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  1. #1
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    Default Valley of the ironwoods - Gonarezhou - Sept '15

    Spent two weeks in Gonarezhou recently and here are some photos of the trip. What a place!

    The southern area was beautiful but the game so terrified by vehicles that we probably won't go there again soon. Every single animal we saw ran as soon as they heard or saw the vehicle, my only explanation was that someone must be shooting them from vehicles for them to be so afraid. Elephant spoor everywhere but they only drink in the safety of the dark.

    One side of the river is the Malapati hunting area and the other national park, but no-one told the animals. One huge tusker we saw was crossing into the hunting area, probably for the last time as he'll be shot in no time with those tusks.

    The northern area impressive and stunning. Campsites wild and free, game also a little nervous and skittish but not as bad as the south. A few bad-apple drivers around, with tracks of cars going off road in quite a few areas and GP/RSA cars just driving into occupied campsites.

    Had no problems with any elephants, they seem to be relaxing a bit in the north. There were a few regulars near the campsites who are very relaxed, one at Hlaro who was very politely curious, perhaps the same "sniffer" mentioned in another thread.

    Had a really good lion sighting all to ourselves, as well as about 30 cape hunting dogs one morning. Herds of buff, grysbok, big herds of eland, impressive kudu.

    Stayed at :-
    Rossi Pools (always stunning, with new thatch after it appears to have burnt down),
    Chipinda, (Not much around Chipinda and there are few good game viewing roads in the area but the sites are nice and the ablutions, while dirty at least had hot water)
    Lisodo (double booked but fixed) and
    Hlaro (always an amazing view)

    Suffered some radiator damage to the Mazda in a river crossing when a stone or something clipped some of the cores causing most of the coolant to leak out, had to remove the radiator in camp, clean it out and crimp the edges of damaged cores, then applied "Goop" (an amazing american glue/sealant - http://eclecticproducts.com/products/amazing-goop.html) and we were on our way again.

    Beit Bridge was not too bad, through in an hour, although watch for being short changed by some of the tellers, a few staff wearing "I am not corrupt" badges on the uniforms (are those who weren't wearing them the ones who are? ). 10 minutes each side on return. Roadblocks were no problem, no questions asked and not stopped for more than a minute or so.

    Watch out for the speed trap on the A4/Nuanetsi river junction, wave and grin as you pass at 60kmh.

    Tracks4africa maps very outdated, listing camp sites that don't exist or have moved, will submit corrections and tracks to them to hopefully improve this.

    Photos:







    Last edited by pardus; 2015/10/16 at 02:00 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Default



























    Last edited by pardus; 2015/10/16 at 02:01 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Default

    Now that is an impressive tusker. Thanks for the report, more pictures please.

    Edit - you beat me to it with the pics.
    Last edited by RobH; 2015/09/30 at 10:00 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default

















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  5. #5
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    Default

    The tusks on the bull are really impressive . As you said they could also cost him his life. The canines on the male lion are indeed massive. Looks like it is not only Texas that has the biggest things!

    Absolutely love Gona. I was operational there for a while during the war. Thanks for the pictures.

  6. #6
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    Default Gonarezhou

    Hi Pardus


    Some really great photos. Gonarezhou is still one of my favourite escape destinations. The freedom of the camps etc can be found no where else. The two great rivers running through the park. South has great scenery along the river Mwanesi and the north has good game viewing plus the rivers and cliffs. Did you drive through the central section?
    Love the lion photo.
    Pity about the holigans he frequent our parks in southern Africa and do not know how to behave or follow a prescribed code of conduct?




    Regard
    The more we talk about what is wrong, the less we see what is right in this world.

  7. #7
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    Default

    Wow thanks for the report really great pics..
    Gonarezhou is magic

  8. #8
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    Excellent photos thanks
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  9. #9
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    Thanks all, a couple more...















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  10. #10
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    Hi Pardus, thanks for the report and great photo's.

    Will it be necessary to book in those camps in the North?

  11. #11
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    Yes, I think booking is/should be mandatory. Some of the sites are very remote so one wouldn't want to drive 50 or 100km to discover that the site is occupied or settle in and someone then arrives with a legitimate booking.
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  12. #12
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    Agree, thanks

  13. #13
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    Default

    Our group has recently returned from Gona and I will be posting a report with some pics. shortly. Can echo the sentiments, above.
    Peter Hutchison
    Answering the call of the wild is just so much beter than answering the telephone.
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  14. #14
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    Nice one Pardus, very special place, but poaching/hunting around Gona (also from Moz side) is an ongoing problem. Also sometimes the government "aquisition" of game meat for political rallies in the area does not help.
    As far as T4A goes, what you intend doing is the right thing. T4A depends on travellers updating out of date info, just complaining is not going to improve the situation on the maps.
    Mike Nieuwoudt
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  15. #15
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    Thanks Mike, all my tracks, waypoints and updates have been submitted to T4A.

    Attached is a zipped .gpx file if anyone is interested.

    It is not a nice thing to see that the company bordering southern Gonarezhou is offering trophy buff, male leopards as well as tusked and tuskless elephants for shooting on their website. A reminder of what these areas and animals face every day.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by pardus; 2015/10/05 at 10:00 AM.
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  16. #16
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    Default

    I see you went round the middle section. We went through the middle section July this year, although not much game there. The tracks were cut open , so no issue.
    Johan Kriel

  17. #17
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    How long did it take you Johan? Didn't give going through the middle much thought as I thought it would just be dry and featureless with bad roads.
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  18. #18
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    A video of the Chitove Runde river crossing

    https://youtu.be/zDkDWVPXJPY
    Last edited by pardus; 2015/10/06 at 01:59 PM.
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  19. #19
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  20. #20
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    "One side of the river is the Malapati hunting area and the other national park, but no-one told the animals. One huge tusker we saw was crossing into the hunting area, probably for the last time as he'll be shot in no time with those tusks."- Pardus

    So sad- the ink has hardly dried on the above statement. He looks like the same as your pics

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