The Bulawayo to Victoria Falls train was going to be my first experience at night trains.
Boarding to train at departure was a chaotic affair , keeping your wits about you was essential. A number of our group including myself had quite pathetic bag snatches attempted. There are various internet posts had warning of the risk of theft at Bulawayo station, and there are even signs on the platforms warning you to keep a close eye on your belongings.
Bedding is meant to be provided in the price, it gets issued after departure before the attendant apologised profusely that there’s not enough to go around and locals get priority.
The trains have British-built coaches, some with wood-panelled interiors dating from , 1952 and 1958 (we weren’t quite so lucky) are now much the worse for wear 4 bunks per berth . We spent the initial hours playing cards , having some drinks as the train rattled along before retiring to our bunks grateful on having our camping gear with us. A storm broke and I spent a sleepless night listening to a mixture of heavy rain and the echoing of snoring as the train stopped and started.
I can’t for the life of me remember where this place was………….
Thinking deeper about it, who knows what happened during all the political changes that have occurred in this country.
The baby cubs were like the cutest things ever, slightly large kittens could be the best description.There was a penned of area where you could spend allotted time with them these cubs could definitely keep me entertained for long periods
However the larger cubs scared me , I can’t be 100% sure but it was something about their boisterous nature. We went on a guided walk one morning and While most of the group were more than keen to get up close and personal I quietly kept my distance.
Bulawayo was like heaven , proper beds , warm showers and a tv.Civilization had never felt so good.
Some 35km away from Bulawayo is Matobo National Park which forms the core of the Matobo or Matopos Hills, an area of granite kopjes and wooded valleys .
The lonely planet describes it as a Stroll along the granite ridges and experience the overwhelming sense of tranquillity.However i would describe it as a hot slog up granite rocks to not the worlds most inspiring of views. Now i enjoy trekking but this will never be one of my inspiring and unforgettable travel moments.
The highlight came after, quite literally coming face to face with Rhinos, health and safety was definitely a priority with that Zimbabwean tour company.Watching these graceful animals in their natural environment made the morning hike a distant memory and well worth it.