The Classic Safari Challenge 2011
15th August to 6th September 2011
Another Day.... Another Country:
Safari Diary from Gorongosa - August 23
We left Malawi yesterday and crossed into Mozambique, leaving behind the hoards of children cheering by the roadside on their long walk to school. The border scrum was swiftly processed, helped in no small part by Rudi Friedrichs getting everyone lined up in order. Germanic efficiency to the fore made the ordeal that much neater.
Mozambique started and finished with sections of badly potholed roads, but nobody is complaining as the long 600 kms day had over 400 kms of brilliantly smooth Tarmac recently constructed by the Chinese for most of the day.
No major issues to report - Martin Egli in his Lagonda arrived at the first passage-control checkpoint of the day with broken bonnet catches from the constant vibration, Daniel Schoch's Bentley had fuel pump problems, the Hicklings MG stopped to assist. The Mercedes of Nigel Keith and Nora Ashworth lost time with electrical bothers causing a misfire, diagnosed as a duff sparking-plug, Peter Little's Bentley lost a lot of time on the pot-holed sections.
Terry Ward's big supercharged Toyota Landcruiser has developed a mysterious fuel problem - its drinking it at a furious rate. Roger Allen and Maggie Gray were stopped on the gravel run into the camp with a puncture on their Land Rover Discovery, a worry as getting a replacement of this particular low-profile tyre is virtually impossible.
We arrived at Chitengo safari park just as the sun was sinking over the vast great forest of the national park.
Our rooms are simple round brick huts with thatched straw roofs, and a central restaurant also under a large thatched roof, where Andy Actman provided after dinner entertainment on his guitar.
After several bottles per table had flowed, Maria Romao De Sousa was dancing round the tables to the haphazard strumming of guitar assisted by everyone else singing along... it proved to be a late night despite the very long day.
We have seen few animals coming into the camp - the odd gazelle and warthog running across the road, but the park boasts the big five, so most will be out on a game drive on our day off tomorrow.
Andreas Pohl had his own unique wildlife experience while taking a shower... a large frog jumped up onto his chest. The frog's life was changed forever after being beaten out by a toilet brush. Our photographer regrets not capturing the moment on film.