The important thing, our guide Norman tells us at the start of our rhino trek. Which is not to make any sudden or fast movements. These big beasts might weigh a couple of tons. But they can go from nought to 35 miles an hour in seconds.
Matobo National Park
We are in the Matobo National Park in South West Zimbabwe where science and technology are combining with traditional knowledge not only to protect the rhino but to enable visitors to get close to them on foot. There are nearly 700 species of birds, as well as 200 species of mammals and over 6,000 species of flora. We see dozens of wonderful birds on our game drives including eagles, vultures, cranes, storks, weavers and guinea fowl as well as the delightful secretary bird. We also see elephant, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, buffalo, hippo, crocodile, several types of deer and a cheetah.
The stone city of Great Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe has much to offer, both natural and man-made. An example of the latter is Great Zimbabwe near Masvingo in the South East. The ruins of an extraordinary stone city created by the Bantu civilisation between the 11th and 15th centuries. Which was once home to kings. Meanwhile visitors like us have the place to ourselves. Which are to squeeze between the giant rocks to get in, to test the megaphone qualities of the king’s cave and to stride across the highest rock which would have been his throne and judgement seat.
The sound and the spray can be seen and heard even as you drive into the village. Close up the sight is staggering. At the end of the wet season in March and April an unimaginable 500 million litres of the Zambezi river cascade over the rocks every minute along six differently named sections. You can bungee jump off the bridge which spans the river and links Zimbabwe to Zambia or zipwire across it or swing out over it or edge along the walkway which runs underneath.