

His wild eyes peered over the dead buffalo’s head

26 December 2018

the October heat of the Zambezi Valley hits us and droplets of perspiration start to form on our heads and arms. A friendly smiling face rushes up to greet us and welcomes us to Greater Mana Expeditions with ice cold water and beverages to quench our thirst. The next four nights will be spent exploring the newest offering in the Zambezi Valley – “Greater Mana Expeditions” operated by Great Plains Conservation.

Previously a safari hunting area, the Sapi Concession, which forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage site including Mana Pools National Park, was in November 2016 converted to a photographic concession and all hunting was stopped. The decision made by Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority to convert the area to photographic, was done in an effort to expand this protected area of Mana Pools National Park and restore and rehabilitate the landscape and wildlife within the Sapi Concession.

The concession was awarded to Great Plains Conservation, primarily owned and run by National Geographic Documentary film makers and conservationists, Dereck and Beverly Joubert. Their model takes stressed and threatened environments, and surrounds them with compassionate protection and intelligent, sustainable management, funding them with sensitive, low-volume, low-impact tourism. Two years on since Great Plains Conservation took over the concession, and there is already a noticeable change in the behavior of the wildlife. Where once animals ran away at the sound of a vehicle, they are now slowly but surely acclimatizing to the fact they are once again in a safe environment and not at risk of being hunted. Whilst we would only be spending 4 nights on the concession to get a feel of what Greater Mana Expeditions has to offer, the safari actually consists of a 6-night expedition which explores the exquisite areas of both Mana Pools National Park and the neighbouring private Sapi Concession.

SAPI Concession

© Great Plains Conservation

© Great Plains Conservation

© Great Plains Conservation

The experience, which is only available to six people at a time, makes this a completely exclusive and extremely low impact safari – one which is reminiscent of the old African explorers and has the feeling of a mobile safari with adventure and discovery along the journey. The first two nights are spent at their Acacia Camp, a spacious and luxurious tented camp overlooking the Zambezi River. The middle two nights are then spent inland along the dry Sapi riverbed on beautiful sky-bed decks where guests sleep out, under a starlit African sky, listening to the sounds of whooping hyena. The final two nights are spent at “River Camp” which is located in the middle section of the concession along the Zambezi River. Throughout the six nights, a combination of adventure focused activities are available including drives, walking safaris, canoeing, boat cruises, and catch and release fishing. Shelley Cox Africa Conservation Travel +263774641622

As we traversed the road from Chewore through to the western river frontage of Sapi, we had sightings of a number of species including kudu, impala, waterbuck, and elephants. As we neared the camp where we would be spending our first two nights, we rounded a bend and came across three male lions feeding off two buffalo carcasses which they had killed the day before our arrival. Two of the three young males were relaxed with our presence and slowly ventured down towards the river to drink, their steps awkward with the fullness of their bellies. The third young male, who was feeding off the second carcass on his own, some distance from his two compatriots, was less comfortable and his wild eyes peered over the dead buffalo’s head whilst his tail flicked with irritation at our presence. It was a phenomenal welcome to the area and started us off on a good note for the next four days spent exploring. Additional sightings during our time at Greater Mana Expeditions included another four lion, seven wild dog, two cheetah, one black mamba, hyena, elephants, buffalo and a diverse array of antelope species including large herds of eland.

© Shelley Cox

It is hugely positive to see organisations such as Great Plains Conservation investing in Zimbabwe and collaborating with ZimParks to ensure these remote and wild habitats are restored, protected and preserved for future generations to enjoy.



A Thing about


Article and images Frankie Kay

I have a thing about trees, and this year, the trees have been calling me, all the way from the eastern highlands, 600km from where I live! The Msasa (Brachystegia spiciformis) come into new leaf in the spring (August/ September, here in Zimbabwe). From bare, twisted branches sprout new leaves: orange, bronze, yellow and ultimately, bright red. I wanted to capture those colours against the lime green of the mature leaves of the trees nestled in amongst the granite rocks and winding roads of the eastern highlands. So Lizzy (my dog) and I piled into the car and drove to Juliasdale, before moving on to the Vumba, two unique areas of our country where the vistas of changing trees are incomparable to anywhere else in Zimbabwe. 28 December 2018

A thing about trees

The last time we visited Vumba we stayed at a lodge administered by Sally Preston. A friendly cat had stayed in the room with us, curling up on my lap and keeping warm in the cold winter and several of Sally’s dogs and horses roamed around the property. Encouraged by this fact that Sally obviously loved animals, I hoped she would accommodate Lizzy and I was not disappointed! Nothing beats a warm welcome, which is what both Lizzy and I received from Sally and Esther. During our stay at Hycroft lodge situated at Hivu Nursery, I soon discovered that Esther is a Matabele and was educated at Magwegwe High School in Bulawayo. It was so nice to be able to say “livukenjani” (meaning, good morning) to someone when so far from home!

The road is fairly bumpy but the view at the end is a photographer’s dream with plunging cliffs overlooking the Bunga Forest, charming views of the massive granite rocks typical of the area and, of course, Msasa trees! I found it best to photograph them during the couple of hours before sunrise and sunset and this particular lookout point has brilliant photographic opportunities in both directions. It is not that easy to find the track to George’s Place and probably the best way to get there reliably is to ask the very accommodating Sally, or a member of staff for their map.

George’s Place is in the National Park and you are required to pay your $3.00 entrance fee at the park office. This entitles you to go anywhere in the Vumba National Park area for a day, including the Botanical Gardens. I’ll leave the photos I took there for another day! Hivu Nursery is very easy to find on the Vumba road at the 27km peg from Mutare. Sally runs 3 cosy B&B’s situated within 5kms of each other which are all fully equipped. Contact Sally Cell: +263 719207828 Email: Email:

Once Sally heard I wanted to photograph the Msasa trees, she gave me a map and suggested a lookout point called “George’s Place.” She recommended a four-wheel drive vehicle or at least one with high clearance, which fortunately we had.



