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Part 2: Father-Son Safari in Zimbabwe - Nehimba Safari Lodge

Father-son safari in Zimbabwe
In the last blog, my son Jon and I had just started our safari in Zimbabwe, stayed one night at Gorges Lodge and visited Victoria Falls. Now it is time to move on to the far more isolated Nehimba Lodge.

Our driver took us south to Hwange National Park and upon entering the park we met our nature guides, Ty and Brendon. They were quickly able to spot animals along the way and more than happy to stop for us to take photos. When we arrived at Nehimba Lodge we were greeted with damp washcloths to freshen up and treated to a welcome beverage.

Our room/tent was really nice; two-bed areas and a bathroom. The al fresco shower is outside the door with a fence around it and no roof so you can stargaze while taking a hot shower and listening to elephants drink up all the water from the pool. 

Speaking of elephants, the thing I enjoyed the most about Nehimba is their dining deck. Not only do you receive a brilliantly prepared three-course dinner but a herd of elephants also joins you. They know the freshwater swimming pool is a great resource and it gives guests the opportunity to safely get within 15ft of them. It was one of those experiences I couldn't have even dreamed of witnessing before we planned this trip. We got to have dinner with a herd of elephants, not many people can say they've done that.

After dessert, we all got back in a safari vehicle to do a night game drive to see the nocturnal animals. This set the tone for the rest of the trip when I realized how up close we would be to the animals in safari vehicles and how good the guides were in spotting creatures and getting us really close to them. The description of the animals, their behavior and where they are in the food chain made every encounter fascinating. We would not be just sitting in a lawn chair overlooking some valley with binoculars waiting for distant animals to pass through.

The next day, after an early breakfast, we enjoyed another game drive starting with a waterhole with several lions of all ages and sexes on one side, elephants on the other. The rest of the morning included a lot of stops to see numerous mammals and birds. I began referring to my field guides to find and check off the creatures we saw on the way to logging an astounding twenty-six mammals, thirty-two types of birds and five reptiles that we would eventually see over the course of the next week. We stopped mid-morning for snacks and drinks and then continued on to the Nehimba Seeps where some shallow water was historically available during the dry season. This is also an elephant graveyard with lots of large bones scattered around.

Back at the lodge, we enjoyed a full lunch followed by some downtime for some rest and watching animals visit the waterhole. Another game drive before dark produced more animal sightings. After dinner, we shared conversations about our experiences with the other guests around the campfire.

The next morning, we had a leisurely breakfast in the main lodge. Afterwards, we returned to our room to pack for the transfer to our next lodge that was described as a remote adventure camp. I had considered Nehimba as a remote camp but apparently, our next one is even more remote. Bring it on!

First-time Wildland traveler,

Jeremy Burnham 

PS: I could really get used to this "Wild Style" of travel!

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