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A little known safari secret.

Tucked away in a little known part of the African bush there is a monument to a man by the name of Rupert Fothergill, like the man himself the monument is quite unassuming but a trip to visit is offers a fantastic opportunity to enjoy some spectacular scenery and contemplate ones place in the world. A fitting tribute to an icon of conservation in Africa.

A trip to visit the monument is becoming something of a right of passage amongst travellers with a true appreciation for conservation. Rupert was known for enjoying some quiet time in the African bush and the location of this tribute to him reflects that.

Rupert was the head of conservation in the former Rhodesia and was tasked with rescuing the wildlife that would have been stranded by the rising waters of the Zambezi River after the construction of Kariba Dam. This conservation effort is unrivaled to this day in terms of its success in the face of the time constraints and the scarcity of resources available in a remote and rugged part of Africa. Operation Noah as it is known, goes down in the history books as one of the most notable undertakings in wildlife conservation ever achieved.

Many are familiar with Fothergill island on Lake kariba which also bears his name as tribute but it is only a select few, dedicated and knowledge

able guides who will be able to take you to this quiet part of the world. Tt is well worth a journey to see and become one of the few visitors to this ‘secret’ place.

It is located in the Matusadona National Park in Zimbabwe. The park itself has some interesting provenance. The name is derived from a Shona word which means falling dung. Dung is the excrement of herbivores mainly elephant and it is named because there is often sightings of elephant dung rolling down the mountains. At least that is one story. A lesser known version involves a young hunter out on his right of passage, trying to prove his worth to his tribe. Unfortunately he encounters a pride of lions and climbs a tree to get out of their reach, on his way up the tree he is overcome by fear and loses control of his bowels.

We'll let you decide which version of the story you prefer, from experience we can tell you that the second version gets more rounds in at the bar!

The Matusadona Hills

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