Exhilarating Kariba

© Gregory Kurisa

Image: Left Kariba Dam wall bodering Zambia and Zimbabwe.

“The construction of the dam

opened the door for an array of tourist activities in the Kariba area.

30 December 2018

Image: Above Cruising towards the Matusadona mountains.

Exhilarating Kariba

The Exhilarating

Kariba Article Laiton Kandawire

Images Laiton Kandawire, Gregory Kurisa, Changa Safari Camp


ariba is a destination offering exceptional scenic views, unforgettable sunsets over huge expanses of water and with local wildlife quietly grazing on the shoreline, this creates endless photographic opportunities. The construction of the dam in the 1950’s has opened the door for an array of tourist activities to satisfy the preferences of both local and foreign visitors including fishing, boating, game viewing, birding, paleontology, photography, culture and crafts. Visitors arrive either by air or road and as far as accommodation Image: Right Relax with the goes, the Kariba area, as a whole, has so much to offer wildlife from budget self-catering camping sites to beach resorts, hotels, houseboats and stunning luxurious safari camps.

While, admittedly, some products and services are decidedly earmarked for foreign markets, this is not the case with the majority of what is available. The domestic market is yet to realise the benefits of using the services of local, areabased destination planners, better known as Domestic Management Companies (DMC) in the travel trade. Reading personal experiences of tourists, particularly about the Kariba area, it is clear for those of us in the know that the domestic tourist is missing out on some of the fun. In fact, this market seems to be complaining that there is not much more to see after the dam wall visit, lake cruise and a game drive. Nothing can be further from the truth. Kariba has a publicity association which will be more than happy to link you with those of their members who specialise in the areas you are looking for. There is no one-size-fits-all in this aspect as what worked for one party might not work for another because of a detail you overlook. If you are keen on fishing, for example, your houseboat experience might not equal that of a party that came specifically to view and photograph wildlife, even though you both use the same boat.

The captain might not be a keen fisherman but is, perhaps, a wildlife enthusiast. If an area-based travel expert is involved in recommending your houseboat choice, such issues are taken care of with the minimum of fuss and the client might leave thinking every houseboat captain is a good, keen, expert fishermen. Your DMC would know the skills set on each houseboat, lodge, hotel or activity you may wish to choose. The very affordable campsites in the Matusadona National Park offer visitors an opportunity to enjoy the tranquillity of nature and a low cost holiday. Changa Safari Camp, Rhino Safari Camp, Gache Gache Safari Lodge, Musango Safari Camp, Bumi Hills and other camps along the shores of Lake Kariba are mainly patronised by foreign tourists who get to see and experience more, mainly because the holiday is planned by an expert on African travel who, in most cases, uses the services of a travel expert to tighten the loose ends and finetune the itinerary. Holiday planning is a complex exercise which is time consuming, requires intimate knowledge of the destinations and operators on the ground and can be quite stressful. It can be costly if poorly executed. This is why expert local knowledge, where available, should be utilised. About the author: Laiton is a long-standing Kariba Destination Planner and a certified ZimHost who has written extensively about and promotes tourism into Kariba and the Zambezi Valley areas. He sits on the boards of both the Kariba Publicity Association (KPA) and Kariba Development Trust (KDT). He can be reached on +263 772817733 or via e-mail on:



32 December 2018

The Painted Wolves

n the far north of Zimbabwe lies a paradise, moulded against the meandering flow of the mighty Zambezi River. It is protected in the south by a rugged escarpment that forms a natural boundary between humanity and the creatures that lie within. This is Mana Pools National Park; a pristine wilderness, a little Eden and a protected sanctuary where animals can live their lives far from the ravages of mankind.


Within this community of rambling elephants, grazing antelopes, prowling cats and foraging baboons, roam some very remarkable creatures – the painted wolves. The exact numbers are uncertain, but three packs are gaining considerable notoriety as the BBC rolls out its series ‘Dynasties’, estimated to reach up to a billion people.

Image: Left Dawn in Mana Pools and Blacktip’s Nyakasanga Pack launches a lightening attack on a herd of impala Nzira


Image: Above Alpha female Tammy enjoys some quiet time with two of her puppies

Image: Left Nick and Nick: Nick Dyer and BBC Producer Nick Lyon filming Lycaon at Mana Pools National Park in 2016

34 December 2018

The Painted Wolves

Tait, the alpha female of the Vundu Pack, is one of the legends of Mana Pools. Born in 2005, she lived until the ripe old age of ten and, having had many successful litters, her strong genes flow through much of the existing population. Her two daughters, Blacktip and Tammy, are now successful leaders of the Nyakasanga and Nyamatusi Packs who roam the floodplains where Tait used to rule supreme. The BBC film is about this ‘dynasty’ and tells the story of the interaction between Tait and her daughter Blacktip and a shift in dominance as Blacktip pushes her mother into the lion infested Nyamatusi Wilderness Area and the consequences that unfold. Beautifully narrated by David Attenborough, Nick Lyon, the producer, describes the film as Game of Thrones in the African bush. I first met Tait on my first visit to Mana Pools in 2013. A very kind Zimbabwean guide invited me to accompany him on foot as we followed her pack on the hunt. I remember this as being one of the most incredible experiences of my life and planted the seeds of a deep love for this animal that turned into an obsession and perhaps an addiction. Since that time, I have spent over 360 days following these packs and Mana Pools has become more my home than anywhere else I currently know. The painted wolf, also known as the African wild dog and painted dog, is without a doubt Africa’s most enigmatic predator. They are incredibly social animals and live their lives caring for each other and their pups. Image: Below Alpha female Blacktip contemplates the challenges of the year ahead as she prepares to move her pups onto the floodplain

The Painted Wolves of Mana Pools Article and Images Nicholas Dyer



The Painted Wolves

They mostly compete with submission rather than by dominance and aggression as demonstrated by, for example, lions. I put much of this down to the fact that they are led by an alpha female. She is the only one to breed and plays the role of pack leader, hunt commander and gentle mother. As hunters they are Africa’s most efficient predator with up to 80% of their hunts successful. But what is most endearing about them is that they are incredibly playful. They sleep all day then wake to perform a greeting ceremony which seems to me to demonstrate a show of unbounded joy, just for simply being with each other.

