Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge; Rain and Rejuvenation, Snails and Wild Flowers…

At the beginning of 2015, I reminisce …..

Clive Stockil, through Tusk Trust, won the Prince William Award  for a Lifetime Achievement in Conservation in 2013…here he is at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge with staff and the Award itself…..

Clive Stockil and Prince William Award at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge

Clive Stockil and Prince William Award at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge

We now congratulate Richard Bonham who has very deservedly won the Prince William Award for 2014.

Richard Bonham and Prince William

Richard Bonham and Prince William

http://www.tuskawards.com/blog/richard-bonham-winner-of-the-prince-william-award-for-conservatio

Communities and Conservation go so strongly hand in hand…

Chilo has helped put up posters regarding wildlife research projects at the National Parks entry into Gonarezhou……

Gonarezhou Parks entrance reception..Clive and the Chilo team..

Gonarezhou Parks entrance reception..Clive and the Chilo team..

including  this Vulture poster by Birdlife Zimbabwe

Vulture Poster by Birdlife Zimbabwe

Vulture Poster by Birdlife Zimbabwe

We see constant interaction between elephants and the Mahenye Villagers, and the National Parks rangers who man the Parks reception at Mahenye live daily with these animals…

Parks staff children and elephants at Tembweharta Pan in Gonarezhou...

Parks staff children and elephants at Tembahata Pan in Gonarezhou…

Elephants are our constant companions on game drives, mostly gentle giants who are a delight to observe in their true wilderness…here is fabulous ivory where it belongs..on live elephants!

elephant!

elephant!

Elephants, elephants…are as much a vital part of this ecosytem as people and rivers are…

Elephants, and more elephants, in and around the Save River .....

Elephants, and more elephants, in and around the Save River …..

Clive’s visions and hopes for real community conservation initiatives are reflected in this article:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/activityandadventure/10305355/Tusk-Conservation-Awards-Princely-custodians-of-the-bush.html

Community and conservation meet tourism at Chilo Gorge…a win win for all.

Clive and elephants, sunsets and community...

Clive and elephants, sunsets and community…

Chilo guides are truly deserving of the praise heaped on them by happy and fascinated guests who enjoy exploring the wilderness under their care….

Thomas Mutombeni, Chief guide at Chilo Gorge safari Lodge

Thomas Mutombeni, Chief guide at Chilo Gorge safari Lodge

The beginning of this year has seen a successful wetlands bird count at Chilo for Birdlife Zimbabwe, with fascinating sightings by guests and Chilo Guide Lionel Muzengi, of two very interesting predators:

Green backed herons eating Lesser masked weaver chicks, and a baboon eating an impala fawn!

Lionel Muzengi-Guide's report of unusual predators!

Lionel Muzengi-Guide’s report of unusual predators!

 

Chilo kitchens, bar and waiter staff have produced memorable meals and cocktails, from Christmas mincemeat pies …in the rain….

wet decks and mince pies

wet decks and mince pies

to the fabulous Baked Ham, salads and cold meats Buffett for Christmas and New Years Day, plus Black- Eyed Peas and Atholl Brose to bring the New Year in with good luck!

Continental breakfast on the deck is always a winner….

chilo breakfast on the deck

chilo breakfast on the deck

Beach sundowners are wonderfully atmospheric…

Atmosphere, snacks, moon and tealights

Atmosphere, snacks, moon and tealights

 

Sunsets are always magical, always different…

Datura flower on the beach of the Save River..

Datura flower on the beach of the Save River..

 

 

The Chilo gardeners have been hard at work maintaining the structure of the rocks and gardens that Arthur Barrie lovingly placed…the elephants providing a constant challenge! We have learnt which indigenous plants the  naughty elephants relish, and those are not being replanted!

gardeners and cigarette bush

gardeners and cigarette bush

Chilo housekeeping have kept the rooms beautiful, with  scented herbs in the bathrooms and flowers on the bedcover in the honeymoon suite.

honeymoon time at Chilo....

honeymoon time at Chilo….

