We shrugged Harare off like a bad habit as we headed further south through our tumultuously beautiful neighbouring country. Chivhua and Gutu came and went with the lasts rays of the afternoon sun. Ominous clouds gathered. We entered the Lake Mutirikwi region through its backdoor. The dirt road spewed up blood red dust that mixed with the mountain mist as we crossed the wall of Lake Mutirikwi. Fresh air washed into the cabin while the sounds of Pink Floyd flowed out into the dark - Wish you were here.
The road resembled Mario Balotelli’s hairstyle - a thin slice of dark tarmac in the middle of two lighter gravel strips. Historical ruins were scattered throughout the countryside. We were blessed to have Clive Stockil as our guide and we crossed the Save River into Gonarezhou National Park. The rich colours at Tembwahata Pan was further enhanced by Clive’s childhood memories as he recalled his adventures in “The Place of Elephants”.
The sun crept up between the confluence of the Save and the Runde Rivers as we left for the imposing Chilojo Cliffs. Somewhere between the Leadwood and stunted Mopane trees an elephant herd trumpeted at their invaders. From the sleepy Sango Border Post the road that leads south through Mozambique, threads its way between old fence posts and herds of Nguni cattle before it winds down to the Limpopo Valley.
Downstream a tractor attempted a night rescue of a stranded vehicle. Upstream lay Crook’s Corner. And beyond that the land of the Forgotten People north of the Soutpansberg. The land of the Mutale River, of Fever Tree forests, Baobabs and the sacred Lake Fundudzi. That was our final destination, but during that moment next to the “great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River”, you were with me. And I was happy.
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