Mbalabala Msasa…

I’m back! And I apologise for the absence – I decided to start a website, with the idea of selling some of my better photos. I was told not to post any more on this blog, as it would become redundant. As you will note, I even changed my logo on the bottom of my photos!

Several months down the line, and no website in sight, I’m back here, with some photos I took back then.


Mbalabala is a tiny town on the Johannesburg Road, about 70km from Bulawayo. The same massive granite of the Matopos can be found in this area, and these beautiful trees, that produce new leaf in the spring.


From bare branches spring new leaves that vary from orange, russet, yellow and red. Within a few weeks they are all green.


This grove of trees is clustered around a typical granite “kopjie” with classic rocks, and that lovely grey grass found along each crack.


It’s pretty slippery too! I nearly slipped to the bottom, taking pics of this rocky outcrop:


It’s hot and dry in Matabeleland now – and the only time I could get away, was at lunch time. Not the best time to take photos!

I climbed all the way to the top, in the blazing heat and was rewarded with this tree! In the distance there you can see the tiny town of Mbalabala.


If I’d slogged back up here a few weeks later, this tree would have changed colour to brilliant red, before finally turning green.


In this pic, you can see most of the colours to be found on the Msasa.


The dark tree trunks and the characteristic shapes contrast with the delicate leaves.


I leave you with a photo of the hillside opposite the one I climbed.



8 thoughts on “Mbalabala Msasa…

  1. So good to see some more beautiful photos from you Frankie. As usual they are fantastic and I can feel that time of year once again.
    Please keep them coming whether as is or on a website! Bulawayo and the Matopas are both my hometown, I arrived there in 1950
    and I left in 1983 to come to Australia and it was a wonderful time to grow up in Africa. Thanks Frankie for all your photos and my
    to you and your family.

    • Thanks. Even before the web designer and I parted ways, I had decided I would continue with this blog with its rather chatty style. Ill keep the website for serious things like selling calendars and prints!

  2. I can’t begin to tell you how really wonderful your photographs of Mbalabala and the exquisite Msasas have meant, as I lived in Bulawayo until 2001 when we came to South Africa. My brother and I spent our childhood and teen years in Juliasdale, Nyanga, also magnificent Msasa country.. What a lovely trip down memory lane this has been Frankie. Very best wishes for your future. Diana Cuttler

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