Zimbabwe

Bulawayo

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Favoured for photographs

Favoured for photographs

Favoured for photographs
www.jeremysmithphotography.co.uk

 

BY : JEREMY SMITH

 www.jeremysmithphotography.co.uk

 normajeanes@yoafrica.com

 www.normajeaneslakeviewresort.co

 

As a naturalist and photographer born in Zimbabwe, I spend much of my time travelling to areas where I know I’ll be rewarded with great photo opportunities.

Masvingo, formerly Fort Victoria, is an ex-colonial town with some decent restaurants, supermarkets, filling stations and streets wide enough to turn a span of oxen pulling a wagon.

Within 30 minutes drive are a number of attractions like Mushandike National Park, Great Zimbabwe and Kyle Recreational Park, my personal favourite. Accommodation can be booked with private lodges such as Norma Jeane’s, and there is also National Parks accommodation and designated picnic sites for day trippers.

Kyle Recreational Park is located 20 minutes drive from Masvingo town centre, along the A9 toward Mutare. The road to the park entrance is good quality and while some of the roads within the park are accessible with any car, I would advise one with good clearance as many roads are badly eroded in places. Four wheel drive would only be necessary during the rains or to get deep into the park where there is less to see. The top end of the park toward the hills is rocky and difficult to drive on with mostly closed canopy woodland.

The western (entrance gate) and southern sections of the park are mostly sandy granite soils so there is much open grassland, great for viewing wildlife, and from the entrance gate one can drive down to the lakeshore. This is the northern bank of Lake Mutirikwi, formerly Kyle Dam.

There is usually a wide grassy floodplain surrounding the lake that is a wonderful asset to the park with many animals crossing it to get to the water. The grazing herds of zebra, impala and wildebeest love it here too. The giraffe are relaxed and if you give them space they will reward you with great photos.

For the birders it is not uncommon to have a secretary bird walk past you, and if you look and listen you will find yellow-throated longclaws in the grass close to the roadsides. With a wide variety of habitats within the park comes a wide variety of bird species.