Sunday, November 23, 2014


Having promised that I would spend some time showcasing the animals of Pamuzinda, I was thinking of which animals to feature, and it occurred to me that an awful lot of stuff here can really hurt me - and would love to do so, given half the chance.

So the next few posts will feature those creatures I have met in the last 7 weeks that can really hurt me. And where better to start than with scorpions? Because. . . . we got scorpions here - and like most things in this part of the world, they sure grow big!

On Saturday (yesterday) we hosted a wedding in our permanent marquee. As I will show in later blogs, we host lots of weddings (3 in the 7 weeks I have been here so far) and we have managed to get everything looking pretty snappy, if i say so myself. Below is the dance-floor as it was last night:

However . . . . while the guests were gangum-styling and macarena-ing, the staff behind the bar were oblivious to everything as their attention was taken up by a somewhat unwelcome visitor:

We managed to coax him onto a piece of standard A4 paper, just to give some idea of his size, and I placed a standard ballpoint pen next to him. When I say 'placed', what I mean is I threw the pen next to him from about 5 feet away!

I find the fact that his pinchers are hairy is a little disconcerting, don't you?

This is a side-on view which shows quite clearly the sting and poison sack:

I even played 'chicken' with him in order to get a bit of perspective . . . .

But the strangest thing of all is this: big as he was, his sting was just a fraction of the pain, suffering and agony that would have resulted from a sting from the little fellow pictured below . . .

Unfortunately I didn't manage to get something to show perspective, but this little fellow would have been not much more than the first 2 knuckles on my baby finger if his tail was stretched out. And his sting is much more painful that the sting of the big scorpionzilla pictured above.

And where was this little chap hiding?

In my bath!!!!

How scary is that? Imagine the result if I had come along and sat down in the bath in one of our power shortages, and got stung on my dangly bits? Hmmmmm? Well, I would have become instantly fluent in Swahili and Urdu, as well as suddenly being able to execute the most advanced karate moves and ballet jumps on the planet!

A really sore sting, as one of our staff can testify.

Soooooooooooo - if any of you ladies out there are getting injections in your lips to enhance your natural charms, and are looking for a cheaper solution . . . . give me a call.

This could be a whole new venture for us - 'Pamuzinda scorpion lips'. Has a certain ring to it, and lends itself to a great logo and marketing campaign! No?

Have a nice day!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Study this, then!

So by now most of you will know that I am with the Dunhuramambo Group, where I have taken up the position of Hospitality Manager. In our stable we have Pamuzinda Safari Lodge, Chengeta Safari Lodge, Shumba Guest Lodge, and then 5 luxury Houseboats on Lake Kariba among them Umbozha, Karabezi and Liberty Bell. If you have time, go and see our web page. Umbozha is a 5-star boat, with swimming pool, air conditioning, and superb furninshings.

At the moment I am based at Pamuzinda - where the iconic animal is the giraffe . . .

Pamuzinda is a thatched lodge, located in the Selous area of Zimbabwe. We are about an hour's drive from Harare, and perfect for folk to pop out for a day, just to escape the city. We have even had some people fly into Harare in the early morning, catch a transfer to Pamuzinda, and then back to Harare for their onward international  flights. Hopefully some of my old guests and friends from La Rochelle will manage to find their way out here - it would be great to see you.

The park here has elephant, impala, wildebeest, kudu, eland, lion, tsessebe, zebra, warthog and more. Generally folk come out for a meal and a game drive. The lodge is thatched throughout, and tastefully decorated.

This is my new home - and my eldest 2 daughters came and visited just after I moved in.(My youngest daughter was busy attending a swimming gala and developing measles, so she didn't come out). As the area is hot - with temperatures generally around 40 centigrade (104 farenheit), my home has a tiled floor, and thatch roof, keeping it cool on most days.

At the time the girls visited, they had important exams on the horizon - my eldest daughter was preparing for her 'A' Level exams, and so spent quite a bit of time working and studying.

Of course my other daughter Dayna was also preparing for exams - in her case 'O' Levels. She is writing 9 subjects, and so had a fairly extensive workload ahead of her.

As always, Dayna does things her own way, so it should come as no surprise that she has a slightly different approach to preparing for academic evaluation. This is Dayna in full study mode . . . .

Over the next few weeks I will spend some time showing you Pamuzinda and the animals here. Life in Zimbabwe, as always, will be a feature of the blog.

Have a great day!