Somewhere close the end of August 2011 (if memory serves correctly), I boarded a plane on the way to Zimbabwe for a week of client-consultant-contractor networking. Our destination, a private hunting camp on a stretch of the Zambezi between Lake Kariba and Lake Cahora Bassa, which separates north-western Zimbabwe from Zambia. Two members of our party had purchased hunting concessions for a lioness and leopard. Secretly I hoped that the guy who had ‘bought’ the leopard would be unsuccessful, since they are one of my favourite animals; a real treat to see in the wild.
The rest of us were left to choose between accompanying a hunt, relaxing in the camp and Tiger fishing. I opted for the latter as I didn’t see myself waking up at 4am in the mornings to spend the entire day in the bush stalking big game on foot. The Zambezi scenery would no doubt be spectacular and something I’d kick myself if I missed.
Although I was excited about the experience having never visited the country before, I was also slightly hesitant due to the fact that I would essentially be landing in Robert Mugabe’s back yard. He is not the fondest supporter of whites and the British at the best of times, having passed land-acquisition laws against white farmers and dabbled in many other non-ethical practices, contributing to the imposed sanctions on the country by foreign powers. Some screws needed tightening somewhere. Travelling on a UK passport to Zimbabwe would be a little like sticking my middle finger up at the immigration officials as I passed through Harare airport (or so I thought). Continue reading