By Spurwing Island
It starts the night before, it is almost a Christmas type feeling. Boat hooked up to trailer, rods and reels check, first aid kit check, books for mom to read by the pool check, teas and coffee for the road and games for the kids. All that is left is to wake up to the alarm, throw the bags in the back of the car and pour everybody’s Contigo mugs full of ‘Banket Coffee.’ The latter are so effective at keeping your coffee hot, it’s normally only drinkable by the time you stop to buy your worms at the infamous Banket Worm chaps en route, whom now boast flush loos. They also stock everything you may need for a fishing trip, from ‘Anaconda’ and ‘Puff Adder’ worms to pellets, blocks and the rest. It is time to go.
The sun is slowly rising over the horizon now. Its golden rays break through the dappled Masasa and glean off the tips of the maize tassels growing along the road side. There are light patches of mist as you travel through the lower points, they breathe a small chill on your face.
The heart lightens as the distance grows from town. The sun is now up and at your back, almost egging you on as it slowly warms up. Next, you cross the Manyami River, which welcomes you to Chinhoyi, the sleepy town which is just starting to wake. With only a few sets of lights, it is easy to navigate through. Chinhoyi Caves bid you farewell as you leave, and by now, the jerseys are coming off and it is ample time for the kids to have a pit stop.
Positioned perfectly after the second toll gate is the quaint takeaway restaurant Saucy Sue’s. The smell of the fresh bacon and egg rolls cooked on gas fills the air as the whole family bails out the car. In just a few minutes and everyone is perfectly satisfied leaving with a few packets of delicious, salty biltong for the boat. It is time to move again.
The next stretch to Karoi is another hour of winding roads with rolling Msasas and fields of tobacco and maize strewn in-between. Culturally known as the town of witches we normally pass quickly through, making sure to keep to a limit of 80kms/hr from start to finish as there is often a speed trap which the kids are instructed to be on the lookout for.
Another hour to Makuti, once through Nyamakati, usually denoted by large stacks of thatching grass, you enter wilderness area. Still rich with game and often lions, leopard, wild dogs and an assortment of interesting birds, your heart is enamored. After the left turn, you are greeted by two massive, ancient Baobab trees which have seen millions of travelers pass below them from before Kariba even existed.
Often, it is a ritual to stop and have a quiet crispy cold beer underneath the watchful upside down tree. Be sure to do this.
The half hour of twists and turns through the valley is bursting with scenic views and then the terrain begins to change. Mopane trees start to appear and every now and again while a Sterculia sticks out like a sore thumb on a rocky hillside with its white pink bark and straight trunk stretching high above the other trees. The last major turn produces a magnificent view of the eastern basin, the kids’ faces light up as they know exactly where they are. It has heated up and the windows are rolled down, with the unmistakable smell of Kariba’s beautiful fresh air filling the lungs.
With the boat launched, fuelled up and everything tied down, you leave the harbour with the smell of rich burnt two stroke that flood the nostrils like a drug for some. The 30 minute boat ride is timed well and the lake is almost glass. Everybody’s faces are rejuvenated. The fresh lake air blowing hair everywhere, a light slapping noise as the bow of the boat breaks through the ripples.
We round the corner of the island and see three young elephant bulls frisking on the water’s edge. The children scream with glee at the sight of these gentle mammoths. The weathered stone walls come into sight, the tall green trees tower above the lodge and dwarf the surrounds. Slowly coming off the plain we chug into the harbor making sure to keep the kids sitting and life jackets on as they can barely contain themselves. Reaching the jetty, we are met by sincere friendly faces, sugar rimmed champagne glasses. Mazowe Peach keeps the children occupied whilst the boat is efficiently off loaded, and we are led up through the green trees to the office, met by Sausage, Mahogany, Combretum and Fig Trees that look like they are out of a fairy tale.- © Ndeipi Magazine June/Issue 100 http://www.ndeipi.co.zw
Spurwing Island is the perfect family destination and the ideal place to spend a few days away. Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org