Issue 1 | 2017

Cover Image
Issue 1

MIRACLES: ZIMBABWE ON A BUDGET

Mention to the chattering classes in leafy Surrey that your holiday destination is Zimbabwe and a stunned silence ensues. The Cote D’Azure? The Costa del Sol? Sure. Zimbabwe? Really? But with a husband working in Southern Africa and a 4×4 on standby, I found myself at London’s Heathrow Airport, thirteen and nine year old sons in tow, contemplating a two week budget self-drive itinerary through Mana Pools, Lake Kariba, Victoria Falls, Hwange and Matopos.

WRITING FOR WILDLIFE

Roxy Dankwerts’ animal sanctuary outside Harare is home to a variety of orphaned and injured animals. Notable residents include Noodle the wildebeest, Pickles the Warthog, Missy the Giraffe, Joe the lion and Marimba the pangolin. There are other lions and giraffe, as well as impala, kudu, sable, monkeys, baboons and a couple of cheetah.

MIDNIGHT AT BHENJI WEIR

Several friends have related the story about Gonarezhou’s elephant herds converging on Bhenji Weir every year on the night of the September full moon. Every single person says it is a unique, fantastic occurrence, so last year a group of us headed to Zimbabwe’s second largest national park to experience it for ourselves. The September 2016 full moon was also a lunar eclipse, and I wondered if this would add mysticism to the legend of Bhenji Weir…

HISTORY: HERBERT G ROBINS, LONER AND VISIONARY

Sitting on the veranda of the restaurant at Sinamatella Camp in Hwange National Park it is difficult to ignore the silence of the landscape. Beneath us, the great sweep of open bush stretches far into the blue haze of the distance. A dry riverbed cuts through the land: earlier this morning lions were seen drinking from one of the tiny remaining pools of water, but they are long gone. The heat of the day is characterised by the sound of pods snapping open and the skittish movements of skinks through dead leaves and grass. Dassies play in the trees and on the rocks; otherwise, all is quiet. A scan of the area reveals nothing but a kite gliding slowly through the sky.

TWALA: LIFE IN HARMONY

Originally intended as a sanctuary for wildlife animals, Twala has expanded to include domestic animals. Sheep, goats and pigs mingle with a variety of domestic fowl, including chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys. The sanctuary works closely with the local community, educating and assisting people with their animals. Every week up to forty dogs are sterilised, fifty are vaccinated and treatment is carried out on sick and injured dogs – for free. All “patients” receive a free meal of chicken and porridge.