My Most Memorable Day in Zimbabwe

Sunday morning I was extra eager to be up and about as the day’s activities including my visit to Antelope Park and my bush walk with lions. Truly a dream come true for me.

It was a relaxing morning spent outside in the front yard as the men of the Dingwa clan spent several hours cleaning their respective vehicles. Not unlike North American men, African men will also spend hours washing, buffing and shining their prized possessions – their vehicles, including cleaning and polishing their tires. Now this activity baffles me, especially here in dusty Sub-Sahara Africa for as soon as you leave the yard you are driving in dust and all visible signs of your efforts are obliterated. Oh well, men will be men.

I had a wonderful morning sitting the front yard watching the men work so hard physically, including Tim who was cleaning Granpa’s car and visiting with Mr. Dingwa. However, this visit started to take a turn for the worst when he found out what my intentions were for my visit to Antelope Park. He was utterly shocked that I would even contemplate trying to touch a lion, let alone snuggle it. While he heartily endorsed my visit to the beautiful Antelope Park, he did not want me to go any where near the lions.

Things escalated when a rather heated and tense discussion in Shona took place between Lawerence and his father which concluded with his father saying in English that Lawrence had informed him that it was absolutely useless to tell me what I could or couldn’t do when it comes to my lion adventure. Now I could understand Mr. Dingwa’s fear. All Africans have a very healthy fear and respect for the king of beasts who have roamed free in their areas and are known for their ability to kill.  As my host, Mr. Dingwa felt very responsible for my safety and well being. But like the rest of the Dingwa males he had to accept the fact that there was absolutely no dissuading me on my plans to get as up close and personal with a lion as I possibly could.

And as this was my only offence all weekend – Lawrence had not had to give me an electrical shock once as I was on my very best behavior – Mr. Dingwa finally accepted but did not condone my plans for adventure that afternoon. Quite frankly no one could ever talk me out of this dream, not even Buche for who I have the greatest respect. I was snuggling a lion even if it killed me 🙂

I am back!

Well, I made it home from an adventure of a lifetime very late last night or should I say very early this morning.

The trip was fantastic and jammed full of fun and adventure. I have fallen in love with yet another African country. I was spoiled like a princess at the Dingwa household and was even invited back with or Without Lawrence.

I can’t begin to describe how fabulous it was but I will try in subsequent posts. But for now I leave you with a teaser of some of my pictures of my once again living out a dream…..

Yes, I hugged a lion and rubbed it’s belly!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here is the proof and only a small taste of my up close and personal lion experience

 

Queen of the lions
Queen of the lions

I did what Buche, Lawrence and Mr. Dingwa said I couldn’t possible accomplish. Proving once again that I am either the most determined person on earth or crazy. Some would say a mix of both. Either way, I lived out yet another one of my dreams. However, my mother will be relived to know that I didn’t bring one home with me! (that was actually her first comment when she learned that I was moving here to Africa that I better not bring home a lion) I am actually supremely delighted to have just prowled the bush with them and get in a hug or two.

Meet my new friends who are almost a year old lions who I had the privilege  of accompanying on a bush walk while they learned to hunt and try to play with me but that is a whole other story that you will soon hear about.

Tummy rub for my new friend
Tummy rub for my new friend

 

Stay tuned for lots more about my lion adventure and Zimbabwe trip.