PRIMEVAL MUTTERINGS          - 24/7/2006      <--Prev : Next-->


HeeHoo become somewhat strange at this same time every year.

Something happens to him when the days are crisp and cool and the 
nights are icy. Some deep primeval force starts to move within the 
savage beast when the leaves start to fall off the jacaranda trees 
and the town starts to look dry and dusty.

A certain edginess ? Is it something in the air perhaps ?

He scans Getaway magazine and the travel programmes on telly. He 
searches avidly for Richard Attenborough and starts to watch Animal 

A smattering of khaki starts to creep into his usual elegant blue
white shirt choices. He absent mindedly wears his vellies to work 
instead of his severe polished black lace up shoes.

And then suddenly, as if a butterfly emerges from his chrysalis, he 
packs his binos, starts to search for cameras, gathers up his bird 
books and unceremoniously bundles me into the car heading north.

The HeeHoo migration pattern has begun again.

Two hundred and thirty odd kilometres later, we pull into a bush
at Hwange and it is only after three four hour game drives in the 
National Park, and several hours spent at pans and waterholes, that 
he appears nearly normal again.
His needs are simple as are the needs of most Zimbabweans at this 
time of the year, he needs his annual Winter Hwange Top Up !

Binoculars remain glued to the eyes for hours on end, favourite 
floppy hat is virtually tattooed to his head. The magnificent stark 
brown and gold winter veld is scoured once, scoured twice, scoured 
again for anything that flicks, anything that flits and thing that 

He breathes in the magical misty mornings, devours the clear azure 
endless skies, is transfixed by the autumn tones of the swaying 
grasses, the  iridescent yellow and gold leaves which silently and 
suddenly appear at the tips of the Red Syringa bushes.

This year we were lucky to be able to book into tented camp on the 
edge of Hwange - Zimbabwe's best kept secret "The Hide".

The Hide is a magnificent thatched bush camp overlooking a
where you can lie in bed and watch the animals come down to drink.

Somehow we found ourselves in the Honeymoon Suite which boasted an 
old colonial ball and claw bath nestling into the rocks and 
completely open to the surrounding bush.

Even I can be tempted to watch game from a bath full of steaming
bubbles, glass of champagne in hand,a fish eagle watching me 
balefully from his perch in the tree, and four giraffe and one lone 
bull elephant pretending not to giggle at this very strange sight !!

Guests at The Hide included some of the touring Bangladesh Cricket 
Board and so HeeHoo was in his element discussing his favourite
ad nauseam and soon great friendships were cemented over several 
bottle of good red wine !

Barry and Bridget Wolhuter who run the Hide have managed to create

formidable team around them, from Daffy the game guide to beautiful 
Lauren the camp hostess, the food was excellent and the decor most 

The silence is immense as I write, except for the idiotic
of a chain of dilly guinea fowl, the snickering of a group of shy 
bush buck, and in the distance, that most special of all Hwange 
sounds, the deep guttural grunt of hunting lion !!

There is continuous traffic past the front of the open flapped
a fine male kudu with his harem and nursery of last years babies.

A trail of pronking impala, two warthogs are fossiking in the mud,

troop of baboons are keeping a wary eye on the security detail who 
claps his hands and they run off a few paces  in derisive defiance.

"Knock knock" says Nicholas and miraculously a tray of tea appears
the veranda and in the distance the drums begin to beat to signal 
breakfast is being served in the boma ....

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