Day 32 was a transit day through Mozambique and the second time I've got to bush camp (setting up the tents just off the main road, no toilets and definitely no showers). I like bush camp. It's a case of you get there, put your tent up and try and find fire wood whilst cook group makes your tea (dinner). Stupid thorn got stuck in my leg though whilst trying to break branches apart. I'm hoping my body dissolves it, I'm sure someone once told me that happens.
Day 33 25th
Crossed through the border into Zimbabwe this morning to then a few hours later be stopped by one of the guards to tell us about a culture show going on at a hotel. Unfortuately we were a day or two early so it was still only being set up, but it was free and from the stuff we could see it looked like it was going to be good. There was a few round huts all of which were different and were apparently different tribes styles of building their chiefs huts.
The drive continued on to Harare whereupon most of us where stuck by the city's resemblance to a western city. The view from the truck looked on to large avenues, tall shiny buildings and clean streets, completely different to what we've been accustomed to seeing for towns and citys in the rest of Africa. Coming out of the city was also a liitle bit of a shock as large mansion like houses lined the road.
Our campsite for the next two nights is Lavion Bird Gardens, a campsite set by a lake complete with crocodiles. When we first got there Tennile got excited about the beautiful lakeshore view and pitched the tent alomost at the water's edge. As soon as I found out about the crocs I dragged it way back.
Day 34 26th
Last night's sleep was awful. Zimbabwe is bloody freezing. The temperature took such a drop that I slept in my hoodie with the actual hood up and was still cold. I wonder if you can get frostbite in Africa. In fact I looked so miserable Becky and Ed have adopted me this evening and are very kindly letting me stay in their room, they're such lovely people.
After breakfast it was a free day so everyone, pretty much, took the chance to get into town, this proved an adventure in itself. About sixteen of us piled into the first truck, which took us to the main road then it was a free for all as twenty odd of us attempted to hail down vehicles heading to Avondale (a shopping district near Harare). Me, Amy, Mike, Faye, Lorraine and Carlos eventually flagged down a pick-up type truck and although not directly going to where we wanted it was in the general direction. The journey to Harare was fun, it stank of engine fumes and none of us were entirely sure we were heading the right way. We did get there though and it wasn't long before we found a Dali Daler to take us to Avondale. The conductors were funny, in order to attract buisness they ran around the van banging on it and shouting. The ride back was just as eventful we got stopped twice by the police. Apparently the police haven't been paid this month so the police are pulling people over in order to make money, weirdly it had nothing to do with the fact that twenty-eight of us were crammed into am eighteen seater.
Day 35 27th
This morning we set off early in order to incorporate the Great Zimbabwe (ruins) on our journey to Antelope Park. Annoyingly my camera has now died and my insurance seems to be so cleverly written that I really don't think I can claim off it.
The ruins weren't what I was expecting, I think I was thinking of some others the BBC covered, but they were still beautiful. The Kings area had impressive huge natural boulders reached only by some very crazy paving all the way up a hill. The view was fab and such was the height that a cave was used at the top to carry sound messages across km's of land below. The women's area was pretty cool, it had an 11m high wall that was held up purely by it's own stone no cement was present at all.
By the time we arrive at Antelope Park we were all in party mood, drinking had started on the truck, and in celebration of Hayley's birthday it was fancydress time. Emma finally got her pirate boots and eighties top off me and I got a lovely floaty blue jumpsuit from Jen, Andrew thought I looked like a bridesmaid. I got one of the best deals though. Tennile got a grey baby type all-in-one, Amanda a child's dragon costume and Faye somesort of two-piece made from dark brown curtains.
Day 36 28th
Sooo hungover. Didn't think so at first, but listening to the presentation of all the things Antelope Park has to offer I soon realised I was. Antelope Park looks after lions, elephants and horses and as such all it's activites revolve around these animals. The problem with this place though is all the activities look so good you could easily spend $400. I signed up for the Cub Viewing, the Lion Walk and the Night Encounter, I'll tell you about these later.
After lunch most of us wandered over to the DVD room and put on the one DVD we've all been looking forward to watching- The Lion King. What could be more approperiate in Antelope Park. The volunteers kept popping their heads in to see what we were watching then smiling as they closed the door.