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For friends, family and the random search engine visitor. This blog started as an experiment in mobile blogging from my Palm TREO 600, 700, Prē, HTC Evo, Samsung 5, Pixel 3, Pixel 6 Pro. Now it serves as a simple repository of favorite activities. Expect bad golf, good fishing, great sailing, eating, drinking, adventure travel, occasional politics and anything else I find interesting along the way including, but not limited to, any of the labels listed here...

Monday, September 18, 1995

Africa Journal - Great Zimbabwe Ruins

Wednesday, September 18, 1995

The Great Zimbabwe Ruins

Up at 5:00 AM for a day of touring the Great Zimbabwe ruins. The itinerary says Linda Law will meet us at 6:00, but she’s MIA. We leave more messages at the front desk to try and contact her and at 6:15 we take a cab to the airport for the flight to Masvingo. We are beginning to wonder if the itinerary will ever coincide with the trip we are taking.


Air Zimbabwe flight 602 to Masvingo is a 5 passenger, twin engine, Beechcraft Baron 55. It is piloted by Annie Collins, also known as "Rooster". I don’t know why and I will not speculate. I am her co-pilot on this flight, but I am not paid for my services.

Prospah, our guide from the United Touring Company, meets us at the Masvingo airport as the itinerary finally intersects with reality. Our luck continues to improve as two other couples scheduled for the tour are no-shows, so we now have a private guided tour. We climbed the ancient trail to the top and return by the (easier) modern trail.

The ruins are extraordinary. Prospah immeasurably enhances our enjoyment of the experience. His knowledge and love of this place shines through everything he says. We are able to get a glimpse of the ruins as seen through his eyes and the experience of his life.

On the way back down, we encounter two red headed lizards fighting a battle for territory. We are fascinated and watch for about ten minutes as the fight moves from one rock to the next. One lizard has developed a technique of taking the high ground, then knocking the other lizard to the ground with a snap of its tail. Prospah says that he could sit and watch them for hours. I remind him that during the tour he said that for the people who built Great Zimbabwe, every event in nature had meaning. I asked if they would find meaning in watching the lizards fight. He said "Certainly, yes, but the old ways are being forgotten. For the Shona of my generation, the meaning is lost. In my generation, when we saw a lizard, we would kill it."


We eat lunch at the Great Zimbabwe Hotel. I have sadza nyama, a maize dumpling with meat and vegetable stew that is a staple in the area. After lunch we video monkeys and pheasants on the property.

Prospah then takes us to see 2000 year old cave paintings, and a beautiful chapel built by Italian POWs in WWII. Finally back to the airport, where Rooster swoops in to pick us up for the flight to Harare.

A great day. All is forgiven Andrea.

 This is a back-post / cross-post from my first on-line journal/blogging effort - a journal of our Southern Africa Tour in 1995. Originally posted to an abandoned domain (, the term "blog" had not yet entered the parlance. I am migrating the original posts to this blog. Links to the original journal Date Index or Africa Tour Home Page will likely eventually disappear. The images from the original post were graphics and screen caps from video which I am leaving in it's low-rez glory for historical integrity. My intent is to also add some of Sigrid's higher quality scanned photos to these blog back-posts.  The difference in images should be obvious.

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