Friday, July 26, 2013 – Hwange, Zimbabwe

This morning we went out on another morning game drive with our guide, Douglas. We saw an ordeal tree, which looks like a birch bark tree with a white trunk, but with teak-looking leaves. The ordeal tree keeps its leaves and bark because it is poisonous, so the animals leave it alone. If someone in the village is accused of theft, but denies it, the headman will call a meeting of the elders, and if the group decides that the accused is lying, and he still denies the theft, he will be forced to drink an infusion of ordeal tree, which will kill him. If he confesses to the crime but has a mitigating reason, such as a starving family, and agrees to make restitution, then he is set free and not required to drink the infusion. This is called trial by ordeal, which is how the tree got its name.

We saw zebras, elephants, gnus, warthogs, sables, and francolins. We saw a sausage tree. Douglas told us that the fruit of a sausage tree should be fresh when it is rubbed on a skin cancer to make it go away.
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zebras, with gnus behind
no gnus is bad gnus?

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termite mound

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ordeal tree

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female and calf elephant

Douglas showed us how you can take the upper jaw of an elephant and turn is upside down on a small stack of elephant vertebrae and use it as a toilet.
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Douglas shows us an elephant skull

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elephant bones

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elephant upper jaw bone

He also showed us how to make a bush throne. You use the pelvis of the elephant with ribs placed across the birth canal and an animal skin on top.

Douglas shows us how to build an elephant-bone toilet -- he puts an upper jaw upside down on a short stack of vertebrae
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elephant pelvis bone

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Douglas sits on his new throne --
it would be more comfy with an
animal skin placed across it

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elephant pelvis bone balanced on a short stack of vertebrae, with ribs placed over the birth canal to form a seat

Back to Camp Makelolo to get our gear together and fly to Victoria Falls. Sibs drove us to the airstrip. We had to wait for the little plane which arrived at 2pm.
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young hornbill?

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yellow-billed hornbills

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what bird?

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the communal "loo with a view" of the camp

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our little Cessna

We had to chase 3 zebras off the runway before the plane could land. Our pilot, Fungai, flew us to Victoria Falls. We flew northeast over many salt pans and drying ponds.
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the interior of the Cessna, with pilot Fungai

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dried river and a parallel road

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many dried ponds and salt pans

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Martha with pilot Fungai

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map of Victoria Falls showing our Rainbow Hotel

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we're back at the Victoria Falls airport