Tokoloshe in the Bathroom !          - 14/ 6/ 2011      <--Prev : Next-->


Tokoloshe in the Bathroom !

HeeHoo and I felt an irresistible urge to visit Hwange Game Reserve this weekend. It is something that happens every winter when the sun is toasty, the grass is high and golden, and the call of Africa stirs beckoningly in one's blood.

Accompanied by two erstwhile game "spotters" we sallied forth to our very favourite place - Hwange Safari Lodge. The drive there from Bulawayo took a little over two hours and we arrived just in time for high tea overlooking the legendary Saflodge waterhole.

There were impala, elephant, giraffe, baboons, guinea fowl and a Rowland Ward Kudu male with his harem. It was beguiling, there is nothing quite like a winter's afternoon overlooking an Hwange Pan. Every animal foray to a waterhole is a tiny exquisite cameo, and with binoculars and cameras, we could share in the joy known only to the genuine bush lover.

The bird life was fascinating too, amongst which there were Buffalo Weavers building giant triple storied nests of vicious thorns (right over the hotel pool much to the chagrin of the gardener). And as the night fell there was the giant Eagle Owl doing his customary bedtime snack circuit under the floodlights overlooking the pan.

SafLodge is a hundred bedroomed hotel right on the edge of Hwange Game Park, and sadly only ten of us sat down to dine that night. The staff were fabulous, smiling, welcoming, nothing was too much for them. The food was plain but certainly delicious and although the drinks were pricey, the tariff per person per night bed and breakfast is just $55.00 !!

As far as we were concerned at that price the hotel should have been jam packed although we would love to keep it as our own secret little gem on the edge of one of the most fabulous game parks in the world.

On our drive to the Nyamandhlovu Viewing platform, we noted that we were one of three cars in the park, such a tragedy when there is so much to see in such stunningly special surroundings.

Within a few kilometers we had seen elephant, giraffe, hippo, crocodile, steenbok, warthog, zebra, wildebeest, jackal, loads more impala and kudu and surprisingly what looked like a vulture feeding on a dead Kori Bustard. The roads are not good further into the park, but apart from cats we saw all we needed to see from several pans very close to the lodge.

Winter nights in Hwange are extremely cold, but a giant fire burnt in a pit on the lawn every night, and as the baboons ambled off to find a safe tree for the night, and the hapless guinea fowl streaked across the vlei for their last drink before roosting, the impala pronked happily in the dying rays of the sun, not knowing who would be safe from the night's predators.

It was time to wrestle with the Tokoloshe in the bathroom (Zimbabwe plumbing is notoriously haphazard) and then we would return to our very favourite spot for sundowners and a delicious dinner. After dinner, no discos and movies, instead we would all listen contentedly to the night sounds. The sounds of the lion, the painted dogs, the bat-eared fox and the enchanting elephant rumbles, as they all settled down for an amazing night in the incredible Dete Vlei.