Leopard Logs & Elephant Rocks

13 March 2015 – Leopard Logs and Elephant Rocks

After driving for hours in a safari vehicle which could be (fill in the blank – Land Rover, Land Cruiser, Nissan…..) one’s imagination starts taking over. We really wanted to see a a leopard at some point. So every horizon dapple branch ~3 meters from the ground in a nice, well developed tree just must have a leopard on it. Never mind that after acknowledging that it isn’t true for the first fifty or so sightings, interest and gullibility never flags.

Once we arrived here in Zimbabwe, the terrain totally changed. The land is not flat. There are ridges, gullies and dry river beds. There is eroded flatish areas that could pass for desert in multiple areas of the world. Except for the elephants. Did I mention that there are some really big honking boulders out there? When the light is dimming and imagination runs wild, perhaps those are elephants?

BTW – there are plenty of elephants anyway.

Quiet Day at Camp

The country of Zimbabwe itself is poor. GCT does a good job with its foundations of contributing back to the communities which it involves in the tourist trade. The Catholic Church (through its European charities) built an elementary school but didn’t equip it. As a result, the new school has been picked up as one of the location visited. So now we are back to the schedule change – school is not open on Saturday so the schedule of safari followed by town visit has been swapped for the reverse.

Our schedule was a bit rearranged from the original plan (see above). On all the OAT trips there seems to be a “visit the local population and learn activity.” It is the reason many pick the particular trips and journeys. For others it is the highlight of their exploration. I picked this particular trip to Africa in spite of this particular activity.  Which means, as you probably already guessed – I am having a quiet day in camp listening to a great variety of bird species and not traveling 40 minutes through the camp in a safari vehicle followed by another interminable bus ride.

I could give you the excuse of waking up with a migraine (said reason probably what George offered to anyone who asked) but I think that most in the group probably figured out that I never planned on joining the group. I don’t do well in such situations and have been in a number of them involuntarily over the years. Where I am and what I do is one of the things I decided that I am entitled to decide for myself. I have given up guilt and meeting other’s expectations of what I “should” do. This is not a particular rationalization but rather some part of an explanation of why you aren’t getting insight into the daily life in a Zimbabwe village.

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