Today we got up really early, well before sunrise, to lie in hide in a little doug out right next to the waterhole of the Vic Falls Safari Lodge. It’s called a hide and makes you practically invisible to the game. We met Charles, our Guide from the lodge and at the crack of dawn we drive and then marched on foot to the hide at the water hole. The nights are chilly here, barely 12 degrees Celsius so we wore many layers and brought blankets for our 2 hr stay in the hide. It turned out to be a bird sort of day.
We waited and waited looking at flocks of Guinea fowl, Cranes, ugly looking Marabou storks, Egrets and even two pelicans. A lot of other smaller birds came and went until finally a beautiful male Kudu appeared and slowly approached to drink. In a blink of an eye he was gone again.
Some Impala and female Kudus arrived, but not the hoped for Elephant or Buffalo herd.
Nevertheless Charles served us some warming coffee, tea and biscuits and we learned a lot about his adventures as a wilderness guide which was very entertaining.
After a hearty breakfast at Nguni lodge we packed all our things and headed to our next and main destination for this trip. A horseback safari for 6 days at Miombo lodge.
The drive to Dete was way longer than we thought, not counting on the many pot holes that littered the road everywhere. Our little Toyota Axis two wheel drive (we later baptised it ‘Cookie’ since it is a tough cookie) had to navigate around many of the holes where a 4X4 would have driven through.
When we finally turned into Dete it was already 2 PM in the afternoon. We had received a pin through what’s app where we were supposed to meet up but as google maps led us closer and closer to the pin, the road got smaller and smaller. From a two lane country road, we went to a one lane semi asphalted road, to a dirt road to a sand track deeper and deeper into the bush. That’s one of those moments where your relationship really has to pass the test.
We had the eerie feeling that this was definitively not the right way. We literally crawled at walking speed to a deserted looking little hut that read: Hwange National Park entry.
So at least we knew that we were directionally correct but there was no way our little car would navigate that road any further. Luckily for us, two surprised guards came out and told us that we were wrong and that we should have followed the asphalt road to the Miombo Lodge and camp. Driving back all that sand track with tons of elephant poop everywhere, we luckily did not come across one of those in our little car while slowly backing out of the park again.
We arrived at the lodge an hour and a half later than predicted so Peta our host started to worry where we were. Everyone was happy to see us finally pull into the lodge parking lot.
It turned out that the original Miombo lodge has been located inside the Hwange National park and that pin was still showing that location instead of the real one right outside the park. We would have been so stuck in the middle of nowhere….
To make up for lost time we just dropped our bags off and hopped on our first safari drive and sun downer. We saw a beautiful giraffe very close up and watched one of those fantastic sunsets by a water hole, sharing drinks and stories.