MANA POOL NP (National Park)
There is no one but a couple from Cape Town as a guest. Trichelia Private Camp is quite luxurious. I’m here by accident entirely. It’s on the edge of the Zambezi river. The opposite shore is Zambia. Nature is spectacular. There are hippopotamus, elephants. 3 meals, drinks, $ 400 a day with two safari daily. I got my food from the market in Kariba. I will only pay for the safari and accommodation. This is an affordable accommodation option in the park if you have a tent and your own vehicle. The couple in Cape Town saw 3 lions in safari. I have been awaken at 5 in the morning, we are on the road hoping to see a lion with Kenyan Jim of Scottish origin guiding safari for 40 years. Elephant, impala, zebra … We can not see the lion. Jim was attacked by a lion 20 years ago. A lion jumped on him in the field while guiding the hunting safaris. One of the customers shot and killed the lion. Jim has not been very damaged, but he never forgets the smell of the lion’s breath, the size of his head and the feeling of touching his skin in the palm of his hand. How to forget it!
Jim brings me up to the tent with his lamp. “If anything happens,” Jim, “shout, I’m in the next tent.” “What kind of thing is it?” “Forget it”. I think wild animals are really with us.
The tent is very comfortable, with immaculate linens, towels and private toilet. Silver cutlery is used for dinner. I’m in the movie “Tea in the Tundra.” Shower outside and common and open top, hot water, soap, towel, shampoo available. At night the animal sounds scared me, I could not sleep. When we returned at 10 am from the morning safari, there was an elephant next to the tent. The hippopotamus is descending from the tents right next to us. It is known that hippopotamus is more dangerous than crocodiles. I did not attend the next safari, so I chose to sleep. The camp manager Kevin tells me not to leave the camp, not to go down the hill, to go out for a walk, not even 10 meters away. “We do not see them, but they see us,” he says.
At this moment I am writing my second evening here and notes in the accompaniment of a lion shrew. Employees and guides constantly look around with lamps. No electricity. It’s actually a very peaceful place. But I think I’m watching too many lion assault videos, I’m scared.
Jani and Malcolm from Cape Town ask me again and again, amazed at the details, how I managed to get to the camp without a private car. When you leave your home and hear Africa traveling with local transport, and all alone, you are being held to all of you.
It makes more sense to come here in August and September. Right now the season is just starting and there are no tourists. So I need a group to do canoeing, but there are no groups. It could be a good experience to watch animals by day and night watching the houseboat on the lake in Kariba, but there is also a group for it. The charter planes flying from here to Victoria Falls are not flying at the moment. I will decide how to get to Vic Falls tomorrow.
There is a big tree. Though all these trees are huge. The phones only attract when he sits out.
The second night was very noisy. The voices of many different animals are intermingled. I hear lion roar. The baboons are in trouble. I woke up a few times with a bad baboon scream. I jumped in the early morning hours with a big thump and crackling. The phone tree is overturned by itself. Great luck not to have a tent or human under it. Jim says leopard hunts a few baboons at night, the screams belong to them. Also in the morning they saw two leopards approaching the camp about 30/40 meters. I did not attend the safari in the morning. For Safari you need to go out at 5. I prefer to harmonize. There are no Zimbabweans who work in the camp and no one else, everyone is in safari. I wake up and go to the kitchen. Beaven, who brought me to the camp from Makuti, asks me how I want take breakfast. I say I brought my own materials. You will not pay, it’s from us. I’m just slapping my arms and doing “menemen.” I’m setting up a table in the area where the guests eat, and Beaven says, “You are very kind, but we are not allowed to eat on this table.” It s heartbroken. Which age are we? We carry the plates to open kitchen and we eat together. “Family photo” is taken and prayed before it starts to eat. A friend of them went to the hospital for malaria. They’re worried. I am trying to identify one by one. Shini’s on the line. “I am going to ask,” I am 30 years old. I will swallow the small slice. Africans are really looks young. Although they marry early and have children at an early age, they are very brave and their skin is very tense, and most of them are physically fit and slim.
