Nzira Issue 12

Page 1

Issue 12 May/June 2019

NZ RA Travel Zimbabwe

Two tone tour Matusadona



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From the Editor


Mike Garden +263 (0) 772 209 162


Shannon Wilson +263 (0) 782 005 277


t NZiRA, we noticed that travelling is about making memories engraved by shared experiences - that’s why this winter issue encourages our readers to be outside. From our first page you’ll see that soaking up the sun while trying out new experiences in Zimbabwe is essential. For those of you in Harare itching to escape town, Darwendale is just down the road. For those curious about the unbeaten path, Debbie continues her story from Issue 9 and takes you with her to Tokwe Mukosi. If you’re seeking an adrenaline rush, relive the Mountains and Rivers Festival - with rapid rafting, bum sliding, kayaking adventures on the smooth wandering waters of the Pungwe River and mountain hikes reaching heights that make you feel like you’re on top of the world. We asked about your travel tales and you did not disappoint! Hwange captured our heart and we know it will have your full attention. The magazine wouldn’t be complete without the stars of any African landscape; the animals.

If you want to be a part of the pathway to the next NZiRA issue, please get in touch with us on editor@

Assistant Editor

Primrose Muzah Tel: 024 27827201


Rudo Nhamoinesu Tel: 024 2782720 Dive into African adventures in Tanzania or get involved in conservation with the Zambezi Elephant Fund and learn about the big five with the help of our eleven year old guide! Comedian Carl shared his extraordinary and alternative accommodation feat in Victoria Falls. We wanted to give you a taste (literally) of everything travel oriented that Zimbabwe showcases so ignite your senses with Chef Simba’s delightful winter dish, savour the beverages we know you love to consume at every bay, treat your eyes to our local talents and appreciate our wonderful tourist trinkets we so often like to purchase ourselves. NZiRA is on fire this issue and we plan on keeping you entertained all through winter. Finally, but certainly not least, we cannot forget the victims of Cyclone Idai. The power and kindness of this great nation is always a marvel to experience and during this tragedy it brought comfort to many. We sincerely encourage all our readers to continue sending help in any form to Chimanimani and Mozambique. It’s always a pleasure to share the abundance we are so blessed with as a nation.

NZiRA Travel Magazine subscription, 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 RTGS$100 for 6 issues.

This is what our followers voted for Keep an eye on our social media pages to vote on your favorite places!


May/June 2019


Kariba Honde Valley

Tamuka Nyoni +263 (0) 775 363 706


Sable Press

Unit 21-22 Bluffhill Industrial Park Bluffhill Harare

Tel: 024 331 637/8, 331654 +263 (0) 772 525 076 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 liability 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




Travel Zimbabwe

Nzira nziramagazine Nzira Cover Photo Andrew Currell


Kariba Honde Valley

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Use the QR code to visit our website for more articles.



Ewanrigg Botanical Gardens The gardens are breathtaking during winter.


Roads Less Travelled - Tokwe Mukosi Visit to marvel at the dam, get lost in the surrounding historical ruins that hold tales


Alternative Home From Camp Feel Good to the Bumblebee Caravan, innovative off the grid accomodation in Zimbabwe with Carl Ncube

19 The Big Guys The celebrities of the African bush by Brianna, our 11 year old guide

34 Local Talent - Wildlife Art Zambezi Valley depicted by an artist

36 Conservation - Zambezi Elephant Fund Catch up with the ZEF and join the conversation on conservation

39 #travellers’tales - Winter in Hwange Camping and game drives in two days during a winter getaway.


African Adventuring Safari Game Drive in Tarangire National Park

43 Exploring Darwendale A quick getaway out of Harare with a couple of fun stops

48 Two Tone Tour in Matusadonha Hike in uninhibited nature’s splendor in Kariba.


Tourist Treats Spoil yourself or a loved one with any one of these authentic Zimbabwean pieces

54 Recipes Warm tummy fillers to try this winter

58 Beverage for every Bay

62 Mountains and Rivers

What happens in the highlands gets shared for all, here’s what you missed from the Eastern Highlands festival

Learn what quenches the thirst best in different places around the country

60 Suitcase Stories Enjoy sunny winter with these four items.

64 Winter Reads Books to give you the winter chills

66 Bark of the Urban Baboon These car troubles will make sure winter won’t be the only thing giving you the chills



May/June 2019


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May/June 2019

Alternative Home Away From Home

alternative home

sweet home Article and Images Carl Joshua Ncube

In 2012 I married my partner in innovation, Nelsy, and my career as an international comedian merged with our passion to live off the grid while travelling the world whenever we wanted. We had a destination wedding on a private island called Coco Cay in the Bahamas. It is one of the Berry Islands that holds a fusion of vibrant colours that are typical of tropical islands. The ceremony lasted a memorable twentyseven minutes in front of a handful of strangers. After the knot was tied, we began planning our future. We knew we wanted to live on a tourist resort, off the grid and mobile – free to explore the world.



elsy, by right and plain common sense, is my manager. In 2017, we relocated to Victoria Falls and started Camp Feel Good, alternative accommodation for adventurers. We had ten tents and the eleventh one was our home. This allowed us to have firsthand understanding of what we were offering to our guests. We used our social media pages to melt away the concerns of those who might be on the fence while bringing people’s attention to the product. When we started our camp project we knew it would not be easy; overheads would be high and sales low. This meant that marketing would be challenging. However, the best parts of Camp Feel Good make the challenge worth it. I had a place to cook, do comedy and, when I needed to, I could take my business anywhere. Camping is a flexible lifestyle that allows for me to sell any part of Zimbabwe using media locally and internationally thanks to my comedy. As for our guests, they can look forward to a customisable experience. As Camp Feel Good expands across the country, guests can enjoy activities available in the various areas such as game drives and cruises. Standard tents come with beds, mattress linens, sheets, pillows and duvets. Each Camp experience is topped with campfire meals, outdoor movie nights, and comedy (naturally).


Alternative Home Away From Home

BUMBLEBEE CARAVAN The expansion of Camp Feel Good meant From August to October this year I am that we needed a moving office and really looking forward to seeing the roads home that would allow us to go around linking all the places I have performed the country with our camp, while being in Southern Africa. The whole journey is able to cook, work, do my comedy, and exciting to me, going from Victoria Falls other outreach projects. In order to cut to Botswana then to the coast of Namibia costs since Nelsy and I spent a lot of our down to Cape Town. We plan to follow the time travelling, having an off the grid garden route, taking a detour to Lesotho caravan was the best solution. then Durban and Johannesburg. From We were lucky enough to get a there we will go to the Kingdom eSwatini, Toyota Coaster shell for free and in 2019 then Mozambique up to Malawi through the process of building our very own to Tanzania then back down to Zambia home on wheels began. This project not and finally home to Victoria Falls. only brings Nelsy and I closer, but it is a In the future, we hope to secure a testimony of our lives that our customers double decker bus and convert it into can see and touch. The caravan is a tech savvy, innovative, off the grid, meant to be ICONIC, INSPIRATIONAL electric motor home to live in. We plan and INNOVATIVE. The idea is to not to travel across our beautiful continent only capture the hearts and minds of experiencing food, cultures and living our Zimbabweans but to also create a much best life. This will be our reward while we needed narrative during these times. ponder where we will ultimately build our By sharing the process of building next projects, Village of Tiny Homes and Bumblebee, we’re introducing ideas for our take on Rural Homes of the Future. sustainable living such as Ugetsi Energy Sustainability is really important to us and or farm to table projects like Fresh in a we have every desire to leave our part Box. of the world in a better position for our The bus is going to be our home children. with the usual fixtures such as a bed, A personal dream of mine is to have shower, toilet and, the heart of any home, the ultimate man cave built-in a bus for a kitchen. The most exciting part will be me and the boys to watch the big sports installing the water tanks, greywater, solar games, braai and travel. This will be my panels and inverters. When everything Carl Can Cook studio kitchen and will is fixed on board and we can finally hit make appearances with me at events in the road, the chance to see more of the the future. country will make this experience If you are interested in finding out how to go from zero to owning infinitely more your dream home please follow our page Alternative Home Sweet valuable. Travelling Home on Instagram and Facebook. by road gives you a chance to witness the true marvels of the country.


May/June 2019

Alternative Home Away From Home



May/June 2019


Ewanrigg Botanical Gardens Article Rob Jarvis Images Jonothan Skinner and Rob Jarvis

ust forty minutes from Harare is one of the most extraordinary botanical gardens in the Southern Hemisphere. It was created by a former mining engineer who had previously served in the British Army in the Second Boer War, who then converted to farming and his passion for gardening. A chance placement of a clump of aloes, to hide a large rock in his garden, on the farm he named Ewanrigg, led to the development of a huge wonderland of an assortment of landscaped plants. Harold Basil Christian was his name and the aloes were Aloe cameronii. When they famously and fierily flowered the following winter virtually untended, Christian was hooked! He started in 1916, laying out rolling lawns and sweeping rockeries, interspersed with the already existing indigenous trees and exotics he “Ewanrigg has obtained. The been restored and man had skill and it is an absolute determination pleasure to visit and he scoured the country, and during these dry further afield, winter months for aloes of every when the aloes are description. He at their very best” had the sense to group plants and to spread them by flowering dates and seasonal show. As a visitor to Ewanrigg, in the winter months of June and July, you will find that the bright red, orange and yellow flowering racemes of aloes have literally brought the fire of summer into the cold hard months of winter. He made friends with the botanists at Kew Gardens in the United Kingdom and with the Department of Botany in Pretoria. In no time at all his collection was such that plant lovers from all over the world would come to see “the finest and most complete collection of aloes in existence”.

