Our safari to Zimbabwe started with an overnight at the African Rock Hotel in Johannesburg. The hotel is in close proximity to the airport and a great option for overnight stays. The staff was friendly and the food was great! After a delicious breakfast we were ready to start our adventure in Zimbabwe.
Next morning we went on a shared walking safari with Alistair Chambers who took us on a quest to find the wild dog den. It was a great walk, cool morning and Alistair led us – barefoot – which was a wonder to all the Americans! We got to the den and crawled on our behinds, the dogs were behind heavy brush – however we could see the puppies and also the minders who were left behind to take care of them. While we were sitting there the rest of the pack came back and we could hear the whole greeting ceremony! Lots of chirping and retching….once the rest of the pack realized we were there a lot of loud growling ensued and after a while Alistair pulled us out slowly. It was an amazing experience!
In the afternoon we drove around with Nick Murray until we found Mudzi. We parked the vehicle and the second walk of the day began. Our walk involved walking over that fine Kalahari sand which is like walking on a beach – challenging. When we got to Mudzi – he was with a whole lot of other elephants: Some juveniles, some females with young calves.
From Mana the flight took about two hours to Hwange. We were lucky and got a Caravan plane. On arrival in Hwange we were met by Themba who was our guide at Little Makalolo. He and his lovely wife Bee manage Little Makalolo Camp.
The next day we went out early and first sighting of the day a female leopard busily plucking the feathers off a guinea fowl! She was a distance from us but then Themba (the eagle eyed) saw that she had cubs hidden in a tree across the track behind our vehicles. She eventually made her way across the track and called to her cubs so we saw the whole family! It was fantastic and everyone around the sighting was over the moon. We say some plains game and came back for brunch and enjoyed a nice siesta!We had a great afternoon drive – and went and saw Davison’s camp which is a lovely alternative option in Hwange. The upstairs deck is a great addition to the renovated main area allowing travelers a fantastic view of the waterhole.
Again nice sundowners, and great dinner at Little Makalolo for our last night at the camp. The next morning we left early to begin the drive to Hwange Main game viewing along the way. This turned out to be a great morning as we saw a very handsome lion pair (beautiful black maned lion and his lady love). They were walking on the side of the road so we kept up with them for some time. Fantastic photo opportunities and considering our only other lions were a few moth eaten, lazy lionesses at Vundu we were very happy to see them. We also had a fantastic ostrich sighting here – one poor male wooing two females – he was all over the place! Lovely to see the joy of the mating dance!
Departed by road to Bulawayo, which was about 2 hours. Continued onto Amalinda which is about 20 minutes away – what a special place! The camp is built among rocky outcrops and offers a wide variety of activities including walks to rock paintings and a cultural opportunity to visit an orphanage. We had room 7 and 8 set in the one corner close together so this could also work for older kids. Room 7 has a little wooden bridge to the door and a lovely outside patio and an original rock painting inside the room, what a treat! Both rooms were gorgeous (the electric blankets on the beds!!). And the first hair dryer on the trip!!!
After both of us having been on many safaris we can confidently say that Zimbabwe is one of the best safari destinations offering superb wildlife and cultural experience! We will be back!!!