
// APRIL 2017
Where there is a will, there is a way
Johannesburg
Polokwane
Musina
Matobo National Park
Hwange National Park
Livingstone
Kwekwe
Mutare
Lydenburg
Vryburg
Kang
Maun
Zeerust
Johannesburg
Beitbridge
Victoria Falls
Binga
Gokwe
Great Zimbabwe
Komatipoort
Graskop
Blyde River Canyon
Ohrigstad
Pilgrimsrest
Kimberley
Mahikeng
Letlhakane
Gaborone
Soweto

Matobo (Zimbabwe)


23rd of April 2017
The busiest border!!! What an experience!!!

We were ready before dawn. The truth is that the cold shower helped us to wake up for good…

Afterwards, we stopped at a petrol station where we filled up the tank and also got all the things we needed for not having trouble with the police in Zimbabwe.

We passed through passport control at the South African side and arrived in Beitbridge at 4:40 in the morning.

Beitbridge is the busiest border post in sub Saharan Africa. From what I had read so far the crossing could be slow and painful due to the heavy traffic and whoever I had asked about it had advised us to avoid it and choose to enter Zimbabwe through Botswana instead…



By the time we arrived there, things were relatively calm. The clerk at the counter was deeply asleep and she was awaked by one of the youngsters that surrounded us, as soon as we arrived at the border.

She gave us a paper with written instructions for our next steps, but when we started moving towards the second counter, she wrote something on another piece of paper, she lifted it up and looked at me meaningfully. 

Naturally, I tried to take it, thinking that probably she was giving me some additional information.  

       “No, don’t say anything!” she whispered “Just give me 100$, if you
         have any problem, and I will find you a solution”.  ​

She was perfectly awakened now!

I just stood there staring at her astonished, till Christos pulled me away…

The next step was a form about the car’s documentation that had to be filled. A very long form, I must say. I mean it is not an easy task to find the numbers of the engine and the chassis…Moreover, for some unknown reason, everybody around us seemed to be so much in a hurry…  

 


It was 6 o’ clock in the morning, when we eventually managed to fill all the details on the form we were given.

But then I realized why we had been told to be at the border post before 5 o’clock or after 7 o’clock in the morning.

Suddenly, they all stopped immediately whatever they were doing and went out. The cleaning ladies replaced them and nothing was working for the next hour. Change of shift, which was taking its time…

That’s why they were all in a hurry, I suppose…



By 8 o’clock we had managed to finish with all the procedures and finally entered Zimbabwe. We were on Zimbabwean grounds for second time, although I wasn’t sure if our first time counts, since we had visited, then, the most touristic part of the country, the area near Victoria Falls.

I must say that in the beginning I was not very impressed, negatively or positively. 



Roadblocks everywhere!!!

Of course the differences with South Africa were quite obvious even from the first km. We could see people walking everywhere and very few cars on the roads. On the other hand there were far too many policemen for such a small number of vehicles.

There were many roadblocks too.
Every five or ten km we could see roads blocked by big barrels.
We were wondering what was going on…

On our first day, luckily enough, we were not stopped by the police. They were just waving their hands, letting us pass. We were not planning to visit immediately Great Zimbabwe, since the delay at the border had per force altered our route.  
So, we went directly to the Matobo NP.



We got registered at the camp, we bought a map from the very friendly ladies who were working there_ and happily let us take some photos of them for the needs of our site_ and then we started our tour, so as to make the best of our afternoon.   



Matobo National Park... a magic place!!!

Although cloudy, the weather was very pleasant and the shady colors were creating magical pictures, in an area which, in any case, is globally famous for its natural beauty.

The Matobo Hills is an area recognized by UNESCO as Center of Universal Heritage, because of its huge and unique religious and spiritual meaning to the various ethnic groups in Zimbabwe. Of outstanding universal value is also the fact that the area demonstrates an almost uninterrupted association between the man and his environment over the past 100.000 years.
So, justifiably, many of the African peoples believe that the Matobo Hills is a magical place.

We decided to take the cycle route, so as to see the sightseeing of the Northern Wild Area. 



We arrived at the White Rhino Cave, we left the car and climbed up, all the way to the high plateau. We saw some of the outstanding rock paintings, which have given to the area some of its great fame. Some of them may even date back to 13.000 years, although there are also some that date back to only a few hundred years. .



The motives are mainly wild animals, which are portrayed in an exquisite and detailed way.  
We continued towards Maleme Dam, trying to extend our tour even further, towards Whoni Wilderness Area.



 

Like a fairy tale...

What an amazing beauty!!! The dam had overflowed and we could see the waters of the lake flowing in between the rocks. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to cross the overflowed part and we had no other option than to return to the hotel.
It started raining. We found the way back to our hotel, while crossing little streams and tiny rivers.

A really beautiful swimming pool, in between the rocks of the area, was the first picture that we had from the Matobo Hills Lodge. It had an almost fairy tale beauty.

We went to our bungalow. The fairy tale was continued.... 




 

We enjoyed our afternoon coffee listening to the song of the rain, which was getting stronger and stronger. 
By 6:30 in the evening, the weather was quite chilly for eating outdoors.

The dinner was served in an internal dining room, where tables were set by a cosy fireplace. The lit rocks we could see were completing the magical atmosphere. The corn soup was excellent and the chicken with the country style salad and the grilled vegetables really delicious.

The sleep that followed the fantastic meal was probably our best ever…

 

 

 

Country: South Africa
Date: 2017
Route: Southeastern Africa 2017
Cities: Johannesburg, Polokwane, Musina, Matobo National Park, Hwange National Park, Livingstone, Kwekwe, Mutare, Lydenburg, Vryburg, Kang, Maun, Zeerust, Johannesburg
Duration: 12
Difficulty:
Population: 54.960.000
Rating:
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Country: South Africa
Date: 2017
Route: Southeastern Africa 2017
Cities: Johannesburg, Polokwane, Musina, Matobo National Park, Hwange National Park, Livingstone, Kwekwe, Mutare, Lydenburg, Vryburg, Kang, Maun, Zeerust, Johannesburg
Duration: 12
Difficulty:
Population: 54.960.000
Rating:
comments
VIEW
Country: South Africa
Date: 2017
Route: Southeastern Africa 2017
Cities: Johannesburg, Polokwane, Musina, Matobo National Park, Hwange National Park, Livingstone, Kwekwe, Mutare, Lydenburg, Vryburg, Kang, Maun, Zeerust, Johannesburg
Duration: 12 days
Difficulty:
Population: 54.960.000
Rating:
comments
VIEW