Matopos National Park
Bulawayo Travel Blog› entry 22 of 36 › view all entries
On the way to Bulawayo we took a slight detoiur to the Chipangali Animal sanctury, here they look after wounded and orphaned animals till either they can be re-releaased or forever. They do some amazing work with very little funds and what they get from tourists. The enclousers are a little small (and the smell awful) but you cant fault the intentions in a country where animals are not considered to be of great importance. It was here that we got our first and only look at the last of the big 5 members that we hadn't seen the elusive leopard. It however was not quite the same as seeing him in his natural habitat as with the others as his "stress" pacing round the enclosure was a testiment to how this wild animal was finding his new surroundings. They also had a large collection of lions, one of which decided that he was fed up of being treated like he was on the paparatzi walk way and wee-ed all over us!!!! I can honestley say Aaron and I are the only people I know who have had this pleasure but if anyone else would like to claim they belong to this club I would be more that happy to hear the tale.
We have enquired as to the possiblity of adopting a pair of spotted egale owls to help out the situation a little bit and are waiting hear back from the owner.
From here it was to the suburbs of the more quiet town of Bulawayo that the journy took us. Here was a lovey little place run by Christine (nicest woman I have met) and the best thing was we upgraded to a room with a bed!!! No more tents for us for two nights ( you have no idea of the pleasure of a bed when you haven't slept ion one for three weeks at least!).
The rest of the group took a tour in to Motopos a national park which has a large population of rinos, we however decided against this idea (as we came within 2 meters of a white rino in Nakuru National Park and NOTHING can beat that) and took it upopn ourselve to explor the local town and its pleasures. So off we go at a nice steady pace, just over and hour and approx 6km later we reach the town. BNow we consider ourselve pretty much aclimatised by this point but wow was that one long hot walk - once again with no sun hat for me (denise) and neither of us wearing sun cream, ("I am invincible" is looking less like a fact at this point!!!). The town itself didn't contain much but there were subtal signs of the political difficulties in the area, such as once elbarate and vast parks now over grown and unattended to. Having done a tour of the local area we thought better of the long stroll home and went to find a taxi, the astronomical fares tehy tried to charge us for an 6km journey was rediculous (the problem with being white and euorpean is that all prices increase ten fold when you apprach anyone). The a white Zimbabwen offered us a lift for free, after a lot of consideration (as we dont normally get into cars with strangers) we accepted. He was a volunteer for the Lions Club in the area and they were raising money for pensioners in Zim as the state pension is only $2000 a week (which if you read Aarons Harare entry isn't enough for a loaf of bread). He dropp[ed us off at the site and didn't even stay long enough for us to make a donation to his cause. There are decent members of society still and not everyone is out to rip us off! Its a great feeling!!!!
That night we watched tv for the first time in 8 weeks! Two movies "Point Break" and "GI Jane", to be honest I dont really miss tv at all and it was a dull night infront of the box. Also at this little haven we discovered "Chocolate Mellows" soooooooooooo good!!!!!