We’re in Zimbabwe at the moment. Yesterday we left Malawi and transited thru Mozambique to get here. Even though we were only there for about 4 hours, it still cost 20 bucks for the transit visa! The drives have been really nice. There are a lot of bush fires right now, and when we’re driving at night, the fires on the mountains look like lava flows coming from a volcano.
Coming into Zim yesterday was the toughest border crossing so far. The truck and all our bags were searched. Right now the Zim dollar is plummeting in value, so when you change money you end up with a pile of the local currency. We went thru a trader and ended up with a huge box of local currency that we distributed. I’ve got about an 8 inch thick wad of cash I’m carrying around, and it’s only equal to about 100 bucks in US dollars. Tomorrow we’re exploring the capital of Harare, and then we’re headed out to a private game reserve where they raise orphaned lions. Should be interesting at the very least.
Today we took a side trip to the Great Zimbabwe ruins. Zimbabwe means “stone house” in the Shona language, and sometime around 1000 AD they had themselves a pretty advanced city life. Great Zim is the largest of the ruins left behind. The construction was extremely advanced. The walls were built with no mortar between the bricks, and it was designed to fit into the landscape as much as possible. Defenses were abundant with lots of walls, and narrow approaches that an army would have a hard time crossing. The ruins have been abandoned for hundreds of years, but there are quite a few local monkeys that have moved in.