ANYONE SEEN A TOURIST AROUND HERE?
Across the Limpopo. Under the Lines.
Oh yes, it’s a Great Defender! (Apologies to Buck Ram and the Platters).
My first Landrover was a 1972 Series II.A 109” Station Wagon which, in it’s later incarnations, became the indominitable Defender CSW that is still so admired all over the world. The 2007 Defender County 110 that I used in November to traverse parts of Mozambique that would have had lesser vehicles shaking in their hubs, still looks surprisingly similar to the long wheel-based 107” that first came off production lines in 1954. Over the years the Defender has had many detractors but any vehicle that still looks much the same as it did nearly sixty years ago, must have a lot going for it. At a time when most ‘off-road’ vehicles are owned by people who’s idea of ‘roughing it’ is driving over (instead of around) a traffic circle, the Defender will surely and swiftly suffer a boredom-seizure or even climb up and over your garden wall if you don’t take it out and onto those ‘lost trails’ to stretch its suspension as often as possible.
So, apart from that ‘boep’ on the bonnet and the now ‘fake’ front vents (they no longer open – a pity), the new Defender certainly still looks like a Defender but that’s just about where the similarity ends. The bump on the bonnet is there to accommodate an all-new 2.4 litre common-rail diesel that already has an excellent track record as the power plant of the very successful Ford Transit Vans (voted as 2007’s ‘International Van of the Year’) in Europe and America. The new gearbox is also a quantum improvement and now boasts six forward gears making freeway cruising a quieter and more fuel-efficient activity. The air-conditioning system is also much quieter, more efficient and the compressor no longer takes up half of the front passenger’s legroom. Dashboard, seating and load areas have been completely redesigned and there are now two very comfortable foldaway seats right at the back that face forward, replacing the previous four that irritatingly faced inwards.
Family in Mavue. Shop in Mavue.
A Bridge too Far? (Mozambique’s extreme-west route from Pafuri to the Zambezi).
Long considered (by those who have been there, gone astray and eaten the T-shirt) to be the ultimate off-road expedition vehicle, and with (for those of you who care) 360Nm of Torque and ‘best in class towing’ capability, with a braked trailer, of 3500kg, the new Defender’s terrain-taming credentials have become even more impressive. Get one of these underneath your rear and it’s something like being astride a Basotho pony surrounded by the majestic Maloti Mountains – you know that it is just itching to take you somewhere over that horizon, far, far away. Comforting to know that when you get there the Landrover won’t buck you off, bite you and stubbornly refuse to take you back home again.
A special vehicle deserves an exceptional expedition and this time that unique route involved crossing five rolling rivers (the Limpopo, Save, Lucite, Pungoe and Zambezi) leaving tracks in three captivating countries (S.A, Mozambique and, briefly, Zimbabwe), a search for an ancient dhow anchorage, paddling a dramatic delta and admiring a beautiful new bridge. While some folks back home may buy a large 4x4 in the hope of attracting covetous and admiring glances from other downtown drivers, the mere fact that there are any ‘other road users’ within view means that you are probably not using the vehicle in the manner for which it was designed i.e. to get away from the aforementioned mindless mass of moronic motorists who make commuting the exercise in frustration and incredulity that it has become. Between Pafuri and Espungabera, a distance of 400km and ideally tackled over two days, apart from passing several struggling cyclists, two chugging tractors and a trundling truck, I had the way all to myself and became so accustomed to owning the road that when I finally hit the tar again near Chimoio, the first speeding donkey cart was enough to make me want to go back to Mavue and stay.
An essential but optional extra is this foldable rear aperture swabbing equipment.
If most of the hassles, corruption and costs of crossing a land border were to suddenly disappear, I would probably visit a neighbouring country every week or so. While the Pafuri and Giriyondo entry points between South Africa and Mozambique each require a traverse through the legendary Kruger National Park, these remote and comparatively quiet crossings are becoming quite popular. Ideally this should mean that the sensible traveller spend at least one or two days enjoying the wildlife before entering Mozambique, but already the sight of cranium-challenged cowboys roaring through the Kruger and Limpopo parks (breaking every rule of speed, caution and decency in their rush to get to unsuspecting Indian Ocean beaches) is viewed as a major problem by South African and Mozambican Park authorities who will (hopefully) soon impose a mandatory stay-over, at least for those using Giriyondo.