©Jonothan Skinner



This was how G.W. Reynolds, a South African authority on the genus Aloe, described his garden and in 1936 he named a new aloe, which is commonly found in the Enterprise Valley, after Howard Christian himself, the Aloe christianii. Reynolds was famous for writing the comprehensive book on aloes “The Aloes of Tropical Africa and Madagascar�. Inevitably, Christian became interested in plants of every type and cycads, in particular, became a passion. There are now many cycads growing happily in the gardens. During the madcap years from 2000 to 2009, Ewanrigg suffered like virtually all national institutions in Zimbabwe. The estate had been left to the nation in perpetuity by Christian when he died in 1950 and successive Curators of the Garden have done their bit to increase the collection and maintain the gardens to a high standard. Steadily, in recent years, Ewanrigg has been restored and it is an absolute pleasure to visit during these dry winter months when the aloes are at their very best. It is part of the National Parks Estates in Zimbabwe and is currently run by Curator Anna Pasipanodya. Her caring hand has seen the weeds brought under control, lawns are cut, trees trimmed, paths and signs spruced up and precious plants labelled and individually tended when required. Together with keen members of the Aloe, Cactus and Succulent Society of Zimbabwe, rare cycads are pollinated and the seed is collected and sown to generate more plants. Plants are sold from an in-house nursery and also from an outlet at National Parks Headquarters just off the Borrowdale Road in Harare. National Parks and Wildlife Authority has the mandate to administer the laws governing indigenous plants in Zimbabwe. It is illegal to remove Aloes, Cycads, Adeniums (Sabi Stars) Pachypodiums and Orchids from the wild. Whenever National Parks apprehends illegal dealers, the plants are confiscated and find a safe haven in the rocks and woodlands of Ewanrigg. It is a seedbank for the future of rare, indigenous and exotic, plants. The herb garden is thoughtfully laid out and has fascinating information about the origin and attributes of the herbs including the parts of the plant which can be useful in many ways.

A charming thatched-roof, but little known Aloe Restaurant has been established near the water gardens in the south-west of the gardens. It is licensed, and beer, wine, spirits and mixers are available. Diners can watch endless flights of sunbirds, butterflies and bees flitting from one flowering mass to another. If you bring your dogs, the water-loving Labradors plunge into the pools whereas the others invariably watch warily from the edges. Kids have freedom to roam the length and breadth of the gardens. It is a birding paradise with many seed-eaters joining the nectar-feeders and fruit-eaters that throng the trees and flower beds. Lizards and agamas are frequently seen, the ponds croak with frogs and at night, there is evidence that small antelope abound. Ewanrigg’s greatest charm however is the wide open spaces just asking for family groups to come, spread their blankets and deck chairs, let the kids and dogs roam (both preferably under leash) and after exhausting themselves, whip open the picnic baskets and devour the contents in the warm winter sun. Braai facilities are strategically placed with concrete tables and chairs and there are a number of good clean restrooms throughout the gardens. Leave the cell-phones behind and tune into nature and be sure to take a sun-kissed nap before returning home. to Shamva

Ewanrigg Botanical Gardens

Enterprise Road



May/June 2019

to Mutoko

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Tokwe Mukosi

The Road Less Travelled Article Debbie Swales Images Debbie Swales, BirdLife Zimbabwe

Image: Strutting turkeys entertaining cyclists

Image: The tiny St Andrew’s Chapel, Lake Mutirikwi


May/June 2019


he rising sun pushes its warming rays through the morning mist, opening up vistas across the lake, whilst on the hill above the light gently illuminates the foliage on two tall palms in the charming gardens at Norma Jeane’s Lake View Resort. Another fascinating journey awaits those who awaken to this view in this historically splendid, richly spiritual and remarkably scenic part of Zimbabwe. Norma Jeane’s has been developed around the original tin-roofed homestead which belonged to the legendary explorer, trader, hunter, gallant WW1 fighter, rancher and farmer, Murray McDougall. This famed entrepreneur, whose life history is a book in itself, first entered Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) from South Africa in 1906, alone, on horseback, towing just one pack animal transporting his meagre belongings. In 1908 he secured 300,000 acres of land in the south east lowveld and was responsible for the pioneering construction of irrigation canals and the development of Triangle Sugar Estates. Later, in 1958, his vision led to the construction of Lake Kyle (now Mutirikwi) which feeds the lowveld sugar estates with life giving water via these canals. Today, his homestead provides a comfortable base for travellers to this unique area in the province of Masvingo. “The road less travelled,” metaphorically speaking means one is acting independently or free from the conformity of others who choose to take the road more frequently travelled. Zimbabwe certainly presents such opportunities for the independent and inquisitive traveller. A necessity for exploring most of Zimbabwe is the requirement of a sturdy 4x4 vehicle or, as in our case, nimble 2x4 mountain bikes. One condition for a tour such as this, where the routes have not been traversed before by any of the participants, was to be of an adventurous spirit and take whatever comes!

With the assistance of Google Earth, Ricky had put together a 58km route for the first day, leading out of Norma Jeane’s, into the surrounding hills to the east through wild, sparsely populated country where the vehicle supplying our lunch awaited us at the base of Chamavara Cave. A magnificent rock art site, set in the communal lands and protected by the local community, bears a unique painting which researchers speculate could be ‘a very large human figure’. On closer inspection, it does appear to be a conglomeration of several artists’ work but what this site really does signify is that there were different groups of humans in the area ranging from hundreds to perhaps thousands of years ago. Back on the trail, we headed home via Lake Mutirikwi dam wall. On the southern side of the wall is the smallest chapel in Zimbabwe, St Andrew’s Chapel, seating just 12 people. Tragedy surrounds this tiny edifice but anyone who visits can only be drawn in to this story and this quaint building suddenly bears so much more meaning. In the 1960’s, at the request of his 18-year old daughter Marie, Tom van Graan, the water bailiff, began building the chapel but sadly Marie was killed in a road accident in 1970 and her dream to use it on her wedding day ended. In Marie’s memory, Tom and Claudine continued with the 4 x 2 metre structure, completing it with stained glass windows Zimbabwe and a unique certainly altar made from mining drill cores. presents such The blue ceiling opportunities bears nine silver stars and a small for the brass plaque lies independent at the entrance, in memory of Marie. and inquisitive


Tokwe Mukosi Image: Lake Mutirikwi dam wall

Image: Massive wall of the great enclosure at Great Zimbabwe

Image: Wall structures on the hill at Great Zimbabwe

Day two dawned with the opportunity to view Zimbabwe’s largest inland water body, the gargantuan Tokwe-Mukosi Dam. Construction began in 1998 and due to a variety of issues was finally completed in 2016. It lies 75km south of Masvingo with access via Ngundu and Triangle roads and is Zimbabwe’s highest and largest inland water body built mainly for irrigation and hydropower. The 73km route took us to this recently completed masterpiece. Terrain varied from technical single track through rippling streams, up granite dwalas, through sandy sections with huge mountain acacia groves, past communal lands littered with goats, turkeys and domesticated white guinea fowl and finally riding over dusty red soils to the base of the dam wall. Mechanical bike issues along the way were easily sorted by Lee who, through years of experience, carries a small bag filled with an assortment of nuts, bolts and all the gadgets that bikes may require when inconveniently broken! A cold shower under a hosepipe at the construction site, a chicken burger, brought by the vehicles (which would also provide us with a lift back) gave riders the extra energy to walk to the top of the dam wall where the spectacular view of shimmering water interspersed with grassy domed hills reached as far as the eye could see.


Tokwe Mukosi Tokwe-Mukosi offers immense scope as a tourism destination and discussions are currently underway to open up the area for just this. A visit to the famed ancient ruins of Great Zimbabwe, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was imperative on our third day. Presumed to have been constructed between the 11th and 15th century, it spans an area 7 square kilometres. It is said that ten to fifteen thousand people lived here in mud and thatch huts in and around the massive stone walls. The elaborate structure with its labyrinthine passages leading to the top of the hill complex, left us in awe of what humans can do. How they built intricately designed, 10m high mortarless walls without modern day construction equipment is extraordinary. Photographs cannot replicate the spiritual atmosphere but photographic opportunities abound and nothing could prevent special memories being preserved both digitally and mentally. A small museum contains a host of antique treasures. The most rewarding being the famous Zimbabwe birds. Seven of the eight known highly symbolic soapstone sculptures, sit on their individual pedestals in a secured and darkened room. The birds are surprisingly small, averaging a height of about 40cm but the intangible aura surrounding these carvings is more than impressive. A cold mist engulfed the ancient city but riders relished the fact that a hot bath and good meal beckoned at Norma Jeane’s after a 27km round trip.

The return journey to Harare took us east over the Mutirikwe dam wall, along Murray McDougall drive and back north through Gutu and Chivhu. A detour into the open grassy wetland plains of the Driefontein Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) and Ramsar Site, southeast of Chivhu, rewarded us with two spectacular sightings of threatened birds, the Wattled Crane and the Grey Crowned Crane (classified as Vulnerable and Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species). Exceptional viewing of these graceful birds in such close proximity to human habitation astounded us but their protection and monitoring is encouraged and supported by BirdLife Zimbabwe who work with communities in the area to come up with livelihood options that do not impact on the fragile ecosystem of the wetlands. Financial assistance from visitors, through BirdLife Zimbabwe, can only be beneficial in order to maintain this unique area which provides the precise conditions required for these rare birds to feed and breed. By taking the road less travelled, life is further enriched with unforgettable opportunities, sights, experiences and memories. Sometimes, we need to take a diversion from the conventional route and set off on an adventure and who knows what we might find.

Norma Jeane’s Lake View Resort

BirdLife Zimbabwe

Website: Tel: +263 (0)39 2264879 or +263 712 889 887 Email:

Image: Wattled Cranes

Image: View of Lake Mutirikwi through the palms from Norma Jeane’s Lake View Resort

The Driefontein Grasslands CLP Crane Conservation:


Togarasei Fakarayi :

to Harare MASVINGO

to Beitbridge

Kyle Recreational Park

Mutirikwi National Park


20⁰16′08.84″S 30⁰55′42.70″E


20⁰13′17.95″S 31⁰07′50.98″E

Lake Mutirikwi

Chamavara Cave St Andrew’s Chapel

©BirdLife Zimbabwe


May/June 2019

Great Zimbabwe National Monument


20⁰15′02.12″S 31⁰01′53.70″E

The Big Guys

BiG Article Brianna Style Images Kim Style

In the African wilderness, five strong, brave and mighty beasts go under the name of the big five. LION



This predator is known as king of the jungle. He lives in a group of lions called a pride. His roar is loud and echos as far as 4km. The lion’s shaggy mane frames its face as an orangey, brown colour. As this beast gets older his mane gets darker and darker. The females, however, don’t have a mane. They do all the work such as hunting their prey and teaching their cubs to do the same. When they have successfully caught a meal, they strangle the animal’s throat with their deadly jaws and wait till the prey dies. Then it’s dinner time! The females quickly eat as much as they can before the male comes. Then he chases the females away so he can have his share. When a younger lion comes to take over the pride they will either kill the old leader or send him away. Then the new leader will kill the cubs so that they don’t carry on the old leader’s genes.

