We were in Zimbabwe for two nights and one day. That one day was probably the most full and varied day of our trip, and most of our group have said this was their favourite or most memorable day.
Our group was split between two open safari Jeeps and we set off for Matobo National Park, which is full of awe inspiring naturally formed rock towers. The park has the last significant population of rhino in Zimbabwe. Poachers are a massive problem for the rangers at this park, and the rhino population is dropping by alarming numbers every month.
Our first stop is an ancient cave used by Bushmen, full of beautiful cave paintings, some of the paintings 40,000 years old.
We then visited the local village of Ndebele, which was educational and so fun; the chief being a 82 year-old spitfire, full of charm and despite not speaking any English, a wonderful story teller. Two of his sons, and two of his tiny grandsons, demonstrated a traditional dance, and pulled a lot of our family, including Adam, in to participate.
The afternoon was full of tracking rhino, sometimes on foot through the bush. While we learned a lot about their habits and how to recognize tracks, we were unlucky and didn’t see any. Despite being a little disappointed, it was a great day rocking and rolling over rough paths, enjoying the scenery and learning all the small details that the rangers look for while tracking animals.
We did climb down a riverbank to get a closer look at some hippos. While we didn’t get very close, they certainly made sure to let us know they noticed us, rumbling and flashing their teeth at us.
All in all, a wonderful day, firmly lodging Zimbabwe in a special place in our hearts.