Our lodge is in a beautiful spot right on the Great Zambesi, overlooking the floodplains on which hippos and elephants graze, backed by the Zambian side of the escarpment. After the previous day and night’s adventure we are quite happy to relax under the trees by our lodge looking out over the plains and drinking tea. In the afternoon we venture out for a very safe drive on the roads near the camp. There are impalas everywhere, the rains having brough with them innumerable little impala calves. The baboons too have their young and are out in their hundreds, playing and grooming and shouting.

After a walk along Long Pool, at random we take one of the roads heading to a different camp. There is a wet patch that we get through with difficulty, but I am not too worried, having gone through many of them on the previous day’s drive. The next wet patch is different. We get stuck. I soon realise that this particular mud is a particular type of hard, sticky, black clay. It sticks into the type trends, turning the wheels into slick, black balloons. Over the next hour we dig, push, rock, and stuff a variety of grasses, sticks and logs under the tyres to no avail. In the plains nearby, zebras and elephants watch curiously and the rumbles of distant lions can be heard. Initially I am more worried about all the photo oppurtunities I am missing as the last sun lights up the trees and the sky is painted a series of wonderful colours. To the horror of the girls, now caked in mud, I am compelled to take a tiny little break to take a couple of photos.
Then it was getting dark and, our huge efforts not having more the car a single inch, we where faced with the choice of sleeping in the car, or walking back to the camp in the dark, not something you want to do if you have ever experienced the amazing density of wildlife in the park. Nonetheless, Soph and I set off bravely into the dark, headlamps on bright, knobbley sticks in hand and talking loudly to warn lurking creatures of our approach. It was terrifying yet oddly comforting to know that we were only a few km away from help and not 50km, as we would have been had we got stuck the previous day.
As it was we were lucky and a returning Parks guy picked us up about a km down the road. But it soon became obvious that we weren’t going to get any help from the Parks guys. Their 4×4 was broken, and in order to “Mobilise” they would require some kind of compensation. So we get them to drop us at the neighbouring lodge, where the occupants very kindly agree to drive out and rescue us. Annie, who has been waiting in the car anxiously with doors locked, is very happy to see us. On the way we learn that some others in a white Isuzu had gone out in the morning and not yet returned. On getting back to the lodge we all have a well needed shower and take our rescuers a bottle of wine. Another day, another adventure.
The next day we make an even bigger effort not to get ourselves into trouble. There is much relaxing and game viewing from the safety of the lodge, but we also do a short drive out to see some lions that had been spotted by one of the other groups. In in the mid-afternon a very muddy white Isuzu drives past our lodge. They had spent the night in their car. In the late afternoon I am happily getting my camera ready for my first chance to take evening photos uninterrupted by peril. Its just then that Annie comes and tells me that the beleaguered white Isuzu is now bogged just outside our lodge. Cursing, but not wanting to anger the karma police, I am compelled to leave my camera and pull them out as the precious minutes of sundown pass by. We get them out eventually and tell them that its probably not a good idea to be heading out at this time of day, but they seem very determined to leave. As they go we are half expecting to come across them on the road the next day.
I put out my camera that night to attempt a star trail photo. I have to leave it for longer than I planned when I notice an elephant lurking not 10m from where it’s set up.
The next morning we leave early for kariba to give us plenty of time for stoppages. We have a keen eye out for the mythical baobab, by it evades us on the way out as well.

Our lodge is in a beautiful spot right on the Great Zambesi, overlooking the floodplains on which hippos and elephants graze, backed by the Zambian side of the escarpment. After the previous day and night’s adventure we are quite happy to relax under the trees by our lodge looking out over the plains and drinking tea. In the afternoon we venture out for a very safe drive on the roads near the camp. There are impalas everywhere, the rains having brough with them innumerable little impala calves. The baboons too have their young and are out in their hundreds, playing and grooming and shouting.

After a walk along Long Pool, at random we take one of the roads heading to a different camp. There is a wet patch that we get through with difficulty, but I am not too worried, having gone through many of them on the previous day’s drive. The next wet patch is different. We get stuck. I soon realise that this particular mud is a particular type of hard, sticky, black clay. It sticks into the type trends, turning the wheels into slick, black balloons. Over the next hour we dig, push, rock, and stuff a variety of grasses, sticks and logs under the tyres to no avail. In the plains nearby, zebras and elephants watch curiously and the rumbles of distant lions can be heard. Initially I am more worried about all the photo oppurtunities I am missing as the last sun lights up the trees and the sky is painted a series of wonderful colours. To the horror of the girls, now caked in mud, I am compelled to take a tiny little break to take a couple of photos.

Then it was getting dark and, our huge efforts not having more the car a single inch, we where faced with the choice of sleeping in the car, or walking back to the camp in the dark, not something you want to do if you have ever experienced the amazing density of wildlife in the park. Nonetheless, Soph and I set off bravely into the dark, headlamps on bright, knobbley sticks in hand and talking loudly to warn lurking creatures of our approach. It was terrifying yet oddly comforting to know that we were only a few km away from help and not 50km, as we would have been had we got stuck the previous day.

As it was we were lucky and a returning Parks guy picked us up about a km down the road. But it soon became obvious that we weren’t going to get any help from the Parks guys. Their 4×4 was broken, and in order to “Mobilise” they would require some kind of compensation. So we get them to drop us at the neighbouring lodge, where the occupants very kindly agree to drive out and rescue us. Annie, who has been waiting in the car anxiously with doors locked, is very happy to see us. On the way we learn that some others in a white Isuzu had gone out in the morning and not yet returned. On getting back to the lodge we all have a well needed shower and take our rescuers a bottle of wine. Another day, another adventure.

The next day we make an even bigger effort not to get ourselves into trouble. There is much relaxing and game viewing from the safety of the lodge, but we also do a short drive out to see some lions that had been spotted by one of the other groups. In in the mid-afternon a very muddy white Isuzu drives past our lodge. They had spent the night in their car. In the late afternoon I am happily getting my camera ready for my first chance to take evening photos uninterrupted by peril. Its just then that Annie comes and tells me that the beleaguered white Isuzu is now bogged just outside our lodge. Cursing, but not wanting to anger the karma police, I am compelled to leave my camera and pull them out as the precious minutes of sundown pass by. We get them out eventually and tell them that its probably not a good idea to be heading out at this time of day, but they seem very determined to leave. As they go we are half expecting to come across them on the road the next day.

I put out my camera that night to attempt a star trail photo. I have to leave it for longer than I planned when I notice an elephant lurking not 10m from where it’s set up.

The next morning we leave early for kariba to give us plenty of time for stoppages. We have a keen eye out for the mythical baobab, by it evades us on the way out as well.