Image: Above As the sun touches the Zambian escarpment, two of Blacktip’s pups play ‘catch my tail’.

Image: Below With little regard for her own safety, Tait leads an attack on a scavenging Hyena, threatening her pups.

Yet these creatures have not had it easy. In 1916, the Southern Rhodesian government introduced a five-shilling reward to anyone who handed in a painted wolf tail. This bounty increased over the years and only ended in 1977. Across the whole of subSaharan Africa the painted wolf was treated as vermin and now the population has dwindled, from 500,000 a century ago to only about 6,500 today. It is a tragedy. Equally tragic is the fact that so few know they exist, let alone know much about them. Many of those that have heard of them believe the painted wolf to be a feral ‘dog’, escaped from towns and villages across Africa. Few know them to be the unique and remarkable creature they are, only distantly related to our domesticated pooches. The BBC film will do much to raise the awareness of the painted wolf, bringing the lives of this fantastic animal into the living rooms of millions. Building awareness of these animals is key to their conservation. It is why I have set up the Painted Wolf Foundation, together with Peter Blinston, head of Painted Dog Conservation and Diane Skinner, a leading African wildlife conservationist. Our aim is to raise the awareness of this incredible creature and support organisations in the field across the whole of Africa.

Nick grew up in Kenya and always had a passion for photography. After careers in finance and marketing in London, he took the decision to return to Africa and dedicate his life to photography, writing and wildlife conservation. He discovered the painted wolves of Mana Pools National Park and fell in love with them. Nick has spent much of the last six years living in a tent while following and photographing three packs on foot.

36 December 2018

In only two months we have raised $200,000, much from the book that I have written with Peter. Painted Wolves: A Wild Dog’s Life is my story of how Tait, Blacktip and Tammy live far from the ravages of mankind, and gives Peter’s deep insight into conserving the painted wolves near Hwange where they fight for survival in their conflict with humanity. It covers 300 pages with over 220 of my very best photographs. With one of the largest populations in Africa the painted wolves of Zimbabwe are something for the nation to celebrate. The BBC film, our book and the Painted Wolf Foundation are bringing them to the world’s attention. This will no doubt help the country’s tourism industry, but hopefully the beleaguered painted wolves as well.

“Let Nature be your teacher.” William Wordsworth




Image David Williamson

“Lions roared all night and the wise old nyala bull remained in close proximity to our tent� 38 December 2018

Gallivanting in Gonarezhou

Gallivanting in Gonarezhou October 2018

Article Debbie Swales Images Debbie Swales, David Williamson and Dave Dell aving never been on a 24-hour game count, it was impossible to resist the offer from bush-lover friends, Andy, Jane and David, to venture into the depths of Gonarezhou National Park located in the south east of Zimbabwe.


Mark MacGregor, Chairman of the Midlands branch of WEZ (Wildlife and Environment Zimbabwe) and organizer of the game count, had allocated us Malihandava Pan on the far eastern edge of the park on the border with Mozambique. Luck had it that the pan was apparently dry, fuel was particularly scarce and therefore we were saved the 70 km drive to the middle of nowhere! Our park adventure began at the Chipinda Pools entrance after a relatively easy 5-hour drive from Mutare. The first night was spent at Masasanya Dam, a short distance from Chipinda. The chalets, recently constructed by The Gonarezhou Conservation Trust (GCT) using local people from the nearby community, consist of simple rooms looking out onto the veranda where a small, well-stocked kitchen is situated and beyond, the dam. Divine home-made beds are covered in crisp white linen, feather duvets and soft pillows. Ablutions consist of an ‘ecoloo’ - a glorified long drop (but with no smell!) and a solar geyser supplies hot water to exceptionally well designed bucket showers.

We knew this may well be the end of our luxury accommodation but a job was to be done and the next morning we left at 7am, following the Runde River towards Chilojo Cliffs. The hoarse, raspy call of a leopard had woken me during the night and suddenly, just 30 metres off the road we had a magnificent sighting of a huge male leopard who posed for a while before melting away into the bush. Kudu bulls paraded on termite mounds allowing for spectacular photographic opportunities whilst elephant bulls meandered along their rocky paths up the hillsides in search of tastier morsels. After a cooked brunch at the base of the dramatic Chilojo cliffs, we pressed on using the ‘boulder bridge’ through the Runde River and headed south. Roads in National Parks are often not very well sign posted but, with common sense and a map bought from the Chipinda office, we wormed our way down the centre of the park, finally reaching our base for the next few nights, Mabalauta. Mabalauta, situated on the banks of the Mwenezi River, is the headquarters of the southern section of the park. The campsite is surrounded by towering riverine trees and has recently been upgraded. Facilities include solar showers, flush toilets, braai areas, concrete tables and seats.

Image: Above Mabalauta Campsite

Teams were based at either Mabaluata or exclusive campsites, some at the well appointed lodges at Swimuwini and others were allocated picnic sites along a 20km stretch of the Mwenezi River. Lions roared all night and the wise old nyala bull remained in close proximity to our tent. The following morning, we loaded up what we needed for a game count, which isn’t much, and drove to Lion Pan. On arrival, my first comment was, “How on earth am I going to sit still, looking at a pan, for 24 hours?” The thought was daunting but I pushed it aside. 24 hours later I wondered where on earth the time had gone. What a unique experience. Staying awake was barely an issue although we did take it in turns to snatch two hours of delectable sleep.



