Zimbabwe Christmas vacation: Taking it to Kariba this year

Lovemore Lubinda

Visitors to the Zambezi region are well aware of the splendours of the Kariba Dam, and its vast waters spanning fields and acres of space, with no end in sight, whose waters are heavy, dark and as treacherous as the gigantic serpent ‘Nyami-nyami’ it is purported to host.

It may sound strange, but at least people from outside are beginning to trace their long lost footprints again though not as fast as we would have wished, after more than a decade of avoiding the Southern African country owing to political, economic and bad publicity it has attracted. Since the GNU era that at least brought some hope and confidence, the other deciding factor is the ever smiling and tourists welcoming nature of the Zimbabweans.

Zimbabwe is a hot travel and tourism destination of choice, however, most of the times it is those from far afield who would narrate what the feeling of the wonder is about. Having had travelled to the country’s southern neighbour South Africa two years ago. I was embarrassed hearing two South Africans debating the Kariba Dam and its wonders, one of them saying to his colleague; “Its only there is no Zimbabwean here around. He should have told you exactly what I am trying to tell you.” I couldn’t say I was indeed Zimbabwean, for the fear of failing to have helped set the correct position, because I did not know what Kariba was about despite being Zimbabwean.

This gave the challenge, when I returned; I made it my priority that one of these coming days, I would visit the wonder.

Finally, in 2015, on 22 December, I paid the area a visit what a good Christmas vacation it was. I had challenged myself that come this year at about the same time, if I was to fail to go again, then I should at least spread the gospel (write about it), so that others my consider taking up the visit.

For holiday lovers, this is the time you should consider going outdoors and experience the wonders of being home away from home. So thrilling is the feel, as if having had been able to encounter an animal that has constantly eluded you for close to a lifetime.

Of note at Kariba are the magnificent house boats, with all the compartments such as kitchens, baths, and bedrooms which are just as good as being at your luxurious home in the northern suburbs of Harare. What thrilled me the most was taking a bath in a caged section where one will be standing in the fierce waters but at ease just because you know that the screens keeps you away from danger. I spent time wish for a crocodile to show up and attempt to break the cage so as to make me its next meal.

The wait brought that feel as like someone who waits the whole day for a phone call but could not find the right words to say when it finally rang. My wait was not in vain, after about 30 minutes, a hippopotamus reared its head at close range that I had to scream and scurry for cover.

The it was time for the fishing camps, I was camped at Mopani Bay, where another wonder awaited me, I had never seen an elephant at close range, so amazing was how it obeyed when my little son shouted from a window, before I could restrain him, trying to scare it from destroying the flowers, and it obeyed and walked away with its face down like a villager before a powerful chief.

So short was my stay that I only managed to view the dam wall from the town that is petched on a mountain top. Should we have a Christmas party here at ZimNews.net, I will not hesitate to recommend to our Editor that the news team be camped in Kariba.