FAREWELL, August 2018

The end of an era. That’s probably a bit what this is. This summer I drove my car for the very last time to Zimbabwe to sell it to a friend of mine. It wasn’t until the end I suddenly realised I will actually going to miss this car. And since things like this make you a bit nostalgic I went looking for some pictures and some good memories… There were plenty! So I thought I share a few… 🙂
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Zimbabwe, Nov. 2017

So after the rain in October (you can read about that here), Mana Pools looked quite different as you can see in most of the pictures. More mud, more green, less animals although I had some nice sightings still. And as always I also go for the little things.

In the ablution for instance I found this little green snake. I was doing my laundry and the snake passed me by over the wall in front of me. Since my car was quite close, I ran back to get my camera.
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Zimbabwe, Oct. 2017

October started pretty different, since Sofie left and after more than a month traveling together, it does get to you. So I had to get used to being by myself again and getting back in my own rhythm. And in the beginning I did feel a bit lonely…

Nothing the bush can’t solve though! 😉 And luckily I’ve got quite some friends over there… Like Stretch, the Mana legend. When people ask him how I got his name, he answers: ‚I was born on a loooong weekend!‘. First time I heard that I almost cried from laughing…
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Zimbabwe Sept 2017

Our trip started in Namibia and Botswana (as you can read here), but this story begins in Mana Pools in Zimbabwe. Or actually on the way to Mana to be correct.  After Nxai Pan, we drove the terrible road towards Francistown and the boarder. It’s never been the best road, but after the major rainfall last season, it was truly filled with holes all over. Sometimes it was simply not possible to drive at a normal speed. The boarder however went quite smooth this time and fuel wasn’t an issue for once. Never obvious when you’re allowed what…
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Zimbabwe, Matopos, April 2017

After our Mana visit we decided to spent a few days in Matopos National Park before heading back to Botswana. There’s a cave with beautiful rock paintings. Not easy to find though and for sure not after rainy season. The week before another couple tried and they came back without reaching the cave. They had lost track and it was just too difficult to get there, according to them. We like a proper challenge and so we went for it. We cut ourselves a way trough the jungle. Literally. Our guide in front, Jens right behind him, both waving their machete as if they’ve never done anything else, smashing everything in their way. I simply walked behind them, using mine more to keep flies at a distance…
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Zimbabwe, Mana Pools, April 2017

Since Mana Pools is by far Jens his favorite park and since he stayed there almost three months last year (read here part one, two and three), we decided to have a look right after rainy season. What a difference! Actually in the end it turned out to be still quite in the rainy season, since we even got rain while we were there as well. It made the roads (and everything) really muddy, but the sunsets and the views beautiful dramatic.
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Zimbabwe, Mana Pools, December 2016

This year I was in Mana with a mission. I wanted to stay for a longer time and see how everything would evolve with the start of the rainy season. It got really very hot, although it already started raining every once in a while the end of November. On some of the pictures here in November you can already see some green starting to come out. But on these ones you clearly do!
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Zimbabwe, Mana Pools, November 2016

After the sad happening with the wild dog (see here) I had to leave the park since you’re only allowed into Zimbabwe for 30 days on a normal tourist visa. Not a disaster, since I also had to resupply. I was out of… well almost everything! So off to Lusaka in Zambia. I went for shopping, to the workshop for some minor things and I even got invited by a friend to stay at his place. Always much nicer this way then staying somewhere in your own.
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