Zimbabwe has no currency of its own. Their official money is the United States dollar. The worn bills are never removed from circulation since they can’t print replacements. Tourists bring new money into the country. The government loves those $50 USD entry fees.
When the locals found out I was from Oakland, they asked me to come onto the stage and teach the locals a few dance moves. I obliged and they learned quickly. The buffet dinner after was amazing. I ate springbock, crocodile, warthog and mopani worms (fried).
The male elephants are solitary and loners. They are huge. The female elephants also have tusks. The elephant packs are always females and their children. The male elephants visit females at night as needs arise. They stay to themselves the rest of the time. Glad our Avis “whatever it is” can out run the elephants. They are also one of the Big Five. (Not the Avis rental)
On an evening drive (24 passenger truck) we came upon an entire pride of lions. This guy was lying in the middle of the road. Took one look at me (front seat) and licked his chops. Never felt so wanted. Funny thing, he could have hopped into the truck but they never do. Vehicles are an amazing barrier to all the animals. If you get out they will either run or attack.We followed him down to the intersection, peeing or marking territory along the way (the lion) (captured on video) and as we rounded the turn there were 4 more lions as my batteries died. Trust me.
Funny, we sleep within electric fenced compounds to keep the free range animals away from us. That is a hyena on the sign. This area of Kruger Park is blessed with a lot of hyenas. They will run around the perimeter fencing at night looking for a way in. Guess they like people. We were in the Free Range area of Kruger Park. If the animals wish, they can roam into either Zimbabwe or Mozambique. There are no border fences. The other half of Kruger Park is sectioned into Private Reserves. These Private Reserves are completely perimeter fenced with electric fences to keep the animals in. Each Private Reserve covers many square miles of territory. The animals are protected and controlled by the National Park system within these reserves and lead as normal of a life as they would Free Range. The government leases concessions within these reserves for the luxurious private tent camps. This is where the Americans and Europeans go on safari and spend $500-1,000USD per night per person to see the animals. Rumor has it that the big five in the reserves have GPS attachments. One should be guaranteed a sighting for $1,000 a night. We did Kruger Park like the South Africans. Stayed in the Rest Camps and took the same 3 hour long evening or late afternoon game drives for $25 USD per person. Our ensuite, air con bungalows with full kitchen ran $85-125 per night for two. Rest camps have restaurants, swimming pools, coin op laundries, general stores etc.