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Recent Work: Northern Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe, October 2023:


October 2023 saw me return to Zimbabwe for a revisit of Hwange National Park, Mana Pools, and surrounding areas in the Lower Zambezi Valley, including Chitake Springs, Ingwe Pan, and the Sapi Safari Area (Tembo Plains to Chikwenya). I have been privileged to have visited Zimbabwe's fascinating wilderness areas in the past during various seasons: from the green months between March and April, to winter between June and August, and spring to early summer, from September to November. Heading to Hwange and Mana Pools during October, and this in an early El Niño cycle would not come without its climatic challenges. Hwange was extremely dry and temperatures reached 42° C., but the Lower Zambezi Valley would top this: one afternoon we measured 46,7° C. resting in an open safari vehicle, in the dense shade of a forested area.

In Hwange, the focus was on the southern-central area of Somalisa, Ngweshla, and Kennedy Vlei. Mana Pools and the Lower Zambezi Valley promised an exciting adventure on the Zambezi floodplains (Mcheni 4 camp site), at Chitake Springs, on Ingwe Pan (canoeing had to be cancelled for weather conditions), and in the Sapi Safari Area, from Tembo Plains camp to Chikwenya. This safari also brought about some very long overdue field time with our dear friend Humphrey Gumpo who had arranged the expedition through Tailormade Safaris, his travel company which once again offers private mobile camps.

From a photographic point of view you will find that we enjoyed spectacular encounters with Zimbabwe's wildlife: my favourite selection must be the photographs of a female cheetah and her male cub on an impala kill early in the morning, within shouting distance of Somalisa Camp. The resident pride of lions at Chitake Springs that had killed an elephant calf near our camp site one morning at about 03:20h equally opened a spectacular window into the changing dynamic at this legendary wilderness area. - More about this in an upcoming blog post, though.

I hope you enjoy what you find here!

© Patrick Meier -

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