Zimbabwe - Kariba, Mana Pools and Harare

June 23, 2011 - Harare, Zimbabwe

 

The road to Chirundu – Zambian side, was a mixture of beautiful tar roads to terrible ones full of potholes and kamikaze drivers in buses, minivans and trucks. Closer to the border it was chaos and not far out of Chirundu we hit a pot hole so hard that Steve and Paula thought we were going to roll. We weren’t driving fast but were distracted by an oncoming truck that was rather too much on our side. The left back side of our caravan fell down a bit and Steve could see from behind that we were not sitting straight anymore, it took a few days of lying under the caravan to sort things out! Amazing how God provides and protects! From army guys just when we need them, to Aliboat branches for repair supplies and Steve  - a great sounding board and help for George! We have been such regular customers of Aliboats that we now have an edited sticker on the back of the caravan saying “Purpose Built Aluminium Boats CARAVANS!”

We went on to Kariba and took out a house boat for 4 nights, a good break from all the cooking and cleaning! It was like being in a floating hotel, everything done for you. Each day we moved to a different location except after our first night as the wind was very strong and the waves too high. Past - our captain and Prayer – our chef, made a fantastic team and really looked after us well! Past took us fishing and game viewing, there were a lot of hippo, a few elephant and some very big crocs.  After a few trips out and many worms later we got to enjoy a good bream dinner. I have always remembered Kariba with it’s Fish Eagle calls and this time was no different, a beautiful place for a relaxing get away.

George and I travelled onto Mana Pools, we only stayed two nights being kind of all gamed out and I was keen to get to Harare to see some old friends and family. The trees at Mana Pools were spectacular, a very beautiful place but May-June is not the best time for game. We stayed in main camp, on the first night there were apparently two leopards fighting but sadly they were far down the other end of the camp.  We heard and saw a lot of hippo in camp, the odd buffalo, impala and of course the beautiful fish eagle calls. We had some pests too of course, the vervets were really crafty and in no time had helped themselves to a few things even though we were careful. They got so cheeky that one day I was making pancakes and one was literally trying to scare me off pulling faces and making aggressive gestures from an arm’s length away.  George and I settled on a rather satisfying form of revenge...... we filled our pancakes with honey and ate them slowly licking our lips with appreciative noises whilst making sure that not so much as a crumb went to our greedy, green with envy, audience!

Coming out of Mana was a trying time, first my computer screen was smashed (hence poor coms) and further onto the escarpment our gear lever started to vibrate wildly and there were some alarming noises. This was about the worst place that one could break down in, narrow curvy roads, hills and lots of heavy trucks travelling towards the border. God is good, after a lot of praying and some kms we eventually heard the prop shaft snap, we were right outside the Makuti garage and hotel. Within 10 minutes we had help, one of the owners towed us up to the hotel where we stayed for the night whilst George got help disengaging the front prop so we could drive to Harare.

Harare has been a wonderful time for me and I have had the pleasure of seeing my youngest brother Ed, he returns to Kenya soon. Both my brothers are good cooks and we have enjoyed scrumptious meals and nearly three weeks of living in a normal house -  a great break from the caravan!  My nieces are looking big and beautiful and spending time around Megs, Spen (eldest brother) and Ed has been like food for the soul.

The landy has been in for repairs since we have been in Harare, nearly 3 weeks.... nothing so serious just very slow! George has been working on the caravan whilst Ed has been a constant help sourcing stuff and places we needed. He came to the rescue with a travelling friend of ours who went down with a complicated malaria, we found a good hospital and Jeurgen has recovered nicely. Lucky that we bumped into him by accident (or should I say God’s intervention) as all coms had been lost.

I have not been in Zimb for many years now, things have improved....so they say. The shops are well stocked and most things seem to work just fine.  There have been constant power cuts especially in the last week which have been really tiresome and inconvenient. Driving at night is a nightmare and even during the day we have had to be cautious as there are usually no road markings, no indication of lanes, no warning that circles or humps etc. are coming, no street lights and the traffic lights are barely visible and are often not working at all. I was impressed with the city centre, it’s clean and the traffic lights were large and functional.  Everything seemed ordered and well though we were warned we were being followed and Steve and Paula nearly had their car stolen.

