You can take your pick of photo worthy sites and scenes: Thatched mud huts, goats with their young herders, roadside fruit and vegetable vendors, donkey carts, lone trees ... whatever catches your eye really. Wherever you stop you are bound to be met with smiles and waves from friendly local people.
Recently we experienced the trip in the company of and through the eyes of Jean and Lin from Destination Horizon. Both Jean and Lin are the type of travelers who soak up sights and experiences with gusto. It is this avid interest in everything new and different that positions them so perfectly in their chosen careers as travel agents.
Our first stop was almost exactly on the half way mark. The rock we have named Soldier Rock because it stands sentry over a small valley is our half way beacon. From Soldier Rock on we are no longer leaving Harare behind but are drawing closer to Chishakwe.
|Soldier Rock. Standing guard over the half way mark|
Next: An opportunity to stretch our legs and walk up the enormous granite dome that provides a stage for the monument to the RAR soldiers from Gutu and surrounds who fought and died in the second world war.
|Sharing the view with the monument|
|Honoring members of RAR from Gutu|
A short detour into Gutu provided plenty of local colour and then it was time to wend our way Lowveld-wards.
It wasn't long before we reached the enormous Zion Christian Church of Mbungo. This incredible church was built entirely by the local Zionist community over a period of approximately seven years. The impressiveness of this feat cannot be appreciated unless one realises just how remote Mbungo is from any major or minor center. The ZC Church literally appears to have sprung up from nothing in the middle of nowhere.
Our guide explained a bit about some of the symbols and rites of the Zion religion and explained that the church grounds would become a massive camp site over the Easter weekend when around 40,000 worshipers were expected.
|Zion Church, Mbungo. Viewed across their maize crop.|
Our visit to the Zion Church of Mbungo gave us plenty to talk about for the remainder of the journey and despite taking the slow road it seemed like hardly any time at all before we were crossing the Msaize River and turning off towards the Chishakwe HQ area ... Just in time for a G&T sundowner!
|Msaize River, Chishakwe Ranch. Already dry despite better rains this year.|