Since I moved back home, a year ago, one of the big things I have wanted to do is see more of my coooooowntry. Most places I know from childhood and family memories, and there are some great “new” places I am hearing about…like Imire Game Park.
I say it’s “new” because it really isn’t. At all. This place was founded in 1952 and has been hiding in plain sight from me all this time. For someone who has solemnly sworn many-a-time that safari’s and game drives grossly underwhelm me, Imire Game Park was a refreshing surprise….
Okay first off, my crew and I underestimated just how far away this place is. The first turn-off is at the 70km peg off Mutare Road, heading out of Harare which will take you a good 45 minutes to get to. Then it’s the inside trek on “sometimes “tarred roads for another hour that slows you down, so give yourself at least 2 hours to get to the place.
We kicked off the game drive by visiting the separate closure of one lone male lion by the name of Mambo Pistorius – he got his name after a rather nasty spat of feline violence that left his significant other dead. Unfortunate business that. So Mambo [not pictured because he was being anti-social] gets to wile his days away in solitary confinement.
After that the next 20 minutes of the tour was full of Kudu, Eland, Antelope and Sable sightings…all rather meh for me. Then we got a lovely surprise in the form of huge, alpha elephant Mark and his sister wives. They had their own human security detail due to their susceptibility to being poached for their tusks. There’s nothing like being dwarfed by a 11ft tall, 33 year old elephant whilst sitting in a game truck that now resembles a toy truck. Luckily Mark and his brood were super chilled.
Things really started looking up from there, when I saw not only black rhinos…
But white rhinos too! This was the closest I had ever been to rhinos and unlike our elephant brethren, they are more on the introverted and don’t-make-any-sudden-movements side. Like the elephants, however, the rhinos had their own human security detail too (Seriously Asian Market, can you find more reliable aids to improve your sexual prowess than rhino horn powder! It does seem to be a bit of a long, ridiculous stretch – mind the pun, lol).
It was so peaceful and pretty in the bush, far from the madding crowd. Definitely an awesome way to take a break from the bright, city lights. Our 3 hour tour went by at lightning speed and before we knew it, it was lunch time.
Now for some reason I don’t have any pictures of the AMAZING food that was served up in some very generous servings…but I do have some pictures of the refreshing beverages we parched individuals sipped on. Priorities, I guess lol.
We were also joined for lunch by some very familiar faces who knew how to work the crowd to get some treats, before retreating to the small lake for an afternoon swim.
After lunch we caught up with an 83 year old crocodile named Cyprian with the most leery smile ever (seriously, it was spooky the heck), a herd of very skittish wildebeest (why do they always look underfed) and a 35 year old elephant matriarch for a herd of buffalo. Apparently Big Mama (not her actual name) suffers from a slight identity crisis after having been raised with buffalo for so long that she now thinks she’s one of them.
All in all it was a great afternoon out with The Crew, playing “local tourist” and doing something different with our Saturday.