Trip 1, note 4, day 2

It is the middle of day 2, and I am now on siesta in our tent in the Hide, a Hwange camp which is quite separated from the outside world (over 30 km from the Hwange Main Camp, so about 50km from the road). It means, there is no Internet here, and also no cellular network coverage.

In the morning, we had a last sighting just before we left, and it was a group of female kudu, large antelopes with characteristic white stripes on their bodies, large ears, and incredible jumping abilities. The appeared in a small herd of about 7 females, and grazed together for about half an hour before they disappeared.

After we packed ourselves, we went to the market, where we bought some light leopard and zebra patterned scarves, and a wooden elephant sculpture, and we drove to the airport, where we picked our huge 4×4 ISUZU, which I drove up to Hwange main camp, some 200 km south from Victoria Falls. There our driver picked us up, and drove us to the Hide. On the way, we had a few sightings, first of which was a steenbok male. Steenboks are small, elegant antelopes, with huge eyes and ears and pointy devil-like looking horns, measuring only 50cm in the shoulder, which makes it very small and difficult to spot. The male however jumped from the road and stopped about 10 metres from us, allowing a nice view on him. Note the light-coloured patch around the eye, it makes it even bigger. Master of make-up!

Next sighting were warthogs, a whole bunch of them, an impala, and warthogs again, this time next to an ancient-looking pump, which used to water the waterhole we saw them next to. Hwange was once famous for having many of these, to keep animals in the park. They are now running short of water due to lack of maintenance – no funds are left for these, unfortunately.

We also saw a tortoise, which I think was a leopard tortoise, but I think our car might have come over it, so I prefer not to think about, because although I was not the driver I feel guilty.