As part of our active safaris story, we chatted with Anthony Kaschula from Gonarezhou Bushcamps about walking safaris in this special part of Zimbabwe, Gonarezhou as a destination, and safari stories in this unique and beautiful part of Africa.
What do you love most about Gonarezhou?
The fact that the majority of Gonarezhou is totally pristine, untramelled wilderness of the purest kind left in Africa.
What makes it a special place for walking safaris - and what makes walking in the bush so special to you?
The fact that it is so vast and has such a variety of habitats and landscapes to explore makes it a very exciting place to explore as one has virtually unlimited walking options. What makes walking in the bush for me so special/enjoyable is the constant feeling of anticipation; one never knows what you’re going to find around the next corner, gorge, gully, ravine, or bush for that matter. The ground underfoot is our daily newspaper on which each animal that has passed has left his/her signature stating when, where, how fast, in which direction etc. he/she has gone and, when one knows just how much is there, makes one aware that it’s possible to bump into any one of them at any time...
Tell us the story of how you ended up in Gonarezhou. What drew you there? What has made your passion for it so enduring?
It’s a pretty long story of how I ended up choosing Gonarezhou as the focus of our tour operations but, save to say, the catalyst was an exploratory school trip in 1993 when I was a teenager that got me hooked on the place. The size of everything in Gonarezhou just seems bigger than anywhere else – the baobab trees, the sand rivers, the towering cliffs, the elephants, the endless swathes of mopane vineyards, etc. What particularly draws me to the place is the park’s elephants, which I have a very keen interest in. For decades, these animals have endured levels of abuse from human beings that no creature should suffer, so to see them finally starting to settle down is indeed a privilege. To spend time in the company of a wise, old bull in the twilight of his life and for him to peacefully come up to you without any aggression whatsoever is an experience not soon to be forgotten.