Gallivanting in Gonarezhou

The 24 Hours A troop of baboons wandered aimlessly around the watering hole but the rest of the afternoon was still and quiet and we wondered if anything was going to happen at this sludgy looking pan. We knew that elephants would not make an appearance unless coming for a mud bath, as fresh water and, lots of it, is preferred by these giants. Never a dull moment in Africa though, and we were fully entertained by thousands of doves flying in to drink. A calculating peregrine falcon smacked a dove with a loud thump, feathers flying, and in no time at all an opportunistic tawny eagle appeared only to be chased off by the peregrine. Dusk arrived and with it, the flutter of wings and beautiful melodious gabble of double banded sandgrouse. As darkness set in, loud splashing alerted us and, peering through binoculars, we were able to make out the shapes of a few buffalo and with them, several zebras. Throughout the night, the task of identifying a steady trickle of thirsty animals kept us fully occupied. Prowling hyenas slunk around, peering sideways at us, jackal trotted by looking for an easy meal, the humorous gait and conceited attitude of honey badgers made us giggle as they lumbered along with absolutely no fear of anyone or anything. Spring hares with gangly, kangaroo-like legs loped around, competing for grazing with the scrub hares. Timid duiker, steenbok and grysbok appeared in the early hours between 1.30 and 3.30 a.m. when temperatures dropped to a chilling 14ºC. The cold and lack of sleep was a worthy excuse for whisky to be added to the numerous cups of coffee! At day break, the thousands of doves reappeared and stood cautiously drinking; their golden reflections shimmering against the thin layer of water on top of the pan. 12 noon suddenly arrived and, reluctantly, we put our binoculars away. This is an extraordinary bush experience. No internet, no worries, no stress. Perhaps the only concern being that the ever present ka-ka-ka call of a yellow-billed hornbill can be hypnotizing and if you put your binoculars down to catch 40 winks you may miss something! The greatest challenge of all is identifying bird calls – and what a pleasurable task that is! Image: Below Honey Badger

© Dave Dell

40 December 2018

Results The idea behind the game count is to collect data to establish wildlife numbers within the park. Static counts at water holes take place on the night of full moon and participation is voluntary using Society members. This is the third count in Gonarezhou in recent years. The previous two covered Runde river only and had six and nine teams respectively. This year had 27 teams. The northern region had 14 teams and the southern, 13. This is the first time the entire park has been covered. Prior to these latest counts, the last known count was in 2000. Preliminary results for 2018 indicate the highest body count was at Machaniwa Pan where one team counted 1015 individual animals over the 24hr period but the greatest number of species seen was at our pan, Lion Pan, with 20 species.

Image: Above Our 24hr game count base at Lion pan

Centre Pan recorded 18 and two others with 16 on Runde River downstream from Chipale and at Tembwahata.

Overview During our 5 days in the park, we counted a total of 32 mammal species and 131 bird. A highlight of the trip being a small flock of 16 crested guinea fowl, fluffy topknots wafting in the breeze with darker, sleeker bodies than their counterparts the helmeted guinea fowl. The Gonarezhou Conservation Trust has invested significantly in rejuvenating the north of the park and over the last year, the south. Malipati Safari area, across the Mwenezi River, (previously a hunting area) is now under direct management of the Trust who will also be investing in the rehabilitation of this section with exciting new developments in time to come.

For information on Gonarezhou Conservation Trust: Visit: FB: Gonarezhou National Park Accommodation Bookings: Gonarezhou is now managed through the Gonarezhou Conservation Trust, a partnership between Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and Frankfurt Zoological Society. All bookings are made directly with GCT teams in Chipinda and/or Mabalauta, Tel: 0779 788 811 (Call and WhatsApp) Email: (Area Manager)

WEZ Game Count Information: Mark MacGregor: wezmid@ Cell 0712864168 or 0771367617



Phezulu Guest Lodge Victoria Falls

Article and images Shannon Wilson


ellow flip flops, an orange comb, a blue comb, framed images of marmite and bovril together with colourful woven baskets, decorate the bar. On arrival, Simba offers me a blended cool fruit juice, its brightness contrasting with the iridescent blue pool outside. Having opened on 1st August 2018, Phezulu Guest Lodge is the sister lodge of the already established Bayete Guest Lodge, a mere five-minute walk away. Local fine art photographer, Tami Walker has a unique and beautiful take on all things Zimbabwean and it is her paintings that adorn the walls in the main area and the outdoor veranda, adding to Phezulu’s modern and elegant ethnic look. The large glass doors which mirror the lush green foliage, open up to the area surrounding the pathways that lead to the veranda, pool and bar.

42 December 2018

The 20 bedrooms include one triple room (with baby cots available on request), make it the perfect accommodation for couples, families and touring groups. Each room is equipped with a sizeable shower and a bath amidst ornamental red, blue, orange and beige tiles. An air con is essential in Victoria Falls and Phezulu has some state-of-the-art facilities available in this regard. My room was always at least 15 degrees cooler than the ambient October heat. The blue and green circular print cushions still have that delicious brand new scent and bring a touch of colour to the crisp white sheets and the beige rimmed mosquito net that covers the expansive double bed. Complimentary tea and coffee are provided in the rooms and the same is also available throughout the day near reception.

If you have come for work or play, Phezulu has it all. For any guests in need of contact with the outside world, there is no need to fret as the Wi-Fi at Phezulu is outstanding! My favourite spot to do some computer work was next to the pool under a large white canvas umbrella. The days are action packed in Victoria Falls and Phezulu ensures that you do not go out their door hungry! The most important meal of the day is served overlooking the pool and offers a selection of yoghurt, cereals, croissants and juices in a buffet style breakfast from 7AM to 9:30AM. Bacon, egg, tomato, beans, sausages and omelettes are all available to order, according to your liking, and are accompanied by two slices of hot toast with butter. Seeking adventure? Phezulu have you covered. Activities ranging from bungee jumping, gorge swings, lion walks, white water rafting and helicopter rides.

Phezulu Guest Lodge

As I was there on a business trip, I only managed to wander around the falls themselves, but Klara, who is often seen manning the reception desk, gave me a few ideas on the guest’s most popular choices. Klara explains that while the helicopter flight is a bit pricey, it is certainly worth seeing Victoria Falls from this incredible angle. If you have come to Africa, a safari is a must and last, but not least, the river cruise! What a way to experience the mighty Zambezi on a luxurious boat with a cocktail or beer in hand as you watch the golden sun setting over the river. Outside of these popular attractions, there is Devil’s Pool, which I highly recommend as there is nothing more exhilarating than sitting right on the edge of the magnificent Victoria Falls! A canoe safari offers close up views of hippos and crocodiles and a visibly stunning evening surrounded by nature.