During September last year I did the now standard Pafuri – Mapai – Machaila – Mabote- Vilankulo route (in a Honda CR-V nogal!), so this time, just a couple of kilometres after the Pafuri police-post (where no-one could find the Defender’s engine number), I turned the Landy northwards and crossed the (anything but great but quite green and greasy) Limpopo to the tiny village of Dumela where enterprising traders with booster antennae above their shops allow you the last chance to use your Mtn or Vodacom cards to let the folks back home know not to expect you for tea. Luckily the summer rains hadn’t yet started and the languid Limpopo, though wider (and therefore shallower?) at Pafuri than at Mapai, was still very shallow (had the Landrover been a lady, she would not even have had to lift her skirts). A very deceptive scene as by December it would be too deep to cross anywhere (in anything that does not float) all the way downstream to the Macarretane barrage, a detour of about 350km on very rough roads.
From Dumela I had been told to ask for the indistinct track that follows the river’s north bank down to the Cahora Bassa power lines, but after reading reports that Chicualacuala has an incongruously ornate railway station, and the appearance of a spaghetti-western movie set, I really wanted to see this town. And so I took the trail that follows the Mozambique / Zimbabwe border – far rougher and, as I discovered, also less easy to follow than the route underneath the cables. As I still prefer to wander into ‘places yonder’ GPS-free, I try to use such curiosities like the sun and a compass for orientation (don’t try this at night), stick to the most used tracks and also enquire locally wherever possible (I do have the advantage of being able to speak Portuguese and knowing to ignore most of what I am told). This border is about as effective as a cracked gas-cylinder at keeping anything in or out. Not only are there no fences, beacons or guards, but also many tracks led me into Zimbabwe, instead of directly north to Chicualacuala. The eerie remnants of what must have been an ambitious irrigation scheme during the colonial era, with regular pump-stations and elevated reservoirs along the boundary, became my guide and within a few hours I parked the now very dusty (inside too – when will ‘they’ fix this?) Defender in front of the station and went inside to (unsuccessfully) try to find a cooked meal, a cold drink or at least Elvis and Lucky Dube sharing a bottle of Sao Domingos Aguardent brandy.
Make a cellphone call in Dumela. Dry river crossing under the powerlines.
In Chicualacuala fuel is available at the roadside but, as most of it is being smuggled into Zimbabwe, it sells for about twice the going price found at Mozambican service stations, the nearest of which is in Chokwe 340km (5 hours drive) away. Formerly Malvernia and also sometimes called Vila Eduardo Mondlane, Chicualacuala was (and once again is) an important rail-head town 524 km from the Port of Maputo. The line, which once carried up to three million tonnes of goods per year, was built in 1957 by the (then) Rhodesia Railways to facilitate imports and exports via Lourenco Marques (now Maputo), and ironically the same line was mined and sabotaged by Rhodesian special forces when they occupied the area in 1976 during the Zimbabwean liberation struggle, and finally rebuilt by Zimbabwe about 10 years ago.
The track may still be littered with the debris of every train blown up or derailed between 1976 and 1992, but as I headed east on the wide gravel road running parallel to the tracks, the site of a passenger train with people clinging to every hand-hold and soldiers riding shotgun on the roof, confirmed that yes indeed the trains are running again. It’s almost impossible to miss the massive pylons and 3-strands of cable that tower over the road marking the point where I had to turn north onto the power-line servitude, and I found a very nice ‘twee-spoor’ track underneath the western line (there are two parallel sets of pylons about 500 metres apart) which headed over the horizon towards the distant valley of the Rio Save. October is the beginning of the wet season in these parts, and the southern skies were as black as the inside of an old barn, while the sun, low in the west, cast a quite unearthly light onto the twisted and contorted steel of the old pylons, every one of which had been sabotaged by Renamo and remain as mangled monuments to the bad years gone by.
The ornate Railway Station in Chicualacuala was built in 1957.
When the storm broke and the road became a river of blood-red mud I engaged the center differential-lock by pressing a button on the dash, pushed the gearlever into 2nd, took my foot off the accelerator and allowed the deep ruts to direct the wheels. As I enjoyed the rich smells of sodden Africa, the sight of lightning bolts splitting the pot-black sky and the sound of thunder rumbling around the bush like giants beating huge drums, I knew that life was just getting far too good to be trusted. Of course I missed a crucial (but under the circumstances invisible) crossing where I should have turned left back up to the Zimbabwe border road and at a point where the cables stretched over a deep uncrossable ravine I hauled out the Oztent and a beer and showered in the rain while hoping that the canvas would pitch itself (I was that exhausted). Fortunately Oztents can be managed easily even when you are a semi-comatose, slightly drunk lonesome traveller (completely at home in the wind and the rain) at two bells in the morning.
