That's my life ...

Guru Geri in Zimbabwe

I was in Zimbabwe in 1989. I had taken a vacation from my work in Malawi to go with Gundi and Michael here to the national parks. The flight from Lilongwe to Harare showed me how different South Africa is. Harare is a big city with everything we have in the cities: cars, skyscrapers and many people. On the campsite we prepared ourselves for the tour to Mana-pools Rodes National Park and Hwange National Park. The Mana Pools in the north of the Zambezi are especially nice for me. We hitchhiked there. It was a unique experience, this park. We camped there, could walk freely through the landscape and enjoyed life in freedom to the full. Gundi was a bit afraid because of all the wild animals, but Michael and I couldn't get enough of them. Elephants grazed around our tent, hyenas tried to steal our food from the tent, at night the lions roared nearby and during the day we went for a walk crocodiles, many antelopes and elephants and hippos and and and and to look at. Fishing from the shore or canoe was another pastime. Most beautiful was the bathtub at the Zambezi shore with a direct view of the river and the hills in Zambia.
What I also liked about Zimbabwe were the great people and the beauty of the country outside the national parks. This unique natural heritage was well protected at that time. You could see that the country was doing well.

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  • 2009, after 20 years I was in Zimbabwe again, this time with Heiner Rahlfs, a fellow student. Mugabe ruined the country, the landscape and the friendliness of the people remained, but hyperinflation, broken infrastructure destroyed the prosperity. It was sad to see so few tourists in the parks (Hwange, Matopos, Vic.-Falls), but everyone was waiting for better times, for years. In Bulawayo I spent a week visiting the ICRISAT project "Small scale goat production", on farms (whites and blacks). The expropriation of land and the settlement of untrained land users drove Africa's only on-board basket into famine. Climate change is doing the rest. There was good rain in 2009, but the previous years were extreme droughts.
  • In 2011 I was in Dimbongombe (Africa Centre for Holistic Management) at Vic Falls for 2 days with Heiner Rahlfs for an Africa project. The country is more and more run down. Road blocks everywhere. Since the US dollar exists, at least food is available again. 
  • Also in 2012 twice (February and June) in Bulawayo at ICRISAT in Bulawayo and Matopos Research station and in Dimbangombe for 3 and 2 days respectively. This time because of the concretisation of a large Africa application (HoMa). With Michi the February and with Wodarz and Birgit and Heiner Rahlfs the June trip made. Spent before and after in Botswana. Great tours. 
  • 2014 in March with Klaudi from Kasane (Botswana) coming to the Vic.-Falls. The city has made itself very good again. Tourism money makes it possible. The Vic.-Falls Hotel, the historical remnant of the colonial period impressed me very much. I would also like to live there.