Posts Tagged ‘Zimbabwe’

We’re not out of Africa yet, we’re in Egypt, which has a distinctive Northern African/Middle Eastern feel. And so it feels as though we’ve left Africa behind us now, although the continent will surely stay with us for years to come.

We’ve covered roughly 20,000 km overland, across 12 different countries (excluding Egypt), not really knowing what to expect as we moved from one to the next. We enjoyed every country we visited, but a few definitely stand out in our minds, namely Namibia for its spectacular desert scenery, Malawi for it’s warm and friendly people, and Ethiopia for it’s unique culture and breathtaking mountains.

Here are some of the small things that will remind us of our time in Africa:

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Lioness on the prowl

Although Antelope Park was full of horses and elephants to ride and other game to see, the real raison d’√™tre for the park is the lions. The Park is running a fairly new four stage program for breeding and reintroducing lions into the wild, and most of the activities on offer are designed to showcase that program. Meg went on a “breeding tour” to learn more about the system and meet some of the more mature lions. Her thoughts on the tour:

“10 years ago, Antelope Park was strictly a commercial lion breeding park, open to visitors as it is now. What that means is that they would breed and raise the lions only to sell them to the highest bidder when they reached maturity. They would usually end up in a big game park somewhere where some jerk-o with a shotgun and a pile of money could go out and shoot the King of the Jungle. For good reason, they were receiving a lot of heat for this operation and have since changed focus to strive and ‘save’ the lions instead. It’s controversial whether or not the lions do need saving. They’re not technically endangered yet because there’s still something like 35,000 lions on the continent, although one hundred years ago there were a couple hundred thousand. In countries like Ghana, where thousands of lions once roamed, there is only one left. Antelope Park will sell lions to Ghana once they’ve completed the 4-step breeding program.

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Meghan and Petals

After our visit to the Great Zim Ruins, we drove to Antelope Park in central Zimbabwe. We arrived to find a welcoming committee of drummers and singers, and were greeted with cold water and juice, and the piece de resistance, hot towels! It’s hard to explain what a luxury a hot towel feels like on an overland trip like this. I felt like I wiped a week’s worth of grime and sweat off of my neck and face, and felt like a brand new man. Yep, it was that good.

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Farewell Debs

Bye-bye Debs!

A few days ago we said goodbye to Deb, who was leaving the truck in Harare, Zimbabwe. Even though we only got to hang out for a month, she was a special and integral part of cook group “CanEngland”, and she’ll be missed. Safe onward travels, Debs! Hopefully our paths will cross again one day.

Ruins on the hill

After spending a night in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second largest city, we headed out to the Great Zimbabwe Ruins near the town of Gweru. Having done little of our own research, and being largely in the dark about much of Africa’s history, we had never heard of the place — duh. Travel is enlightening.

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Vic Falls

Victoria Falls with mist galore

We arrived in Zimbabwe and set up camp at the bumping Shoestring backpackers hostel in Victoria Falls. Most tourists and business are still a bit wary about coming to Zim. As a result, the town of Vic Falls feels somewhat derelict as most tourists opt to visit the falls from the Zambian side. It’s a bit of a bizarre feeling wandering around the streets of Vic Falls. The shop owners and tour bookers are very glad to see us, although prices are exorbitantly high. We were hoping prices would be low to draw the tourists back, but sadly that’s not the case. Some trucks, like ours, are starting to make their way back here. Most of the trucks just to pop in to visit the falls and leave again. We, on the other hand, will be spending a couple weeks in the country.

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