After my standard Moz-breakfast of cashews, papaya, bananas and ‘pau’ (Portuguese rolls freshly baked in almost every little village), I drove the Landrover on a game-path to the track under the western lines which soon left the servitude and curved up to Mavue which turned out to be a very clean, friendly but desperately poor village where I was very relieved to find signs pointing the way to Imofauna and Koen‘s hilltop hunting camp at Sacone where I was warmly welcomed by Moses Razarombieza who, as he grew up in a refugee camp in Zimbabwe called Tongarora (which means ‘just sit around and eat’) spoke excellent English, or perhaps he was really a refugee from Mugabe’s madness. Apart from it being the only place during a 3-day journey where anything close to tourist-related facilities can be found, I had included a stopover in Mavue to try to solve a mystery that had been bothering me for over twenty years. During the 1980’s, during a visit to nearby Gona-re-Zhou nature reserve in Zimbabwe, I had been told by the head ranger that steel mooring rings left by slave traders who used to sail up the Save river in dhows hundreds of years ago, were still visible at the junction of the Save (Sabi) and Lunde rivers a few kilometres upstream of Mavue.
With Moses as my guide, we first took the Defender into Mavue to pay our respects to the ‘chefe do posto’, to ask whether anyone knew of the moorings, and to buy beer and fresh ‘pao’. We then headed upriver to the ruins of the original Portuguese military outpost after which the path petered out and we continued down to the confluence on foot. Midday in the Save valley in November feels like being in massive hot-house and while sweat was sucked out of every pore we stumbled through the tangled undergrowth inspecting every likely looking rock outcrop but got back to the Landy dehydrated, dirty and disappointed. If the Arabs had ever been in this area they had left no signs to confirm this and in fact no one in the village had ever heard of the elusive rings. We consoled ourselves by cooling off in the river (crocodiles notwithstanding), and doing a ‘dummy-run’ crossing of the Save in the Landrover to make sure that I would not get lost or stuck when I headed north before dawn the following day.
Anyone for lunch? Kingsley Holgate would approve.
Sunset from the camp made me think of the traders, travellers, hunters and poachers who had come this way before and who’s lives (and deaths) had been so colourfully chronicled in T.V Bulpin’s ‘The Ivory Trail” (Bulpin died in 1999 aged 81). This spot is so obvious a look-out point that I think that Cecil ‘Bvekenya’ Barnard (born in Knysna in 1886) the notorious ivory poacher who is the main character in ‘The Ivory Trail’, must surely have used it to check whether the BSA Police from (the then) Rhodesia, the SA Police from South Africa or the ‘Policia Fronteira’ from Mozambique were on his trail. Bvekenya (Changana for ‘the one who swaggers’ – due to, according to his son, a severe case of sunburn between the thighs) was in fact the first person to suggest that the entire area encompassing Kruger, the adjacent part of Mozambique and Gona re Zhou, should be turned into a huge protected area – a vision which is now becoming a slow, but sure reality.
Imofauna hunting camp on a hill near Mavue is rustic but comfortable.
I had been told that crossing the Save is often much more complicated than the Limpopo and, having already done it twice I slept easily in my Imofauna tent until a massive thunder-storm barged in and spoiled any chances of further winks as I pictured a rising river blocking any further progress northwards. Well before dawn Moses and I drove down the now very muddy track to the riverside and found that the river was rising fast and Moses muttered something in Shona that I took as meaning ‘now or never’ and as the dawn reddened the sky I put the Defender into low-range second, and following my tracks from the previous day, plunged in. The first few channels held no surprises but as I drove onto what I had thought must be the north bank and was about to heave that proverbial sigh of relief, it became clear that I had actually reached an island about mid-course and I would have to be sharp if me and machine were not going to be marooned until the next dry season. The next two channels looked deeper than they were and as the sun came up and the sight of a very old lady leading an equally ancient blind man across the water put things back into some sort of perspective again.
