Saturday, January 8, 2011

Matobo National Park

Our next destination was Bulawayo and the Matobo National Park, a reserve for the endangered white rhino. The park is absolutely gorgeous with huge granite boulders in sculpted (by nature, of course) into impressive and amazing shapes. Among the rocks are an amazing collection of bushman art though were were unable to get out of the jeep to view any of them (pictures were available in some of the museums we visited). Even though the park was the home of roughly 40 some odd black and white rhinos, we were never able to find any of them, though we did learn how to identify rhino tracks. We followed the tracks along the dirt roads but then were unable to pursue them when they disappeared into the bush. We were originally going to go on a “walk” through the jungle but somehow the appropriate paperwork didn’t get done so a jeep safari was all we were able to do. We did, however, have the opportunity to watch a hippo family cavorting in the lake and see hundreds of different birds.
We stayed next to a small hut that provided us with drinking water and sanitation facilities. It was pressed into cooking and dining facilities when the heavens opened up with a downpour! Clayton and Irvine picked up the ½ drum that was being used for cooking (the fire was brightly burning) and carried it into the hut. There, without batting an eye, Irvine continued cooking our meal. We huddled around the one table to enjoy our meal and listen to the falling rain. Fortunately, rainstorms here tend to last for about an hour and then move on to drop their load further away. The only problem was the thunder…we continued to hear it long into the night. 

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