Gonarezhou Gatherings; Sensational Sunsets

June 2021


How special to have you all, dear family and friends,  together in person and together “online”!!…

in this wonderful place called Gonarezhou –  Sacred Place of Elephants…

Lin Barrie “Elephant”

for a few days of surprise celebrations for Clives 70th birthday…

Picnic site at Chilojo Cliffs

The Chilojo Cliffs, viewed from the picnic site, are a fitting backdrop to the most special occasions…

Lin Barrie , chilojo reflections

and always inspiration for my art..plus the perfect place to gather with friends…..

Lin Barrie, Chilojo Cliffs, acrylic on canvas, 2 x 3feet

A few days of glorious vistas and surprises roll out….

Clive cutting the first of his cakes at Chilojo Picnic Site-a carrot cake created by dear friend Bronwen…

Carrot cake by Bronwen

Our daughter Kelli presides over the goodies and gift table at Chilojo!

Painted Wolf Wines, Jeremy Emma  and Amanda, sadly could not be with us at the last , but  gifted us some bottles of their delicious wine for the day.

Painted wolf Wines

So many friends from all over the world and within Zimbabwe who wanted to come, had indeed already booked to come, have failed to do so for various covid and logistical reasons.

Best wishes and so much love come to you, Clive, from  Texas to Cape Town, London to Paarl, Kenya to Hoedspruit !

Childhood friend Alan Sparrow spends quiet time with Clive back at our bush house in Save valley Conservanvy, after the camping trip

This sculpture, given to Clive by Stu and Sue Danks of Stone Dynamics Gallery, sums up the deep sense of family and friendship we all enjoy, titled “Support System”

‘Support System” by Dominic Benhura

On the day, many many friends here in Zimbabwe , too numerous to mention in this short speech, who can not be with us, have sent Clive messages, to add to his memory book.

The invite

My gift to Clive is a magnificent Rhino sculpture by dear friend Wayne Stutchbury…

My list of thanks to everyone who has made this celebration possible is lengthy- so I will  have to be brief and mention just a few of the many who have helped plan this surprise:

Gonarezhou National Park,  (GCT), Hugo and Elsabe Van Der Westhuizen and Mr Mpofu and staff for your vision, conservation ethics and enthusiasm, (plus efficient bookings and logistics- for bundles of firewood, tables and pots  donated for the party).

Hugo’s words to guests on the day were a revelation to many- the ongoing efforts and planning that have resulted in the iconic reintroduction of black rhinos to gonarezhou were enthralling for us all to understand.

Gorgeous Massasanya Dam was one of the venues for guests to camp at, in preparation for Clive’s surprises…

Massasanya Dam

Thanks to Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge who hosted happy guests at gorgeous Chilo lodge on the Save River … in preparation for the event.

Sabi star at Chilo Gorge Lodge

Chilo brought our dear friends and precious staff through the stunning wilderness of Gonarezhou National Park, on Clive’s special day..

The Chilo team and John Feleni of the Jamanda Conservation Area had special sightings, viewing lions and African wild dogs en route, to join us at Chipinda with truckfuls of food, cake and love!

Detail from a large painting

wild dogs were seen on the banks of the Runde and Save River- a delight…

Detail from a large painting

Dear Bonani and head chef Peter Chauke pulled the chilo team together through thick and thin to make this day a success.

Chef Susie’s cake:

Fun to cut and a delight to eat!

Thanks to Malilangwe and the people of Malilangwe who have always been trusted friends and dear neighbours  to Clive, who roamed those lone star/ Malilangwe hills throughout his childhood.

Mark Saunders honours Clive with his words ..

And a great framed photo gifted from Mark Saunders- memories of camping trips with Clive at mahove camp, hosted by Chilo Gorge

Thanks to Save Valley Conservancy, beloved home to our family, thanks to them for  their consistent support and friendship through the many years they have been established.

Thanks to Glenn and Judy and our grandchildren Jade And Rayne and to our  daughter Kelli  for their  unending support and love for Clive 

Thanks to All other friends and family too numerous to list but all who have contributed to the success of today…you are all deeply loved and appreciated

Rowan Martin came from afar on dodgy tyres, to play the bagpipes for Clive…

As did Sean Davy, with his beloved Mum Mo, and his sweet “clan” of girls, to celebrate and play “Happy Birthday” on his bagpipes…

Mo and Sean tuning up on the banks of the Runde River

He played below those atmospheric Chiwonga Hills, a wonderful moody setting…

The Chiwongas

Friends young and old made memories for a lifetime…

Much food was eaten around many campfires, lots of fun…and leftover sadza with relish tasted even better straight out the pots, reheated the night after the party….

This area of the South East lowveld of Zimbabwe has forever been a haven for Clive, way before it was designated as a National Park. 

Clive’s earliest childhood memories are of family fishing expeditions down this very Runde River behind us.

Tented camp on the Runde River

Clive says of his childhood;:

“Our anticipation was high at the outset of these family trips, and when we would finally reach the range of these hills known as the Chiwongas, we children, bouncing about in the back of our old truck, would be in an agony of delight, knowing that we had nearly arrived at our fishing grounds!

70 years later here is Clive setting up a braai at the tented camp, below these same hills….

Clive and a chipinda braai construction!

Early one morning here at the tented camp, Clive and I rose to the orchestra of  Giant Eagle owls and pearl spotted owelets  going to bed  and ground hornbills, Spurfowl and guinea fowl waking up.

Loud, snorting bloats of hippos serenaded us as drank our Zimbabwean coffee and watched the light dawn behind these same Chiwongas.

Clive later said to me that it reminded him of the verse in David:
“I will lift up my eyes to the hills from whence comes my power”

Clive’s whole life, his whole power, has been dedicated to wilderness and community conservation here in the South East Lowveld.
Clive has seen communities translocated to make way for wildlife, he has seen wildlife translocated to make way for cattle, and again he has seen cattle translocated to make way for wildlife!
Clive has seen rhino go extinct twice in his lifetime here  in the Gonarezhou.
It seems fitting  that we celebrate his birthday right here at Chipinda Pools In the heart of the new rhino protection zone  in Gonarezhou, as rhino reintroductions from Malilangwe, Bubye and Save Valley Conservancy are taking place

Thank you all for helping to make this surprise for Clive such a success!

Clive Stockil, my life partner ………..

In memory of the rhinos that were..

In care of the rhinos that are…………

In hope for the rhinos to come ……..

All my love and admiration, Lin……..

Lin Barrie ‘Black Rhino’, acrylic on canvas, 3×2 feet

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 abstract art, adventure travel, Africa, African child, African flora, African Safari, african wildlife, anti poaching, arid areas, art, bio diversity, Birthdays, bush camps, Changana people, Chilo Gorge, Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge, chilojo cliffs, clive stockil, community conservation, conservation, cooking, ecosystem, environment, family, fishing, flowers, food, Gonarezhou Conservation Trust, gonarezhou national park, great limpopo transfrontier conservation Area, landscape, Lin Barrie Art, lions, lowveld, musical instruments, Painted Wolf Wines, rhinoceros, rhinos, Rivers, runde river, safari, safari guide, Save Valley Conservancy, sculpture, Senuko, serenity, sharing, sunset, travel, wild dogs, wilderness, wine tasting, wines, zimbabwe, Zimbabwe National Parks and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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