Rhinos are heavy, grey animals that weigh about 700kg. In Africa, there are two species of rhinos, the black and the white rhinos. Three of the ways you can tell them apart is that the black rhinos have curved lips to eat leaves and the white has a square lip to eat grass. The black rhinos walk with their heads up and the white rhinos walk with their heads down and the black rhino is more aggressive whereas the white rhino can be referred to as a gentle giant. In Zimbabwe there are around eight hundred rhino. Some of the parks that have rhino are Matopos, Hwange and Kyle. There is a plan to reintroduce rhino into Gona re Zhou National Park too. Malilangwe has about four hundred rhino in it. When I was younger I was privileged to touch and be close to rhinos as my grandmother hand reared orphaned rhinos whose mothers had been killed by poachers.

The popular elephant is huge and grey with large white tusks that curve halfway down their rough, hairy trunks. They have small eyes, therefore, they cannot see that well. Their ears, however, are huge and they have good hearing. Their heavy trunks contain around 100 000 different muscles. They are the biggest mammals in the world. Elephants are very intelligent and have incredible memories. They actually have the largest brain in the entire animal kingdom which are 3 to 4 times larger than humans. Although there are quite a lot of elephants around, they are becoming more and more endangered. Elephants are the only mammals that can’t jump because they are so heavy but they can run at a speed of 40 km/hr!


The Big Guys



These cats have a yellowish colour with black and orange spots. They can be very aggressive towards humans and are very territorial. They are known to be one of the most aggressive animals in Africa. They will kill animals and drag them up a tree so that no other predator can steal it. They live by themselves. Leopards can leap up to 20ft high! Mother leopards look after their young until they are 2 years old. When leopards are happy, just like cats, they will purr! Some people believe that their whiskers and bones can heal diseases and that is one of the reasons they are endangered.

These grumpy beasts are grey All of these beautiful, strong animals are with curved horns. Most of sadly endangered (except for the buffalo) them are grumpy and you wouldn’t want to meet one so we must all do what we can to help on foot. The best thing to do if save these creatures and maybe one day you come across a buffalo is to climb a tree. The hide on a bull they will no longer be poached but be buffalo is as thick as 2 inches happy and free! in some places. They moo just like cows. These beasts are hardly scared of anything. When predators come they will thrash them with their strong horns. They live in huge groups called herds. One herd will have at least ninety buffalo.


May/June 2019


LOCATION Busters sports club, Bulawayo For bookings: 078 587 1510 Email

LOCATION Corner Livingstone & Adam Stander Drive Adjacent to the Railway crossing. For bookings: +263 213 2847326 I Cell: +263 774341911 Email



FIND ESCAPE UNDER THE AFRICAN SUN When you’re looking for a short escape, African Sun is here to help you recharge and enjoy.

Monomotapa Hotel and Holiday Inn, Harare If you’re in Harare and the traffic and mundane - ness of city life starts to overwhelm you, check into any of the African Sun hotels for a weekend of rest relaxation and rejuvenation. Learn to treat yourself to a luxurious break every once in a while and practice some self-care. Once you enter Holiday Inn or Monomotapa Hotel your space is completely transformed and the hustle and bustle of Harare town is but a mere memory. Chill by the pool with a cocktail in hand and enjoy the best of what African Sun has to offer.

Caribbea Bay Resort, Kariba This well designed holiday resort offers guests, couples and families a wonderful holiday experience. The shoreline of the Kariba Lake gives this resort a Mediterranean feel. Not only is this a testament to luxury but Caribbea Bay also gives visitors an easy escape from the landlocked character that Zimbabwe is known for. It won’t be hard to put the electronics down and spend some quality time with your loved ones.


May/June 2019

BEST WAYS TO RECHARGE Mental breaks Move your body Eat good food Stay away from electronics Connect with your loved ones

Troutbeck Inn, Nyanga Organise a well deserved business trip for you and the team with a trip to Nyanga. Combine the pleasure of business with the polished “country club” ambiance found at the Troutbeck Inn. One of the best ways to recharge is through activity and this inn has some fantastic facilities to give you just that. Situated near a dam where you can trout fish, play some golf, enjoy the swimming pool or, if you wish, hit a ball on the tennis, volleyball or squash courts. Whatever you need to bring your team together and create the team dynamic you need at work is readily available at Troutbeck Inn. The Eastern Highlands is a highly sort after location to make sure your team is recharged and ready to work efficiently.


Blufhill Industrial Park, Unit 20, 21 & 22, Bluffhill, Harare Tel: 331637, 331638, 331654, 331658, 31659, 305474, 305481 Fax: 331658 E-mail: Website:




imbabwe is a beautiful country with the most hospitable people, weather and wildlife on the continent. Our aim at Air Zimbabwe is to make sure that your journey carries that hospitality every step of the way, even in the skies. As we enter the last half of the year we encourage you to continue emptying your bucket list with theses reminders of some cities you should visit all over the country.

English: Hello Shona: Mhoro Ndebele: Salibonani Kalanga: Dumilani Chewa: Moni

Here’s a selection of cities that hold some interesting historical significance to enjoy

HARARE, MBARE This is one of the oldest high density residential area in Zimbabwe. Just 5km from the city center, on the southern side, this constantly buzzing urban jungle is the most talked about area in the city. It’s safe to assume that this settlement of thousands of inhabitants has and continues to produce noteworthy people who play important roles in the city. Mbare is a monumental surburb and it plays a great role in shaping the country.


May/June 2019


NYANGA Rhodes Nyanga Historical Exhibition Nyanga District, in the Manicaland Province, is found close to the border with Mozambique. The area contains many Stone Age and Iron Age archaeological remains such as pit structures, stone forts, terraces and pathways. Cecil John Rhodes was deeply impressed by the beauty of the countryside so much so that in 1897 R. Marks built the Rhodes Stables. Today the homestead has been turned into an exhibit. It is found in the Rhodes Nyanga National Park in the stunning Eastern Highlands.

BULAWAYO Natural History Museum Known for its charming architecture, this attractive metropolis is Zimbabwe’s second largest city. With its wide tree-lined avenues and parks, there is a clean and historical feel to this city. Dating back to the 1840s, it was founded by the Ndebele king, Lobengula Khumalo. Today the city is home to the Natural History Museum which was built in 1962. The museum holds the natural science collections in its circular building that has nine display galleries, 120 seater lecture hall and a cafeteria. It is the best museum in Southern Africa as it holds valuable research collections. Boasting as the 4th largest museum in Africa.

MASVINGO Great Zimbabwe Ruins Located in the south-eastern part of Zimbabwe, Great Zimbabwe is the ruined city that holds the pride of the nation. The ruins were once the capital of the Kingdom in the late Iron Age. Construction began in the 11th Century and continued all the way to the 15th Century. The large structure was erected by ancestral Shona people and spans over 1 780 acres. At its prime it is estimated to have housed 18 000 people. UNESCO recognizes this proudly Zimbabwean architectural monument as a World Heritage site.







Article and Images Karen Gifford

e were collected by our guide, Lameck, from Maramboi Lodge after a delicious breakfast on a terrace overlooking a variety of grazers, including wildebeest and zebra, by Lake Manyara. My husband, sister, nephew and I had spent a night at this lodge, in luxurious spacious tents built on raised wooden platforms, surrounded by nondangerous animals. The ten-minute drive between the lodge and Tarangire National Park entrance gives opportunities to buy traditional Tanzanian crafts along the roadsides from locals dressed in typical Tanzanian-style clothing. The entrance to Tanzania’s sixth largest national park (2850m2) was neat and clean, offering good ablution facilities. The name of the park originates from the Tarangire River, which meanders through the park and provides the only source of water for animals during dry seasons when thousands of animals migrate to the park and tourist season prevails. Our visit fell at the beginning of the rainy season. Tarangire National Park greeted us with two pairs of large ears protruding from open grassland, which would have informed the owners long before of our arrival. 26

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The bat-eared foxes looked intently at us as they lay in front of what was likely a den with pups. Further behind were termite mounds, which dot the park landscape and provide the bateared foxes with possibly their favourite food. A leopard tortoise, although in much closer proximity to us, was not at all curious nor concerned by our presence as it ambled past us. A little further on we came across a pair of tiny delicate-looking antelope, which we would not be able to find naturally in the Zimbabwean bush, but are common residents in Tanzania. The dik-diks gave us enough time to enjoy their presence before disappearing behind a thick bush. A herd of Thomson’s gazelle grazed near the side of the road. As if to further welcome us into Tanzania, we were greeted by another antelope, not found in Zimbabwe, adding to our privilege. As we rounded a corner, our vehicle disturbed tiny warthog piglets on the road with their mother. As they burst into activity, our delight in their size turned into despair as we watched a piglet frantically nudging its sibling lying motionlessly. Although we had not seen any other vehicles in the park, our immediate speculation was that it had just been hit by one.


Just as our hearts went out to this little piglet with its desperate attempts to revive its family member, there was a sudden ‘spring to life’ by the latter as it awakened from a deep sleep. Just after that ordeal we set off again, and before we had had a chance to finish expressing our relief about the sleepy little hog, a giraffe and its calf sauntered across the road. They were in close proximity to a herd of elephant which walked past our vehicle in a

“Tarangire National Park greeted us with two pairs of large ears protruding from open grassland, which would have informed the owners long before of our arrival.” protective semi-circle around their two calves. In a dry river bed there were more giraffes and elephants, the latter digging holes in the sand for water. As we ventured further through herds of wildebeest and zebra grazing together, as they commonly do, we found ourselves among elephants together with baobabs. Both of these African giants, being a distinctive features of the Gonarezhou National Park, close to our Lowveld home in Zimbabwe, gave this already familiar-looking environment more of a homely feeling for us.

We then entered a thicket and encountered a dagga boy. Lameck was tickled by the name ‘dagga boy’ which was a name we commonly used in Zimbabwe. The safety of the vehicle allowed us to spend time with this large buffalo bull. Buffaloes are one of the most dangerous and unpredictable animals in Africa. The striking coats of zebra and their foals prettied the scenery as they stood close to each other and looked at us for a while before trotting off. In the distance we spotted waterbuck that were also with young. A little further on stood a lone waterbuck whose identity could not be mistaken with its one horn. There were herds of impala. We came across a nursery of impala fawn staring curiously at us as they lay in two groups close to each other. Then perfect timing for us! As we were looking at a large herd of buffalo far down below us in a valley, a large pride of lion appeared from a thicket and walked right past it in a long line. They headed towards the small section of river which they drank from and crossed before flopping down to rest. We always find it a special treat to see these majestic cats.


