Day 36: Terra Firma, again: Kariba Town, Lost in Time.
From the dam wall, I headed off towards Nyamhunga, the newest part the three distinct areas that make up Kariba Town. I passed the MG group heading a different direction and they all waved, no doubt wondering what it must be like being me exploring on my own! Signs directed me to the Kariba Country Club, sounding so old school colonial, I couldn’t resist exploring, and I wasn’t disappointed. It was just on midday, and after waiting for the place to open for service, I sat in the once magnificent bar area, but now in need of serious tender loving care, it had wonderful elevated views across the lake and also down to the fish farms. With no staff around I took the liberty of walking around the bar reading the notice boards, and looking at the photos mounted all over the walls. From hunters, to rugby players to ‘The Old Churra Bull’, a bull elephant with record long ivory tusks, that died in a courtship battle with another male.
Eventually an elderly ‘Rhodesian colonialist’ guy arrived and took up duties behind the bar. It was just me and him, and so the questions started, leading to deeper discussion and lots of stories. It turns out Kevin Maas, the most unlikely, multi-millionaire, and aged 60, this guy had lived a full on, entrepreneur / adventure life. He told me he didn’t need to work but loved challenges, and had taken on the job as Club Manager, not only taking no salary but actually picking up the tab for cash flow shortfalls. The guy told me stories of how he made his millions as a gold prospector, and how generous he had been helping those who lost everything in the 2009 Zimbabwe crisis. His stories entertained me, but behind it all I saw a man who was proudly driven to succeed, always leading by example and never afraid of risk or obstacles no matter how daunting they may seem. The whole club environment, complete with Kevin and the way he presented himself too me back to those Rhodesian days, and how it must have been when the colonialists were king, and the country was an economic success, and this club the place where the deals were done, and the mate ship shared. Gone is that all today, and Kevin’s goal is to try and get the members back and the club back to something near its former glory. I had this conflict within: This is a noble goal, but the odds seem very small, but the man is 100% committed, and he hasn’t failed often if ever!… So we shall see! After a very lively two sided discussion, we had been chatting almost 90 minutes when the MG group arrived, clearly I was on the normal tourist route, and I decided it was time for me to move on…. Kevin and I shook hands warmly, wishing each other well, and there a strong feeling of mutual respect for the quite different yet very challenging journey’s we both had ahead.
From there I went to the centre of Nyamhunga, a place for shopping with a surprisingly well stocked supermarket. I stocked up with stuff and then headed back to MOTH campsite, taking lots of detours to explore lake side resorts, boat yards etc….
Kariba town has wild Zebra grazing off the streets, even crossing the road and forcing me to stop once… Now that’s pretty cool!