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Part 1: Father-Son Safari in Zimbabwe

I remember years ago reading about how a proper Englishman who was sent to Africa to work at an isolated outpost during colonial times maintained his structured lifestyle. Having a set personal routine with specified times to get up, to eat breakfast and to begin his workday helped him maintain his composure when unexpected or difficult situations occurred related to his work. He even had a neatly folded newspaper delivered at breakfast and although it was old and the same one every day, it still maintained the structure pending the future arrival of a new one.

You may wonder how this situation could be related in any way to my safari with Wildland Adventures and the lodges we stayed at. The answer is the care, structure, and attention to detail in a calm and unimposing way that was very evident when my son and I enjoyed a twelve-day father-son safari in Zimbabwe with stays at five different safari camps. The individual owners and staff members at each one totally understand what makes guests feel comfortable and excited to be staying there. The lodges varied from a virtually four-star property to remote rustic safari camps. However the basic amenities were always there including hot showers, quality dishes and silverware, good food, clean linens, comfortable beds with the bedding tucked in equal to any fine hotel and flush toilets. On the colder nights a hot-water bottle in a furry bag would be found in each bed. ​

The order that we stayed at the various lodges did not seem significant to me at the time but looking back, it certainly made sense. After three very long airplane flights we landed in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and were met by a representative who took us to Gorges Lodge on the edge of Zambezi River Gorge several miles east of the town. This was the best place to wind down and get some needed rest after the flights from Los Angeles. After plenty of time to settle in a rest, we went on a short hike to the east side of the property where a table was set with snacks and the bar was open. Here we enjoyed a nature talk about the resident black eagle pair that soars over the canyon every afternoon. After dark, the evening included a buffet dinner enjoyed at a long table with the other guests outside under the stars. Finally, we were treated to a native dance troop that performed traditional African dances that involved our participation.

After a good night's sleep, we enjoyed a buffet breakfast, then departed for Victoria Falls to hike and photograph the mile-wide natural wonder. Toward the end of the hike, we were accosted by an angry baboon that was deflected by our guide as it came toward us. I could not help but wonder if a baboon could be this aggressive, how would we fare with lions, hippos, and cheetahs... Following lunch and a visit to the local snake zoo, we departed to our next lodge.

Next up, we go to Nehimba Lodge in the next blog.

First-time Wildland traveler,

Jeremy Burnham 

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