A Travellerspoint blog

Day 13 or the day Beth’s Africa wish came true


View Russ and Beth go on safari on Weimerrv's travel map.

We had an early breakfast overlooking the waterhole. We hoped to see some different animals but they were hiding as our guide would say. Our first stop was a craft market and I think I went a bit overboard - at least that is what Beth said....We bought some Christmas gifts and I got a hand carved chess set. The industriousness and politeness of the Zimbabwe people is striking, especially since there is so much unemployment. After leaving the market, which made the vendors very sad.., we went to a local village to speak with the Chief. The Chief gave a remarkable talk about how the village is organized, how they interact with the animals, how they use the natural resources and how important family and community are. We were allowed to take pictures and ask any questions we wished. They make all the metal tools from recycled tire springs and all males are expected to know how to forge, build a house and tend to the farm or make items to sell to visitors like us. An amazing place and we really enjoyed the talk. Like the visit to the prison that held Nelson Mandela, the information and passion of the speakers really manifested itself. Beth had been wishing and hoping to see elephants and up till today we hadn’t seen any, well she got her wish. We went to the Victoria Falls National Park which also contains an elephant rescue. We got to not only see the elephants, we got to touch them and feed them....all I can say is WOW....you must look at the pictures when we post the album. The day just kept getting more interesting. Our next stop was back at the hotel to watch them feed the vultures....I made a video, vultures and marabou storks everywhere. Please ask me to send it or show it to you when we get home. The guide explained the purpose behind the feeding - many vulture species are endangered and poachers of game animals poison the carcass because vultures give the poachers away! The daily feeding gives them a better chance to survive especially during the drought here. Speaking of the drought, this area hasn’t had any rain in 11 months, not low rain NO rain. Yesterday it rained a little but tonight it is raining hard - a blessing to the Zimbabwean people since most of them are farmers.

After the feeding frenzy, we changed into our swimsuits and laid by the pool and drank a gin and tonic while watching the watering hole and the weaver birds flying back and forth gathering grass to make their nests (to impress potential mates). The water was too cold for Beth but I had a swim. The last event was a River cruise on the mighty Zambezi. We were not expecting too see much but it was the icing on the cake for a day of wish granting. We saw elephants and more elephants, crossing the River, on the banks drinking, a mother caring for a 2 week old and 2 males having a mock fight over who got in the water first. We also saw crocodiles and lots of hippos. Beth got some great shots...my phone was not up to the task. A fabulous day.....I think it brought Beth to tears to see all the elephants today.

PS our friends saw part of the “breakfast brigade”, a ranger toting an air rifle to frighten off the monkeys that try to sneak to raid the breakfast buffet. They don’t shoot the monkeys but the sound scares them off. Life in Africa!

Posted by Weimerrv 11:28 Archived in Zimbabwe

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After all the shopping we did our group was all short on space in our suitcases for returning home. Many of us donated clothes and shoes which our driver Lucky will deliver to some local people for us. I thought that was a genius idea to solve a first world problem.

We did see several impala here as well. They are known as the macdonalds of the bush...a quick easy meal.

Once again guests are not allowed to walk around freely. We are in a national park where animals freely roam. They don’t want the guests to be someone’s dinner.

by bweimer

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