Mucheni Gorge, Chizarira…

I spent a night at Mucheni Gorge, in Chizarira National Park.

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The drive up the escarpment is fairly painless and affords several “photo opportunities.”

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If I’d been a few weeks earlier, I’d have got some photos of Msasa!!!

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Over millennia, the Mucheni river has cut into the sandstone, creating these amazing features. I loved the view of “Vast Africa” at Mucheni Gorge.

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Perched right on the edge of the gorge, Mucheni is totally without the intrusion of humans! I didn’t hear a dog, a cockerel, or an aeroplane! Most of all, I didn’t see or hear a human! Now THAT is an experience worth paying for!

I wrote this story shortly after we stayed at Chizarira a few years ago: Embarrassed Please click on the link to read it.

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There are no facilities at Mucheni Gorge camping site (in fact, I found the thatched shelter too developed for my taste.) Visitors must bring their own water, food, camping equipment etc, although there is a loo of sorts.

I woke up at three in the morning and tried to take some photos of the magnificent sky, but totally stuffed it up – and I wont post my feeble effort! It was worth the view though!

I left early in the morning on my way to Mana Pools but before I did, I took this photo:

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I realise its ‘gimmicky’ but hey, its Africa, and I was on holiday!

Please click here, to find Mucheni Gorge Campsite on google maps

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Mlibizi…

Is a fishing resort on the Zambezi, where the river becomes Lake Kariba. I’m guessing ‘back in the day’ it was pretty rough and ready, since men don’t really worry about creature comforts when it comes to fishing. But now its really civilised, with air-conditioning and two swimming pools! We stayed here when we worked in the area earlier this year, so to spend quality “off-time” at chalet no 16 (which belongs to my sister) was special.

p1220536-001This view (above) is from the jetty. Kariba is very low at the moment and the banks, protruding from the water mess up my photos! This one is taken looking into the sun, so you cant see them.

p1220520These are taken at the swimming pool at dawn.

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The ferry leaves from Mlibizi. I’m told its a magic trip, with game viewing and excellent food, (on my to do list.) If you look carefully in the next pic, you can see the ramp you have to reverse your car up! Mlibizi resort is hidden in that clump of trees behind the ramp.

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p1220518The sunsets (and sunrises) over the water are stunning. I love to just sit on the bank (far away from crocs!) and enjoy the silence and that Zambezi smell, that has to be experienced. I cant describe it. p1220427_hdrThe first time we went out on the water, it was like glass. Totally still, no ripples disturbing the surface and it was hard to distinguish the sky from the reflection. That’s Zambia you are looking at in this pic (above.)

So if you want a fishing getaway for $25.00/day – ask for chalet 16!

Sinamatella Camp (Hwange National Park)

Sinamatella camp, perched all along the edge of an escarpment, overlooks a stream where I sat for hours watching game come and go, far below. This pic (below) was taken shortly after the sun sank below the horizon:Sinamatella Camp

(I watched it come up too, the following morning!)Sinamatella CampThe restaurant:Sinamatella CampSunrise:Sinamatella CampSunset:Sinamatella CampSinamatella Camp

Look east, look west

If you haven’t noticed yet – I’m a pretty impatient person – which is why I take photos rather than paint. Every now and again, I wake up very early in the morning to get a sunrise shot.East west The above photo was taken sitting on the banks of the Zambezi river immediately above the Victoria Falls. I had already been there for more than fifteen minutes and…the sun takes AGES to come up. So I turned 180 degrees and took this one. It’s a pic of the ‘smoke that thunders…’East west Then, the sun crept up a little, so I took another one…East west And then I took another one looking west…East west I have literally hundreds of pictures of the same view – the sky slightly lighter, the sun ever so little bit higher! East west The following pics were taken in Gona re Zhou. Once again, I got up very early in order to catch the early morning light…and unlike on the banks of the Zambezi, I didn’t have to watch out for crocs. I still got bored although I won’t bore you with all the pics I took! East west So I turned the other way…and got these of the Chilojo Cliffs (sometimes called Clarendon Cliffs)East west The sun you see in the top photo shines on the cliffs and turns them into a lovely pink colour. I also like the shine on the sand in these photos.East westI I didn’t have to move very far to take these…our campsite was about three paces behind me! These photos are taken from our front door, again, east and west.East west West looking towards Bulawayo and 180 degrees -our garden…a sunset shotEast west Another pic taken from our garden, but early in the morningDawn on the Farm East west The next two photos, I had to work for…I had to climb to the top of the trig beacon. This lovely green one is looking West…(I have yet to climb up there before dawn – hey, I need my beauty sleep!)Bonnybrook Trig beacon-010 This was taken as the sun went down…the dark shadows stark against the green. East…Bonnybrook Trig beacon-021 And this (above) was the view west…

Telephone wires and transformers…

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“Cultural Interference” is what I usually call telephone wires and pylons. I can hardly take a photo these days without a cell phone tower intruding somewhere. But I feel in the above pic, that the telephone wires enhance the impression of distance. Its so very hard to show the endless straight roads we drive on in Africa.

Telephone wires and transformersThe above pic was taken in the late afternoon, looking directly into the sun…and Im surprised the camera managed to do anything at all with all that light…our big problem was the “cultural interference!” No matter where we went, there were cables…I eventually hid behind the plant on the right, and only one wire…The pic below was taken shortly after…

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The sun on the left in the above photo…I also managed to hide behind a tree to take it…

And in the photo below…it hasn’t come up at all (hey, I’m allowed to boast when I get out of bed before sunrise!)

Telephone wires and transformers

The wind farms in the Eastern Cape are pictured above. Each tower is fitted with a red flashing light that doesn’t bother me that much – I was brought up in an age when a red flashing light was a helicopter or something exciting like that!

 

Mshelele Dam in the Matopos National Park

Mshelele Dam in the Matopos National Park

Mshelele DamPlease excuse the road in the photos! I try always to preserve “nature” as best I can, but the road through Mshelele Camp goes right next to the dam.

Mshelele Dam fishWe decided to spend a night at this dam in order to get both sunset and early morning shots.

Mshelele Dam If you look very closely, you can see the fish eagle sitting right up there – at the top of the rocks. Late evening sun shines right on the rocks at Mshelele Dam.

Mshelele DamAcross from the ablution block is a camping site right on the water, under the Msasa trees.

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Very late evening photograph (above.)

Mshelele DamThe sun comes up behind the rocks at Mshelele Dam, and strangely, the sky is more vivid (pink and purple) than it is an hour later. Above is the first photograph of the day.

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There are fires around now and that makes our sunrises and sunsets that much more vivid…

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As the sun begins to come up, the brilliant colours fade. We packed the car ready to move on to Togwana Dam and Inanke Cave, our intended destination.

Mshelele DamIn every batch of photos, I get a “mistake” sometimes good…this one I like very much. It was taken on the banks of the Mshelele Dam, very early in the morning. So early, my camera didn’t know where to get its light from…

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