For thrill seekers, the gorge swing, flying fox and zip line are all available, and later, a traditional style dinner with great entertainment is offered at the Boma restaurant. The Phezulu staff are happy to organize all of these activities on your behalf ensuring that every moment in this special part of Africa is lived to the full. Chic, modern and simple elegance perfectly complimented by an array of vibrant Zimbabwean woven baskets and fun splashes of colour make up the beautiful Phezulu Lodge. Don’t take our word for it, when you are in Victoria Falls be sure to visit this new guest lodge.

CONTACT Call: Website: Email:













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Musango Safari Camp

New Fossil Finds Near

Musango Safari Camp Kariba

Article and Images Steve Edwards


ake Kariba, situated on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, is the largest man-made lake in the world, by volume, measuring 280 kms long and 40 kms wide, when full. The building of the dam wall, on the 2574 km Zambezi River, created approximately 2000 kms of rugged, wave beaten shoreline, beautiful sandy beaches, vast open grasslands and forests of submerged dead trees. The exposed shoreline, eroded by waves, has offered the discovery of a variety of fascinating fossils. The area around Musango and Bumi is famous for a unique dinosaur known as Vulcanodon karibaensis which was accidentally discovered in 1969 by a Kariba resident Mr B. A. Gibson. Vulcanodon (meaning “volcano tooth”) is an extinct genus of a sauropod dinosaur from the Early Jurassic period of Southern Africa.

Image: Above Musango Safari Camp Image: Below

Author Steve Edwards holding what could possibly be the first dinosaur egg to be found in Zimbabwe

The only known species is V. karibaensis. It was regarded as the earliest known sauropod for decades, and is still one of the most primitive sauropods that has ever been discovered. Measuring approximately 6.5 meters in length, Vulcanodon’s structure is known from a fragmentary skeleton including much of the pelvic girdle, hind limbs, forearms and tail but lacking the trunk and neck vertebrae as well as the skull. Image: Left Vulcanodon/ man size comparison

A recent fossil finding expedition, led by a team of scientists from the Natural History Museum in London, WITS University in South Africa and the National Museums and Monuments in Zimbabwe, may have made a new discovery of a new species of dinosaur! Nzira


Musango Safari Camp

The collaborative field projects in 2017 and 2018 resulted in the first systematic paleontological and stratigraphic review of the southern shores of Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe in over 40 years. They identified nine new fossil sites that harbour the potential to reveal new insights into the biodiversity of this area (known as Gondwana) during the Triassic–Jurassic interval (between 250 million years ago and 150 million years ago). Investigations into the geological layers identified typical early dinosaurian faunas consisting largely of sauropodomorphs; creatures that were adapted to browsing higher than any other contemporary herbivore, giving them access to high tree foliage. This feeding strategy is supported by many of their defining characteristics, such as a light, tiny skull on the end of a long neck with ten or more elongated cervical vertebrae and a counterbalancing long tail with one to three extra sacral vertebrae. Their teeth were weak and shaped like leaves or spoons (lanceolate or spatulate). Instead of grinding teeth, they had stomach stones (gastroliths), similar to the gizzard stones of modern birds and crocodiles to help digest tough plant fibres. The front of the upper mouth bends down in what appears to be a beak.


Steve +26377 7664 299 Wendy +26377 2307 875

However, in the lower layers, dinosaurs are absent and instead a largely aquatic vertebrate collection is present, which includes the first known Phytosaur material from Sub-Saharan Africa and a rich fossil wood flora (various sites in Matusadona National Park). Phytosaurs were long-snouted and heavily armoured, bearing a remarkable resemblance to modern crocodilians in size, appearance and lifestyle, as an example of convergence or parallel evolution. The name “phytosaur” means ‘plant reptile’, as the first fossils of phytosaurs were mistakenly thought to belong to plant eaters. The name is misleading because the sharp teeth in phytosaur jaws clearly show that they were predators. Stratigraphic and paleontological data gathered on this trip provide new evidence of how the sediments within the Mid-Zambezi Basin correlate with those in the main Karoo Basin and more broadly, with other Upper Triassic and Lower Jurassic strata. It also potentially provides insights into climate belt shifts cross the Triassic-Jurassic Boundary, which may have acted as a biogeographic barrier for some vertebrate taxa.

Musango, a 16 bed, privately owned and run safari camp, is located on a National Park’s Island near the Ume River which borders the Matusadona National Park. A great variety of activities are available including fishing, walking, game viewing (via boat and vehicle), cultural village tours, specialist birding safaris and trips to the nearby fossil beds that Steve has found over the last decade. Editor’s Note Having spent all his life in ‘the bush’, (18 years with National Parks and 26 years at Musango) Steve’s remarkable knowledge and deep understanding of anything related to wildlife is exposed in his nonpareil storytelling offered around the campfire every evening. With Wendy Edwards running this unique camp and Steve doing the guiding, Musango Safari Camp, the only owner run safari camp on the lake, is well worth a visit. The excitement of locating a dinosaur tooth on the ground is indescribable and one is held in awe at the time span between when these great creatures roamed and ruled the earth and how long man has been around in the Zambezi valley.

