Wednesday, 26th September DAY 7
We have made friends with other campers at Mandavu and it is interesting chatting to them. One is running a tourism business out of Vic Falls whilst another has a building business in Vic Falls and is contracted to upgrade Robins, Sinamatella and Deka camps in northern Hwange. This is being funded by the Hwange coal mine as the government is incapable of promoting the tourism of Zims. I find it incomprehensible. We discover that these young folk did the count on the opposite side of the dam to where we were stationed. They show us a video that they took across the water of our cowardly scramble for the bakkie as the ellies closed in yesterday evening.
We break camp and after bid our farewells we begin our 120Km journey to Main Camp on the eastern boundary of the Park. The sparse mopane vegetation on rocky (granite/sandstone) ground gives way to more open grassland as we begin to traverse the Kalahari Sands that cover most of Hwange. Reading up a little on the subject, Hwange has about 80 pans scattered throughout the Park, 60 of which have boreholes to keep them filled. Next to each is a robust bank of solar panels, built to withstand the attention of ellies. Hwange is home to herds of Sable and Roan antelope so this waterpoint policy in Zims is very much at odds with Sanpark’s policy of closing down water points in Kruger.
The road takes us past the Shumba pan and lookout point where one can also camp. In fact one is allowed to camp at quite a number of these pans which would be quite pleasant. Giant Zimbabwe Teak trees (Rhodesian Teak) begin to dot the landscape and we do pass a baobab. Nearing Main Camp on the eastern side of the Park and we enter most attractive woodland.
We arrive at Main Camp at 1pm and quickly set up camp under a large teak tree. Evidence of advanced decay is apparent everywhere but all is well…. there is hot water in the ablutions. One thing is for sure, I will be writing no further letters to Sanparks complaining about the scruffiness of Kruger which is positively luxurious by comparison to Hwange.
Late afternoon and we go out to Nyamandlovu water point and on cue at 5.30pm a herd of elllies come down to drink. A large Sable bull strolls past the far side of the pan.
A braai under the stars end another very happy day. I have bought some wi-fi time so in no time we have all established coms with our homes which is so good.