Lake Kariba is the largest man-made reservoir in the world, it covers an area of 5,580 km2, that’s over one quarter of Lake Ontario.
Our 2 hour, 250 nm flight from Masvingo to Bumi Hills at the lake shore was easy, with only high broken layer. It turns out that you have to a permission from the office of the president to land there, the strip being an uncontrolled field and we all being foreign pilots with aircrafts registered in South Africa.
Bumi Hills Safari Lodge is currently under renovation and we were supposed to sleep on a boat anchored at the lake. Organizer assured us the boat had “equivalent level of comfort” and indeed, for most people that was true. We weren’t in luck. After we got in and were shown our cabin, I could almost touch both walls when stretching my hands, there was no place to put our stuff, the shower…. you know these washbasins in UK, where there is one tap with hot water and one with cold, so you can either freeze your hands or burn them? This was the same, but for the shower. Needless to say, we expressed our displeasure rather strongly and luckily, it turned out that there was one room still available at the lodge, in spite of it being in renovation. We moved there and it was wonderful. Here is a morning view from the hotel terrace, where we had breakfast.
In the mornings, we saw elephants or buffaloes grazing at the shore in front of us.
The first day, we had a wonderful picnic at the lake shore.
with this guy, who insisted on participating.
There was plenty of other game to see: zebras, giraffes, impalas, buffaloes, all sorts of amazing birds, elephants, rhinos and hippos. Here is one watching our boat.
The second afternoon, we went to see the local village. It is incredible that people still live in such condition, here is a local woman preparing flour from manioc – this is not for tourists, she does it every day.
On the other hand, we also visited a local school. There were perhaps 500 children in the school, all very curious to see foreigners, all speaking or learning to speak English and some living up to 6 km from the school and making the trip every morning and afternoon by foot. Here is a small group greeting us when we arrived at the school.
We also had sunset drinks at the fire, with magical sky full of stars above us. I am not good enough photographer to capture it all.