The scene is too perfect-even at the end of the dry season. Bird calls in the morning, frogs singing at night. I long for my hammock which is hanging empty in my backyard in Madiso. Somehow this time I’ve gotten lucky. I’m staying in a resort called Casa Mskia that caters to mainly to fisherman from South Africa and Zimbabwe. Travelers also use it as a rest stop as they travel through southern Africa often arriving no later than 5 pm and departing as soon as it is light- no later than 6 am.
My imagination runs wild with ways to improve the quality of accommodation and food. It has the potential to be an incredibly beautiful yet simple place, but the clients are here for the fishing, not the accommodation and atmosphere. I do, however, decide to water the plants outside my door everyday.
Originally the resort was a crocodile farm and sold both the meat and hides for a good profit. In more recent times it has become a small reserve that includes an animal rehabilitation program. The managers’ daughters were carrying two baby gazelles in a basket both around a month old. On my Sunday off I went for a two hour walk around the reserve in search of giraffes. Apparently, the day before they had been close to the main lodge. However, after fifteen minutes of walking it was clear they had moved.
After spotting track and scat from zebras, wildebeast, impala, mongoose, serval and even feral cat, we found the giraffe tracks. Finally I saw my first wild giraffe. The four are still quite young and haven’t yet reproduced and were brought here from South Africa on 8 October 2010.
Clemente and I spent quite a bit of time watching and photographing them. Later they watched us as we stood and talked.
Casa Msika is located on the Revue River which feeds into the lake created by the Chicamba dam built in 1968 and is only 5k from the main highway between Chimoio and Manica.
This dry season the lake is at an all time low after two years of drought and due to the fact that the dam has recently been releasing water in to the blank river that flows towards Chimoio and eventually the Indian Ocean. The managers explained that by December the lake will be as high as the main lodge and boats will be tied to the rail outside of the small house where I am staying. I can only imagine how gorgeously green it will be. Spring arrived with the rain last night.
As usual I have plenty of time to spare and can often be found sitting on my stoop reading, gazing at the scenery or observing people going about their daily routine.
Cats keep me company.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a hammock- the perfect combination of work and relaxation. But I wonder if they even have hammocks here- perhaps in the surfing resorts around Vincolos- perhaps I should start a hammock making business. I can only imagine.