Tanzania The heavy rain which started to pelt down just before midday did not interrupt our game viewing. We closed the vehicle roof and continued on our way as we enjoyed our packed lunches. The contents of each box we individually selected from a large choice of food laid out for us at the lodge after breakfast. This late November shower did not last long, but there was enough water to create large puddles which displayed the animal and bird reflections as they drank from them. We took some time to admire the pretty zebra stripes rippling in the water. Bird life, including a noticeable amount of different birds of prey, surrounded us on the river bed, in the sky, and the trees. With the presence of migratory birds in the rainy season, this is a haven for bird enthusiasts! A large group of mongooses hurried alongside a stretch of water. The abundance of termite mounds possibly provides homes to many. Not far away from them, reedbuck drank. We saw eland, although not entirely, as they partially stood behind trees in a woodland. Warthogs wallowed in the recently created puddles. Our luck was doubled when another pride of lions, on the side of road, came into view. Its members were mostly napping and did not appear to be perturbed by our close presence. A cub was the first to have had enough of resting – it strolled across to an adult, huddled close to it and indulged in a pampering of licks, with dramatic facial expressions revealing that its little mind was filled with contentment and love. Our entertainment with these cats did not stop there as our attention was diverted to a young restless lion with desires to hunt setting in.

It got up and crept toward some wildebeest and zebra individually strolling past.


May/June 2019

The lion stared intently at them from behind a bush. The only sign of it being noticed by its potential prey was a zebra which momentarily returned its stare before continuing on its way. We thought we had seen all species we would for the day so were pleasantly surprised when we rounded a corner and saw an ostrich with just under a dozen chicks. Later, we saw another flock with adults only. The shaggy bold black and white feathers of the roosters and the light brown ones of the hen bouncing in the breeze as they scurried up a grassy hill on their long legs made a spectacular sight. We had more in store for us! This time our sighting was ‘cheated’ but exciting as it enabled us to see four of the big five that day. Lameck’s vehicle radio informed him that a leopard had been seen, and he was given a location. We would not have found this beautiful cat lounging over a tree branch by ourselves. When we were there, it lifted its head once, looked in our direction for a few seconds, and went back to sleep. The noise of the small gathering of vehicles had disturbed it, but with dusk still being a few hours away, it was not time for it to get up. It was not time for sundowners either but after about seven action-filled hours, filled with such an abundance of wildlife, we returned to Maramboi Lodge. The closed ‘tourist’ vehicle we had not been accustomed to doing game drives in made us realize the advantages of not getting soaked or sunburnt! There was time for us to take a short afternoon walk among the lodge’s wild residents which included a couple of mischievous-looking jackal which darted around to the edge of the lake which hosted a large flock of flamingos. As we enjoyed sundowners and snacks on the pool terrace overlooking game, we reflected on one of the best game drives we have ever had in this absolute gem of a game park.

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Putting heads together

Image: Left David Syme from Australia will always remember his trip to Zimbabwe after catching this beautiful tiger fish on the lower Zambezi.

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Local Art

Local Talent Wildlife Art Article and Artworks Will Maberly

oday, I reflect on the privilege I have had in my life, being able to spend so much time in these special places. For me, painting has created the connection to the wild I always yearned. I don’t believe we ever really see nature until we try and recreate it; the subtle changes in the light, or the many changes in colour that somehow never register until we really look. But there is more to it as well. This is my passion – a powerful urge from the core of my being to recreate the ambiance of the wild but, also, to generate awareness to the plight of Africa’s wildlife as a whole. Another recent trip to the ’Valley’ - the spiritual ambience, as always, descends upon you like some cloak warming the soul, inspiring deep thought and, above all, a journey into the present! Memories play like some continuous film roll through our minds as individual smells and sights trigger certain senses, and the silence of reality plays its music deeply within us - a time for contemplation, a time of reflection. How do you describe such beauty in the right way? Perhaps we don’t. No words can ever really make an adequate description of something so special, even a picture doesn’t do this justice. The beauty of this place we call the ‘Valley’ is reflected within us. It’s a warm feeling of knowing without a doubt that we are in the right place at the right time, a feeling of being ‘kumusha’.


May/June 2019

Local Art

I started writing this in the dark, early morning overlooking the river - the birds are starting up and in the distance the hyenas are calling excitedly, signifying the harsh realities of nature. The cool morning air reminds me of those many fires that I have sat around with companions. Many times it was just in silence, others in frantic discussion about subjects that were of the day but they never really mattered in the end. Somewhere in the distance, the lions are calling and the feeling of just ‘being’ is so intense, so real, that I wonder where all the time has gone. The silence of the morning is friendly, the orchestra of doves starting up in unison as day slowly breaks to my east, and the first light shows on the horizon. Today will be a good one, another great memory for the future, another brush stroke on the oil painting that is life. The intoxicating blends of Mopane, water and elephant fill the fresh morning air, an undeniably African ambience reminds us of the present, and I have an enormous urge to try and capture the feeling of being here on canvas, the colours, the sounds and that overall feeling of reality that grabs me. It would be wise to listen carefully and you might hear the drums are beating.


Zambezi Elephant Fund

How Collaboration Is Helping To Propel a Local Conservation Success Story. Zimbabwe is home to the world’s second largest population of African elephant, which places a massive responsibility on all of us to work together and make sure that population numbers remain healthy across the Zambezi Valley. Article Zambezi Elephant Fund Images Zambezi Elephant Fund and Steven Chikosi


May/June 2019

Zambezi Elephant Fund


n Africa, collaboration is still an unusual conservation model, but working well together only amplifies the impact of conservation efforts. This is becoming more and more apparent in Zimbabwe’s Zambezi Valley. Zambezi Elephant Fund has its roots in the support of anti-poaching activities in the Zambezi Valley, but it is growing today into one that supports, connects and grows relationships between public and private sector conservation/law-enforcement authorities and organisations. As a powerful voice for wildlife under threat in the region, Zambezi Elephant Fund works together with Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, conservation support partners and active implementers in the valley, sharing expertise and information, creating awareness, fundraising and co-ordinating efforts on the ground. The last few years in the Zambezi Valley have seen some extremely positive outcomes from these collaborations and, together with ZimParks’ efforts, these include a significant reduction in elephant poaching and a step-change upwards in wildlife crime prosecutions and successful convictions. Alongside The Zambezi Society, Flying for Wildlife, Kariba Animal Welfare Fund Trust, Tashinga Initiative, Bushlife Support Unit and other implementing partners, Zambezi Elephant Fund has been working with ZimParks on the 5-year National Elephant Management Plan, which was signed by the Minister of Environment in January 2016. Aside from the significant drop in poaching, the Valley has seen an improvement in resources for wildlife protection, resulting in greater efficiency in anti-poaching efforts.

Zambezi Elephant Fund’s focus this year What of the future? is to increase ranger welfare. There has been a meaningful morale boost through The Zambezi Elephant Fund continues the creation of a ranger base station at to seek partnerships in unexpected Nyakasikana. This has improved training, places – and it is often these that have the equipment and logistical support, as well most significant outcomes. At a recent as the establishing of a recreation centre Zambezi Elephant Fund gathering of for rangers and their families. young Zimbabweans from all walks of Building on initial informer-led antilife, the traditional and perceived “elitist” poaching investigations work started conservation mould was well and truly by the Matusadona Anti-Poaching disrupted. This group came to the table Project (MAPP) in 2015, a network of with their “anything is possible” approach. collaborating organisations led by The The creative solutions, networking and Zambezi Society has formed the Illegal ideas that come out of collaborations Wildlife Crime Initiative, which works such as ‘together with the experience and with ZimParks Investigations, the ZRP, wisdom of the older conservationists’ are CID and the Minerals, Fauna & Flora Unit. inspiring and positive. This tracks and records all illegal wildlife crime Achievements to date through the court system, improves •Two anti-poaching Land Cruisers with drivers on the ground •in the Zambezi Valley, each covering over 3,000km a month – and strengthens •dedicated to the deployment and uplift of ranger patrols procedures for •A Zambezi River border patrol boat with coxswain, based at arresting and •Mana Pools with a capacity to deploy eight rangers conviction of •A covert vehicle to support state authorities with informerpoachers, and •based operations follows up on court •A Savannah light-sport aircraft for anti-poaching surveillance proceedings to •and monitoring of wildlife population trends •Construction of a well-equipped, strategically-located antiensure successful •poaching ranger rapid response base conclusions. This •Strategically placed wet season fly camps with transport work has been a •Patrol food supplies (rations) game-changer •Road opening within Mana Pools to improve access and for anti-poaching •coverage operations in the •The commencement of digital radio capability for ranger patrols Zambezi Valley •An equipped recreation centre (in progress) for the rangers and •their families at Mana Pools and Zimbabwe. •Painting of a school in the Chundu community (on the outskirts There is expected •of the Mana Pools National Park) growth with a •Support for a community-based reward system in the fight new collaborative •against illegal wildlife crime partnership with •Support for a disadvantaged children’s programme run by Chief the International •Chundu’s wife, Portia Kakamba Anti-Poaching •Specialised weapons training courses for rangers Foundation.


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May/June 2019

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Hwange Article and Images Hannah Rudland


rior to booking this holiday, I considered a lot of different places around Zimbabwe that would allow for a two night adventure for two. Considering neither of us had been to Hwange, we decided this was the perfect time to scratch it off the bucket list. I had always seen the most breathtaking pictures of a camp by the name of “Somalisa” in Hwange. We can all admit that when we are looking for holiday locations it’s the referrals or stunning photos on social media that influence the final decision. Even though I was looking into other camps in the area, Somalisa seemed to tick all the boxes. However, there was one major detail that sealed the deal.

I had emailed one camp in Hwange that refused to take local currency, therefore, fingers were crossed that Somalisa would accept a bank transfer. This, for most Zimbabweans, is a major factor in choosing any local camp or hotel. After liaising with a lovely representative from African Bush Camps the decision was made because we could pay local currency for the full stay at Somalisa. What a relief! We arrived at Manga Airstrip in the late afternoon of Friday where our guide picked us up for a twenty-minute drive to Somalisa Camp. With luck on our side, we managed to see three beautiful cheetahs just before approaching the camp. What a phenomenal welcome!



Every holiday in Zimbabwe is “too short”. It’s not always easy to find a place where you can go for two nights and still feel satisfied with the amount of time spent there. We truly are lucky enough to have such beautiful places.

