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Monday, August 18, 2014

News from Kariba

News from the Gache Gache: We saw our ALBINO hippo in the Gache Gache river again this weekend, he must be about 15 months old now and we have named him Chipolata! Very special... Quite a lot of decent sized bream were caught in the long grass by our fishermen guests. We all enjoyed the ''Supermoon'' which was enormous, bright and beautiful reflecting across the river. About 80 people came to enjoy a day at the lodge and braai with us on Monday, so a good day was had by all and we had a highlight of humour by stand up comedian Carl Joshua Ncube to end off a brilliant weekend.  Thanks to everyone who came over.


We had a very good weekend.  The walk was very well organized.  There was no litter.  The fishing was good and amazingly the trip home was a pleasure.


I was staying with a friend at Kariba at the end of July.  I was disappointed in The Heights, it looks rundown and derelict.  The view is still nice if it is not hazy but look down from the edge of the wall and it is a rubbish dump.  The drive up the hill to the Heights is an eyesore with the trees on the side of the road having been indiscriminately slashed.  A neater job could have been made of that if they had to be cut.  I shall not be taking my Canadian visitors up there when they come at the end of September. We went to Lomagundi Lakeside and had a very nice lunch at The Dome from where we watched a crocodile at the end of the boat ramp and another swimming across the harbour.  The hippos were snorting and doing their thing.  When we came to leave an elephant was having a snooze at the boom with his trunk lying on the ground.  We waited about 15 minutes for him to amble on his way.  Except for the Heights.  It is still a magical place.  Regards.


We were fortunate enough to be in kariba this last weekend. We arrived on Friday to see cleaners on the roadside doing a fantastic job in cleaning up all the litter and neatly placing it in black bin bags for collection. Marineland was busy but well coordinated and efficient. The staff there are always happy and friendly, willing to help. We set off on the Shenga houseboat and had a wonderful 5 day trip. The weather was stunning. Warm days and cool nights. The fishing wasn’t fantastic, although we still did catch enough to eat. We saw the usual elephants, crocs (not too many, thankfully!), hippo. Also a couple of kudu and wonderful bird life. It was full moon, which was spectacular to watch. The one early morning saw an orange moon setting with the sun about to rise. The last night we spent at Antelope, which was a lovely end to the trip watching the buffalo and baboons eating the hay so generously provided for them by the committed wildlife people in Kariba. Regards Trish


Had the last minute opportunity to go camping in Kariba this weekend with my son, daughter and her family - her two tiny boys experiencing their first camping trip ever. Unfortunately the experience was not an entirely pleasant one due to the drunk and uncouth young men who decided to spoil things not only for us, but for many of the other residents at the camp site we were at. Total lack of manners, consideration and respect for personal boundaries, coupled with far too much alcohol, money and illusions of power left a bitter taste in our mouths, especially after them vandalizing the pool area and targeting our particular camp site with kicking over bins in the middle of the night and then coming in and throwing things onto our tents whilst singing, yelling, laughing and egging each other on, then taking off into the night when we attempted to confront and deal with them.  And yes, we have names and the car registration number of some of the people involved and if the management of the site don't manage to take the necessary action they have said they will do in order to deal with it  I will be - believe me - either with parents or the law if I have to!!  That being said Kariba is still AMAZING and we were determined to enjoy it and create special and lasting memories for us all, and especially these little boys - and we did. Annoyed Camper


I don’t think anyone mentioned this but an observational comment is that we have dammed the Zambezi at both Kariba and Caborra Basa. I think that one of the big clean outs for crocs in the past were the 50 year and 100 year floods. During the floods in the lowveld some years ago many crocs and hippo got swept away. Anyone who is older may have seen the film of the massive flood that swept away part of the Kariba construction in the late 50s or early 60s. This would have been a natural clean out of many big crocs. It no longer happens as we have dammed the river. Management of the crocs has become essential as a result. It could be a well managed and financially viable project, where quotas were given, crocs used for leather, meat etc, while controlling the population. Without it we have a big problem on our hands. We have created the false environment and have to seek to manage it. Best wishes, Ken



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