After the Victoria Falls we drove to Lake Kariba. It is a man-made lake, but because it is so dry the level is really low. (only 19%!) Daddy tried to go fishing for tiger fish, but he didn’t catch anything. The owners gave us some nice fish for dinner though and Daddy made sweet potato chips to go with it. It was very tasty. I did some practicing on my recorder. I can do the notes B and A.
Then we drove to a painted dog sanctuary. There is a very good museum. There were 7 big paintings about an African wild dog called Eyespot. Each painting had a book under it that told you what was happening. Eyespot was a real dog! I learnt that dogs live in packs and there is an alpha male and an alpha female. The alpha is the leader and they are the only ones that have puppies. They use the den of an aardvark. When some of the dogs go hunting, they come back and regurgitate their food for the puppies. If a dog gets hurt, it doesn’t go hunting but it babysits the puppies and the other dogs bring back food for it. That is different to lions, because lions leave a hurt lion to hunt by itself. The dogs mainly hunt impala and have to eat quickly because lions and hyenas steal it. Eyespot’s brother was the alpha male, but was killed in a snare, so Eyespot hunted for the alpha female and all the puppies. It was really sad because Eyespot was killed by a farmer.
Then we went on a little walk to see some painted dogs. We saw three painted dogs, two of the dogs live there all the time. Their names are Lucky and Peanut. One of them was caught in a snare and had a limp. The other was attacked by a lion and its head was on a funny angle. The third dog, they hope to introduce to a pack. There was also a puppy that we didn’t see because they don’t want it to be near humans. The dogs have really big ears and are coloured black, brown and white. The lady threw them some meat to eat, and Peanut and Lucky splashed in a bath of water.
Then we went to Bulawayo. We went to a Railway Museum. It had lots of steam engines and we could climb them! The best thing was a push me pull you that Genevieve and I did with Daddy. It was really hard to make it move. One of the engines was called Jack Tar – it was the first engine to cross Victoria Falls. We also saw a train that was used by a man called Cecil Rhodes. Daddy said that is how you do overlanding in style. He had his own dining room, toilet, kitchen and bed. He had a lot more space than we do!
Then we went to the Natural History Museum. It also had lots and lots and lots of stuffed animals. There was a really big elephant – it said it was the second biggest stuffed elephant in the world. It was 5.5 tonnes – that is even more than the Taniwha. It was really big. There were stuffed cats, stuffed antelope, stuffed snakes, stuffed birds and insects. There were also some live snakes. It was a good museum. Then we drove to a National Park called Matobo.
Matobo was a really good park. There were big granite rocks called kopjies. We did two walks to see rock paintings. The first rock paintings showed a rhino and some people. It was really good. The second paintings showed animals, like a giraffe, buffalo, and we thought some elephants. Can you see them?
We also went to a big hill where Cecile Rhodes was buried – but we didn’t go to the top because you had to pay more. It was still a good view. Then we went to the other side of the park where the animals were. We nearly got stuck in the thatch roof of the entrance. Luckily there was another way in! There was a rock formation called, Mother and Child. I thought it looked more like a duck. Daddy said it was a tired mother and two urchin children.
We saw a few small antelope them a ranger showed us a rhino. It was a white rhino. Vivi and I were a bit scared. The ranger took us for a walk up really close to the rhino. He made lots of clicking and whistling noises to talk to it.
We camped in the park and had a big fire. Then the next day we saw a mum and baby rhino. Then we drove to a new country: Botswana.