Pachyderm Pandemonium          - 30/ 10/ 2012      <--Prev : Next-->

It seems I have been a bad girl by writing (from my heart) that last editorial about Hwange National Park.

However it was not done with malice or the express intention of destroying our tourism, it was done with a fierce and undying love for my country and all that is contained therein.

Hopefully my article will bring in floods of donations to Friends of Hwange and National Parks for more pumps, diesel and assistance.

HeeHoo and I had brunch at The Waterhole at Main Camp, which is now a flourishing little haven of peace AND if you look closely you might spot that elusive little Crimson-Breasted Shrike wearing a bright yellow waistcoat - the rare yellow morph!!

At Nyamndhlovu Pan we watched a pride of 9 lion stalk a malnourished roan antelope (unsuccessfully as their bellies were obviously full) and we spent a wonderful hour watching the four cubs trying their hardest to annoy Papa Lion. The guard at the pan was delightful in his enthusiasm for the game at the pan, and would not let us leave until we had absorbed all the little interplays that were taking place at this magical spot.

Another very magical spot was Nehimba. Nehimba is a newish Photographic Safari Camp in Hwange and we were lucky enough to be able to spend a weekend there recently.

It was extraordinary. We had seen Nehimba 18 months earlier when it had been a piece of dry and barren land with but a seep and an anthill to grace it, and due to a young couple's steadfast dream, a beautiful lodge has emerged like a phoenix from the ashes.

Situated about fifty kilometers from Main Camp, Nehimba is now one of the most crucial players in the area, in establishing much needed watering points for the glorious herds of plains game and elephant.

Small and exclusive, Nehimba has a very personal touch, such a personal touch that one can almost touch the elephants!

Poor pachyderms in pandemonium, their desire for water lead them right to the lodge swimming pool where there was a constant tussle with the hot but exhilarated guests!! Great caution is urged with these mighty beasts as a wild animal is always unpredictable, but the giant gentle beasts had but one thing on their mind, the search for water.

The lodge owners have drilled several boreholes to provide relief in the area, and slowly the game is moving back to assuage their lifeblood.

Traditionally the Park is dry and devastated at this time of the year, but it has its own peculiar beauty. It is actually a seriously gut-wrenching beauty that only a Zimbo will ever understand. Stark, scary, the pinks, greys, taupes and terracottas blend brilliantly into a tapestry that takes one's breath away. Mile after mile of desolation, but mile after mile of the promise of a new dawn. Suddenly as the first soft rains fall, tiny sprigs of hope shoot swiftly and unexpectedly in a silent promise of salvation.

It's natures way - her own inglorious culling program, her own cruel scorpion twist, stark, terrible, but necessary.

Nehimba means "Land of Giants". Relax in a land of yesteryear, where strongholds of elephants roam freely without fences or restriction.
More on Hwange and the Mastodon Maelstrom
We have had news from Gary Cantle that the Park has received some meaningful rainfall - hopefully this will boost new growth of grass and leaves, and the game will bounce back as it always does. There is also water in many of the pans now.