Beawen with dreadlocks hair is 43 years old. He has 6 children. The 25-year-old daughter is studying medicine in London. Actually he is a sculptor. The sculptures were sold very well in Europe for many events, he said. But since the Zimbabwean economy is at the point of sinking he is doing this job now, so he can say that whatever works in the camp is doing it. He is hardworking, capless, modest and also has a melancholic and bohemian style. (Who interested in his sculptures may communicate with me)
On the third night I get used to animal sounds. I saw the first and only lion in this park in my dream. The first night I came, a lion entered to my tent in my dream. I’m screaming for help, but I do not have a sound. The subject comes to me again in the evening. Janni says in Africa that she is afraid of buses, not lions. When I say I already missed traveling with local people in the minibuses, Jim says “You’re a very unusual person.”
At 7 am, Beaven wakes me up and tells Kevin to go to Harare. Everyone is in safari. I go into the kitchen and make a commitment to Kevin, Jim, Janni and Malcolm and cook “menemen”. We are having breakfast together when we turn. Especially Malcolm is eating two dishes, he gets the recipe. We say goodbye and go out. We reached Harare from Mana Pool in 7 hours. I left at Suhshine Guesthouse. It’s a chic place. I said it was unnecessarily expensive for one night, but I’m too old to look for another place. There is a small middle-aged party in the garden. Serbian Savo is making friends with me right away. He’s a dentist and has been in Zimbabwe for years. He talks about the perfection of the education system. He’s been studying his kids in a high-tech private school. It’s equivalent to Cambridge. The discipline in public schools is also British-based. Her girlfriend is a complete Tina Turner. I’m sorry that I missed HIFA while listening to aria and chatting. Harare International Art Festival is very famous. By coincidence, Tina Turner of Savoy’s life partner Zimbabwe is the organizer of the festival. “It’s enough to let me know before coming next year, I will organize everything for you,” he says.
The internet connection is still bad, so Savo is calling Zimbabwe and booking for the 10.30 Victoria Falls flight tomorrow. I’m going to the airport with them at 8.30.
I am ready at 8.30 in the morning. But they do not. I’m phoning Savo a couple of times, no answer. 45 minutes to get off the plane, 20 minutes to the airport. I go to the street to find a taxi. Savo is calling me back and he says his plans have changed. I guess he found it unnecessary to notify me. As I can call a taxi from the hotel, I close the phone in the face while I’m rubbing something. I can not listen to more and lose more time. First I have to catch up with the plane, then I write a nice message. I have never been left halfway by Africans called “untrustworthy” until now. But the European intellectual gentleman we envied looked forgotten me!
I was upset because the plane made a delay. I’m at Victoria Falls airport with a 1 hour flight.
KOMPISI VILLAGE AND VICTORIA FALLS
I’m going to call the taxi and go to the house that will host me. I found a site on a village called www.workaway.info, a volunteer system. It is a small village of round houses made by dirt. No electricity. The water comes from the city to the fountain in the square. Common bathroom and toilet are outside, surrounded by reeds, open top. You can also use nature if you want. There are two cookers in the outdoor area, one in the kitchen and the other kitchen. The cookers are lit by wood fire, heating and cooking are cooked in these two cookers, served on board. There are a few asses, cows and 3 dogs. Corn fields, vegetable horticulture meet some of the needs of the village. The village’s old uncle who constantly reads the holy book, “goko” means grandmother, Nompilo, who paints with her feet, and other painter Chris is trying to make a source of income.
Women are washing children’s, elder’s and their own clothes. Young men are washing their own clothes and helping with some daily tasks. The leader of the village is not putting his hand in hot water to cold water.
There are 4 small children. I ask where their parents are, they are not “here”, I do not go into detail. The kids are so close. Mickey loves hugging, his mother is not here, he is missing his mother. I put his name “Kucak (hug)”, he learned the meaning, he just opened his arms and hugged me. I shout “Kucaaaakkk (Hug)” when I can not see the children, they show up from somewhere and say “kiceeeeek”, jump on me, I melt.
