19 October 2012
Miombo is a great place for self drive . The “Dete cross roads” too many, is just another land mark to pass, on the 430 km stretch of road between Bulawayo and Victoria Falls. If one turns left here ( assuming you are travelling towards Vic Falls ) you will find that by travelling just 17 km down a well maintained tar road you are right on the edge of Hwange National Park. Dete town itself is a sleepy little joint and not, from a tourist point of view, worth visiting. However if you turn left, following the sign towards Hwange Main Camp, just on arriving in Dete, you will find another well maintained tar road and just two Km down this road you will see the sign for Miombo Camp.
This little camp is nestled beneath a lovely stand of Miombo woodland made up predominantly with tall and spreading Msasa ( one of Zimbabwe’s trade mark tree species ) The camp promises comfortable accommodation and good food and is an example of undersell and over deliver. At least this was our experience as my wife and I decided to break our journey with a night in this camp recently.
We had heard many stories of the numbers of elephant at waterholes in Hwange and were longing for another, little taste, of raw nature. We have a long history with Africa’s wildlife and in many ways are spoilt, but the proverbial terms “can never get enough” and “use every opportunity” come to mind. We were lucky to be allocated one of the camp’s new tents. A loose term, as these tents are elevated on platforms and want for very little by way of human comfort.
No sooner had we dumped our bags and the friendly camp staff brought us a cold Zimbabwe Pilsner had we sat on the veranda and were treated to the start of what was to be an incredible two hours of late afternoon and early evening entertainment, including the arrival at the central camp waterhole of no less than five herds of elephant each with females, young males and babies. Each herd literally came running out of the thick bush. The seriousness for the animals of this daily quench was softened for us by the animated interactions between the animals. Little trumpets of ecstasy as the cool waters that had been eagerly anticipated throughout the dry and desolate day, especially by the youngsters, were supped trunk full by trunk full.
Nevertheless our stop-over in Hwange was savoured and I would recommend the same to others.