January 13, 2014, Bulawayo – Gweru
First we packed up and made school which was very easy for me. Then we went to have a haircut, but Nina and Mommy didn’t have a haircut. They went shopping instead. Before that, it took us ages to find something to eat. I was really hungry. When we drove to Gweru, we played Minion Rush. And then we all had lots of fun in the pool
January 14, 2014, Gweru – Harare
Today we drove from Gweru to Harare. In Harare a car with four Police man stopt us and said that we drove over a red light (which was not true) and wanted $100. They said that otherwise they would tak away our car. But we said that we first wanted to talk with the swiss embassy. Then they drove away. At the lodg there was a little cat, that did not have a name. We named it Maunzi. We playd with it for the rest of the day.
January 15, 2014, Harare – It’s a small world backpacker’s
After a content breakfast we did school and I had problems with understanding the scales (in maths!). When we were finished, we went swimming, we all looked for the five Rand which I had found and lost the day before, but we didn’t find it. In the afternoon we went shopping. We bought a basket, a hand broom, a poet running away from a lion, DVD’s, fabric and lot’s of food. In the evening we went to eat African food. They acted fancy but didn’t have lots of difrent things.
January 16, 2014, Harare – Mana Pools
After two days of moving on foot or in taxis, we had to face Zimbabwean traffic police again, which made us feel a bit uneasy. Driving out of the city was no problem, but as soon as Michael was in the driver’s seat again, the troubles started. Every few km he was asked to step out, but miraculously and with lots of politeness, niceties and the occasional firmness from his side he could talk us out of all the proposed offenses without paying any fines or bribes.
The road to Mana Pools is long; after descending the Zambezi escarpment it got hot, too. We were very proud of our kids and how they managed an almost 7 hour drive with no major quarrels.
Our beautiful campground felt great in the sunshine; after dusk, we didn0t move out of the perimeter between car and tent. First some buffalo dropped by for a visit, which sent the kids to bed fairly quickly. Brushing our teeth, Michael and I spied on a crocodile, when we were covered in soap, a hyena started making strange sounds – so we followed the kids quite early. During the night, the sounds of munching elephants, roaring lions and singing jackals sent the hyenas into fits of laughter several times; the five of us cozy and content in our tent, smiling in our sleep. Mana Pools is not for beginners!
January 17, 2014, Mana Pools
There is nothing that helps you beat a 5 am alarm better than a hippo munching on juicy grass a couple of meters away from your head. We are all well awake before, and at 6 am ready for a morning walk with two armed rangers. We see little that we had not shared the camping site with – but walking through the bush is a welcome and exciting change from the usual driving. The early start gives us lots of time for school and work, I even manage to squeeze out an urgent email via satellite. Funny that even in these wildest places left, we can remain in touch with office and home. I usually am not an admirer of that, but happy for it today. It’s driving again in the afternoon – the canoeing is cancelled last minute, age limit 12 years…. Understandably with all the dangerous animals, but initially a disappointment that turns into a starting point for grand future travel plans.
The sounds of the bush drive everyone to bed at nightfall – particularly after I stand face to face with an equally surprised hyena searching for food scraps at the other side of the car. Even beginners like us get proficient with close-up wildlife in Mana Pools very quickly, so this is just a highlight more in a great day in the bush.
January 18, 2014, Mana Pools – Kariba
We packed our stuff together and wanted to on a little drive but then we got stuck in the mud. My dad got stung by a wasp when he was digging us out. Now his ear looks fat. He tried to run away but it stung him, even though he was covered with mud. An elephant watched us from up close so we had to stay in the car and check for other wild animals. First we had to go all the way through the mud, turn the car around and then we had to go back through the same mud because if we would have gone on, we would have gotten stuck even more. My mommy drove us back through the mud. Then we went back to the camping site and we tried another way where there was no mud.
Then I slept a bit so that we could watch a movie, it was “The Hobbit 2” that we had bought on a market in Harare. Lake Kariba is the hottest place ever.
January 19. 2014 Lake Kariba – Lusaka
Today we went to see the dam wall of lake Kariba. In the town Kariba there were zebras walcking around like donkies. Then we went across the dam wall to get into Zambia. It was very difficult to get in. Then we went to a restaurant with a pool and yummy fish. On the way to reed mat lodge (which is were we stayd for the night) somebody wanted to sel us a tortois. We buyd some baskets. Buy the way, it was very hot.