As Anne's regaling us with her favorite Harare tourist and driving tips we find ourselves behind an omnibus, and as the bus approaches the intersection in front of us it comes to a stop at the light, which is red, forcing us to do the same. "Oh no," Anne says, "this isn't good." Too close to the bus' back bumper, with another car approaching us from behind, we can't easily navigate around it. So instead, we start scanning the nearby bushes, nervously waiting for the inevitable attack on our car. "This is not good at all, ya."
Tag Archives: antelope park
This is the part of the story where I'd like to say that I spent the night dreaming of lions. That King Milo came to see me, and beside the river outside our tent, amidst the roars of the other lions in his kingdom, we sat and talked about a great many things. Secrets that the wind has shared with him that he's now sharing with me.
Amai has a good gig going on. As she's walking, she picks up branches, grass, and rocks with her trunk, and flings her trunk back to us offering whatever she's picked up from the ground as a gift. Of course, the gift is offered with the expectation that she will get one in return in the form of a treat. So the handler takes the rock or branch and then gives her some feed, and a few times I get to put the feed into her trunk, too. I am completely charmed by her antics and am grinning from ear to ear.
The wind and, especially, the lack of lions roaring have put me on edge. We only have two days left at Antelope Park, and the inevitable pull of having to soon leave this place has left me feeling unsettled. I don't do well with goodbyes, and I'm especially unhappy to be nearing the end of this leg of our African journey.
When we get back to camp, it looks like the staff are getting ready for some big shindig on the main lawn. There are banners up, tables out with AP swag, the Ingonyama dancers are waiting in the wings, the staff are dressed up in their best khakis, and the elephants are wandering around. Elephants? We've never seen them in camp before. This must be something really big.
"What's the forecast today? Rice, potatoes, some vegetables (probably carrots and peas, or maybe creamed spinach), chicken or beef (or chicken and beef), salad, and some dessert." You might think that when traveling to Africa you may lose a little weight. You certainly aren't concerned about gaining weight. It's not like going to Italy, where you know you're going to gorge yourself on pasta and gelato, washed down with copious amounts of wine. But thank goodness we were engaged in daily physical labor and long walks in the hot sun, because in the heart of Zimbabwe we ate like kings and queens.
The MK's have given chase to something, but it's hard to tell what it is from our vantage point. 100 meters up the road we pull up alongside the lead vehicle and see Kali, Mara, Meeka, and Moyo, towering over a sub-adult zebra. The zebra is on its back, braying at the top of its lungs, kicking its hooves, and rolling from side-to-side – still very much alive. One of the lionesses has tucked her face into the zebra's rear end, where it was presumably taken down, and is, literally, eating it alive.
We're in the van with Nathan, who has just picked us up at the bus stop in Gweru, where we've just arrived from Harare. As we're making the short drive to Antelope Park, he tells us there are two phrases we will hear a lot that we need to know. He first asks if we know what “TIA” means.
It's an extra special morning as Kim has in hand her honeymoon gift. Finally. All the secret meetings resulting in quizzical stares and hard questions from the wife have finally paid off and Kim is clutching a custom lion walking stick made by Jabulani. About a meter in length, the top is carved with JB's initials, a stick figure representing him, and "2011." Down one side of the stick's length is carved the names of the four cubs, separated by lion paws, and on the other JB has spelled out, "Kim + Graig - famba ne shumba." Kim + Graig? That's right: "Graig."
Dear Virginia, Please forgive my poor attempt at writing to you in Shona. I'm sure I've horribly mangled your wonderful language in doing so, and can only hope it's not too embarrassing to read.