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EDITORIAL - Traveller or Tourist: an Identity Crisis? The internet is full of articles about the difference between “travellers” and “tourists”. It seems acceptable to call a tourist a traveller, but travellers feel insulted when called tourists. Both terms are actually very similar, as they refer to someone who has gone to visit another country. So why is it more desirable to be considered a traveller?

On a recent shoot to Wingate Golf Club I was walking the rough, looking for insects to photograph. I was lucky enough to find a very small flap-neck chameleon. It was only about 50 mm in length and walking along the ground in rather a hurry, possibly frightened by my clumsy footsteps. I thought I would get in front of it and lie on the ground to get down to its level, and to my great surprise it climbed up a dandelion.
Over nine years the Bumi Hills Anti-Poaching Unit (BHAPU) has removed over 20,000 wire snares. Fine-tuning the numbers makes for alarming statistics: this equates to an annual average of over 2,200 or six snares every day.
I have been an arachnophobe for my entire life. I don't kill spiders; I will do my best to avoid being in close proximity to one. A recent encounter with a member of the arachnid family has intensified my phobia, and made me all too aware of just how dangerous these members of the animal kingdom can be.
It’s dawn. A group of people are dancing with joyful abandon - apparently in silence. German philosopher Frederich Nietzche once observed that those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music…

So what might a curious onlooker make of this? Could it be a gathering of sun saluters or dance expressionists? A party? A celebration… a silent disco? A yoga session, an aerobics class or a sober rave?
Is knowing more really knowing better? Do you think that knowing about something helps your understanding or makes a situation better or worse? At the moment the information the media is featuring regarding environmental issues highlighting the crises in our environment. From devastating fires to rising global temperatures, plastic pollution, animal cruelty, poaching, endangered species, fracking and everything in-between… it can feel as if we are heading to a point of no return. Granted, a few uplifting stories are sprinkled in-between the disaster ones, but how many positive stories are happening which we are not hearing about? Is all this “negative” information really good for us? The good, the bad and the global knowing: what is your environmental knowledge?
Chinhoyi Caves
Our previous bucket list blog included a variety of fun-filled activities for all our travellers, so today we’d like to share a few experiences to tempt the brave, daredevil visitors to our beautiful land!
When carefully and considerately applied, ecotourism preserves and benefits the places where it operates. A genuine and successful ecotourism experience involves a real cultural exchange, benefitting both the clients and their hosts in terms of sharing moments of respectful and authentic interaction. Our ecotourism initiatives consider the issues of cultural voyeurism, commercialisation of rural communities and the negative mindset that can impact children and youths through entertaining visitors and receiving gifts and money in return.
Things don’t always appear as green as they may seem. It’s like the old saying, “the grass is greener on the other side”: we all know that is not always the case. Just because they say it is “green” or “environmentally friendly” does not always guarantee that it is, so what can you do to be as green as you can be? You can ask questions. Asking questions is free and we deserve to get the answers we are looking for.
Five Fun Fantastic
Wild and wonderfully untouched, Zimbabwe offers tourists and locals alike a wide range of fun, thrilling activities that should certainly be on everyone’s bucket list! Footprints did a little research and here’s a little compilation of the things WE think YOU should add to your bucket list… if you haven’t already.
Matsetso Stars, Chimanimani’s award-winning youth sports team with members from disadvantaged backgrounds, is inspiring youngsters across the region: not with their soccer or golf skills but with their entrepreneurial skills.
We are on a mission, but where will our mission land? Will our mission be zero waste or zero life? Regardless of what mission you choose, I am afraid we are already on a mission together. Unfortunately we can’t tell you where we will land and how it will end. Zero waste would be the best possible outcome for our landing because it would enable us for a more waste circular economy: make, remake, return, reuse, repair, recycle and rot.
Wast Me Not
I was six months pregnant when I decided to open a plastic-free shop in Harare. Our vision: to promote environmental awareness and offer plastic free alternatives. Our mission: to reduce waste pollution in the environment by using plastic free and sustainable solutions, had been a personal passion for many years prior. Now was the time to introduce my passion to Zimbabwe!
A Wednesday to Saturday break from the city is a smart move. Few other people are away from work so we had absolute peace, that delicious deafening silence and breathtaking views before our eyes.
Giraffe & Rhino
When Africa was a young continent Giraffe had a normal neck and looked like a member of the antelope family – perhaps a bit taller than Eland. One year the rains were sparse. The grass turned brown and bitter-tasting, the waterholes dried up and the rivers became sand beds.
My most recent visit to Mana pools with Chris and Carol Sheppard coincided with the start of the rainy season. Two day before our arrival 165 mm of rain fell in 24 hours.

