Marian Myers first knew she was moving to Zimbabwe when her husband revealed he’d bought them a house at Victoria Falls. Two years down the line she looks back…
I Have Seen the Sunrise in Zimbabwe is the tune played on the phone system of the safari operator in Victoria Falls. The first time I heard it I wondered if I would ever feel that twang and sense of patriotism for Zimbabwe that I felt for South Africa.
We had just moved from Johannesburg, where I was born and bred, to the very small tourist town of Victoria Falls. The reason for the move centred entirely around the fact that my husband, Mike Myers, is a wildlife photographer and Vic Falls meant that we were able to access the wildlife tourist areas in Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia fairly easily.
Moving home is stressful in itself; moving countries compounds that stress even more, but moving from a city to a tourist town in a country that has not evolved for the past several years, has been the most enormous adjustment. It has taken me the best part of two years to ‘settle’. We arrived in September, which is the month that precedes the hottest month in the bush. Temperatures hover around 38°C during the daytime and I learnt very quickly the importance of staying hydrated.
Everything was so completely foreign to me. Shopping is dependent on whether or not the truck has arrived from South Africa with the vegetables bought from market in Johannesburg. All meat is frozen and bought from a butcher who trucks in from Bulawayo. Wednesday is fresh milk and eggs day at the butcher. If you are able to get tomato sauce one month from the supermarket, it is most likely not going to be available when you need to replenish stock. And growing our own vegetables is dependent on having an anti-baboon shade house constructed.
All of this is so completely different from the leafy lanes of Parkhurst, with its energetic vibe emanating from 4th Avenue pavement restaurants and artistic designers that feed one’s soul. Our pressed-steel ceilings and Oregon pine wooden floors that I loved so much have been left behind for the tall impressive structures of a thatched-roof, bush home.
The corporate timetable has been replaced by schedules more in tune with the rhythms of living in the bush and this too has been a terrific adjustment. On our travels I have come across many women who, on safari, find they need more real information and so I have created a blog for girls (of all ages) travelling on safari as I wish to share my experiences and, hopefully, impart some well-learnt advice.
In my mix between city and bush, luckily I am able to travel enough to still get my city ‘fix’ and I love the sunrise in Johannesburg when the light breaks through the vast horizons to energise life in the city. In the wild, the roar of rubber tyres rotating over tar is juxtaposed with the roar of the Zambezi River crashing over the gorge of the Victoria Falls.
Finishing where I started this reverie, it may not be identical but yes, indeed, I have seen the sun rise in Zimbabwe.
The Girls Guide to being on Safari is on www.girlssafariguide.com and Facebook.