Day 34: Milibizi and Lake Kariba with the Tonga people
Up early and went for a run, around the neighbourhood, down the hill, and back past the turn off to Hwange town. It was an interesting run, and I met a few interesting people along the way…All walking to work. Gee, the neighbourhood looked scary: It was quite an affluent area, yet it looked so 70’s and lots of security gates / fences etc, around.
On the run I decided I was going for the tough road option (rather than the ferry), provided I got stories from the locals that fuel was available along the way.
Breakfast was an interesting affair, such diverse people around, and the ‘buffet’ was exactly what one would expect in a country where you can’t take the basics for granted!
Down in Hwange, petrol was in short supply even in this the largest town of this area. More fuel shortage stories for the road I was planning to go on, so it started feeling like I’d be forced to take the ferry. Ferry only ran twice a month and they had said the next day’s sailing was full, but they might be able to squeeze a m/cycle on. I’d need to present myself on the day, and see how the ferry vehicle loading went. So, thedecision was made I was to head to Milibizi, on Lake Kariba, and the departure point of the ferry. I decided to take the longer dirt road, that went through Tongan people villages. They being the tribe that had to unwillingly relocate when the dam was built.
Road along the way….such wonderful, ‘basic’ scenery…… Stony roads, with quite a few river crossings.
I stopped at a few villages and tried to chat to the people, but it was clear these people were really, poor and struggling. They offered me their local brew at 10am in the morning, and quite a few of the kids were already drinking, they told me they had bailed out of school and essentially they were bored and there was no light at the end of the tunnel…. When humans’ lose hope hey? It reminded me of the people in Siberia: Today is as good as it gets, tomorrow will be worse…..
I took the road to Deta, and was hoping to be able to get views / follow the Zambesi, but even a lengthy detour to an exclusive Fish Camp, only just managed to get me a glimpse of the river. Miomba forest everywhere around.
I made it to Milibizi, and to my surprise, there were very few people around, and I ended up being the only guest at the place I stayed. The Milibizi Hotel and Resort! There must have been 4-5 staff, all very profession and helpful. They told me that tourism had just stopped with the Zimbabwe financial crisis, and when the ferry stopped running regularly. Anyway, it was a very pleasant place to stay, right on the lake.