Centenary Park, Bulawayo

I recently received an email from a follower of my blog who doesn’t come from Bulawayo. She suggested I give more background about the places I photograph. So here goes. Please let me know what you think and if any of you have memories of the Centenary exhibition, Id love to hear about them.

The Centenary Park is close enough to our home in Suburbs, to walk but I went in the car cos I took Lizzy – and she is just a little puppy, with little legs!

That is my story, and I’m sticking to it.)

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Until 1953 (The Rhodes Centenary Exhibition) this park was called the “Central Park,” close to the first suburb in Bulawayo, called “Suburbs!” How original! I’m told the south side is officially still Central Park, but no one calls it that, everyone calls it the Centenary Park. Central Park is best known for the fountain where lots of newly weds have their photos taken. I took this photo with the light behind it, shining through the jacaranda tree behind.

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I took another pic later – an unusual view – but actually I was after that lovely ‘avenue’ through the trees in the distance.

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One of Bulawayo’s main roads runs right through the park – it used to be called “Selborne Avenue” named after the British High Commissioner to South Africa, (back in 1905) but now has been changed to Leopold Takawira a war hero of the Zimbabwe Liberation Struggle.

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Below is also looking west down L Takawira.

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In this pic (above) I’m standing with my back to the fountain looking towards Bulawayo. If you drive 1000 km in the other direction, you will get to Johannesburg, South Africa!

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The trees are huge and shady and I LOVE the palms!

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I’m guessing they have grown rather, since the Rhodes Centenary Exhibition, which was a pretty big affair, by all accounts, with royalty attending and all! Rhodes, born in 1853 came to Africa and made heaps of money! A commemoration of the one-hundredth anniversary of his birth was opened by the Queen Mother, in July 1953. (This country was still a British colony then.) Several of the events were held in this park. Rhodes, who founded the country we now know as Zimbabwe, is buried in the Matopos, about 50km from Bulawayo. I have previously posted photos on my blog here.

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The municipal caravan park is  just behind those trees.

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I want one of these in my garden!!! Its SO cute, so colonial!

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Her bright yellow jacket goes well in a park!

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The paths are plenty wide enough for both Lizzy and I, and park workers.

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I timed my visit to catch the evening light, and I think it worked OK.

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The smell under this tree is divine! That’s the park office behind the tree.

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This last photo is of the Museum, on the North side of the road in the Centenary Park. I do like the candle-light!

 

 

Upper Ncema Dam…

…a  Bulawayo water supply dam, is near Esigodini.

After one of the best rainy seasons EVER, all the dams in the usually arid Matabeleland, are full, Upper Ncema included. Mostly, this dam is used to hold water which is let downstream to top up the lower one, where the water is treated before being pumped to Bulawayo.

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Its much nicer to have lunch next to a full dam, than a brown puddle.

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Some trees have grown, pretty tall in the meanwhile.

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I sincerely apologise to the people who follow my blog who don’t come from Bulawayo, or another arid region. Just, us Matabele are SO happy when it rains, and full dams just make our day. Or rather, our year!

Oh…all that blue, blue water!

We’ve been told that even if we don’t get a drop of rain for another five years, we will still have enough water for Bulawayo. Whew, nice to know!

Matopos vista…

These two photos are taken about half way up a kopjie in the Matopos very near to Lumeni Falls.

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People’s fields are laid out with contour ridges to stop erosion of the thin granite soils.

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With the heavy rains, the water slowly seeps out of these hillslopes and the bigger rivers they feed, run year round. Matopos is a lovely place for trampers and serious climbers.

 

Matopos Roads…

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Roads wind around the kopjies in the Matopos – some of them are HUGE.

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And sometimes when they cant do anything else, they have to go THROUGH a kopjie! In the photo above, the road has been paved.

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And here, the rocks have been blasted apart by dynamite!

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In the foreground, you can see our car tracks – here the road is where you find it!

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The “gateway to Matopos…”

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I took the above photo of the road directly in front of the car…

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Lumeni Falls…

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The views from Lumeni are varied, the dense tree cover providing shade for most of the walk.

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Lumeni Falls overlook Nswazi.

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The stream disappears under a heap of boulders for a couple of hundred metres and then almost immediately plunges off the edge of a huge boulder.

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Above is where it comes out of the boulders.

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And tumbles over the edge…

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Our guide for the climb…

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