The Save river is a huge snaking waterway, a roiling python curve of water that is bursting its banks, driving even the largest crocodile to climb out and rest on the grassy banks to avoid being swept away! and the pans are inhabited by frogs and various waterlilies…

chiromantis frogs and water lilies

chiromantis frogs and water lilies

The rainy season in the Lowveld has brought a flooded Save River, baby animals galore and abundant flowers, and we have shared valuable time and knowledge with Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings in the field….Chilo Gorge and surrounds will have a botany page in their excellent website, Flora of Zimbabwe

Ochna inermis grows outside room 5….

Ochna inermis-red summer beauty

Ochna inermis-red summer beauty

Hollerina pubescens graces the breakfast deck…

Holleria pubescens

Hollerina pubescens

Crossandra, one of my annual favourites…

chilo in the wet season-Crossandra and a funky cicada...

chilo in the wet season-Crossandra and a funky cicada…

 

Purple Vitex flowers carpet the pathways, and teeny tiny  flies that sit on them, looking  like shrimps, are a miniature joy……

vitex and shrimps!

vitex and shrimps!

Bart’s photograph of a fierce buffalo bull in the long grass shows the caution with which one has to approach situations when distracted by botanising………

Bart's Bull

Bart’s Bull

 

Watch this space for my artistic interpretation of the buffalo bull- my memories of facing him in the field are powerful….!

Birds abound and we get regular flyovers of those special little birds, Brown headed parrots, and the larger endangered Grey headed parrots…

grey headed parrots

grey headed parrots

 

Gorgeous great African land snails leave evidence of their presence with beautiful deserted shells….

giant land snail

giant land snail

 

Now as the rains seem to be tailing off, the Save river subsides and the Chivarira Falls subdues its constant roar of muddy water….

 

Lionel Muzengi and Ben Madden at Chivarira Falls

Lionel Muzengi and Ben Madden at Chivarira Falls

Cheers to the rest of 2015, from the awesome Save River……

drinks at sunset

drinks at sunset

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About wineandwilddogs

Lin Barrie The Save Valley Conservancy stretches along the upper reaches of the great Save River in the south east of Zimbabwe. The Gonarezhou National Park laps against the southern banks of the Save River and between these two nestles the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve. These three celebrated wildlife areas form part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area, (GLTFCA)- a unique wilderness jewel which is home to the “Big Five” (endangered Black and White rhinos, elephants, buffalo, lion, leopard) and the ”Little Six” (Klipspringer, Suni, Duiker, Steenbok, Sharpe's Grysbok and Oribi). Endangered African wild dogs, Cheetah, Brown hyena, Bat-eared foxes and a host of special birds and plants contribute to the immense variety of this ecosystem. Communities around the GLTFCA contribute to innovative partnerships with National Parks and the private sector, forming a sound base on which to manage social, economic and environmental issues. This is home to artist and writer Lin Barrie and her life partner, conservationist Clive Stockil. Expressing her hopes, fears and love for this special ecosystem with oil paints on canvas, Lin Barrie believes that the essence of a landscape, person or animal, can only truly be captured by direct observation. Lin Barrie states: “Through my art, and my writing, I feel an intimate connection with the natural world, and from my extensive field sketches of wild animals, people and landscapes, I create larger works on canvas. Lin's work is in various public and private collections in South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Australia, England, Canada, Sweden and the United States of America. She is represented by galleries in South Africa, Zimbabwe, England, Kenya and Florida, USA.
This entry was posted in Africa, African flora, African Safari, african wildlife, anti poaching, art, beauty, birding, birds, Chilo Gorge, christmas, community conservation, conservation, conservation news, cooking, culture, Duke of Cambridge, eco-tourism, education, elephants, family, flowers, food, food culture, gardens, gardens and flowers, gonarezhou national park, great limpopo transfrontier conservation Area, Hogmanay, home grown food, homegrown, honeymoon getaways, insects, interior decor, landscape, Lin Barrie Art, London, Nguni cattle, photography, Prince William, Prince William Award For Conservation, reptiles, Rivers, safari, slow food, Tusk Trust, tusk trust conservation awards, zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Parks and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge; Rain and Rejuvenation, Snails and Wild Flowers…

  1. Bart Wursten says:

    Lovely blog. Assoon as we have the Location page for Chilo up on the Online ZimbabweFlora we must link to this as well.

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