Some fun adventures!
After that ‘weight of the world on my shoulders’ blog, I now think it’s time I told you about some of the fun stuff!!
On Sunday afternoon, Morag, Lance, Scott, Andrew and myself headed out to a game park to take part in a “Walk with the Rhinos” safari. It was the first time Andrew and I have been able to do anything without the boys on this whole trip and it was so nice!! Don’t get me wrong, the boys have been great and have added a whole new dimension to this adventure we’re on….but let’s be honest, it’s nice to have some adult time! Thanks to Debbie for giving them a great afternoon with her five beautiful girls so we could get away.
Now, you may have gathered that safety standards in Zimbabwe are a far cry from Australia’s, and on this occasion I was glad!! It was just us five adults and our guide in the safari car/truck thing and we could travel however we wanted. We took turns sitting on this little seat perched on the very front of the car with nothing between us and the wind rushing past! I felt like a little kid yee-ha-ing!! We did a lot of driving around and trekking through the African scrub looking for the elusive rhino. We saw giraffe, a mother and baby hippo and a croc before we finally saw our rhino. With the help of our very knowledgeable guide we were able to sneak up quite close to this big male rhino and sit and watch him drink for a good half hour. Afterwards we all stood up on the back of the safari car and held onto the roof bars whilst we hurtled along the rough dirt roads, ducking for cover as branches nearly took our heads off!
As if that wasn’t enough of an unforgettable experience, Morag arranged for us all (that is Lance, our family and Morag – unfortunately Debbie’s girls have school and couldn’t come) to go to Antelope Park today! We made the two hour trek to Gweru (third-largest city in Zimbabwe, but you wouldn’t know it from where we are) to spend the night and arrived just before lunch. We’re staying in this beautiful brick ‘lodge’ with a thatch roof and heavy wooden furniture. It’s huge and the boys had a ball working out which room and which bed they would sleep in and who would use which bathroom.
Soon after we arrived we took the boys over to have an elephant ride. These huge majestic beasts allowed our boys to climb aboard – one elephant each! The boys were so excited and loved it so much they haven’t talked about anything else since! Afterwards we were all allowed to feed the elephants and have photos with them.
Next was the very exciting part for Andrew, Lance and myself! Morag kindly agreed to look after the boys whilst we participated in a “Walk With The Lions”! Kids have to be at least sixteen to do this and afterwards I could see why! The two young lionesses we walked with had had a lot of human contact but they were still wild and unpredictable – and had gorgeous paws the size of saucers!. You’ll see from the photos that we had to carry special sticks – not to hit them with, but to show them that we’re dominant so they wouldn’t attack us!! Penya and Paza were the names of these two magnificent creatures which we were able to pat, hold their tails and pose with. We were instructed how to do this without endangering ourselves and we always had a handler with us. Antelope Park has an extremely well-run lion conservation project with different stages of independance for the lions to move through. It was an amazing walk that lasted an hour and a half and finished with a beautiful African sunset. A day that none of us will ever forget.