HI All, I have just returned from another great weekend in the Save Valley Conservancy where I stayed at Roger Whittall’s Tigere Lodge on their Humani Estate. I had been invited down to see just how dry it is and the resultant mass destruction of trees by an over-population of Elephant in the area.
In 1992 the Save Valley Conservancy made a group decision to change from Cattle farming to intensive Game ranching. The whole conservancy is now regarded as a tourist destination and is teeming with quality game. There does, however, seem to be an over-population of a few species like impala and giraffe although this will probably automatically adjust when decent rains prevail. En route to Humani we drove through Mopani woodland passing by hundreds of trees without any green leaves in sight.
Humani has now resorted to growing Winter Maize (too hot in Summer) to feed the wildlife. They have bought a silage chopper that works all day every day up and down the maize fields filling trailers that are taken all around the property to hungry game waiting patiently at their spot. If you are looking for a comfortable weekend away from Harare then I suggest you contact Adrienne (0774-186-992) – $75 per person per night including 3 meals.It is an easy 6 hour drive down to Humani via Chivhu & Gutu ending with 55 km of dirt road – good condition now and you just need a car with high clearance. Just watch out for the mombes from Gutu to the turn-off.
Whilst we were down there we took the opportunity to pop in and see the great work that Karen Paolillo is doing with her Turgwe Hippo Trust – Karen (firstname.lastname@example.org) currently looks after 19 Hippo. She set up the trust at the time of the devastating 1992 drought and told us that this is only the third time in all those years that she has had to feed them. If you would like to help her source feed (45kg per day!) then please check out her website www.savethehippos.info or better still have a look at this video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_EvV6JYVm4
Ciao, Mike G.