So it is good-bye to Harare, my family and friends.  We move onto Malawi now via Mozambique.

 

 

 


Pictures

Mana Pools - many baobabs-550
Mana Pools - beautiful pools and trees-550
Mana Pools - Huge beautiful trees-550
Mana Pools - Hippo in beautiful pool-550
 
 

9 Comments

pippa:
June 23, 2011
Hi there - am commenting!!!!
It was great to see you both whilst you were in Harare - good luck on the next section of your journey - will keep watching!! Love the family pics!!! x Pippa
Paul:
June 23, 2011
Hello George and alice, wow what fantastic pictures, i like the red sunset....we envy you. Back home here its just rain rain rain and cold. Have a great time and keep the pictures coming. Lesley and paul
brigitte parfitt:
June 23, 2011
So glad that you could not only see but also spend such a good chunk of time with your family, Alice.
Houseboat sounds just wonderful. Wish I was there!!!
May your journey on to Malawi go well. I am sure that your guardian angels will faithfully accompany you. Enjoy the sunsets, the memory of the cry of the fisheagle, the inside glow of having been with your brothers and look bright-eyed ahead to the content of the next "parcel". Let us know. Love and miss you, Brigitte PS.Alice, just started in my module Gestalt and can more understand why you like it. It would've been great to have you here now and to swop notes. mwah
Ellie:
June 24, 2011
Hi. Wow. Just had my 5min fix of africa looking at your pics (while sitting at my desk at work!). Love the Kariba sunset. Been raining most of the week.. just love our fireplace and the winter weater! My favourite time of year. Had some awesome runs in the mountain of late. Glad you had a good long time with your family and friends. Travel safely.
jacqui:
June 24, 2011
Hi Alice & George. Wonderful pictures, realy good to hear from you, you are on a wonderful journey, looking forward to the book. See you soon.
Rhona & Carlos:
June 25, 2011
Hi guys, hope you have arrived safe & sound in Malawi....thanks for such an enjoyable evening in Tete, last night!! Catch up soon - ciao for now
Claire:
June 27, 2011
Hi guys, Love the pics of Zim. and our smelly bros. - Wish we could all have been together!!!! Sorry the coms were so bad whilst you were there - our internet has been pathetic recently - going in and out on a regular basis. I have only spoken to Mum once since she left here two weeks ago - am hoping to connect with her today - miss hearing her voice.
We crawled back from 5 days of exhausting camp yesterday - tick bites, chigger bites and no telling what other bites as unwelcome reminders of the fun we had - glad not to be sharing one toilet with 30 other 10 - 17 year old girls anymore; and very thankful that the Lord blessed us with unusually cool weather. We were on the go from 6:30am till 11:30pm every day. The body is protesting today big time. Gotta go. Love to you both. Claire
Anton Peters:
July 3, 2011
Hi George and Alice, Really enjoy reading your blog and the great pics. I usually do this late at night so do not often respond, but rest assured we are following your progress with interest! Lauren is currently on the Put Foot Rally with the Bobs for Good Foundation doing shoe drops around Africa, in fact I think she is still in Malawi today, and will be moving to Mozambique and Swaziland this week. The rally ends in Swaziland on Friday 8th July, look out for them you may just cross paths. Take care and continue to enjoy!Love Anton and Maxine xx
philip:
July 5, 2011
Hi george and Alice,

Thank you for this latest update and our recent email. And also your very good advice on my situation last Sunday. It went off so wonderfully smoothly [if that is the correct English]
During Sunday's service Rigby asked the question : what command did JESUS utter the most during his time as a teacher ? "do not be afraid"
I think that calmed the nerves considerably. I met all the family and other parts of the family and we had a lovely Sunday meal around a table and Francois' daughter had the privelage to do the thank you for the meal prayer.
I trust that George has been able to sort out all the Landrover and caravan problems.
Remember I mentioned that we were collecting clothing for the poor. Well last Wednesday evening there were about 200 volunteers that pitched up at the Kids Zone to sort through the goods and we had collected over 2 tons of clothing. GOD really blessed us all in this project.

Safe travels. Have fun. Thinking of you. And as always, GOD bless and much love.
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