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May/June 2019

It was a breathtaking sight! We were in absolute awe. As we drew closer to the leopard, it veered off into the thick bush. Not being more than three metres away, it was shocking how camouflaged the leopard was, almost impossible to notice. By then, it really was time to head back to camp. After having a shower and relaxing for a short while by the main area, we had lunch on the deck with the other guests. Time for the sunset drive was approaching. We were joined by another Zimbabwean couple from Bulawayo and a foreign couple for a short game drive to the sunset location. Unfortunately, we did not see any new game but nothing beats an open truck with the dry dust on your skin and the wind in your hair. It was the last magical sunset in Hwange. Overlooking the fields of grass with the sunset reflecting on the waterhole, this was my idea of a perfect ending to our short adventure. Dinner came and shortly after that we shared stories around a campfire and getting to know the other guests. An early yet satisfying evening concluded the day. We finally had our first sleep in of the trip followed by a swift check out. Soon we were bound for the air strip. With elephants surrounding the right side of the runway and African Bush Camp Send us your tumultuous tales, recovered road trips staff waving us and unbelievable adventures to and goodbye to the left, you may be featured in our next issue of NZiRA it was a fantastic and heartwarming end to our trip.

We were checked in after a short tour of the communal area. Stunning rooms coupled with the very accommodating staff made us feel like we were off to a great start. The sun was lowering over the waterhole directly in front of the camp, with a G&T in hand and an abundance of elephants it was the perfect first sunset in Hwange. If you want a relaxing sleep in, this is most certainly not a holiday I would recommend. Alarm clock buzzing, we were up at 5am ready for our first game drive. We were only in Hwange for a short period of time so we desperately needed to make the most out of it. The bird life was incredible on our drive. The landscape of golden coloured fields of grass was nothing like I had ever experienced before. While we sipped on our morning coffee, we managed to see some kudu, giraffe, zebra, more beautiful elephants, and one lonely jackal. After the morning snacks and seeing wonderful game, we decided to make our way back to the camp. On the way back our very knowledgeable, young guide spotted some fresh leopard tracks and decided we would follow them. After driving slowly for a few minutes that seemed like forever, we spotted a leopard walking casually on the main dust road.




May/June 2019


Exploring Darwendale Article and Images Rwendo Life


ne of our goals, as a couple, is to explore the African continent while taking plenty of weekends away around Zimbabwe as often as we can. We have discovered that there are many unpopular but amazing places that are yet to be explored and we are excited to experience them for ourselves. We live in the capital city of Harare so we decided to escape the hustle and bustle of the city with a quick trip to Darwendale Recreational Park. The park is located about 76km west of Harare and it occupies an area of about 11200ha. Just under three quarters of this area is covered by the Lake Manyame. After digging around the Zimpark’s website, we immediately fell in love with the place since we both love nature and water. We had planned to leave Harare early so we would have as much time to explore the recreational park as possible since we were booked for only one night. We were going to have a self-catering cottage, therefore, we made sure to purchase the necessary supplies. We left Harare at exactly 8am and set off on our adventure. The advantage of leaving early is that you can have a chance to check out some amazing scenery and other places along the way. 23km into our journey, we made a spur of the moment decision to pass through the Lion and Cheetah Park for a glimpse of the king of the jungle since we had plenty time on our hands.

The spontaneous decision was golden as one of the staff, Steven, gave us a 5 star tour. We managed to see the lions and other game species which include the crocodile, eland and duiker. We also spent some time with the co-star of Lion and Cheetah Park Tommy, a Galapagos tortoise, who is over 250 years old and weighs around half a tonne! After our two hour detour, we continued with our journey. Our excitement levels were higher than before. About 60km from Harare we decided to make another stop, this time at Manyame River Bridge just for a closer look. We went under the bridge as there is a small footpath that leads to the water. The sound of the water flowing, smell of the fresh air and thick dense bushes made us feel grateful. The tension of city life fell away. We sat there absorbing the environment, playing with the water and documenting it for thirty minutes. With just 15km left, we were back in the car. This time we didn’t stop until we got to the Zimparks signage where we turned right into a dust road that held the last 5km of our journey. The dirt road is challenging to maneuver on some parts with our small Toyota Vitz Clavia. If it had been raining, we would have been stuck so we recommend you use a four wheel drive during the rainy season as the road becomes muddy and slippery.


Darwendale We arrived to the Zimparks entrance and were given a warm welcome by the friendly staff who confirmed our booking and handed us the keys to our cottage. As we drove to the accommodation we passed through the dense and peaceful bush filled with spoils of different indigenous trees which made the whole experience breathtaking and memorable. The cottage was finally in sight but our first port of call was exploring our surroundings before going inside. The cottage was quite cozy with a fully equipped kitchen including all the utensils necessary for self-catering, a lounge, dining room, two bedrooms, a shower and a braai area. We also managed to enjoy the amazing view of the dam right from the accommodation and that’s where we sat as we watched the sun set. We decided to retire into our cottage and prepared a filling dinner comprising of roast chicken, roasted potatoes, cucumber salad and wine. We woke up the next morning ready and energised to explore our home away from home. We started off by going to tour the Darwendale Dam where we met one of the staff who manages the dam wall. This is where we received our dam history lesson. The dam was constructed in 1976 and is a home to vast aquatic species like the Mozambique bream, tiger fish and the Hunyani salmon. In the distance, we could see fisherman in their canoes and boats doing a bit of fishing right in the middle of Lake Manyame and we immediately put fishing on our list as something that we would definitely try out on our next trip. Having taken in the outdoor scene we ventured indoors. The cottage was cozy. After viewing the dam, we then went to explore the campsite or camping area, which is another exciting accommodation alternative that we are definitely going to try out on our next trip as it is something we have never done before. This campsite has a communal ablution block, and water points plus braai points dotted around the camp. We decide to spend the entire day at the picnic site which overlooks Lake Manyame. With our basket filled with fruits and snacks we enjoyed the breeze coming from the lake with monkeys jumping up and down the vast Musasa trees which surrounded us. The park sustains a variety of trees which gives the place a unique nature filled atmosphere. The head ranger, Mr Makore, told us that approximately 3100ha of the park is reserved for smaller and less dangerous animals, mainly herbivores such as sable, kudu, water buck, bushpig, reed buck, common duiker, warthog, baboon, vervet monkey, oribi and porcupine. Unfortunately, most of the animals didn’t come out to meet us that day. Returning home we felt relaxed and ready to take on our busy jobs that required our full creative abilities. If you are looking for a place to clear your mind and bond with nature then this recreational park is the right place to visit. A day trip would still be worth it as well.


May/June 2019


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It’s not the destination… Have you met the Isuzu Mu-X?


imbabwe is best enjoyed through road trip adventures that take you places hidden in the dense bush known to nestle wildlife and locals who are blessed enough to call the buzzing thicket home. Experience an episode in your life from the comfort of a trusted vehicle that is built with impeccable excellence. There’s enough space for your whole family, extended family members and everyone’s luggage plus the kitchen sink for the road trip you will never forget. The third row of seats in the back folds flat creating plenty of space. Focus on the landscape and not each other’s elbows as the leather seats have ample room for your legs and head. Speaking of comfort, air conditioning is standard but rear passengers can control their own air flow as well. Smooth sailing is guaranteed because it sits at about 140km/hr very comfortably. When you’re on four wheel drive you can hit 100km/hr easily. The Mu-X has 12.7 km a litre fuel economy, six speed automatic transmission and Bi-LED headlamps with day time running lights. At the turn of a knob you can toggle between 2H and 4H which switches between two and four wheel drive. When dealing with tricky terrain you can activate both low range and diff-lock to navigate through obstacles regardless of severity. Equipped with touch screen radio with satellite navigation and reversing camera, this is the best way get around. Ingenuity meets action-packed escapades to bring you the most comfortable addition to your family. Experience comfort, room and luxury the Isuzu way – it won’t just be the destination that’ll be worth talking about but the journey too!


May/June 2019



Two tone tour

Matusadona 2018 Article and Images Mitch Riley


fter many months of preparation, meetings and training, it was finally time to begin. The Two Tone Tour was off, across the vast eastern basin towards the Ume River with the golden rising sun at our backs. The calm waters of the Gubu some 10km up the Ume River gave way to an oasis of green networks of rivers and tributaries like capillaries. The river came alive; swaths of birds added specks of colour as Carmines flitted in and out of their nesting holes, hippos and crocodiles ladened the banks, ours heads swaying back and forth trying to take in all the splendour . A hippo path was our exit point from the boat. This would be the first steps of many to come. Spirits were high and backpacks were heavily loaded. Not a minute into the walk and a male bushbuck, with his white dotted flanks, slunk across our path. Then a small family of kudu rushed out from under a fruiting Tamarind. A herd of impala moved off after a quick drink from the trickling river. Mother Nature was spoiling us from the start. Before teatime, we had negotiated our way past a magnificent elephant bull who boasted some superb tusks and a lonely Dagga boy who stood in disbelief at our presence, possibly never having seen a human before in his life. The Dagga boy watched us quizzically as we boiled water for our tea and biscuits. We moved off slowly after tea and an already exciting morning got better. As we rounded an ox bow, a leopardess melted off a rock and blended into the brush after a few precious seconds.


May/June 2019

We couldn’t believe our luck. There was a hum in the group and smiles all round, but before we could finish discussing this rare incident a large brown bird flew out from an entanglement of green overgrown trees, a Pel’ s Fishing Owl. A once in a life time spot for some! It flew into a bare Sterculia and posed for us until the harassment of Drongos and Bulbuls became too much. All this happened before lunch. From this point we started to climb. The river became narrow and rocky. We were now seeing more animal spoor than the actual animals themselves. The sheer beauty of the rock formations and waterfalls took over. Succulents, creepers, climbers and euphorbia clung to The encouragement and comradery built over these walks the rocks and their is second to none, no team building courses could ever roots stretched far teach you the value of working together and respecting one in search of water. The sun was another like a walk in nature. Named after the classic two now setting at tone stone coloured shirts that were once popular in the our backs over yester years, the Two Tone Tour in Matusadona has to be the Ume River on your to-do list this winter. which was now just a glimmer in the distance. A sign the day was drawing to a close. Our feet hurting slightly at this point and ruck sacks digging into shoulders, the evening chorus rang out through the cooling air. White-browed Sparrow-weavers busied about their scruffy westward facing nests above our tents. The Shelley’s Francolin, which is not found on the valley floor, called its almost mocking tune of “lets drink some beer, lets drink some beer” as we all had water dug and filtered from the river bed.