Our first evening game drive terminated at Trichilia view point. It was sundowner time, so the G&T`s were guzzled quickly as the sun set and dipped behind the distant Zambian escarpment. We were amazed to see how much standing water remained, forming a large pool in front the road and near the Zambezi River.
Painted Dogs
Mana Pools National Park is a hot, dry dusty place in November. The animals appeared listless in the relentless heat. Not so the Wild Dogs, aka “Painted Wolves”. A large pack had settled in the flood plain and needed to eat every day.
Midstride, in my peripheral vision, I see a blur of something black and simultaneously feel a sharp pain on my right calf, just below the knee. My immediate thought is that I have been attacked by a cat and its claws are digging into my leg.
It was March 2018 in the Central Kalahari in Botswana. My mate Jens and I had gotten an early start as we had quite a drive for the day and the sun had just come through in all its golden glory when off to the right we saw a pack of six dogs.
One day Jackal and Hyena were having a drink at the river near the kopjes. A thick white cloud floated down over the largest kopje and stopped on the grass near the baobab tree. Jackal climbed onto the cloud and sat down near the edge. He was hungry and nibbled on the edge. It was delicious.
I took the original shot of the Yellow-billed stork in Mana Pools in mid-October 2017. I had been sitting next to Long Pool for quite some time, watching the pair as they walked and waded together in the shallows often rubbing up against each other and scraping their bills together in a playful manner. They were fascinating in the way they moved together, often in unison and I managed to take quite a number of interesting shots of them.
In 1949 a young man from the UK named Ken Buchanan arrived in Gatooma and began working at Films of Africa, a film studio based on a farm just outside the town. He also ran a photographic shop known as Focus Ltd located on Baker Street in Gatooma.
Many years ago a beautiful hippo was born. But he was different to the other hippos: while they loved swimming and playing in the water he preferred to stay on land. He didn’t like being wet. He also didn’t like to play or fight with the other hippos.
I have always loved taking photographs of flowers with their beautiful colours and delicate petals. The Cymbidium Orchid has always been one of my favourites, perhaps due to its striking lines and symmetry.
The evening orchestra brings an end to another riveting day in the African savanna. Standing on the deck the evening silhouette embraces you in its warmth like Romeo embracing Juliet.
Early one morning I noticed a Kurrichane thrush busily scurrying around and repeatedly pecking at the grass in the playground. It seemed totally oblivious of the children playing close by. It appeared that there was a glut of earthworms in the lawn, and it was gathering them with haste.
This is probably one of the most comprehensive books ever produced about an animal species. I’ve just gone through my copy, and the mixture of emotions experienced as I turned the pages left me feeling desperately sad and ashamed for what humans have done to them, yet full of admiration and hope for the future of painted wolves.
In the beginning Elephant had a very small nose. Elephant was very large, so he needed to eat and drink far more than the other animals. His small nose did not bother him, but he did find it tiring to kneel down to reach his food and water.
On our second morning two of our group decided to take a canoe trip from the pumphouse down the river back to Tamarind Tented Camp. Under the expert direction of Titch, who has over twenty years’ experience guiding on the Zambezi, they negotiated submerged tree stumps while maintaining a good distance from the hippos relaxing in the river. After coming in ahead of three other canoes they did admit to stranding themselves on a couple of sandbars, rowing into Titch’s canoe a couple of times and inadvertently making the canoe go backwards through their rather errant paddling!
Discovered by Dr Ali Ait-Kaci, it is the first giant Sauropod footprint found in sub-Saharan Africa. From its massive dimensions of 96 centimetres and absence of the crescent-shaped characteristics of the front legs these are believed to be from the rear legs of Brachiosaurus, a plant eating dinosaur that is thought to have weighed around fifty tonnes.
The aim is to fly to set points in a certain time. “Easy,” you may think. Well, it is not. Up there the wind can push you around insidiously, creating a drift that leaves you way off line. The maps are based on thirty year old data and waypoints like dams or fence lines may not be detailed. When approaching what you believe should be your turning point the unexpected appearance of a recently built water feature causes panic - suddenly an impoundment appears right in front of you three minutes early! Panic… you cannot be too hasty in changing course as you might miss a set point, thus incurring penalty points.
The elephant pushed his way under the low hanging branches of a mahogany tree, emerging a few metres from me. He paused, looking at me for a moment. Then, like a four tonne ballerina, he pirouetted ninety degrees to face the river. To my surprise and without hesitation he stepped over the edge, his front legs sliding down the cliff face.

There was no hippo chute at this point, which is the normal method elephants use to get down to the river. I could not believe my eyes.
Hwange is renowned for its elephants and rightly so, not only for their sheer numbers but also for their personalities. Yes you heard me right, for their PERSONALITIES. Wild as they may be, they are friendly and amazing creatures, with an intellect second to none. Elephants possess an unbelievable source of intelligence with incredible memories, passed on from female to female, ensuring the knowledge is never lost, something we humans have a hard time doing. So high is their intelligence that the elephant is one of six animal species said to have the ability to recognize their reflections in a mirror. They are capable of empathy as well, known to take care of their sick, chewing food for them and helping to take care of the other herd members.
The name Gatooma is believed to have originated from a hill named Kaduma, close to Golden Valley. Kaduma is a Sindebele word meaning “which does not thunder or make a noise”. There is also a possibility that Gatooma’s name derives from the Chizezuru word Kudoma, which translates to a word which must not be spoken because it refers to a holy place inhabited by spirits. In all likelihood the hill was once revered as an early shrine, but for some reason became silent, because tribal spirits no longer spoke from its depths.
Grand black tie dinner parties were held every week at La Rochelle. Formal dinners were supplemented with displays of orchids, chamber music, party games or lectures. The interior of the house bears all the signs of a much-loved home, filled with fresh flowers, art deco furniture and highlights of the history of the Courtauld family.

