There is no doubt in my mind that Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe is one of the best places we have visited. Despite having the “Big five”, you are allowed to walk and animals are everywhere, including your campsite. Among several close encounters, we vividly remember the time a buffalo bull was killed by lions a few metres from the entrance to our bungalow posing some problems to our planned movements!
Despite this, we were not prepared to have an elephant welcoming comittee outside the reception!
It was also curious to see that the pachiderms in Mana Pools are exempt from the majority of the rules as can be seen below:
When living in Mozambique we drove a couple of times to Swaziland (from 2018 renamed Eswatini) to spend time in its national parks. Among these, we visited the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary where we spent some time walking as there are no dangerous animals, except crocodiles as the following sign warns.
Checking the waters edge, we did find a couple of large crocodiles and another sign that was rather confusing.
Usually wildlife has right of way but to prohibit members of the plant kingdom is baffling! I wish to believe that there is a missing line in the sign that should have said “Removal of …”
After this surprise, I Googled for a definition of the word wildlife and what I found both in the Oxford and Webster online dictionaries was very similar: “Animals, birds, insects, etc.that are wild and live in a natural environment” and “living things and especially mammals, birds, and fishes that are neither human nor domesticated” respectively! So, it seems that plants and trees are not part of wildlife!
But things do not end here! In 2020, Carly Cowell (1) of the Kew Gardens highlighted our inability to recognise plants as wildlife known as “plant blindness” and discussed the consequences of this for the conservation of the plant kingdom!
Interestingly, confusion between members of the animal kingdom also seems to exist as this sign from Hwange National Park shows:
I believe that the intention was to repace the word “mammals” for “animals” to make the message clearer to all visitors of the potential negative impact of such practice!
My lack of posts is due to an on-going trip in Botswana with little access to internet. Although I will write about it in the coming days, I present you with an interesting shop being advertised at Nata.
I see it as quite an ambitious undertaking to which I would like to suggest soon adding a “Chicken.com” subsidiary!
I believe we saw this advert travelling in South Africa. This beauty parlour offered “pedicure” and also “menicure”. At first I thought it was something to do with a cure for men! but then I realized that it meant “manicure”!
It also offered make up, eye lash and foot massage! But that is not all, to the right of the main sign there were other “Special” offers (written in white):
“Relaxer back and lower straight back”, “Straight back”, “straight up back extension”, “Twist back(?)”, “Twist long”, “ewist (twist?) med”and ewist (twist?) short”, “wool dre… (dreadlocks?), “eye lesh” and “men cure”.
You will agree with me that it was a great offer, all packed-up in a shipping container!
Security is a large business worldwide and Zimbabwe is no exception. While security companies choose allusive names such as “Safeguard”, “Guard Alert”, “Securico” and others, some of them do not.
I recall a company called “Tragic Security” that was a few years ago in charge of the security at the Beitbridge border post. Unfortunately, I did not get a picture of their sign as border posts are not the best places to be seen with a camera!
However, in Harare I have managed to take a couple of pictures of companies with what I find amusing names.
Clearly this company prefers to solve thieving amicably but not all are like this one as the following picture shows.
I would not like to be neither guarded nor attempt breaking into a place with such a company taking care of it.
This was seen is the main road between the cities of Corrientes and Resistencia in Argentina. The cities are separated by the magnificent Paraná river and the road connecting the two is truly busy. It was while driving on the motorway that we spotted this oddity. We almost overlooked it but then we spotted something wrong. Can you see it?
It is not easy to see what is wrong! Here is another picture taken when the tractor got closer and with a different angle:
Usually, tractors move on four wheels! However, these gentlemen were driving -rather unconcerned- on three by some miracle of engineering equilibrium!