Matusadona The night settled in. Sitting around the crackling fire with the cool river sand between our toes, we were mesmerised. These campfires were often referred to as bush television for their almost trance like effects. The first night was a treat of steaks and potatoes as we could only afford the extra weight on the first day before our legs and backs became weary. The rest of the trip would be well thought out noodles, tuna, and soups – easily prepared on-the-go meals with regular tea and coffee breaks that allowed us to stop and take in the surroundings. During one of our tea breaks, we were joined by yet another lonely buffalo bull who watched us from less than 5m away before trotting off into the 6ft Hyparrhenia grass that skirted the river’s edge. Our goal for Day Two was the base of trig, the highest point in the area. After a gruelling day of mountain climbing, elephant path finding, and (some might say) getting lost, we found ourselves in the shadow of trig point! The sandy patch around made for a great campsite, with a small seep from which we collected our water for the evening. We, however, were not alone that night and shared the vlei with a chorus of calls: Nightjars flitted overhead, Weavers and Quelea chirped in their hundreds as they gathered in their roosting spots and a hyena’s woops and drawn out howls echoed eerily down the valley with the cool still air amplifying his voice. Obviously curious, the hyena circled the camp while keeping his distance trying to work out who was joining him for the evening. Thanks to an early start with the goal in our sights, Day Three was triumphant! The summit of trig is one view that cannot be described and pictures do it no justice. We had a 360° view of Matusadona National Park, from Ume to Sanayti River and all the folds and valleys in-between. We spent time taking it all in. It feels like you are sitting on clouds with the entire world below you. Amazingly, we had not been the first ones at the top that day as the trampled grass and fresh bugridden dung of elephant was all around us. These giants may actually enjoy the splendid views atop trig point too!

Our descent started midmorning. A swift drop into the Jeckecha River (first cross roads river) is where we found trickling water that seeped through the rocks and filtered through the tonnes of sand to quench our thirst. Our last day’s camp was perfect, nestled under a grove of giant green Mahogany trees with a crystal pool of water. The campfire’s smoke rose straight up the still air. A Red-faced Cisticola called in the tall grass, a cubby of Crested Francolin shuffled through the leaf litter, and Drongos darted back and forth through the smoke catching insects. Another unforgettable day had come to a close. Our walk out on the last day was again a slow and careful trek. We rock hopped like Klipspringers down the boulder river, dropping further down to lake level. As we rounded the final bend, the welcoming sight of the boat with cold drinks and snacks brought life back into everyone. Legs and backs were no longer so sore and the silence said it all. A great sense of accomplishment was evident in all the smiles – a tour that not many have done. Magical Matusadona is a truly wild, untamed experience. No paths or signs, except those offered to us by nature. And should you accept Mother Nature’s offers you will find your way.

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May/June 2019

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Tourist Treats

Tourist Treats Paintings


Set up at Elephant’s Walk in Victoria Falls, the artists here produce statement pieces that will liven up any home. If you’re looking for a gift for loved ones or simply trying to carry a piece of your adventure home, any one of their paintings will make sure Zimbabwe is a part of you. Lawrence Nyemba, one of the painters, is captivated by Africa’s natural beauty and colours. The only way he knows how to express his admiration is through painting.

Support local with this long established Zimbabwean born pottery company. Delicate Dugga, formerly Ros Byrne Designs, was established in 2018. Owner and manager Sascha Barr together with talented artists Patrick Beaton and Shungu Masara, thrower Motion Gamela and clay maker Pedzisani Nyagome - they make up the designs for dinner and tea sets, egg cups, model animals and plenty of other delightful African ceramics. Each piece is made with care and dedication and it is certainly a treat to take home regardless of where you come from.


Tourist Treats



Agrippa Tirigu is a sculptor and stone carver influenced by the modern sculpture as well as Shona traditions. He works primarily in black serpentine. His love for working with stone comes from his belief that stone has inherent natural beauty. Every stone has a sculpture already hidden inside it and it is his duty to discover it and set it free. Agrippa can produce a range of work, mainly the modern ones. If you’re wondering how you can carry stone home without exceeding your maximum luggage weight, Agrippa offers shipping around the world.

Nhava_zw aims to produce strong authentic African print bags from fabrics across Africa. The bags are handmade in Zimbabwe and are distributed countrywide as well as in South Africa. Clotilda Rufasha founded Nhava_zw and designs the bags but success couldn’t be done without Tinashe Mupfapairi and Robin Chirume to deal with the business aspect. Determined to produce durable bags that withstood the test of time, they decided to come up with a range of colourful bags that are stylish, made with African fabric and strong enough to sustain the weight of laptops making them practical and long lasting. They are based at 1 Letham Road Avondale in Harare.


May/June 2019

For more Contact: | Eastlea08677008262 – | Kwekwe08677008266 –

Seke Road – 08677008264 | Chiredzi – 08677008267 |

Bulawayo – 08677008265 Vic Falls – 08677008268


Biltong and butternut risotto With thyme, basil and créme fraiche



Prep Time


Cooking Time


STEP 1: Preheat the oven to 220 degrees. Peel, de-seed and cut the butternut into bite sized squares, coat in 3 tbsp olive oil, season with salt and pepper and place on a baking tray. Place the tray in the oven and roast for 30 minutes or until cooked through. STEP 2: Meanwhile peel and mince the onions and garlic. STEP 3: Before making the risotto, prepare the stock by mixing 2 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp white wine vinegar and the bouquet garni in a 1 litre jug of boiled water. Stir to combine and set aside. STEP 4: Heat 1 tbsp butter on medium in a deep cast iron pot or pan. When melted and slightly browned, add the onions and garlic. Cook until translucent. Add the brown rice and mix, making sure all the granules are coated with a layer of oil. Add the bay leaves then slowly start adding the hot stock discarding the bouquet garni, one ladle at a time. Stir continuously until the liquid is reduced, and the rice is cooked ‘al dente’ (firm to the bite). This should take about 30 minutes. If the rice takes longer to cook and all the stock is used, add water until you are happy with the texture of the rice. STEP 5: Remove the butternut from the oven and place half in a blender and blend until smooth. STEP 6: Add the biltong (setting aside a few slices for garnish), butternut puree and butternut chunks to the risotto and fold in gently to combine. Cook until heated through. STEP 7: Strip the leaves from the thyme stalks and mince the basil. Add the herbs to the risotto along with the crème fraiche (reserve a few thyme leaves and spoons of crème fraiche for garnish), stir to combine and season well with salt and black pepper. STEP 8: Remove the bay leaves before serving. Divide the risotto between dinner plates, drizzle with remaining crème fraiche and garnish with the reserved thyme leaves and biltong slices.


May/June 2019



INGREDIENTS 200g garlic biltong 150g brown rice 1 butternut 2 bay leaves 1 bouquet garni 2 onions 50ml creme fraiche 4 garlic cloves 1/2 bunch thyme 1 pack basil FROM THE STORE CUPBOARD 3 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp coconut oil 3 tbsp butter 1 tbsp white wine vinegar Salt and pepper to season.

FOR THE KIDDIES! A creamy biltong risotto might be just what they feel like on a winters evening after school but, you can add some grated cheese to the mixture and a little cream to the butternut, to make it an extra delicious risotto.

Chef’s Say

Chef Simba Musiyiwa blending cuisine and travel From Tanzania to Cape Town, Chef Simba has been all over Africa. Now he’s back home to redefine the culinary scene in Zimbabwe from the internationally popular tourist hub of Victoria Falls where he is the executive chef at the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge. NZiRA is very excited to introduce everyone to the culinary guru who cannot be contained within borders. Article Primrose Muzah Images Victoria Falls Safari Lodge


hef Simba was born in Bulawayo and grew up in Gweru which makes Midlands the beginning of his origin story. His father worked in insurance while young Simba spent his childhood immersed in the domestic culinary scene because he was the only boy in a house full of women. In fact, his fondest memories were of the pumpkin fritters his mother made on Sunday mornings. This ignited his interest in cooking, or maybe it was watching his sister making quiche for her home economics class. It’s clear that his main influence came from his mother and sisters but the passion and drive are 100% his own. “Food intrigued me from an early age,” Chef Simba remembers, “somehow it just came naturally to me when I would try to make something.” Cooking requires a lot of attention and as a young boy he had plenty of that rare skill.

Thanks to the support of the women in his life, he has had great success because of his talent and has since been on an unforgettable 10-day road trip in Iceland, where he enjoyed camping and hiking, and he has spoiled his taste buds in Mauritius by indulging in their Creole, Asian and Indian mix. He didn’t have enough praises for dhal puri or octopus pickles supplied from neighboring Rodrigues Island. There’s no better way to return home than with an expanse of knowledge, experience and energy. For Chef Simba, being a foodie or great chef means that you have to embrace travel, cuisine and food. This allows people to break limits that typically keep them boxed in. Cuisine influences tourism to a large extent as each country has a culture and food heritage to be showcased.


Chef’s Say

“There is so much to learn and experience, especially when you want to be a good chef. You can’t just settle with your own cuisine, you must experience and learn it all.”

“Africans in general have a sharing spirit from entertaining your neighbor or relative and friends who sometimes pitch up unannounced, people must be fed,” Chef Simba reminds us. Our style of cooking tells a story of where people come from. Now that all this expertise has been extended, heightened and broadened, Chef Simba is ready to take Victoria Falls guests on a culinary journey. Visitors to the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge can experience the marrying together of culture and food at the MaKuwa-Kuwa Restaurant and the Buffalo Bar, as well as the Victoria Falls Safari Club restaurant. When he’s not working in the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge kitchen, Chef Simba takes his work home. Now before you judge him, he can’t help that he loves to cook for his family and friends. He absolutely adores Indian food so lamb biriyani is his dish of choice for entertaining, but his all-time favorite meal is his mother’s pork trotters. Being homesick is a challenge even for professionals like Chef Simba, but nothing beats the exposure one gets from travel. Chef Simba says it best, “There is so much to learn and experience, especially when you want to be a good chef. You can’t just settle with your own cuisine, you must experience and learn it all.”


May/June 2019


Chef Simba’s winter recipe His admiration for East African and Indian food is evident as one of the dishes he recommends when you visit Victoria Falls Safari Lodge is the slow cooked smoked lamb curry. He’s so confident in his magic touch he shared the recipe for everyone to try. Don’t forget to head to Victoria Falls and enjoy the dish as made by the master himself.