Moses had told me that the track from the river would lead to a T-junction where a left heads to Mahenya in Zimbabwe and a right goes to Zambareja in Mozambique. Moses had been quite adamant that I should not try to go to Mahenya as this was not an official border crossing but I decided that I would drive just to the border and then turn around. A short distance along the surprisingly good road I was waved down by a man herding cattle who turned out to be one Lymon Ndlovu who informed me that he was smuggling cattle across the border all the way to Chokwe and also that I was already in Zimbabwe and so I should beat a hasty retreat if I did not wish to explain my presence to the ZRP’s around the next bend. Lymon had recently been laid off from Chilo Lodge that overlooks the Lundi River nearby and when I asked him about the mooring rings he said that his former boss knew about them. The amazing thing is that in September 2006 I had stayed at the wonderful Inn on Zimbabwe near the Monument, and Rob and Kerry, formerly the managers of Chilo and well know to Lymon, were running the place!
Confluence of the Save and Lunde Rivers. Crossing the Rio Save near Mavue.
I turned back and headed towards Zambareja (don’t even bother looking for it on a map), finding a trig beacon indicating that I had been on Zimbabwean ground since I crossed, and drove alongside the river to a permanent police control point where an old truck bumper served as a boom across the road. Although friendly the police seemed quite surprised that I had been allowed to come from Zimbabwe and, when I was ushered to a bench underneath a gnarled fig tree and had to explain my route to the ‘chefe’, my hand-drawn map and knowledge of how to say ‘sorry’ in Portuguese came in very handy. The Pafuri entry stamp in my passport clinched my freedom and the officer, apologizing for detaining me, pointed out that they only saw tourists about once a year in these parts. I showed him my intended rout to Espungabera which (on the map anyway) was via Macobere and Hacufera, but as no-one had even heard of these towns I left the police hoping that I would not be forced to go via Chitobe as that was going to be one dusty and rutted detour.
At every junction and turn-off all the way to Chitobe I asked about Macobere and Hacufera without luck and this meant that my plans for reaching Espungabera around lunchtime were due for a major revision. Near a place called ‘Save Centro’ (don’t ask me – can’t find it on a map) I found a man working for the National Census getting around on a bicycle who also had no idea where the elusive towns marked on all the maps of Mozambique I have seen, had disappeared to.
Although rough and rocky gravel, the road from Chitobe to Espungabera is a section of one the main routes into Zimbabwe, this one branching off from Mozambique’s main arterial, the E.N.1 at Muxungue. The distance from Punda Maria where I had filled the tank was now close to 500km and reassuringly the needle of the fuel gauge was still resting before ¾ and even with a steep climb into the Chimanimani Mountains required to reach Espungabera, I knew that I would get there comfortably.
With my missionary friends not being in town, I was not sure where I would find a bed in Espungabera and plan B (usually my first choice), which was to pull off the road in the forests and to pitch camp, was becoming less and less attractive the darker the sky became and the closer the lightning struck. Soon the storm arrived with a force that made the Landrover feel like it was being shoulder-charged by ‘Butch’ James, and the rain which swept in almost horizontally from the front, made keeping on the road a matter of following the faint gap in the trees. Fearing that the surface might simply be gouged from underneath the wheels if I stopped, I let the vehicle crawl forward and hoped for the best – it was a real ‘dang I’m glad I am in a Defender’ moment. There are new and potentially vehicle-damaging features on rural roads entering or leaving a town, namely ‘Lombas’ the Portuguese for waves (as in the sea), but we call them speed bumps.
Espungabera’s main claim to fame is that in 2006 it was the epicentre of a magnitude 7.5 earthquake and in the dim light after the deluge it certainly looked like a very dishevelled settlement – not the place one would expect to find a nice little B&B and a cosy pub. A dark and crumbling building with ‘Pensao …’ (the rest was illegible) written above where the door once would have been put paid to my roaring log-fire sipping sherry fantasy and so I asked one of the wettest and drunkest people (he claimed to be a border guard) that I have ever met where I could get a bed and he said ‘Sithole Lodge, Padrao’.
When the rains come early 300km from the nearest tarmac, it’s nice to be in a Defender.
