Chikwenya

After a quick 15min flight I would land in a place called Chikwenya…a legendary safari area that has been revitalized after a 15-year hiatus. The area is known for its exceptional wildlife thanks to a natural floodplain and its location on the river. On a private concession, the area is exclusive to the camp giving you your own private safari.

After some time at Chikwenya, I would meet 5 other agents from around the world to experience the newly opened Great Plains camps Sapi Explores and Sapi Springs Camps. Our guide for the trip was Humphrey Gumbo… a legend in the Zimbabwe guiding industry as he is one of the youngest to get his guiding licence and is known as one of the top guides in Zimbabwe.

The journey would start with a history lesson on the area including some of the Baobab trees (my favorite) which are estimated to be over 1500 years old. Some say the gods planted the tree upside down as the branches look like a bunch of roots. One of the trees we saw had pots said to hold the remains of Chief Chikweyna (who was a lady). After passing by the baobabs, we headed for the river where we enjoyed a cold gin and tonic taking in the classic African sunset. We drove back to camp using a spotlight to try and spot animals. The light gives a reflection (similar to red eye in photos) of the animal’s eyes. We would see a small serval cat and an unidentified snake slither across the road. On arrival to camp, it was magical with oil lamps lighting up the paths and the staff singing a welcome song. The sky was stunning with millions of stars and the only thing lighting up the camp was lanterns. For dinner, the chef was preparing a beautiful meal using only traditional cooking methods – fire! We would have full chickens cooked in the ground. A fine meal paired with fine South African wines followed by a delicious desert.

Kylan’s Off to Zimbabwe!

Mana Pools is located in the northern part of Zimbabwe on the Zambezi River, it has been highly talked about as one of the best wildlife areas in the world in terms of both numbers and how WILD it truly is. Due to intense training programs and the diversity of activities offered in Zimbabwe – game drives, true walking safaris, canoeing and river boating – many of the best guides in Africa are from this incredible country. The area of Mana Pools I will be exploring is so wildlife rich in fact that Mugabe (past President) had reserved the area for himself. It is special due to its remoteness and plains as well as a natural spring that attracts wildlife. The area has recently welcomed 4 new camps that I will be inspecting.

After Mana Pools I’ll head to Victoria Falls for a couple of days, before spending 5 days in the beautiful Cape Town where I’ll meet with our local partners and lodge owners/operators from all over Africa.