Smoked Lamb Curry



Method Ingredients 250 g ghee, plus 1 tbsp extra for smoking the charcoal 10 green cardamom, split 2 tsp cumin whole 2 tbsp garam masala 6-8 cloves 1 cinnamon stick 2 bay leaves 10 black peppercorns 3 large red onions, very finely chopped 2 tbsp ground coriander 1/2 tsp turmeric 1-3 tsp chilli powder, to taste 6 cloves garlic, crushed to a paste 4cm ginger, finely grated 1kg lamb or mutton, cut into thin slices 250g tomatoes, diced 50-75 g raw papaya, finely grated (optional) 300 ml lamb stock or brown stock 1x 4cm piece charcoal 1 tbsp chopped coriander, to garnish

Heat the ghee in a large pot, and once hot, add the cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and peppercorns and fry until they start popping and give off an aroma. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until they turn golden brown. Mix the ground coriander, turmeric and chili powder. Add this to the pan and stir well. Stir in the garlic and ginger and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes. Add the lamb pieces, one by one (this keeps the oil temperature hot) - stir well to coat all the meat with the spices. Add the tomatoes, papaya and stock, cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes if using the papaya, or 45-60 minutes if you’re not. Check that the lamb is tender. Once cooked, smoke the dish. Heat a piece of charcoal either in a hot oven (preheated to 220degC/gas 7) or over a gas flame. Using tongs (take care), transfer the coal to a small metal dish, which is sitting on top of the curry. Heat the ghee in a small pan, and when hot, pour it over the coal. Immediately seal the pan with aluminum foil and a tight-fitting lid. Leave on one side for 1-2 minutes - the smoky flavor will, by now, have infused the meat. Remove the lid and foil and garnish with chopped coriander.



Beverage for every bay


What is a beverage for every bay?

Runs Till June

We are aware that Zimbabwe, as magnificent as it is, is landlocked and does not possess the typical definition of “bay” in most areas but we do have a collection charming hangout spots by rivers, lakes and even waterfalls all around the country. What we’re looking for are the most popular and, dare we say, photogenic beverages you love to share in your “bay”.

Travel, food, drinks and culture are all intrinsically entwined together. We like to think each of these elements enhance one another; one simply cannot be properly enjoyed without the other! We are exploring the wonderful pairing of some of the finest alcohol with some of the fantastic destinations around Zimbabwe. However, we don’t pretend to be the experts on this particular topic so we want to invite all of you to participate and educate us on what you delight in quenching your thirsts with in the various locations around Zimbabwe. Therefore, we welcome you to enter our competition and it is one hell of a contest! We collaborated with The Stable Winery to be able to determine the true beverage for every bay!

What will you win, courtesy of The Stable Winery? Victoria Falls

Bubbles L-Ormarins Brut Classique Rose 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay Attractive delicate salmon pink hue. Delicious whiffs of charming raspberry and strawberry aromas vie with a peppery spice nuance on the nose. The palate is vivid with lively bubbles of bright red berries and crisp acidity. Providing equilibrium are rich, creamy lees notes and toasted biscuit flavours from its secondary fermentation in bottle. Delightfully playful yet serious with good structure, length and a clean, focused finish.


White wine Thelema Savinon Blanc Unwooded and well-balanced, with fresh melon and grapefruit flavours, and a full zesty palate. Balanced, well-structured wines with lovely intensity.


Gin and Tonic Inverroche Classic Gin 12 Fitch & Leedes Indian Tonics Fitch & Leedes Crafted and designed to enhance the very best gins. Inverroche Classic Gin infused with fynbos from the limestone-rich soils of the low lands of the Cape Floral Kingdom, Inverroche Gin Classic is crispy and dry with upfront green, grassy juniper notes which blend seamlessly with a bouquet of soft flowers on the nose. Redolent of summer citrus, rose petals and assertive florals, delivering a clean, dry and spicy finish.


Beer 12 Devils Peak Lager Clean crisp malt character supported by a mild, spicy and slightly floral aroma of the famous noble Hallertauer Mittelfrüh hops.


Canti Prosecco D.O.C Millesimato Dry and pleasantly fruity. Light straw yellow with fine and persistent perlage. Ideal as an aperitif and during the whole meal. 58

May/June 2019


Eastern Highlands

Red Wine Springfield Wholeberry Cabernet Sauvingon Whole berry maceration is followed by fermentation with natural yeasts, racking and one year’s maturation in oak barrels. The result is a velvety wine with softer tannins and classical varietal characteristics. This traditional wine is unfiltered and unfined, which may deposit sediment and might require decanting.

So how do you enter this fantastic competition? In three steps you can stand a chance to win your favourite drink. Step 1: Follow or like NZiRA and The Stable Winery on Instagram or Facebook. Step 2: Take a picture of your beverage, preferably one on the list and one from The Stable Winery, while you are in one of these seven places. Step 3: Tag The Stable Winery and NZiRA in the post on Facebook or Instagram and don’t forget to tell us what you’re drinking in this place and why. You may disagree with our selection of what you drink in each bay so feel free to tell us why you disagree and you will still be eligible to win!

Sponsored by:

Mango de Tzondzo MOZAMBIQUE

Email :- Tel :- +27 790 390 824

What to expect A modern clean and well appointed house with large windows and sliding/stacking beach front doors. All 5 bedrooms have air conditioning, en-suite bathrooms,hair dryers and fitted wardrobes. The 6th is a bunk room with 3 bunks,also air conditioned & attached is a crib with changing table,Mosquito net attachment for the crib,high chair feeding table & moveable stairs barrier. The main bedroom's bathroom has a bath & large shower.

What to expect The kitchen is well equipped with two Minushouse 40 fridges, with 2 additional stand by fridges (1 has icemaker),stand alone ice maker,chest A modern clean and well appointed large windows and sliding/stacking beach front doors. All 5 freezers,dishwasher, washing machine and tumble dryer. There is a gas stove / oven. bedrooms have air conditioning, en-suite bathrooms,hair dryers and fitted wardrobes. The 6th is a bunk room The property comes with a large braai & Weber BBQ. with 3 bunks,also air conditioned & attached is a crib with changing table,Mosquito net attachment for the Fromfeeding the veranda you can see& themoveable start of the bazaruto archipelago with Paradise and bedroom's Bazaruto Island in view. During the crib,high chair table stairs barrier. TheIsland main bathroom has a bath & large right season you are also likely to see whales, dolphins and turtles when out at sea. The property overlooks the Indian Ocean with shower. amazing sun rise views. No internet/wifi provided; however

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

The kitchen Guest is well equipped with two Minus 40 fridges, 2 additional stand by fridges (1 has icemaker),stand access The property can be accessed by dirt road behind the dunes and it is a machine short 8 minute drive from the centre ofdryer. Inhassoro.There The road is a gas stove / oven. alone ice maker,chest freezers,dishwasher, washing and tumble from Inhassoro is unpaved 4x4 vehicle recommended GPS co-ordinates Latitude -21,5813 Longditude 35,2460

Guest services The property comes with team a large braai & Weber There is a management available that service the house. BBQ. 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. From the veranda you can see the start of the bazaruto archipelago with Paradise Island and Bazaruto Island Sue Dunlap - +25 88 4300 5592 in view. During right season +25 you are8388 also likely to see whales, dolphins and turtles when out at sea. The Debbiethe - 88 4417 property overlooks the Indian Ocean with amazing sun rise views. 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.

No internet/wifi provided; however there is a vodacom aerial near the house which provides good cellular We recommend MARLIN FISHING CHARTERS (Charles Lee - +25 88 4706 6784) who have competitive rates. and data signal. Weblink:

Guest access 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 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:


Packing List

Suitcase Stories

Warm winter packing list Article Primrose Muzah Image Rapture Images



If you haven’t been wearing sunscreen there’s Nothing puts a damper on your travel plans With no better time to start than during your winter quite like a cold or flu. If you do find yourself highs of 18°C in vacation. No, seriously. While in summer you starting to feel under the weather, you’ll the coldest regions and wear sunscreen to avoid sunburn and tan be glad you carried your Vitamin C 25°C all around Victoria Falls, lines, when you’re basking under the supplements. Vitamin C is the number you’d think I’m describing a typical African winter sun you wear sunscreen one recommended winter supersummer’s day in London but this is the for those exact same reasons. Even vitamin and is found in most fruit when it’s cloudy the rays of the sun and vegetables. Contrary to popular average winter forecast experienced in pass through. So make sure you have belief, it doesn’t prevent colds but it is Zimbabwe. With the mountainous areas a bottle of sunscreen to maintain an excellent for boosting your immune close to Mozambique waking up to fog and even skin tone and prevent skin system. So, while we hope you don’t drizzle, Victoria Falls is all sunshine and cancer caused by the harmful get a cold (knock on wood) pack some no rain. If you’re confused about how to UV rays. Vitamin C supplements for that one pack for a winter that barely feels like person who always thinks they don’t winter most of the time, here are need a jacket. VITAMIN E a few essentials to have in While we’re talking about skincare, make sure you grab a bottle of Vitamin E and pack your bag! PORTABLE POWER BANK it in a waterproof bag. The last thing you need Extra battery for your devices is always is for this antioxidant miracle oil to spill all over appreciated. There is nothing worse than trying your belongings. It’s a thick oil that works both as a to capture the magical colours of our Zimbabwean vitamin supplement and a topical skin healer. Boost your sunset and then your phone beeps to indicate low immune system and cell function from within while you fight UV battery. Have a fully charged power bank and stay damage and dry, patchy skin that is common with the cold. On the ahead of any power outages you might encounter on off chance you forget to apply sunscreen, Vitamin E oil is great at your trip, those rare times you find yourself doors. reducing inflammation and irritation that comes with sunburn.


May/June 2019

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events Baobab Trail Run (Livingstone, Zambia) 4 May It’s back and it promises to be even bigger and better. Taking place around pristine secure fenced in African bush bordering the Mosi-ao-Tunya National park in Livingstone. The Baobab trail offers distances for all types of runners, whether you’re new to running, a walker, casual runner, or a seasoned runner looking for a great trail run! 3.5km, 7km, 10km or a kid’s fun run - A mild marathon in the wilderness is fun either way!

LICAF - Livingstone International Culture & Arts Festival (Livingstone, Zambia) 13 – 15 June See Zambia in one place: LICAF, the beating heart of our culture. 73 Zambian tribes from 10 provinces encapsulated in one festival all happening at a time of the year when the Mighty Victoria Falls is at its thundering best, dropping down more than 500m2 of water every second. With local and international performances, be dazzled by a spectacular carnival procession through the streets of Livingstone

Events Diacore Gaborone Marathon (Gaborone, Botswana) 12 May Zambezi Dreaming 25 May

Africa Day 2019! Zambezi Dreaming will be a familyfriendly festival of music and fun with picnic hampers, live music and delicious food and drink starting in the afternoon and stretching into the evening.