The survey proved very successful and many fossils of a variety of dinosaurs were located, including those of Vulcanodon. Samples taken still have to be identified but excitement prevails as the possibility of finding a new to science dinosaur looms high. Image: Below

Elephant next to one of the fossil sites on the shores of Lake Kariba

Image: Above Fish Eagle near Musango camp

46 December 2018


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Bundu Bakkie

Bundu Bakkie The


Article and Images Piet de Klerk

W we were ready for our first trip ith the Isuzu almost packed,

to Gonarezhou National Park when, suddenly, there was a loud snapping sound! No, it was wasn’t anything on the big tough ‘bakkie’ but one of the members of the team had ripped his bicep loading a cooler box. It obviously contained too much beer for his ‘guns’ to handle! A small delay followed with a trip to the hospital where MRI scans were done, but this was not going to deter us; we were ready for the tour. The trip to Gonarezhou happened right in the middle of a fuel crisis. There are two particular features of the Isuzu that became very important in situations like this; firstly, it boasts one of the best fuel economies in its class: 7.8 litres/100km and secondly, the 1 tonne payload allowed us to pack plenty of full jerry cans as we were uncertain if fuel was available along the way. After a 6 hour journey from Harare, we were greeted by very pleasant Zimparks staff. Our accommodation was at the tented camp at Chipinda Pools where the facilities included solar lighting, solar geysers, gas freezer in the small kitchen, comfortable beds and everything was spotlessly clean. Our tented chalet slept four and at $90 a night is great value.

48 December 2018

Once everything was unpacked, we were ready to explore and let the Isuzu KB300 come into its own on dirt tracks. The roads in Gonarezhou are generally very well maintained compared to some of the other national parks so there were no challenges for the Isuzu to overcome. The only time we had to use the ‘shift-on-the-fly’ 4WD system was when crossing the Runde river. At over 5000km², there is a lot of ground to cover in this park, so a reliable and comfortable vehicle is required as you will be spending a lot of time driving around. The interior of the Isuzu KB300 is very spacious, with leather upholstered seats and climate control which provides great comfort whilst exploring. Unfortunately we didn’t see any lion or leopard but there was plenty of other game including awesome herds of elephant. The bird life is also spectacular, particularly right by our camp at Chipinda Pools. Another highlight is the Chilojo Cliffs. I had seen many pictures of these magnificent cliffs but nothing beats viewing them in person. They really are spectacular. This was my first ever trip to Gonarezhou with my trusty Isuzu and I will definitely be going back soon for more adventures! For further information: Piet de Klerk Autoworld Harare (PVT) Ltd Email: Cell: +263 773654370

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AA Zimbabwe 95th anniversary run to Great Zimbabwe

Article Pat Gill Images The Vintage and Classic Club, Zimbabwe


he 2018 event was organised by the Vintage and Classic Club of Matabeleland in association with the Vintage and Classic Club Zimbabwe, based in Harare and promoted by the Automobile Association of Zimbabwe.

This allowed for many social hours together, a couple of car problems to tinker with and a chance to look at the Lake and its very convoluted shoreline.

95 years ago, motor enthusiasts drove down the strip roads from Salisbury and Bulawayo to Fort Victoria and finally to the ruins of Great Zimbabwe. Since then the world has changed dramatically but this year, 20 old cars from Harare and Bulawayo met and drove the same route as their predecessors had done all those years ago.

On the day of the arrival of the participants, the weather looked very threatening and it rained during the night. The next morning the mist was down, the clouds swirling and the view from the hotel was not much more than ten meters. However, by 10 a.m. the cloud had lifted to a glorious sunny day and everyone gathered together and drove to the ancient ruins for a photo shoot where many pictures were taken of the cars parked at the base of the Great Enclosure. This became a very social occasion and many new friends were made and motor talk went on throughout the day.

The Harare contingent drove via Gweru and spent the night at Antelope Park, which was a good break for the older cars, before tackling the Shurugwi and Mashava Road to Masvingo where they met up with the others. Two nights were spent at Norma Jeane’s Lake View Resort just outside Masvingo, overlooking Lake Mutirikwi.

In the afternoon, most participants took a very scenic drive across the Lake Mutirikwi dam wall to the east bank, to a viewpoint where they parked and had sundowners and lots more “old car” talk. On their return, they were warned not to stop on the dam wall or they could face being fined for loitering! This event was a ‘touring assembly’ and not a

The run commemorated the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Automobile Association in this country in 1923 and the first run to Great Zimbabwe in that same year.

50 December 2018

Anniversary Run

competition but various awards were made such as the oldest car and the car the judges would like to own. This was done at Norma Jeane’s and kept everyone entertained in the dining room until late. An attractive souvenir bumper badge was given to all drivers whose vehicles successfully completed the journey to Masvingo. Monday dawned all too soon and farewells were bid with the Harare folk travelling back up the Mashava/ Shurugwi Road to Gweru and another night at Antelope Park to rest the old car suspensions before travelling home. The Bulawayo participants drove home via Zvishavane/Mbalabala back to Bulawayo. The majority had a trouble free return home, except for two participants who missed the turning after Masvingo to Mbalabala and were heading for Harare instead. Only after 40kms did they discover their error and turned around and headed for Bulawayo! The Faber’s did the entire run in their tiny little 2CV Citroen which had so much wind and travel noise they couldn’t even hear their radio let alone have a conversation. Regrettably their clutch started slipping badly so they were towed home from Chegutu behind the very large Chevy of Rob Weston. It really was a sight to see; the largest and tiniest of cars in such close contact.

Bulawayo Contingent Dave Liddell Martin Sherfield Dave Gill Dave Edwards Dave Mitchell Andy parker Clive Thomas Garry Ainscough Keith Stewart Tom Bawden

Harare Contingent

1930 Ford Model A 1930 Ford Model A 1960 Chevrolet Biscayne 1961 Triumph TR4 1965 Austin Cambridge 1965 Triumph Spitfire 1965 Ford Fairlane 1970 Rover P6 V8 1971 Renault R10 1973 Ford Fairlane

Lloyd Clarke Rob Weston Arky and Shernize Kassim Ralph and Rose Stead Wally and Clare Hankey Allan Edminson Harry and Elizabeth Faber Alain de Jaegere Paul Bamber Michael and Pat Gill

For further information contact: The Automobile Association of Zimbabwe

Call: +263 24 2788173/4/5/6 Email: Website:

Vintage and Classic Car Club Contact Alain de Jaegere Email:

