Zimbabwe is a land-locked country in Southern Africa. It is bordered to the east by Mozambique, the north west by Zambia, the south west by Botswana and South Africa to the south. It is one of the few places in Africa where walking safaris are still allowed.
The trip began in Harare, where we boarded a bush plane for the short flight north east to the Mana Main airstrip. The first stop on this Zimbabwe safari was Zambezi Expeditions, a camp located on the banks of the Zambezi river in Mana Pools National Park.
From there we had what would have been a 30 minute drive to the lodge had we not kept stopping for photos! First impressions? This place is beautiful and lives up to the hype!
A few shots from the drive…
The eland is the largest member of the antelope family. In the wet season they are grazers, eating the grasses, and in the dry season they are browsers, eating the leaves on the trees.
The combination of the light filtering through the trees and the dust in the air (it’s very dry) makes for some magical light. It gives the forested areas a surreal, mystical feeling.
The elephants love to eat acacia pods, but they don’t grind up the seeds. Their digestive systems kills the beetle larvae that eat the seeds and the seeds pass through; roughly 90% of the seeds then germinate and new acacia trees grow.
In addition to the amazing light, Mana Pools is also known for the elephant bulls who stand on their hind legs to feed from the trees. Now, that would be too much to ask for on the drive from the airstrip, but we did see this fellow reaching…
Eventually we arrived at camp, where we were warmly welcomed by the staff!
As we climbed out of the vehicle, we were given cool towels and a welcome drink. Very civilized. But this is Africa. A pack of wild dogs were in camp, and they are rarely spotted; there was no time to waste! We grabbed our cameras, had a very quick safety briefing and were off on foot in pursuit of the dogs.
We followed them for about half an hour, and yes, they move pretty quickly. It was getting late in the day and we were losing light, so we headed back to camp happy and ready to properly settle in. It was a pretty exciting start to the trip!
The Zambezi Expeditions camp was perfect – here are a few photos to close off this post…
Coming up next – the first full day in Mana Pools – it did not disappoint!