ME AND MY CAR
We bought a Jimny because we loved how cheeky, petite and pretty it looked. There’s also just something about it – even if you only hop in to go buy groceries, it somehow feels inspiring to drive the Jimny!
Our Jimny’s nickname is “Mupanguri”, which is the Shona word for “explorer”. We have spent most of the past year in Zimbabwe, where we are working together on a construction project. We get 10 days off every three months, and we use this time to explore the country. Having our own vehicle with us has made this easier.
Travelling from our base at Shurugwi, close to Gweru in Midlands Province, we venture out for round trips ranging between 780 km (south towards Gonarezhou National Park) and 1 420 km (north-west to Vic Falls, where this photo of the Jimny at the Big Tree was taken). When packing, we usually drop the back seats to enlarge the boot space. Longer trips require more gear, however, so we installed a Front Runner Slimline II roof rack, which we use to carry storage crates and two 20-litre jerry cans. Because we had to leave most of our camping gear behind in South Africa, we usually stay in self-catering chalets to make things easier.
On the way to Vic Falls, we discovered Hwange National Park and loved it so much, we decided to add other national parks to our must-visit list. (The best moment in Hwange was watching a cheetah stalk a herd of impala.) Down south in Gonarezhou National Park, we needed 4x4 for most of the 36 km track between the campsite at Chipinda Pools and the stunning Chilojo Cliffs. (Deep sand, rocks, inclines…)
We also visited Mana Pools and Chinhoyi Caves in the north of the country. There are lots of elephant at Mana. One time, while we were driving along a narrow road, we stopped when we heard crashing branches. We wanted the elephants to pass unhindered, but one ellie stopped in the road and swung her trunk and flapped her ears at us. We got out of there chop-chop. Watching in the rear-view mirror, we saw the reason for her distress – her little one was hot on her heels.