1956 1957 1957 1965 1972 1979 1979 1979 1981 1997

Cadillac Chevrolet 210 Chevrolet 210 Ford Mustang Datsun 1200 Ford Escort Citroen 2CV Porsche 911 SC Peugeot 504 Nissan Patrol (Modern) Nzira



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52 December 2018



The Kopjes’ Hidden Secret Resurrection Bush Tea Article Bio Innovate Images David Brazier


ne of the stand-out features of Zimbabwe’s natural landscape are its stunning rocky outcrops and kopjes scattered across the country. Two of the most beautiful are Domboshava and Ngomakurira heritage sites, less than an hour’s drive from Harare. Visitors to these ancient sites come to hike the lichen-covered granite rocks, marvel at the breath-taking views, and discover ancient San rock paintings, birds and animal life. But many stroll right past one of its most fascinating features: the resurrection bush. For most of the year, this incredible plant appears to be just a bundle of dried or dead twigs sticking up from the shallow soil of the kopjes’ rocky crags and cracks. Don’t be fooled. With the coming of the rains each year the bushes’ twigs flush out a vivid green and cover the rock in feathery foliage. The resurrection bush is so aptly named that even placing cut, dried twigs in a glass of water will cause the plant to sprout its tiny green leaves within an hour or two. Known also by its Latin name, Myrothammus flabellifolia (as well as “mufandichimuka” in Shona and “umafavuke” in Ndebele), resurrection bush has a multitude of restorative properties. For centuries, its leaves have been brewed as a tea and used to treat a variety of ailments, like coughs and chest complaints, headaches, and flu. Brimming with anti-oxidants and essential minerals, resurrection bush tea helps boost the immune system and build stamina, calms inflammation and promotes anti-ageing effects. 54 December 2018

Nowadays, wild harvesters trained in sustainable practices, carefully collect resurrection bush twigs for an emerging indigenous herbal tea market. Through these sales, local families are able to earn new incomes during the lean season while safeguarding the resource for future generations. Resurrection bush tea is a truly unique taste of Zimbabwe; one that recalls the beautiful sun-soaked rocks of Domboshawa and Ngomakurira with each sip. To bring home a box of your own, stop by a local supermarket and look for Petalilli’s African Infusions tea with resurrection bush.

with anti“Brimming oxidants and essential minerals, resurrection bush tea helps boost the immune system.

So, next time you have the good fortune to be exploring the kopjes of Zimbabwe, take a moment to look for a bit of magic among the rocks. When you spy a clump of resurrection bush, rub a twig between your forefinger and thumb, breathe in the woodsy sweet aroma and feel your spirits lift to the bright blue sky. To learn more about resurrection bush and other traditional Zimbabwean products, head to and naturallyzimbabwean

The Kopjes Hidden Secret




A five-minute cooked egg served with oyster mushrooms and prosciutto ham in a delicate coffee sauce

Oeuf Mollet

Treat your family to a special breakfast on Boxing Day brought to us by Chef Lawrence, the Executive Group Training Chef for Legacy managed hotels in Zimbabwe which include Elephant Hills, Kingdom, Monomotapa, Hwange Safari Lodge and Troutbeck. For the Eggs Mollet Ingredients for 4 La Lucie Gourmet Coffee Beans 25gr White Chicken Stock 250gr Cooking Cream 100gr Fresh Eggs 4 Prosciutto Ham 4 thin slices Oyster Mushrooms 60 gr Olive oil / Butter / Salt / Pepper

For the Coffee Sauce Toast the coffee beans lightly in a pan and add the white chicken stock. Bring to the boil and leave to simmer for 5 minutes before adding the cream. Allow the sauce to cook slowly another 10 minutes, remove from heat and allow to infuse for 30 minutes. Blend half of the coffee beans and return them to the pot and stir them in so as to give the sauce a rich coffee color. Sieve the sauce and reserve. 56 December 2018

Bring water and some white vinegar to a boil. Plunge the eggs into the boiling water and cook for exactly 5 minutes. Remove the eggs from the boiling water and cool them down immediately in ice water for about another 5 minutes. Peel the eggs delicately without breaking them and set aside on a plate. The egg white should be cooked but still very soft and the yolks runny.

For the Oyster Mushrooms SautĂŠ the oyster mushrooms in a combination of olive oil and butter. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

For the Proscuitton Ham Cut each prosciutto ham slice into two.

For Plating Reheat the Eggs Mollet by plunging them back into hot water for 2 minutes. On a serving plate, place half a thin slice of prosciutto ham together with 2 oyster mushrooms. Delicately place the hot egg on top of and pour some coffee sauce around. Place an oyster mushroom and the other half of the prosciutto ham slice on top of the egg. Finish off by drizzling a few drops of olive oil over and decorate with a fried parsley leaf.

FESTIVE JEWEL SALAD With Paprika Chicken and Yogurt Dressing


Prep Time



Cooking Time


STEP 1 Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees. Cover the chicken thighs in 4 tbsp. olive oil and the paprika, and season well with salt and pepper. Place the chicken in a greased baking dish in the oven to roast for 30 minutes. STEP 2 While the chicken roasts, prepare the salad. Shred the red cabbage and discard any white core. Peel and trim the carrots and cut them into ribbons using a potato peeler. Peel and cut the mangos into 1cm strips and discard the pip. Finely chop the dates. Place the sesame seeds in a dry pan on medium heat to toast for 3 minutes or until fragrant and just turning colour. STEP 3 To make the salad, combine the carrot ribbons, shredded red cabbage, mango strips, dates, mint leaves, parsley leaves and rocket leaves, and season with salt and pepper. STEP 4 To make the dressing, place 1/3 cup of olive oil in a blender with the yogurt, 1 tsp. honey, 2 tsp. white wine vinegar and salt and pepper to season. Blend until combined and place the dressing in a vinaigrette boat.



