Thursday 28 August 2008

23rd August 08

Date: 23rd August 08
Location: Gorogosa NP, Mozambique
Weather: Grey clouds to start clearing as the day went on. 32°c
Status: Up and down like to Roman Empire…

Woke up at 5.30am before the sun had even shown its firsts rays of light as we were off on a game drive to spot some of Rach’s first Big 5, or so we hoped!

Scoffed down breakfast and packed up the tent then got to the gate of the park as it opened at 6.00am, first car in there of the day!

Drove east through the park and spotted numerous warthogs, duiker and other small antelope nestled in the undergrowth, but nothing exceptional, we continued east to the river hoping to see some elephant and as we approached the river dropped down to be parallel with the river bed below and finally spotted something of significance…..hippos and crocs!!

Sat and watched them wallowing for a while and then rejoined the track and turned north to the edge of the lakewhich at this time of year are at a low level and able to be driven up to. Not too much to view except a few waterbuck and buffalo and still no elephants!

Took the drive towards Lion House on the far side of a great open plain and had lunch on the roof of one of the former houses which were sited there and were built in 1940. in their day they must have been highly impressive little pads, sited right on the edge of the grasslands with game all round. Now they are derelict, rundown concrete pads but still bear the build date of 1940, how different they must have been then before the war when vast numbers of game roamed these parts. War = pointless, mindless stupidity by greedy individuals.

Left the park slightly disappointed at not seeing lion or elephant but happy to see that Mozambique is re-building its tourist infrastructure. It’d be good to come back in a few years when it’s slightly more developed and stocked!

Headed out of the park with our destination being Pink Papaya backpackers in Chimoio around 100kms away, but as we were on the way Bre text me to say that they were totally full, as were the other hotels in town so they would be catching the overnight bus all the way through to Tete instead of staying there. We drove into the town, met up with them and again had to say emotional goodbyes for the umpteenth time and will now see each other again in Malawi in around 10 days. Suck X10.

Drove back out of town with Rach and stayed in the yard of the Hotel Mirimar.

End of day location: Chimoio,Mozambique
Distance covered: 214kms

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