A day trip to the Matopos…

I love it when people visit here – it gives me an excuse to go to the Matopos! Dave, whom I met on Facebook wanted to visit Mtshabezi Dam, cos I’d posted some pics a while ago.


We decided to first visit the bottom of Lumeni Falls, since we had done the top (in the car!) last year. Here is a link to the photos I took then: https://frankiekayfotos.wordpress.com/2017/04/27/lumeni-falls/


The Lumeni river falls off the southern end of the Matopos, tumbling down over rocks and ending up on the flat(ish) land in the Nswazi Communal Area. It eventually joins with the other big rivers in this area that finally flow into the green and greasy Limpopo.


There are camping facilities, at the bottom, although pretty rudimentary! If you are looking to reset your biological clock – this is the place! From here, its about 500m until the climb to the top of the falls. I took some pics a while ago and you can see them here: https://frankiekayfotos.wordpress.com/2014/07/18/bulawayos-best-kept-secret-lumeni-falls/


As usual, the trees got to me!


This last one, taken at the bottom of the falls, towers over the campsite. The light was still pretty good, I liked the way it shone through the leaves of this tree.


In the midmorning we took off for Mtshabezi Dam, stopping occasionally to take photos.


Passing a scotch-cart, Dave noticed the boy driving it, pointed at the front of the car. A flat tyre!! I have never had a flat on this set of tyres, and felt a bit embarrassed that a visitor had to get down and dirty on what should be an enjoyable trip! Thank goodness that young chap pointed at my front wheel or I would have ruined a tyre. The roads in this part of the Matopos are not good and I was seriously debating cutting our day short and heading back to Bulawayo.


I knew the drive over the spillway at Mtshabezi was very rocky and the AA doesn’t really get out there! You can see the road on the right of the photo approaching the dam!  I resolved to borrow a pump from a passing scotch-cart driver and do an emergency repair on the tyre (I carry repair plugs!) Well, we weren’t able to borrow one, instead, we bought one! For $4.00!! Whodathunk?P1290775

At a rural store in the wilds of Mtshabezi!


Confident we could repair the puncture, if need be, we pushed on to the Mtshabezi Dam,. And once again, it didn’t disappoint! What a photogenic dam.


I’m sorry if there are too many pics below – but I can’t resist sharing them with you!



Later on, two blokes strolled over to collect their fishing boat:


Gives you some idea of the size of the rocks towering over the dam.


I went for a little climb to get some better shots of the dam from higher up. I wasn’t able to walk around the dam much, the rocks come too close to the edge. I’ll wait until I can get onto the water with our canoe.


Of course…a tree overlooking the dam!


More trees, and disobliging aloes! (Above)


And then, at about 3.00pm we headed out, to drive back along the Old Gwanda Road to Bulawayo. A drive of more than 70km on what I expected to be a terrible road.




The light was special by the time we got here…(A little weir close to the road.)


And the trees –  to die for!




There were a few aloes! But most of the red in this pic above, is from leaves – changing colours with the season.

We couldn’t spend as much time as we liked photographing this spot – I was worried about the long (and very bumpy drive to come.) And was doomed to disappointment – the road was being graded! Whoa – possibly the first time this century!




School kids returning home also seemed to be enjoying the new surface!


Whew – I wonder if the bike rider could see ANYTHING!



This last photo I took hanging out of the window – letting the car drive itself!


I hope I have not posted too many photos in one post. Please let me know what you think. We also visited Gulabuhwe Cave on this trip, but I do think I should make a separate post for that visit!



18 thoughts on “A day trip to the Matopos…

    • Its is a very beautiful place – and now with the road fixed, Im going to go back and back! Yes, it was a jolly good show the youngster saw my flat. Even on the front wheel, its hard to tell you have a flat in my car. (The back wheels are the worst – Ive driven kilometers before I noticed it and by then the tyre is a write off.) Actually, I didn’t see the boy, Dave did! I was concentrating on the big ditch on the left as we overtook the scotch-cart.

  1. Never too many photos from you Frankie and always enjoy your dialogue. Its a pleasure seeing them all twice.

  2. Absolutely fantastic photos and never too many. Always look forward to receiving an email from you. Thank you. BTW I always feel very homesick when I look through them.

  3. Beautiful. I loved the older posts and the ‘liquid gold’ flowing over the rocks. I’m guessing a flat tire is a constant risk on the roads you drive. Also, a car wash for appearance’s sake is probably a futile exercise. 🙂

    • Actually, the constant risk we run is a sore neck from our heads being flung around! I hardly ever have flats with the tyres I use on my car – I usually look out for thorns etc. and avoid them. I find if I ever get flats, its on the tar roads where nails and such puncture my tyres. Im told we DO have a car wash in town, but mine is washed by my gardener. I got into alot of trouble after my last trip because of the scratches all along the sides! I told him not to bother to remove them since I knew we were going to Mtshabezi. I’m proud to say that I didnt get any new ones!

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