Close to where the road comes into Espungabera from Zimbabwe I found the place the policeman had proposed and while a ‘lodge’ it is not, Mr Sithole has built a rustic motel-style set-up with rooms ranging from ‘last used by a truck-driver and one other’, to a surprisingly well-furnished and spacious suite which would have been perfect if a private bathroom was thrown into the package. As Espungabera gets it’s power from Zimbabwe, there were no lights but supper was simple yet delicious piri-piri chicken and ‘cima’ (maize-meal) and of course Manica beer always tastes better when sitting too close to huge speakers that, courtesy of a truck battery and inverter, were belting out Oliver Mtukudzi’s live Mahube version of ‘Neria’ that sounds about as sad as the situation in Zimbabwe. When Mr Sithole started talking about the diamonds that can be found in certain Chimanimani streams I decided to quit while ahead and went to bed.
My Mamma told me there would be days like this.
Some time during the night the rain stopped drumming on the tin roof and I woke up, splashed my face at the outside tap, tipped the ‘guarda’ who had washed the Landy while I slumbered, and headed for the hills. The burbling Buzi river rises near Espungabera and the road initially crossed it about five times in a matter of a few kilometres – someone must have got a really good price on the steel and bolt ‘Bailey’ bridges that span each crossing. The scenery to Gogoi reminded me of places in Zimbabwe’s Eastern Highlands or the Mpumalanga lowveld around Graskop and I turned off to Monte Sitatunga to have a look at the famous ‘aguas quentes’ (hot springs) but found the track became too overgrown to continue. Although the Lucite River was already at flood levels, the pont was still operational (it often stops during the rains) and I made Chimoio in good time. ‘Pink Papaya’ B&B and backpackers was pinker and busier than usual and Helen thrust a loud pink shirt at me and said that as it was her farewell party that night, everyone had to be in pink.
Chimoio was about as far north as I planned to go this trip but ‘great engineering projects in progress’ have always fascinated me and so I took the main road via Gorongosa town to Caia, where in the pouring rain I could see that the 3km long bridge over the Zambezi was both magnificent and progressing well towards its anticipated completion date of March next year. A cabin at Mphingwe 32km south of Caia and an excellent meal at the bar set me up for the long slog south to Nova Mambone where I intended to make good use of the inflatable canoe that I had been lugging around Africa for the past ten days. 600km on good tar revealed that at cruising speed the new Defender certainly is much quieter and while I refilled with diesel and cashew nuts 128km north of the Save River at Muxungue, the pump attendants all wanted to know why the Landy had developed a ‘barriga’ (paunch) up front.
A billboard at Caia showing what the bridge over the Zambezi should look like by March 2009.
Having driven past the turn-off to the huge Rio Save Game Reserve, 24km north of Save, many times over the past few years, this time I turned off and followed the twisting track to spacious Papagai camp underneath gigantic baobabs. RSGR has become popular with birders and overlanders but I could not tarry as, on this the 8th day of my journey, there was still an island in the Save delta with my name on it. I camped in a little village near Nova Mambone, inflated the canoe and had another pre-dawn day this time paddling a tidal channel through the matted mangroves to a remote beach someone had told me about.
Papagaai Camp in the Rio Save Game Reserve.
Baboons are, in my experience anyway, creatures of the hills and gorges but during my peaceful two days in the delta I was kept amused and amazed at the spectacle of troops of these fascinating apes scrambling along the beaches and barking with indignation as they tried to catch the thousands of scurrying ghost crabs that appear as the tide recedes. In the mangroves one is at the mercy of the tides and not wanting to paddle against an outgoing current I began my return trip well before dawn but misjudged it all badly and had to paddle hard for five hours against sea water that was eagerly elbowing its way back into the ocean.
Inflatable and dugout in the Save River delta.
South of the Save the main road is reverting back to the state in which I first found it in 1993, and it will shortly become the undrivable mass of elephant-swallowing potholes that force vehicles into the bush and allow the pedestrians to, once again, be the “Kings of the Road’. At least the narrow strip of tar that leads down to Inhassoro has been repaired, and I noted that the old Inhassoro Hotel (now Beach Resort) has been renovated and Hotel Seta (long a favourite of mine) has a huge new restaurant almost on the beach -so eat fast during a cyclone. The Defender’s big suspension-travel allows it to manage potholes better than any other vehicle I have driven, but it was still teeth-chipping stuff down to Vilankulo where I drove directly to Zombi Cucumber backpackers and desecrated their sparkling pool with my swamp-mud covered feet.
Zombie Cucumber in Vilankulo is still the best option for backpackers.
