6th January: A visit to Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge, delivering radios for their communications, gives me a chance to dive into the gardens and catch up with the gardeners there.
A sundown visit to the Chivalula Falls is awe inspiring, churning chocolate water rushing through the narrow channels of rock.
Exquisite legume growing in grass at the cliff edge….
What a joy to wake to the landscape of golden sunlight in the swollen brown Save river and the summer green trees outside our room number 3, as brown headed parrots fly past, fast and high, then the larger grey headed parrots call their greeting to the day. I am delighted to hear, then see, four Ground hornbills take off from the high trees on the far side, within Gonarezhou National Park, and fly across the river towards us, huge white-edged wings flashing in the slanted light.
Flowers are framed by spectacular views in celebration of the growing season..
Barleria, looking downstream…..
Barleria and the Save River
Hollerina, from the gorgeous breakfast deck….
Holharina and Save River
I meet with the gardeners and we discuss clearing the pathways, tidying the rock edgings, but leaving the delightful Streptocarpus plants which nestle between ricks in shaded areas….
The old wood and suculents in the rock gardens are endless abstract inspiration….
The lounge area is a visual delight as always, an inviting place to relax, especially as the day gets unbearably hot. …
framed by Dracena leaves…..
Dracaena at Chilo Gorge
Too busy to swim in the cool pool, I resort to periodically wetting my shirt under the garden tap!
Some kind of weather is coming …..
Every plant hides some other life, hidden to the casual eye but busily going about business…
Spider and aloe spikes….
spider and spiky aloe
Bauhinia tomentosa flower and bug…
Corn cricket in lemon grass leaves…..
armoured corn cricket
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.