When was the last time you went to the Matopos ? Come on ..... 'fess up !!

Here we live 20 kilometres away from one of the World Heritage Sites... and you have not been there for ages have you ?

Well I know exactly how you feel, because we are as guilty as the rest of Bulawayo !!

HeeHoo and I took advantage of the cloudy weather on Sunday to visit Efifi. We needed some exercise to clear away the fog, and with the unmistakable smell of rain in the air, the Matopos beckoned relentlessly.

13 Cars had passed through the main gates, (I suspect some might have been members of the Matobo Conservation Society)

It was gloriously green, the staff at the gate were most welcoming, and on the road to Efifi, we saw a herd of Kudu Cows and an African Hawk eagle.

We were the sole occupants of this exquisite spot, shouldering a small cooler box, Heehoo valiantly climbed up the mountain while I swung my camera round and round marvelling at the light, pretending I was not out of breath at the climb !!

A 360 degree vista of the Matopos is unlike anything else in the world. Kopjes, dwalas, cairns, balancing rocks, there is nothing like it anywhere else, it is our own hidden deep dark precious secret.

I scanned the horizons, the rock caves, the shadows in the great grey cracks for leopard, this being one of the most densely populated leopard territories in Zimbabwe.

Heehoo scanned the skies and cliff sides for Black Eagle. The Matopos is possibly the most important breeding ground for Black Eagle in all of Africa.

The lichen clinging to the rock had turned lime green in anticipation of the storm, the vast rock face looked a like an immense field of yellow daisies.

There were no rock pools yet, too early for these, but the fabled "Everlasting Plant" clung black and tenacious in wind which heralded the approaching rain, always in the trusting hope of "being green" once again.

The dark swirling clouds circled us, blotting out the sun, lightening jiggered through the clouds in the distance.

A little apprehensive of this phenomena, we counted the seconds between the lightening and the cracks of thunder, some vague geography lesson lingered on still !!

An African storms is so inexplicable, it comes when you least expect it, but it was not to be, and so it thundered off into the bellicose distance, while we enjoyed the last shards of sunlight from our eyrie in the heavens.

It was dark when we tottered off down the mountainside. ..... we needed that little Matopos interlude.

It is magic moments like those that make our time in Zimbabwe sustain one with its vast beauty, and its almost religious presence. A day in the Matopos, I can promise you, will keep you with your heart in your mouth, and your mind on what is important in life.