While select lodges just to the south or north of Vilankulo are some of the most child-friendly in Mozambique, Vilankulo town can’t really be called a family destination but for the more adventurous folk who travel to get away from their own type, Zombie Cucumbers has become something of a cult destination. At least the people enjoying one of Steph’s heavenly meals that evening are not the sort to even notice that I was wearing a grubby kikoyi and everyone willingly shared tales of their travels. Have to admit that when I went up to the much more ‘upmarket’ Casa Rex the following day, I did first put on a clean pair of shorts and a T-shirt.
Casa Rex has expanded from the small guesthouse that has been around for over 15 years, into a small boutique-style hotel that offers rooms and views that I can unreservedly recommend to anyone seeking something special in addition to being so well suited to its surroundings. Nice pool, gardens and excellent restaurant too. My usual habit of leaving at a time when some folks are just going to bed was scuppered by the prospect of enjoying the legendary ‘Casa Rex breakfast’ that is served from 07:00 and so the sun beat me to the road this time, but wait until tomorrow…
Vilankulo to Joburg can be done by the determined (or demented) driver who leaves at four bells and doesn’t mind arriving home in the dark, but I had an appointment with a charming couple who have built Quinta de St. Antonio at Lindela, where (if coming from the Xai-Xai side) a right turn takes you to Inhambane, Tofo and Barra, while carrying on straight ahead will get you to Morrungulo, Vilankulo and even Malawi and Tanzania if you forget to stop. Santo Antonio is certainly a very welcome addition to the growing list of ‘lodges’ that are opening up in Mozambique, and I found it to be surprisingly solidly and tastefully constructed compared to some of the other ‘temporary’ – looking structures. Surrounded by homely touches such as a huge aviary, friendly dogs and a herb garden, owners Vic and Adelaine were so relaxed and friendly that they looked like they have lived there for decades.
The two-bed roomed ‘casas’ at St.Antonio are huge, airy and extremely well equipped so I needed only to dig out my toothbrush and kikoyi from the (equally) cavernous interior of the Defender before settling onto the couch and seeing what DSTV could offer to someone who was contemplating having to deal with Joburg traffic on the morrow. If on you way to your holiday destination, St. Antonio is perfect after the potholes and if returning home, also very welcome after the waves. Their store sells fresh meat, dairy products, ice and other essentials, and there is a resident mechanic who can attend to your wheels while Adelaine fixes you a great meal (advance notice needed).
Quinta de Santo Antonio at Lindela is an oasis just of the main road.
There may now be a wide and wonderful highway (tolled) between Maputo and the Lebombo/Ressano Garcia border, but to get onto it involves negotiating the chaotic and congested outskirts of Maputo where and hour or more has often been tacked on to my journey to or from the coast. With (this time) no reason to visit Maputo, 25km south of Macia I turned off to Xinavane and took the back route to Moamba where the track joins the N.4 back to South Africa. Just after the Xinavane sugar plantations and mills, which have been replanted and restored, I crossed the Incomati River on a remarkable causeway that is shared by trains heading from Maputo all the way up to Chicualacuala. On the other side of the river there is a fascinating little town called Magude which has a beautiful cathedral and feels as if it closed down in the 1950’s and never quite reopened properly again. As the 4:30 from Chicualacuala to Maputo was late once again, I had to wait to recross the Incomati and not even a Defender can argue with a 200-ton diesel locomotive.
In the dry the Magude to Moamba road is hard, uneven, jarring clay and rock and while I averaged a very uncomfortable 60kph, this is not a route I would choose to do during rain, and certainly not without a good 4x4. Getting back onto those roads-far-too-well-travelled after being the only car cowboy in town for so long is quite a jolt to the sensibilities and so it took me a while to adjust to the rush and rage on the N.4 back to Johannesburg which is a jungle of an entirely different complexion.
Mike Slater. November 2007.
Dacata: I think that Senhor could use some of this nice soap.
The Western Route At a Glance.
The Dhow anchorage at Mavue? Look up: http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/historical-stories/chapters/chapter_6.htm
Espungabera:Sithole Lodge. + 258 825763540 or 825136981.
Caia: Mphingwe Camp at Catapu Sawmill 32km south of Caia. www.dalmann.com/mphingwe.htm
Rio Save Game Reserve: Turn off from the main road is 25km north of the Save River bridge. www.riosavevalley.co.za
Nova Mambone: For accommodation, motorboat hire and other assistance contact Greg Pickett: Johannesburg: 011 957 2463.