Olli is growing up so fast and keeping us very busy. He’s learning new words every day and keeps us thoroughly entertained. We are fortunate enough to have the good aspects of parenting without many of the stresses that can come with having a baby. Olli has been a remarkably happy and healthy little chap, and he has still yet to have to see a doctor. I put this down to a combination of luck, getting his vaccinations, a healthy diet and being constantly exposed to all sorts of mud and dirt on the farm.
Ollie’s latest adventure was a 10 day road trip to Zimbabwe. Of course it was an adventure and a holiday for us too, but it was a bit of a pilgrimage for Jen to introduce her family and friends to her new family. She has always wanted to take me there to give me an idea of where she grew up.
Our trip started with an overnight stay with Dale and Leigh Thomas in Nottingham Road. We then drove all day to Polokwane to stay with long time family friends, Viv and Carroll Bristow. We spent a few days on their game farm and “glorified zoo” called “Wild Thingz”. Jens brother and his wife Kirsty also live in Polokwane so we saw them while we were there.
From Polokwane it was over the border and into Zim to stay with her grandparents for a few days. This is where Jen grew up so we spent the days visiting their old farm and spending time with her grandparents. Their farm is in the south eastern corner of Zim. It’s about an hours drive along a dirt track through the bush to get to the farm 21A. Remarkably Brian has managed to keep the farm going all these years. Over the last few years he’s managed it from in New Zealand where he now lives.
We arrived on the farm as the final eviction order was given to leave the farm. The farm was being leased or used should I say, by another commercial farmer who was looking after the house and the infrastructure. The farm has now officially been stolen so we were there in the knick of time.
From there we went and stayed a few days with another Bristow family who are citrus farmers on the Mzungwane River in the south western corner of Zim. Remarkably they are still farming and the citrus industry in that area, for some reason has been left alone. They have obviously farmed through some tough times and their cattle and game farm was stolen, but the heart and soul of the business remains intact. These Bristows also have lions in their garden though these are genuine pets rather than used as a tourist attraction. The two lions Kingy and Tara live in an enclosure behind the house. It’s the most bizarre thing arriving outside the Bristows house. As soon as the dogs start barking, the Lions start roaring. Imagine getting out your car and greeting you are several yapping dogs and 2 roaring lions. Only in Zimbabwe!
not the most maternal and gushy granny I have met, but Olli followed her everywhere.
A beautiful Rhodesian homestead set in the riverine bush of the Mzungwane River. This is how I would define colonial Africa. Fantastic hospitality, beautiful settings and wild animals as pets.
I have a passion for photography, fly tying and fly fishing for trout in remote mountain streams that are seldom if ever fished by other anglers. Yes these places still exist. I have realised that where I fish and how I fish is pretty different from all the other fly fisherman I know and starting this blog is the best way I can share these experiences with others less fortunate in where they reside, or less inclined to wonder what lies over that mountain or up around the next bend.
I am dairy farmer in Kokstad in Southern KZN where we are surrounded by rivers seldom fished. It's also close to the Drakensberg and Lesotho which I think is the most beautiful place on earth. There are hundreds of small streams just waiting to be explored. All it needs is fly rod and reel, a spool of tippet, some floatant, a few flies, a spirit of adventure and a good level of fitness. Let the adventure begin.
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