Primeval Mutterings

      13/11/2019       Next-->

HeeHoo become somewhat strange at this same time every year.

Something happens to him when the rains are threatening, the days are achingly hot and the nights are balmy.
Some deep primeval force starts to move within the savage beast when the purple blooms mass on the jacaranda trees and the town looks 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 Planet.

A smattering of khaki starts to creep into his usual elegant blue and 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 camp 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 pre-rainy season 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 veld is scoured once, scoured twice, scoured again for anything that flicks, anything that flits and thing that flies.

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 waterhole, 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 hot 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 !!

The silence is immense as I write, except for the idiotic mutterings 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 tent, 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, a 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 on the veranda and in the distance the drums begin to beat to signal breakfast is being served in the boma...

Watchdog !!

Bridge lessons run by Nicola Gouma, will start promptly on Saturday 9/11 at 9 am at the Bridge Club on Cecil Ave by Hillside Police Station . Please bring your own refreshments especially in this heat and glassware or tea cups / mugs if drinking tea / coffee The lessons will take approx 2 hours. Thanks for the many interested parties. Looking forward to teaching you all. We're going to have FUN . Payment will be at your discretion by cash or ecocash on 0773877525 and will be donated to the older members of the bridge club who find it difficult to pay their subs during these hard times.