Did you know there is a bath at Ruckomechi? Well there is!
Showers are great of course, especially during the hot months and actually it is mostly warm at Ruckomechi. Late afternoons I notice that guests mostly like to take a boat cruise on the Zambezi. This is a wonderful way to see game from a different angle other than from the vehicle and is really very popular. It might have something to do with the romance of the sundowner on the Zambezi or it might even have something to do with the fact that at the end of a hot day being on the water just immediately makes you feel a lot cooler. Either way, I totally recommend it.
We were now watching the southern carmine bee-eaters from the boat and Mike was photographing away. This gave me a chance to speak to Gadrech who was guiding us this afternoon. We began chatting about the story of the Zambezi River in this area. He was telling me that his grandfather who is about 90+ now, actually came from this area. Years ago before they built the dam wall at Kariba, this whole area used to be farmed. There was a high-level water mark during the rainy season and a low-level water mark for the dry season. The alluvial plain between the two marks was excellent fertile soil and crops flourished. At times when the water was high, locals would move their homes to their high-level home site so they didn’t get washed away.
After the dam was built the water levels changed drastically and the area was earmarked as a national park. The local communities were moved further inland where they resumed their farming practices. But to this day, Gadrech’s grandfather speaks of this area with great affection and emotion. There are particular landmarks that he has spoken to Gadrech about and Gadrech has made an effort to visit some of those places.
While we were chatting, a couple of guests came paddling past in canoes! Another fantastic way to spend the late afternoon just before sunset. This reminded me of some guests who we were chatting to at lunch and were a bit concerned that the canoeing would be too strenuous and require a lot of previously learned canoeing skill – but that is not the case so it is worthwhile taking the plunge - certainly everyone who did the activity raved about it.
After sunset it is time to get off the river and onto the vehicle to go for a night drive. We didn’t do the night drive but rather went back to camp and this is when I indulged in my outdoor bath!
I don’t know about other cultures, but for South Africans bathing is considered a “girl-thing”. I don’t know why it has to be like that, but mostly it is. I followed the candle light to my boudoir and there overlooking the river was a beautifully drawn bath with aromatic bubbles inviting me in. Once submerged, I lay back and looked up through softly lit branches of the overhanging trees and beyond into the inky sky to watch out for shooting stars. The good news is that there is also a shower in the boudoir too! So if your manly man wants to join you but doesn’t want to be a girl and get in the bath, he can shower away!
A relaxing and clean finish to a spectacular day!
Images by Dana Allen and Olwen Evans