25-29 April 2016 (Victoria Falls & Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe) —
Every time we go back into the African bush, we wonder why we’ve been away for so long. A trip into Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe was no exception.
After a couple of weeks in Jeffrey’s Bay, we didn’t want to leave. But with our time in southern Africa winding down, we booked a last-minute safari. Wilderness Safaris Zimbabwe offered us the best deal, so we hopped on a plane to Victoria Falls.
It was peak flow season for the Zambezi River so rafting was not possible, but the Falls themselves were spectacular to see.
With our wet shoes squishing and squeaking as we walked through the fancy lobby, we went to the historical Victoria Falls Hotel for high tea on the back terrace.
Stuffed with finger sandwiches, miniature desserts, and scones with cream and preserves, we waddled back to our hotel for a sleep.
The next day, we hopped on a puddle jumper to the far southeast corner of Hwange National Park to the Little Makalolo camp. This is the area where Cecil the lion used to roam. We ended up driving along the rail line that is the park boundary — and over which the hunting group reportedly dragged bait back and forth in order to lure Cecil out of the park. We saw some of Cecil’s former pride.
As well as a new male lion that was scoping out the territory:
The game viewing was excellent.
And we saw some amazing sunsets.
At times, the experience was bittersweet as we repeatedly passed Big Makalolo camp during our game drives — a camp at which David’s mom and Aunt stayed when they visited Hwange a few years ago. Mrs. O had painted numerous animals from this area, and would have loved to paint from V’s new photos, so we thought about her a lot and she was missed.
Thankfully, we met some good people to keep us company, we had a fantastic experience, and our time at Little Maka passed all too quickly.