My final trip before leaving Zimbabwe took place along the mighty Zambezi once again(I previously visited it at Mana Pools) However Kanyemba is situated much further down the river from Mana Pools, where the borders of Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique meet.
The surrounding areas are far more populated than up river and by populated I do not mean big cities or resorts along the banks. I mean small settlements with the locals living in self built huts with no electricity or municipal water. Somehow they manage to eek out an existence in this arid landscape. The saving grace for these villages is that there is a constant supply of water running past them which they might make use of although this requires nerves of steel for it involves daily encounters with the other local residents, namely crocodiles and hippos.
Interspersed around the villages, fishing camps have been developed along the river banks by private individuals who rent out the space to paying visitors. Usually these camps are owned by several individuals, sharing the costs. Kanyemba was our home for six days and with my cousins boat brought along we were able to venture onto the river and travel further upriver where the best fishing spots might be found.
This part of the river is very different to the likes of Mana Pools which is a flood plain. Here one is given spectacular views of cliffs and hills which run alongside of the river. These are incredible vistas to behold and I took great enjoyment in simply observing the landscape around me. I did not engage in any fishing but there were enough in our party who did and there were a few fine specimens caught. Apart from the fishing there is prime bird watching opportunities and from the boat one is privy to a new point of view to see the animals. Crocodiles lounging lazily along sandbanks, quietly absorbing the intense sun. Pods of hippos laughing and snorting at those of us who got stuck on sandbanks(Yes this did transpire but thankfully we were able to push ourselves off the bank which did involve being knee deep in water for a time)
Kanyemba is a very special place for my family as it has been visited many times over several decades and is where my Uncle’s ashes were spread 15 years ago. The Zambezi itself is poignant for us because along its banks was where my own father passed away from a heart attack back in 2011(In Mana Pools) I know that I can speak for my entire family when I say that we all feel connected to this wonderful place, it is as if we are reunited once more with those whom we have lost. It is therefore a tradition to drink a toast to the fallen and pour some of our drink into the river, that way they might assist in any fish being caught!
It was wonderful to end my time in Zimbabwe on this trip, I feel recharged and ready to take on whatever life has in store for me. As a child of Africa, I know that I can always come home when I need grounding in my life, it balances the soul.
Till next time my homeland.