Mt Kilimanjaro Marathon (Moshi, Tanzania) 22 June

Gnaoua World Music Festival (Essaouina, Morocco) 20 - 23 June

If you attend any spectacular event, share with us your experience. Email


Upcoming Events

Mountains & Rivers

Festivals Article and Images Bad Rabbit Studio

Warning: Even the most awkward of shufflers will flail their arms around in dance, eventually. Headaches may ensue.


May/June 2019


or the last three years, the Mountains and Rivers Festival has beckoned the adventurous out from the urban dwellings of our capital city and brought them to the verdant surroundings of Aberfoyle Lodge. Mountains, among them Zimbabwe’s highest, and rivers, namely the Pungwe that rises on the Northern range of the Eastern highlands and empties into the Mozambique Channel at Beira, frame the annual festival that takes place in the foothills above the banana and avocado plantations of the Honde Valley. A world away from the monotonous mindyour-own business of typical city living, the weekend is the ultimate exercise in friendship forming, cold water plunging and awkward dancing.

Take the word exercise lightly. You absolutely don’t have to do any, if you so wish. The festival is formed in such a way that if you’d rather sun bathe, sip on GnT’s and watch the Palm Nut vulture pair fly-by before lighting up the dance floor till all hours of the morning, then you can be Aberfoyle’s guest. The bar is fully stocked with all the most delicious of tipples and the live music on the Saturday evening plays till (traditionally) very late - thank you McKays. However, the fresh, mountainous air and cold, clear water encourages even the most hardened of bar flies to slap on some sun cream, a life jacket and obligatory dark glasses to raft the Pungwe’s rapids. Taking place over a weekend usually mid to late March, the Friday evening of the festival is, depending on how you choose to spend it, very chilled and relaxed or an exuberant night of drinking and revelry. The festival is set up to encourage people to explore the Honde Valley and get out of town. As such, accommodation ranges from very affordable camping spots with selfcatering as an option for the weekend (an opportunity to experience the beauty of the area for a fraction of the price), to luxurious en-suite rooms and delicious three course meals for those who cannot fathom sleeping in a tent. Don’t ask me how they’ve done it, but the team behind the festival has managed to make families, young adults and those looking for a quieter weekend, all equally welcome and catered for.

There are activities aplenty, from zip lining to bum sliding, to bird watching and tea factory tours. There really is something for everyone. Saturday morning starts with an hour long yoga class to dispel any fogginess of mind and stiffness of body from the day before, followed by a hearty breakfast of porridge and eggs, toast, tomatoes and what ever takes your fancy. The tea is home grown and strong. The coffee is the real stuff. After breakfast, the gong is rung for festival goers to make their way down to the beach, about a 30 minute drive from the lodge. The rafts are put in at the beach and off, off, off and away you go for a few hours of pure, unadulterated fun on the water. The rapids are technical, the river bank is beautiful, somehow, the skies are always clear. The day is spent either in a raft, on the beach or swimming in the cold Pungwe waters. Bliss! As evening draws in, The Chain Gain and McKays pick up their microphones, guitars and drum sticks and the night’s festivities kick off at the lodge. Sunday is a quiet affair, with most people sleeping through yoga, eating a late breakfast and summoning the strength to drive back to home after sneaking in a quick activity, swim and fortifying lunch. It is a magical weekend in the mountains, tonic for the tired soul and a weekend to create friendships amongst like-minded people. But most importantly, the weekend is a reminder of the environmental importance of protecting and supporting such wilderness areas - and, that there is a whole country to explore and a whole bunch of fun to be had while doing so. A big thank you to all those who came out in support of Mountains and Rivers Festival, 2019. Profits from the weekend were donated by the festival organizers to the Cyclone Idai relief efforts.



Winter Chills

Books For Any And All Travellers By Rufaro Kaviya

An Anonymous Girl


She Lies in Wait

Signing up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr Shields, Jessica Farris thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money and leave. But as the questions grow more invasive, and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr Shields may know what she’s thinking . . . and what she’s hiding. As paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what is real, and what is one of Dr Shields’ experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.

J is a student at a school deep in a forest. J is one of only twenty-six students, all of whom think of the school’s enigmatic founder as their father. J’s peers are the only family he has ever had. Their life at the school is all they know—all they are allowed to know. But J suspects that there is something out there and he’s beginning to ask questions. Meanwhile, on the other side of the forest, a girl named K is asking the same questions. J has never seen a girl, and K has never seen a boy. As they work to investigate the secrets of their schools, they come to discover something even more mysterious: each other.

On a scorching July night in 1983, a group of teenagers goes camping in the forest. They are destined for great things, and the youngest of the group—Aurora Jackson—is delighted to be allowed to tag along. The evening starts like any other but by morning, Aurora has disappeared. Thirty years later, Aurora’s body is unearthed in a hideaway that only the six friends knew about, and Jonah Sheens is put in charge of solving the long-cold case. Sheens’s investigation brings the members of the camping party back to the forest, where they will be confronted once again with the events that left one of them dead, and all of them profoundly changed forever.

Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Josh Malerman


Welcoming Comfort Unique Bed & Breakfast Accommodation in Harare

Tel: 0242490352 /

Gytha Lodge

Games Crossword by Mary-Anne






6 5














6 4
















0800hrs-1800hrs - Closed.







6 7





1. The sea of tranquillity (7) 5. Lo! Those in Southern Africa (7) 8. Sounds like she hasn’t got any (3) 9. The vegetable that makes you cry (5) 10. See this wildcat in Europe or the US (4) 12. A flying baby carrier (5) 13. So dumb man is a government official (9) 14. Hello inside the generative organs (5) 17. Follow a special costume for casual wear (9) 19. Insect and bird together may be found in Central and South America (3,6) 20. Roses don’t like this insect (5) 21. Known in the Bible for saying ‘There is no room” (9) 24. Examine the account books (5) 26. The Italian Job’s famous little car (4) 27. Bite peel to find an Indian home (5) 28. Get everything together for your trip (3) 29. A famous English castle is home to royalty (7) 30. Trots ex out and gets something by force (7)

1. Sylvia Ann Pen lives in Eastern USA (12) 2. Icon got to an African country (5) 3. Dress for a lady (5) 4. It’s capital in North Africa (5) 5. Not short sandy area in California (4,5) 6. Not gaseous or liquid cube (5) 7. Honey mutt is in Northumberland (9) 11. Combined territories make a major country (6,6) 15. A purpose and objective (9) 16. In music a needle pulling thread (3) 17. A musical swan (9) 18. Make a parrot in New Zealand (3) 22. Leaves through the doors (5) 23. 100 paise can be spent in India (5) 24. A small department is expert (5) 25. A tough rally is capital in Senegal (5)

15. Intention 16. Soh 17. Trumpeter 18. Kea 22. Exits 23. Rupee 24. Adept 25. Dakar



DOWN 1. Pennsylvania 2. Congo 3. Frock 4. Cairo 5. Long Beach 6. Solid 7. Tynemouth 11. United States

9 1




4 7


17. Tracksuit 19. Ant thrush 20. Aphid 21. Innkeeper 24. Audit 26. Mini 27. Tepee 28. Kit 29. Windsor 30. Extorts



SOLUTIONS ACROSS 1. Pacific 5. Lesotho 8. Nun 9. Onion 10. Lynx 12. Stork 13. Ombudsman 14. Loins

Sudoku Medium


The Bark of the Urban Baboon Battered Beyond Repair Article and Images MAFUNGI


’d like to recount to you the tale of my fairly brief ownership of a second hand Mercedes Benz 180D. Every word of this account is true, but I suggest you pour a stiff whiskey and sit in a comfortable armchair with stout armrests before reading any further. The key scratches around the door lock and ignition as well as the burn marks where the previous owner kept missing while returning the cigarette lighter, should have warned me not to touch the car. Maintenance was unlikely to be a priority with the former owner, clearly hooked on cigarettes and booze, but it was going to be a big issue with me. The radiator developed a leak and I had it repaired by my wife-to-be who had recently done a course at the Poly-tech. Unfortunately, welding did not cover soldering so my radiator ended up a lump of molten metal. Undeterred, she returned the following weekend with a spare radiator and fitted it. 66

May/June 2019

However, my problems were about to reach gargantuan proportions. The following Friday I set off for Harare, picked up two perky blonde hitch-hikers near Chegutu and was regaling them with tales of heroism when the car sputtered to a halt near Selous. The hikers abandoned me. My dear wife had fitted the radiator with the bottom hose touching the exhaust and when the temperatures had reached rubber-melting point, the inevitable had happened. Engine cooked and professional help was now required. The gauge, of course, had never worked. Towed to a garage in Harare, the car was repaired. The mechanic was arrested for foreign currency dealing and locked away for five years a little while later. This was in a time when such offences were not part of the daily lives of every Zimbabwean and the police were still unbribable, but I digress.

I then set off for Mhangura where I was doing National Service in the Police Force. The car played up again and it was sent to the local service station in the village and repaired again. As soon as I had completed my time there I returned to Kadoma. The car had a mind of its own and a series of letters between me and the service station ended with the news that the prime mechanic who had worked on the car had been tried and sentenced to death for shooting his cook who had failed to feed the Alsatian. Several hours and many pints in the Mhangura Mine Club were only mitigating circumstances and could not save him from the hangman’s noose. A friend in the pub in Kadoma told me that I need look no further than a local service station in town where they had employed a factory-trained, German mechanic. He was the best of the best. Brimming with optimism, I handed the car over to him and had it returned a couple of days later, supposedly fixed again. Unsurprisingly, problems arose and when I tried to get the garage to readmit the car they said, “Sorry, the German mechanic is no longer with us.” The night after releasing my car, the German mechanic and his wife had gone to a party at Eiffel Flats, just out of town. They had a bit too much to drink and late at night on the way home his wife needed a leak. Obligingly, my mechanic had asked her to do her function in the beam of the headlights. He drove over her, reversed back over her and dragged her into the back seat of the car. Back home, he pulled her out of the car by the heels, up the front steps and threw her into the bath to expire during the night. In this case there were mitigating circumstances and it seems the lady in question had partaken of party snacks which involved pulling ticks off the dogs and swallowing a bull frog! The only defence witness was the German envoy who said that disciplining spouses was acceptable in the home country. This did not save my mechanic. I sold the car to a colleague at work, it was clearly jinxed. Some twenty years later he told me it was still plying its trade as a pirate taxi in Gweru and had never given him even one day of trouble!


Robins... The Rebirth of

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Robins Camp, under private new management, offers an exciting revival of an iconic safari destination in Hwange National Park. Suited for individual, family, groups, meetings & incentive travel. Use the code #nzira05/19 when booking for a free lunch during your stay. |

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