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We drove an hour outside Bulawayo, beyond nice suburban homes of brick and shingle, to Matopos State Park. If you can imagine Arizona with elephants, rhinos, and Africans, than you have a mental picture of Matopos. Fantastic rock formations and solid granite hillsides, called whalebacks, rise from an arid landscape of desert brush, brown grass, scraggly acacia trees, and the occasional cactus-looking euphorbia trees. Our guide, Brian Ophel, leads us on walks inside the park. Like all Zimbabwe guides, Brian underwent years of safari training that culminated with a final exam of elephant and buffalo hunting. He brings us oh so close to the animals. He also answers our questions about wildlife and even politics. We learn that President Mugabe borrowed money from the US and IMF to spend on Congo's civil war. Why bankrupt his country over another country's civil war? To obtain diamond and mineral rights for himself and a few friends. We also learned that the US government is passing a bill, the Zimbabwe Democracy Bill, to ban Mugabe's travel and cancel Zimbabwe's debt once Mugabe is ousted. We're surprised the US is that involved - is there any mention of Zimbabwe on the home news?
Good rhino hunting! We tracked and saw thirteen rhino today.
At times we were close enough to smell their hot, grassy breath.
Matopos Park looks like Arizona with grazing rhino