A little peek into what life can be in Africa.
Kariba is a town in Zimbabwe. It is known because of its ties to Lake Kariba, one of the biggest man-made lake in Africa,where the great Kariba Dam was constructed some 50 years ago.
Beside fishing and yatching, one aspect of life in Kariba is its close encounter with wildlife. There you can be forced to wait or turn around on your way home because the road is blocked by elephants or buffalos. There are some places along the lake where it is not safe to go at night because of lions. You cant swim or just have a stroll on the shore without watching your back because of hippopotamus and crocodiles. But you get used to it. This is just normal life here…
Have said that, I had a couple of frights and frustration, mainly because of elephants. On the day I arrived, as soon as I parked, one elephant came closer and closer and really wanted something in the car. Got really scared until I remembered that I had 3 naartjes (mandarines)! Elephants are crazy about citrus and this one was ready to brave the humans so that he could get them. It took 2 hours to get the naartjes out and the elephant away. During which time, I really feared for Maya as he kept coming and checking ways to get it, including surveying my solar panel for a potential way in through the roof. No need to say that I was not feeling comfortable sleeping there and I moved Maya just in front of the bar, seeking the (false) safety of being near a building. But then, I resumed to my spot and spent the next 4 weeks sleeping happily.
Days on the other hand could be fun, stuck by Maya because I could not walk safely anywhere until they would move out of the camp. Washing line broken, and clean washing stumpled down by the big feet. Dustbin and rubbish scattered around.
But the scariest moment was when one elephant did not realise that I was sitting there, and was just attracted by the smell of my lunch. When I heard some noise behind me, I turned my head, only to face an elephant barely 1m behind me. Not sure who got the biggest fright! All I could think off was that my only shelter was to roll under Maya, but then there was the risk that the elephant knock her in fear as well. Eventually he backed out slowly, acting like a kid caught red handed, checking the mirror and the snorkel with his trunk, as if it was normal for him to be that close.
Another day, one elephant went through a backpack by the pool, emptying everything on the ground (luckily, the owner passport did not go in the water) and then stepping on the iPod as he was leaving: Apple is indeed resistant… Not a scratch!
On a nicer experience, you also get zebras coming so close that they eat from your hand like horses… Just be careful not to be behind them… They kick hard 🙂
All of that outside of National Parks… Just a normal day in Africa…