Words by Kim Sparrow - Photos by Karen Lowe
Gonarezhou National Park is robed in memory and nostalgia. The baobabs hold ancient stories of the bush, while the Save and Runde rivers, albeit inflow and ever-changing, contain the knowledge of both life and death of the park’s inhabitants. The Chilojo cliffs are the grandfathers of time - sentinels of the national park - watching over with wisdom of old.
These stories are shared with the few intrepid travellers who seek the untamed and the untold, who wish to explore beyond the comfort of the known. Such expeditions are often best shared with those closest to you, with family and friends you are collecting your own memories with - to invest in future nostalgia. Chilo Gorge self-catering lodges are the perfect spot to embrace exclusive experiences, taking the wheel of adventure into your own hands.
A recent family outing to our Nhambo self-catering accommodation was a four-night affair - experiences of the park made from the balcony of the cottage to games-drives through the bush. Seated around the campfire, early morning or evening with a view of the Save river, the sites and sounds of the bush rise up to greet either dawn or night. Animal traffic from Gonarezhou National Park passes the lodge on their way to the Jamanda Conservancy - a constant flow of wildlife. Nightfall comes with an orchestra of the elephant - crunching the greenery and wading through the waters below.
With the self-catering accommodation situated high up from wildlife, children are able to safely experience the wonders of the wild from afar. Self-drives through the park offer huge herds of elephant, along with an array of many other species. While seated at one of the pans, observing the day, hundreds of elephants arrive to drink - the horizon alive with rumbles and dust. The children watched in awe, memories of gentle giants sharing moments with their own family.
Heading back to Nhambo, scenery dotted with impala, eland, buffalo and birdlife, memory banks are full. Returning to a lit campfire, a sense of peace descends as the family assembles, ready to share their perspectives of the day’s adventure. Along with the crackle of the fire, everyone starts talking at once with pure excitement filling the evening air, stories mingled with those of the elephants rising from the Save below.