Lake Kariba and Harare trip report

  • wernher
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7 years 1 month ago #32344 by wernher
wernher created the topic: Lake Kariba and Harare trip report
Hi All,

I spent 24 Sept to 3 Oct in Zimbabwe with 8 mates. 2 nights in Harare, 5 on a houseboat on Lake Kariba (the Harmony) and then again 2 nights in Harare at the end of the trip. We had a fantastic time; one of the best trips I've ever had.

Zim is fine at the moment, for visitors. The Zim dollar has been abandoned and the US dollar and Rand are in use. This has stabilized their currency situation and as a result shops are fully stocked, fuel is readily available and the restaurants are operating etc. Sporadic power cuts do still occur and it's recommended to drink bottled water rather than the tap water, but this did not detract from our enjoyment. The only other problem we had during the trip was that my Zimbo mate Keith had his sister's Kombi wheel-clamped at the airport, for parking skew, when he came to fetch us. <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: -->

I was kind of the only birder in the group and throughout I was trying to explain to my mates the significance of getting a lifer - I said that it was the equivalent of catching a very, very big tiger fish. But I'm not sure they bought it. <!-- s:duck: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/duck.gif" alt=":duck:" title="Fear" /><!-- s:duck: --> Anyway, I did end up with 21 lifers, so from that perspective the trip was a great success too!

List of lifers in no particular order: Crested Barbet, Purple-crested Turaco, Variable Sunbird, Dark-capped Bulbul, Kurrichane Thrush, Great Egret, Southern Carmine Bee-eater, Trumpeter Hornbill, Red-billed Hornbill, Wire-tailed Swallow, White-crowned Lapwing, African Pied Wagtail, Greater Painted Snipe, Collared Pratincole, Senegal Coucal, Green Wood-hoopoe, Spectacled Weaver. And then with the help of the ID forum, Green-backed Heron, Wood Sandpiper, Black-backed Puffback and Crested Francolin.

I also managed to get a photo of a Giant Kingfisher for the first time and also my first recording of a Fiery-necked Nightjar (which I unfortunately did not manage to see).

Here's a few photos:



A statue of Nyaminyami, the Zambezi river-god with Kariba dam wall and Zambia in the background...



Getting our luggage onto the boat...























JP taking photos of Sanyati Gorge from the boat's upper deck...



And some birds...



















Cheers,
Wernher

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