Fresh-brewed coffee to start the day at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge…. 19 th April

I wake to an overcast sky, but a hole in the cloud canopy suddenly brings sunlight to the rock cliffs opposite Room 1, ‘Eagle’, at Chilo Gorge.. ‘Chilo’ in the local language means ‘ baboon roost’ – a very apt name for this glorious place, where high cliffs of tumbled rock and huge riverine trees precariously perched on steep banks over the waters of the Save river form dramatic bedtime havens for the troops of baboons that live here.


We hear a haunting wail, the ‘man falling down a well’ cry of a baby Pels fishing owl somewhere in the deep green canopy of the trees that overhang the river on the opposite bank. He is hungry, shouting for mum…..
Sharing some quiet time and early morning coffee with Clive is luxury……coffee freshly brewed and accompanied by a crisp biscuit (cookie if you reading this on American soil!). Plus my favorite read at the moment, ‘The Calcutta Cookbook’, full of fascinating traditional Indian recipes.


Seven fat Green pigeons fly past silently, on their hurried way to some chosen tree, a fruiting fig or a Cordyla with still- green but tasty fruits just forming. Their rose- pink legs are lit by patchy sunlight against the dove-grey clouds.
I savour my surroundings: this room that I sit in is a delight of textures and clever colour.
Ngoni cattle skin rugs sit on sisal carpets woven locally in Zimbabwe. These Ngoni-type cattle derive from ancient Zulu stock and are hardy, beautiful animals, spotted and splashed with black, white and rust. They thrive on the banks of the Save, carefully herded by their proud owners, and I never tire of their glorious colours.


The local Changana people weave Lala palm fronds and use the strong plait to tie a complex layers of river reeds into durable and beautiful panels. These were traditionally used as doors to their huts and we have used them as decor and panelling in the lodge.


Chosen and orchestrated by designer Belinda Jones, and ably installed by her brother Anton, the decor here never fails to delight me and complements the structure of the rooms perfectly


A room to meditate and dream in……


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, beauty, Chilo Gorge, eco-tourism, gonarezhou national park, interior design, landscape, Nguni cattle, safari, Uncategorized, zimbabwe and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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