Zimbabwe in the rear-view mirror
It has now gone almost two weeks since I got home from Africa and in particular from the safari in Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe.
It has been a rollercoaster ride with ups and downs, but I must say that Zimbabwe is a place I like very much. I have seen both the bustling city life of Harare and the rural life in the smaller towns/cities during the road trip we did thorough my two weeks in Zimbabwe.
I feel that Zimbabwe is a place with a great deal of potential, but unfortunately it will be a long way coming due to the anti-colonial politics that has been around for such a long time. It has literally turned the country from a food exporting country to a food importing country and that is not the best development if you want to cater for your people. The politics has also made the tourist industry collapse, which is bad as it means less income is generate and people ultimately lose work.
This all-in-all mean it will take lots of effort to turn the ship around and two of the major factors will be if tourists will find their way back to Zimbabwe and if they can get the commercial farming sector up and running. The country needs to bring down the high living cost, due to all imported goods and the fact that they don´t have an own currency and instead use USD or South African Rand.
I also feel that there is a big issue with corruption as everyone in power seems to be eager to “earn” a little extra on the side, probably due to the living costs and the possibility at hand. The billboards along the roads give you an impression that they are working against the corruption, but that image turn around when the police stop you to find a reason to get a bribe. This is of course not just a problem in Zimbabwe, but it is the country in which I have seen this behaviour most times.
Most people that I met in Zimbabwe was Shona people, the largest tribe with 70% of the total population. They seem to be hard-working and good hearted which gives me hope they can turn this around. It was also good to see a public transportation system of busses that seemed to be working even if some busses was a bite heavy loaded like this.
The countryside was beautiful and I really liked the south-eastern part of Zimbabwe that I saw when we visited Savé Valley Conservancy. I would love to see more of that part of Zimbabwe and I feel that the Eastern Highlands along the border to Mozambique is a place that I need to explore.
And what about Mana Pools National Park along the Zambezi river? The sole reason for my Zimbabwe trip.
Well I can tell you that it probably is the wildest place I ever have been to and I do understand why photographers long to go back there. I will write more about this place in my next blog, but I can already spill the beans.
I am planning on going back next year and you will have the possibility to join me on the trip. I will most likely keep the group size small as I feel that will be the best for you.
So stayed tuned so you don´t miss this opportunity!!!