Last Night in Zimbabwe - for Now...
With the fairly sparse number of sightings we had the previous mornings, it was time for a different approach. Thinking was that the cold winter temperatures made the animals sleep in, so a later start should - in theory at least - let us see more game.
As such, we met for breakfast at 8:30, and left at 9:30. One vehicle left for the south of the park in hope to see the dark sable antelope. (Spoiler alert - at time of writing it remains unseen by us.) The other vehicle stayed around camp looking for lion and and leopard. None of these got found, but there were nice sightings of elephants, giraffe, zebra and kudo.
The second vehicle came back to camp 1:30. John decided to drive back to the falls, now that he knew which spots were safe to use with a regular camera. There was still a lot of rain and mist in the air, but some great shots were capture at a destination we may never revisit. Not because we don’t want to, but the bucket list is still long.
The first vehicle came back at 2:30. With a bit of lunch or quick siesta it was time to leave for the afternoon game drive. John and the (other) kids joined them at 5:00 for sundowners in front of a waterhole that provided liquid to a couple of elephants as we watched.
It was - sadly - our last night at Matetsi. The staff had prepared a beautiful dinner at the boma, and entertained the family with some history of Zimbabwe. Adrian filled in the blanks as it related to the family, and it was great to sit under the stars and learn about the place we had called home these past five days. The dinner buffet of local dishes was great but the real highlight was the continued infectious dancing that soon had most circling the large fire pit. Drums helped make sure the beat was never lost, and many family members danced until they were almost out of breath.
As often we grow close with the staff and personal friendships are formed. Sure, it’s easy to stay connected via the cloud these days, but time and time again we have found that nothing beats the original and real social interactivity. Although no-one wanted to think about it, there were sad goodbyes waiting around the corner.