The world-renowned “signature panels” bear the autographs of royalty, politicians, artists, writers, academics, famous actors and other personalities. Signatures etched on the glass panels with a diamond tipped stylus include: “Rab” and Molly Butler (conservative British politician and his wife), Sybil Thorndike (English actress), Julian Amery (Lord Amery of Lustleigh and British politician), Julian Huxley (British scientist), Laurens van der Post (South African author, philosopher and conservationist), South African activist Denis Goldberg and Zimbabwean politicians Herbert Chitepo, Leopold Takawira and Ndabaningi Sithole.
Shawarmas soon become our “bread and butter” along with equally fantastic tasting falafels, both of which we finished off with healthy doses of humus, the local favourite chickpea spread. The first few days were spent exploring Eilat, birding and taking in this magnificent country whilst admiring the Israelis for their farming abilities in the seemingly desolate landscape. One of these farming areas, Yotvata, was a major attraction, not only for the birdlife which included the Bimaculated, Crested and Greater Short-toed larks, Egyptian nightjars and Pharaoh eagle owls, but also for its café, which serves what is quite possibly the best ice cream I have ever tasted. Very welcome after a long morning stomping around the desert!
“We’ll meet at the entrance to Pioneer Cemetery,” Nyati Tours’ managing director DJ confirmed. An odd meeting place perhaps, but in hindsight the perfect point to start a tour of a place steeped in history.

The following morning DJ introduced us to Garikayi Makuyah, founder of Harare City Tours. Garikayi has a Bachelor of Social Science, Sociology and Psychology degree, and while working as a project co-ordinator in South Africa, he realised how tourism had unlocked and supported communities living in places like Soweto. He returned home and started Harare City Tours in 2008. Ten years later the company is going strong and provides freelance employment for a number of Mbare’s residents.
Strategically placed close to the borders of Botswana and South Africa, Bulawayo was the first capital of the fledgling colony of Rhodesia. Empire builder and mining magnate, Cecil John Rhodes was adamant that the new colonial Bulawayo be built on the ashes of Lobengula’s Bulawayo (the Ndebele king had given orders for all the huts to be set on fire when he realised that defeat was inevitable in the Battle of Bembesi) in order to demonstrate complete dominance over the Ndebele. From then on the town went from strength to strength, with Leander Starr Jameson declaring Bulawayo officially open in 1894.
Hemmersbach Rhino Force has been operating in Zimbabwe for just over a year. Founder Ralph Koczwara came to Zimbabwe in December 2016, after hearing about Chirundu Safari Lodge’s Carl van der Riet’s dream of stopping poaching in the Hurungwe area of the Zambezi Valley. Hemmersbach Rhino Force is already established as the most effective conservation army in South Africa, operating on game reserves and farms around the Kruger National Park. With the use of military-style tactics and modern technology their teams work to prevent the slaughter of rhinos by taking action against poaching and poachers as well as exposing and confronting other illegal activities in the bush.
Access is via 4 WD vehicles only, and the park is only open between March and December. Covering over 30,000 hectares, this is a remote and very wild part of Zimbabwe. Campers need to be completely self-sufficent as only water is available. There are two basic campsites – Katsetheti and Insiza – with bush toilets and braai areas. Each camp can accommodate up to ten people. Insiza overlooks the Kamuza Depression, and Kasetsheti is near natural springs.
With an altitude of 162 metres the junction of these two famous rivers on the border with Mozambique is the lowest point in Zimbabwe. Between the 13th and 15th centuries traders sailed up the Save River from the Indian Ocean to barter cloth, ceramics and beads for gold and ivory.
Situated at the National Mining Museum in Kwekwe, the Paper House is a quaint historical relic dating back to 1894. It was built in Britain, transported to Kwekwe from Port Elizabeth via ox wagon and placed on wooden stilts to protect it from damp and white ants.
Lion's Head Dam is approximately 55km from the Enterprise Road/Harare Drive intersection. Turn left after the toll gate on the Enterprise Road and continue on past Bally Vaughan. The road is in excellent condition. The dam is on the right and is visible for a few kilometres before the entrance which is signposted on the right. 
There is a nominal gate entry fee per person and a few lovely little picnic spots around the edge of the dam near the dam wall. The dam was constructed by a syndicate and completed in 1995, and offers decent fishing for anglers.
Visitors can explore the area around the dam walls and see a series of colourful rock paintings a short hike across the road. Four fish and a yellow kudu cow with faded legs feature on the southernmost boulder near a group of faded hunters. Further along is metre-long buffalo with two yellow ochre kudu cows superimposed on its torso. On the right is a melee of human and animal images including sable and kudu.
Norman the caretaker is very friendly and knowledgeable about the area and very excited to have visitors. 
Poke (Hawaiian for "to section" or "to slice or cut") is a raw fish salad served as an appetizer in Hawaiian cuisine, and sometimes as a main course.