We entered Zimbabwe through the Kazungula Border Post from Kasane in Botswana. It was a quick 70 km ride to the falls where we met my (Trent) father and brother that had flown up to meet the nomads on their journey.
Victoria falls was first discovered by a European in November 1855 by Scottish missionary and explorer David Livingston. He named the falls after Queeen Victoria of Britan, the inndigenous Tonga name is “Mosi-oa-Tunga” which means “The Smoke that Thunders”. Victoria Falls is neither the highest nor the widest waterfall in the world, however, it is considered the largest with a width of 1708 meters and a height of 108 meters. It has also been given the status of one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
We had some outings around Victoria falls that included white river rafting on the mighty Zambezi River, a sunset cruise and visiting some vultures.
We stayed at a lovely backpackers in Victoria Falls town named Shoestrings Backpackers. The management was super friendly, welcoming and understanding. We made friends instantly with the staff, management and guests. They have a lovely bar, green grass to camp on, lovely toilets/showers and a blue pool to take a dip in on a hot day.
After Victoria falls we made our way on 143 km of beautiful dirt roads to the lovely and remote island fishing resort of Msuna. The journey there took us through some seldom visited areas of Zimbabwe following the Zambezi river.
We were Taken in by the lovely couple that manage the fishing island where they very generously did not kick us out but rather gave us a place to stay, with boarding and lodging of a much higher standard than we had become accustomed to.
We managed to hire a barge for a day or two and did some fishing. Mike managed to catch a decent Vundu and Tom a colossal Tiger Fish (below: bottom right)
After the amazing few days at Msuna Fishing Resort we made our way further east upon the shores of the gigantic Lake Kariba to the small town of Binga, spending the night at some hot water springs.
From Binga we made our way South deciding to spend the night at a lovely place near the town Gokwe. We stopped in a local village and approached a chief for permission to sleep on a favorable piece of land we had spied under some trees near a Baobab. It took a good hour before the cheif arrived and very happily gave us permission to camp on his land, offering us dinner and firewood, we consented to the latter cooking our own meal of bully beef and pasta.
The next day we pushed on to Harare to do some bike services and some odds and ends that can only be done in a town once you have spent two weeks in the bush. Once we did what we needed in Harare we raced to Bulowayo to visit some friends of mine as well as the fantastic Khami ruins (which have their own blog-ADD LINK).
On the farm we ended up honing our skills with a throw net as well as shooting a variety of rifles, shotguns, muskets and pistols. We did some target shooting at 20, 200 and 400 meters. We kicked up our legs for few days on this beautiful farm.
We obviously needed a photo of Guns and bikes before we departed to Masvingo. At Masvingo we stayed at Great Zimbabwe as well as exploring the ruins, which was an epic experience worthy of it’s own blog (which it has_ADD LINK HERE).
We made our way from Masvingo to the enchanting forests of Zimbabwe’s Eastern Highlands crossing the mighty Save River. We also managed to make a quick stop in at an epic little archaeological site “Chibvumani National Monument”.
Once we ascended the steep slopes and windy roads, we arrived at a tiny town named Chimanimani. It was here we discovered the gem that is Heaven Lodge/Backpackers, it was like a little slice of home in a foreighn country. We were instantly welcomed and given ice cold beers and great food (life was good).
It was from Heaven Lodge that we orchestrated our varied and entertaining activities over the next few days. These included hiking in the mountains, epic motorbike offroad trails and a spectacularly bad round of golf topped off with a visit to a local homestead where we stayed for the night.
Tom managed to find a bushmen depiction of himself while hiking. As well as some beautiful fresh mountain streams.
We had to say our sad goodbyes to Heaven Lodge and their wonderful little house on the hill (aptly named). Before we left we had to snap some awesome pictures of the bikes and the lovely view.
We didn’t make it very far because we were invited to the hiking guide’s house. Collin generously slaughtered a chicken and his wife Jannet made a tasty traditional meal. We got to interact and play with the whole family who were so happy to have three dusty bikers in their homestead on the hill.
We departed the next morning for the Mozambiquen border at Espungabera where we would get our fair share of dusty roads and close calls but the time to meet Istene was drawing near and progress had to be made.
Trent Seiler &
The Nitty Gritty Nomads.