Travelling & touring : Awed at Masvingo’s Hippo (potamus) Creek

First to sound the supplication were some traditional leaders, who were somehow keenly following the travelling and touring column

Apologies for embarking on an unannounced sabbatical, which has resulted in a deluge of requests from all and sundry pleading for this particular column's revival, which had suddenly gone into oblivion.

First to sound the supplication were some traditional leaders, who were somehow keenly following the travelling and touring column,  district based traditional chiefs who were keen to know what happened to the closely followed travelling and touring column,  which they claimed has in the past put the tourism industry in  the limelight.

Some of the issues, which they chronicled included the poor state of the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls highway, famous Wankie Battle, first tribe to settle in Hwange, Tonga and Nambya names of places  such as Lupane, Dongamuzi, Jotsholo, Lusumbami among others.

These places were extensively covered by Yours Truly in previous columns.

Others were also over the moon on government's official recognition of the Pupu Battle site, which has since beenupgraded to a monument, hence construction of a mural and other related features depicting how Matabele warriors under Mtshane Khumalo in October 1893 valiantly defended King Lobengula from early colonial settlers, who were bent on capturing the regent.

Yours Truly, however emphasised that since time immemorial numerous stories have been told and written by various media houses concerning King Lobengula's last stand at Pupu where he is believed to have disappeared and in the process eluding whoever was bent on capturing him.

It was only a matter of writing on what is described in newsroom lingo as an “angle”, which might have also resulted in Mtshane Khumalo being recently declared a national hero by the Zimbabwean government due to his exploits in leading the Ndebele amabutho (warriors) against Allan Wilson and his army courtesy of superior fire power.

Khumalo was an induna (traditional chief) as well as commander of the battalions, which fiercely guarded and protected the last Matabele King against enemy forces.

This long and unannounced sabbatical also drew the 'ire' of travel and touring enthusiasts who chastised Yours Truly for sleeping on the legendary job a far as the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Road was concerned ie its current sorry status which is in dire need of attention.

Talking of this particular road, conventional passenger buses plying this particular highway are now the preferred mode of transport by the who's who in the world of affluence.

It is now common to come across senior managers jostling for few available seats in public buses plying the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Road.

Some of the public transport buses include Stallion Cruise, CAG Transport, Extra City and Zupco, among others whose services despite deplorable roads are envy to many.

Huge kudos to 'cabin crews' of some of these transporters whose courtesy is beyond negotiating the deplorable and dangerous potholes, but affable customer service which left Yours Truly at a loss of adjectives in describing on such ingenuity.

Talking of the above mentioned buses, Yours Truly recently happened to be a passenger on Stallion Cruise going to Gutu communal lands as part of a lobola/roora (dowry) delegation.

During this particular dowry voyage, that is when Yours Truly was brought to his senses on the true meaning of the word 'stallion' as well as its cruise part courtesy of one Anxious Mashange, one of the so called ticket checking crew members. More on this exciting venture in in the next episode or instalment.

To say this Yutong kind of bus was cruising in a stallion style would be an understatement, especially to those familiar with the animal described with that particular eponymy.

Still on names, Yours Truly had a brief stopover at some place called Hippo Creek lodge in the same Masvingo province enroute to Chief Murinye's area of jurisdiction.

The purported brief stopover, however, later transformed itself the other way round courtesy of reception and hospitality related to our tourism industry made possible due to sight of a love struck hippopotamus which seemed to be on dusk stroll enroute from Lake Muturikwi.

It is considered some form of good luck when one encounters such animals embarking on such a venture. It considered a taboo just like coming across a so-called lucky ant.

As if that was not enough, Yours Truly was taken on a cruise of Lake Mutirikwi whose voyage was quite eye-catching, splendid and unforgettable.

The place is considered to be among the top 10 leading hotels and lodges within Masvingo, which is popularly known by the moniker Ancient City.

More on how Hippo Creek Lodge is among the top 10 places in Masvingo will be dissected in future columns.

Till we meet again in the next column.

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