I sit on the deck at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge, fresh brewed coffee in hand, and watch the sky brightening as the sun rises behind me over the Save River and the moon sinks in the west. It was full moon two nights ago, and a Hyena has been calling all night, colouring my dreams with melodious yodelling! We have a Spotted hyena den on the far bank of the river, within Gonarezhou National Park, and we regularly we hear the pups learning to yodel like their parents, very cute.
Just as the rays of sun begin to warm the cliffs on which the baboons roost, a leopard grunts, a series of rasping elemental coughs, to remind anyone who cares. To listen that this is untamed wilderness. A vervet monkey nesting in a tree below me responds with a nervous chatter, even though the spotted cat is across the water…
Striped swallows begin their day, dipping and swirling in front of me in pursuit of their flying breakfasts.
I wander down to the aloe gardens , facing downstream, and marvel yet again at the glorious burst of colour from the massed Chabaudii aloes that Dad planted here only one season ago. The hum of busy bees increases as the suns rays intensify. White bellied and Scarlet chested sunbirds are intent on vying with the bees for sips of sweet aloe nectar, and bulbuls argue over the tastiest flowers to pluck and devour…all is bursting with life, a joyous way for me to start the day, in one of my favourite gardens…..
My view to the breakfast deck through the aloes…..
Then comes a delicious choice of fresh baked pastries …..
And hot cooked breakfast, served straight on to the plate to one of our guests from Boston..
What a satisfying way to start a winter day!
No better view than this combination of colour and serene river to accompany a breakfast….
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.