In Africa, the children are very calm and they listen. They make their own toys themselves. They are setting up their own games. They’re in constant dust. There is no washing too often. There is no hygiene that we are familiar. In the evening, they line up around the fire and sit quietly and listen to adult’s conversations. I’m just ending up watching the fire. I wish I could know what they thought. I have only seen very few of these children who grow up on such difficult conditions and who travel on difficult conditions, even if they have stopped crying. Big black eyes, bitter chocolate skin, dumpling lips, dot noses are all beautiful. There were also people who were surprised, touched, touched and shy when they saw me in small settlements and in public transport. Most people see a white-skinned person for the first time. “What planet did she come to as a pale creature?”
In the village Brazilian-Japanese-Indian origin Kayna is working in the garden for two months voluntarily. He has been traveling for 3 years. Today we go to the city of Victoria Falls Town with Kayna and Chole, we are about 15 km away. Kayna is making money by selling articles about the people and village life. We go to Chole and Victoria Falls Bridge while he is on business on the internet. The bridge is over the Zambezi river. It connects the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. It’s the best border crossing I’ve ever seen. If you think about half of the bridge is in Zambia, the other half is in Zimbabwe. Bungee jumping, swing, zip line platform is also here. Bungee and swing 160 US dollars, zip line 45 US dollars. The price of the activities is also high because the bridge is famous. Zimbabwe is an expensive country. The economy has collapsed despite the rich gold and diamond mines. I know why. It is too bad for local people and travellers with very limited budget as me.
At present, the winter season and temperature in Africa is 25 degrees.
The internet in Africa is very slow everywhere. I can not upload videos and photos on my website, the stories are missing. Taken on my facebook and Letsfreenow page in the diagram and on my profile that I can share with my mobile phone. I wish I could upload videos from Gopro and Canon. I wish I could evaluate it in some way. They could be more useful guide images for those who want to come around.
Village leader, the father of the family, invites all of you to the village. The name of the village is Kompisi. 12 km from Victoria Falls. Mpisi’s phone number: 00263 71 3998314. You are being hosted in the village by working voluntarily. You can get information by contacting Mpisi about which jobs you can work with.
I did not stay in the village much because I did not feel very useful. Everyone is very friendly. But I can do something more touching than helping washing dishes. Heavy work in the garden is not for me. Already the village men and Kayna are interested in the garden. Washing laundry in the village may be interesting for an American / European who has never done such a thing before, but it is not for me. I would go to a few arrows on the periphery and tell Turkey but I can not organize it anymore. When I check the validity date of Angola’s visa on my passport, I realize that I have to log in before 5 June. There is no border between Zimbabwe and Angola. I have to travel to Zambia, the nearest country, to go to Angola for a few days. I am delighted to describe the composition of the village people and their way of life and I left the village with georgeous emotions. I go to Victoria Falls Town and settle in Shoestring Lodge. Convenient and charming hostel about 500 meters from the city center. In the evenings, sometimes it can be uncomfortable due to the high music in the bar. I walked 2 km to Victoria Falls but I hitchhiked 2 minutes later I’m in the door. The entrance fee is $ 30. To protect your precious items from water, remember to take a plastic bag or a bag that does not contain water. If you do not like to get wet, get your raincoat, or rent it in the entrance. Do not you really like to get wet? Try something new and be soaking wet household in one of the world’s three biggest waterfalls. Turn your face into the sky, open your arms and feel the drops falling on your palms. It lasts for five minutes to get dry again but your pleasure is a lifetime.
Note: For Zimbabwe and Zambia, a joint visa can be obtained with 50 US. It is also possible to make a day trip to Bostwana from the Kazangula border crossing with this visa name is Kaza Uni-Visa. www.kazavisa.info
Note: I’ve heard a new business for the first time. Drone hunting. Two young South African drone detect and spot smuggled animal hunters and report to park officials. They work for a few days and rest for a few days. Great job!