Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Imire Sable

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While visiting Imire Rhino and Wildlife Conservation in Zimbabwe, we came across these beauties.

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Sables, of the antelope family, are becoming rarer and rarer.

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They are absolutely beautiful to watch, very regal.

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Why, hello, sable!

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A zebra at Imire.

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Zimbabwe is covered with just so many stunningly beautiful trees.

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For some reason, our ride at Imire struck me as particularly hilarious.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Imire Elephant: Matriarch of the African Buffalos

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Some of the elephants at the Imire Rhino and Wildlife Conservation in Zimbabwe.

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One of the elephants eating.  It's amazing how powerful they are, taking down trees.

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Hi, elephant tush!

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A baby elephant.  Still my favorite of all the animals, how can you not just love a baby elephant?

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Imire has an elephant who is rather famous for her 'identity crisis.'

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Nzou is the matriarch of this herd of African Buffalo.  That's right, she's the head of a herd of African Buffalo.

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When Nzou first arrived at Imire, she was placed with a bull elephant within the only large herd Imire a had at the time---a buffalo herd.  By the time the bull elephant died, Nzou had immersed herself so completely within the buffalo herd that she became distressed when Imire tried to move her to the elephant herd they had obtained.  The buffalo also became visibly unsettled by her absence.

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When I visited, fourteen male African Buffalo had challenged Nzou for head of the herd over the past 30 years---she won every time.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Snapshots from the road around Zimbabwe

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A Zimbabwean woman carries bags along the road between Bulawayo and Victoria Falls.

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One of the hazards of driving in Africa?  Trucks precariously loaded and driving way too fast or way too slow.

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A woman tends to some cooking in a village.

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Laundry hanging in a village.

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The Flying Pot Restaurant near Gweru.

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The Teecherz shopping mall.  For some reason the name really amuses me.

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One of the many car washes outside Harare.

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Because the Flying Pot Restaurant was just too creepy not to include another photograph.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Cape Town Waterfront

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After visiting Stellenbosch in South Africa, we returned to lovely Cape Town.
Table Mountain as seen from the waterfront.

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Cape Town's waterfront is the perfect place for a leisurely stroll, something Harare's not really built for.

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The waterfront's clock tower, such an old world charm and a reminder of Cape Town's strong sea-faring history.
Its bottom floor holds an old tidal-gauge mechanism to check tide levels.  I really like clock towers---it had been awhile since I had seen one here.

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We tried to visit Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was in prison for decades but the weather was too choppy to take the ferry.
I'm always looking for an excuse to return to Cape Town---this may be it!

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Oh! Dakar! How I thought of you immediately, what a strong sense of Senegal being worlds away.

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I couldn't resist a few photos of Majeka House where we stayed in Stellenbosch--isn't the breakfast area just adorable? Love the blue.

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The view from the breakfast nook.

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Absolutely loved the ceiling in our room, a splash of fun color.

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The hotel was lined with cactus fences, I thought they were so ingenious.
(Side note: would completely recommend Majeka, it's small, beautiful, and just perfect tucked away in wine country.)

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One last shot of the waterfront!!  Then it's back to Zimbabwe....

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Stellenbosch - South Africa Wine Country: J.C. Le Roux

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While touring Stellenbosch, South Africa's lovely wine country, we visited J.C. Le Roux.

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Oh, Cape Town, be still my heart, how your mountains speak to me.
[This is the view of part of the estate's vineyards.]

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J.C. Le Roux is a vineyard for sparkling wine.  We did a marshmallow and meringue tasting, paired with lovely sparkling wine.

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The grounds were stunning, worth the visit alone!

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The amazing marshmallows, with flavors like coconut and caramel, paired perfectly with lovely sparkling wines.
I had never done a straight sparkling wine tasting before and it was a lot of fun.

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Returning to Cape Town, we passed the famous Table Mountain.

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Another view of Table Mountain from the waterfront of Cape Town.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Stellenbosch - South Africa Wine Country: Waterford Estate

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While on a trip to Cape Town, I visited South Africa's wine country: Stellenbosch!

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Our first stop was Waterford Estate.

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On a dreary, rainy southern African afternoon, the coziness and roaring fire was absolutely perfect.

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The vineyard was filled with lovely little spots with bursts of color

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and an old world feel to it.

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The estate was lined with beautiful orange groves.

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Such a burst of wonderful color on a dreary day.

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The wine was excellent, paired with amazing house chocolates such as rose geranium milk chocolate.

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I already want to return to Cape Town (okay, okay, okay, I always want to return to Cape Town) and explore more of Stellenbosch.

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Such a lovely change of pace from Zimbabwe.

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