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An Addendum to Optig's Awesome Safari trip report - Malilangwe, Gonarezhou


Kitsafari

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Kitsafari

@madaboutcheetah@Atravelynn@Game Warden@@PT123 the cliffs are so imposing. I failed to mention that the mother and daughter pair climbed the cliffs with Ant one morning. I didn't join because of my weak lower back and just as well, they took 6 hours! Kudos to the 70-year old lady who put me to shame, she was such a trooper and found only the last stretch of sheer vertical slope the most challenging. But they thoroughly enjoyed the climb (they saw wild dogs on the way, darn) and was rewarded by breakfast, brought by us and Scott via a vehicle, at the top of the cliffs. what views there were from that viewpoint.

 

@@Caracal Thank you Caracal. It's such an iconic picture of an elephant against the cliffs. I tried to search for one with the elephant and cliffs and baobab but didn't have one that would show all 3 in their respective glories.

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Kitsafari

@@Kitsafari thanks to you I will somehow or other learn to use my camera hopefully before I go on my next safari in February. I know very well that you suffer from the same problem as I do-technological ineptitude. I'm encouraged by your superb photos despite your problem. I remember very well that you don't even know how to use many of your camera's functions.

 

@@optig - so glad to hear I have inspired you! all you need is point, focus, and press that button. as you saw, that was all I knew and needed. you are such a smart guy, you will learn it in a jiffy. practice it on the monkeys at your home in Nairobi! or better still drive into Nairobi national park and show some love for the antelopes and rhinos and predators there with your camera. practice makes perfect. I look forward to pictures from you. :)

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SafariChick

@@Kitsafari Wonderful, evocative report and photos - thank you for sharing - love the landscapes and that one with the ele and cliffs that @@Caracal mentioned is especially lovely. And you really got some great bird photos too!

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madaboutcheetah

I didn't know there were trails to climb up the cliffs ...... Wow!!!

 

@@Kitsafari - How far is Save' valley from Gonerezhou?

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Seniortraveller

I really can't thank you enough for this trip report, it brings back such happy memories and a strong desire to return to Gonarezhou.

I have a bracelet made from hairs from an elephants tail, as a permanent memory of our walk up the cliffs. To encourage us, Ant said that only those who found a hair would get breakfast! While we were sitting at the edge of the cliff after breakfast, Ant heated water in the pan our porridge had been in, softened the hair, and made a bracelet with sliding knots. A man of many talents!

It really surprised me to see how high up the cliffs elephants were able to climb.

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Kitsafari

@@Kitsafari Wonderful, evocative report and photos - thank you for sharing - love the landscapes and that one with the ele and cliffs that @@Caracal mentioned is especially lovely. And you really got some great bird photos too!

@@SafariChick thanks!

 

I didn't know there were trails to climb up the cliffs ...... Wow!!!

 

@@Kitsafari - How far is Save' valley from Gonerezhou?

@@madaboutcheetah Save valley is just beyond malilangwe. So from border to border I think Ant said about 2 hours. It was already over an hour from the gona camp to the gate between Gonarezhou and Malilangwe, then prob 45 mins to the malilangwe reserve entrance, then you head northwards to Save. @@Ant Kaschula will have the accurate timings, if he happens to come by ST....

 

I believe they used elephant trails to climb. I cant imagine how those large elephants can climb up and down those cliffs. Jephat who had worked at Chilo lodge previously told us how he used to see hippos occasionally up there too! One hippo climbed up, but found lions, tried to run down the cliffs but lost his footing and fell to its death. Amazing.

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Kitsafari

I really can't thank you enough for this trip report, it brings back such happy memories and a strong desire to return to Gonarezhou.

I have a bracelet made from hairs from an elephants tail, as a permanent memory of our walk up the cliffs. To encourage us, Ant said that only those who found a hair would get breakfast! While we were sitting at the edge of the cliff after breakfast, Ant heated water in the pan our porridge had been in, softened the hair, and made a bracelet with sliding knots. A man of many talents!

It really surprised me to see how high up the cliffs elephants were able to climb.

 

Thats amazing! Elephant hair bracelet! Im jealous! He made strings out of the baobab, i tied it to my camera but it fell out and i lost it. But he plucked twigs smoothened by the tough skins of the elephant along their highways and gave me to keep. My husband passed the test and gave the right answer! Ill bring them along to my sis place on Xmas eve and see if they can guess what polished the twigs.

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michael-ibk

Wonderful, Kit! I always love your reports, your commentar gives so much insight, and all your reflexions make it so easy to imagine being there with you. You are a very gifted writer indeed. Those cliffs are so majestic, would love to hike up there. The size of those Baobabs is astounding. And what an intense and wonderful Elephant experience - just wow. I'm sure I would greatly enjoy Gonarezhou. Sorry to hear about your dog, hope he gets better soon.

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Kitsafari

@@michael-ibk thanks much for such lovely and kind words. my oldie dog is a little better, thanks for thinking of her. :)

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  • 3 months later...

That signalled a glorious 3-hour interaction with the elephants.

 

I've been thinking that I wish I could do more than like this trip report, but now I want to live in it! 3 hours with wild elephants!! Amazing!!

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optig

@@AmyT Thank you so much for kind words. It does mean something to me.

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@@optig, I've yet to go on my first trip to Africa but am busy reading trip reports to plan my second and third trips. I just wish I lived a little closer.

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Kitsafari

@@optig, I've yet to go on my first trip to Africa but am busy reading trip reports to plan my second and third trips. I just wish I lived a little closer.

@@AmyT so do I!!!

 

Thank you for the likes. The time with the elephants was very precious and it was just incredible watching the interactions with the elephants.

 

When are you heading out? You havent gone yet but you are already bitten by the safari bug!

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@@Kitsafari, I'm counting down the days. Two months from tomorrow. I've been looking at @@Soukous' recommendations for safaris < $4k US. Depending on the June trip, I may try to squeeze in one solo over the winter break. I am content at home (introvert) except when I am traveling out of the country.

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