INGREDIENTS 8 boneless chicken thighs 1 head red cabbage 3 carrots 3 mangos 3 pack rocket 2 pack mint 2 pack parsley 6 dates 45g sesame seeds 140mls yogurt 2 tbsp. paprika FROM THE STORE CUPBOARD 1/3 cup + 4 tbsp. olive oil 3 tsp. white wine vinegar 1 tsp. honey

STEP 5 Remove the chicken from the oven and carve it into strips. Divide the salad between dinner plates, place the chicken pieces on top and sprinkle over the sesame seeds. Serve with the yoghurt dressing drizzled over.


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31 George Avenue, Khumalo, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

With easy access to activities at ZITF, the Central Business Centre and NUST, Bettina is ideally suited to business travelers to Bulawayo, while its proximity to local schools, sports clubs, golf courses, restaurants, coffee shops, shopping centres and many Bulawayo attractions, including the Natural History Museum, makes it the perfect choice for leisure visitors, including families, individuals and groups. Be Bettina offers the traveler a truly personalised service in a home-away-from-home atmosphere, with a swimming pool, braai area, pizza oven and immaculately maintained gardens creating a tranquil and secure haven.

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60 December 2018


By Mary-Anne

Crossword Puzzle 1


















19 20

21 22




26 27






Sudoku - Medium

30. Tasmanian 31. Dies non 32. Needles

9 2 8 5 3 4 9 8

DOWN 1. Hajj 2. Larchwood


15. Laos 16. Washington 20. Madagascar 21. Mile 23. Steeple 26. Spine 29. Atami


DOWN 1. Ha JJ goes to Mecca (4) 2. Oh low card in Ohio (9) 3. Leave the infertile region (6) 4. Lock on to a US university (4) 5. Semi new back in a French city (5) 6. Interfering (8) 7. Could a van be the founder of the NHS (5) 8. Lal owes ANC regular money (10) 13. Nelson de Mille’s fruity isle (4,6) 14. Deep voiced fish (4) 17. Top of the body (4) 18. Inter nail every three years (9) 19. Cleopatra and pyramids (8) 22. Eastern patio turns into a narcotic (6) 24. Rub out a seer (5) 25. Sounds like I dined at boys’ school (5) 27. Initially the International Standard Book Number (1,1,1,1) 28. The burden is on us (4)

8 4 2 5 1 5 4 6 7 3 4 5 8 7 9 3 9 6 5 2 9 4 8 1 7 ACROSS 1. Holiday 5. Namibia 9. Jerusalem 10. Devil 11. Chart 12. Sell now


ACROSS 1. Ay I hold a trip (7) 5. Am I a nib in Africa (7) 9. Trump capitalised it in Israel (9) 10. See 30 11. HT arc for a map (5) 12. End of season sign (4,3) 15. Endless solar power muddled in Asia (4) 16. First president for a capital (10) 20. Do penguins really come from here? (10) 21. Topless smile not too far (4) 23. The height of a church (7) 26. Mountain ridge in the back (5) 29. I’m at a city back in Japan (5) 30. and 10. Nasty little creature (9,5) 31. I send no legal business today (4,3) 32. Sharp and pointed off the coast of England (7)




3. Desert 4. Yale 5. Nimes 6. Meddling 7. Bevan 8. Allowances 13. Plum Island 14. Bass

17. Head 18. Triennial 19. Egyptian 22. Opiate 24. Erase 25. Eaten 27. I.S.B.N. 28. Onus

He is now a very wealthy man should he cash-in his real estate. In 1983 we married on the front lawn, on January 15th. It should have rained, but didn’t. In those days we were going through a fuel crisis just like today, but you could leave your car safely parked in queues for days on end to get $10 or $20 worth of fuel on a Monday morning. Many of our guests came from out of town for the wedding. Not knowing the house, they assumed the parked queues of cars were for the wedding and some walked over a kilometre to the event. The barman we used was a rugbyplaying hero from the small town where I was working at the time, Kadoma. He is now late, but his infectious enthusiasm for life made him the ideal barman for the event. However we didn’t allow for his insatiable thirst and even before the reception he staggered and tottered and fell flat on his face. We had shown him where the bottles of imported whiskey were stashed below the bar-counter. It was a treasure we found intact the next day, the true Spirit of Christmas!

The Bark of the

Urban Baboon

Article and Images MAFUNGI

My wife-to-be could best be described as agnostic, so the choice of pastor was left to her. She approached no fewer than seven before one finally accepted the task. In those days money was not the biggest issue and prosperity churches had not yet come of age. I was raised a Roman Catholic, so any other option for me was out of the question. However within three months the Reverend was recalled by his Maker. His Karma was not working but we were well blessed by him. Today we are building a dream retirement house on the adjacent plot that we bought. It looks like we will inhabit this space at Christmas! Karma.

In The Spirit of

Christmas I am a great believer in Karma. That mystical Eastern term that encapsulates the issues that drive our lives to a happier state, or if we behave badly, will ultimately bring us down. I think it particularly applies to that wonderful property that we call home. If you are really lucky you will find that dream property that your nascent family will call home for the rest of their lives. In our case, we had spent almost two years searching the highways and byways of Harare for ours. One Sunday, absolutely exhausted from a weekend of visiting show-houses around the city, we arrived at a ramshackle gate just off the main road that bisects Rolf Valley. It was 10 to 1 in the afternoon. The newspaper clipping said the show-house time finished at 1 o’clock. For sure we knew that the owners and estate agent would be exhausted. As we rounded the corner into the yard we just knew this house was for us. Small, different with wonderful trees and a neat well kept garden. A really lovely elderly couple, who had built it from scratch 8 years earlier, didn’t blink an eye and happily showed us around. We had no doubt this property was for us but one small problem; there were four names on the buyers’ list ahead of us who said they definitely wanted it. Karma kicked in and one by one they fell by the wayside. Today we still live in the property and the gardener, who was there from 1972 when it was first built, still works for us. His own Karma has been good for him too. He already had a kumusha in Nyanga and during the terrible economic mess in the 2000’s, we were able to buy him a plot in Domboshava. 62 December 2018

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Intr od ucing the Ben the Ele Collec tion

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64 December 2018

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