After a few days in this Garden of Eden we set off back to Harare enroute to the next stage of the tour at Lake Kariba. Along the way we stopped off and admired, and some even bought, some of the splendid array of Zimbabwean handicrafts on sale at various country stalls along the way. The quality of many of the items on offer has to be seen to be believed, as do the prices if you have the time to enter into a traditional "bargaining" process. (Images 37 - 39) To break the journey we over-nighted at Pamuzinda on the way through and then carried on to Kariba after a "not quite as early as planned" start the next morning. We stopped off at the sizeable town of Chinhoyi to pick up some worms as bait for our forthcoming fishing excursions, some fresh fruit, and also to visit the stunning limestone and dolomite cave system for which Chinhoyi is well known. The main feature of this is an incredibly cobalt blue pool of water some 300 odd feet deep. (Images 40 - 42)
Leaving Chinhoyi we then stopped off at Lions Den Restaurant and "pit stop" to stock up on various "biltong" products to sustain us in times of need, or even just to help the beverages slide down! Their steak rolls are unbelievable. Another feature of this stop-off is it's woodwork. Apart from an impressive array of wooden handicrafts they specialise in "planks of wood". Sounding quite ordinary they have to be seen to be believed. As a previous owner of a woodworking business I have an appreciation of "a nice piece of wood" and what is on offer here would satisfy any timber aficionado. They specialise in highly polished hardwood "planks" suitable for bar and table tops, the patterning and grain of which could tempt you into making a purchase, even though there was no way to get it back home, or even real use for it once there. Just the joy of owning a slice of that for a few days would be enough to persuade me to make a purchase.
After my favourite part of the journey, winding down the scenic route of the escarpment from Makuti, we arrived at Kariba in time to check out progress on the two new Luxury Lodges nearing completion, which will play an important part in the new Zambezi Cruise programme which is due to start in January. Crowned Eagle Boutique Hotel and Kariba Safari Lodge occupy, respectively, both the high and the low ground of a strategically placed hill, enjoying stunning views out over the lake. Within easy reach of both Kariba and Nyamunga towns these lodges will provide the start and finish points of many of the cruises and safaris on offer. Kariba Safari Lodge itself will be enclosed in a private Game reserve and enjoys the unusual benefit of having a lovely sandy beach at the water's edge. (Images 43 - 44)