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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Kariba Wildlife



REMEMBER: When Driving or walking,  Animals always have the right of way

KEEP KARIBA CLEAN  Keep litter to yourself, in your vehicle or boat and empty only at designated points.


For any donations, help offer, more info, or information on injured animals please contact below

Phone numbers

Cavan Warren 0772 690 915 - KARIBA

Nick Grant 0772 607 214 - HARARE

Debbie Ottman Land Home 061 2342 Work 2764  Cell 0773 996 487- KARIBA

Sonya Mc Master Land Home 061 2488 Cell 0772 874 352 – KARIBA




That there has been an increase is beyond doubt.  Kudu are being seen more we are finding numerous small herds of Impala, Bush buck, Bush pigs, Warthog  ( When Domestic Hunting Dog Packs are not wiping them out !!!), Leopard and the latest - small Elephant Cow herd with their brand new offspring along with the larger Elephant Herd 60 to 70 strong that has passed through a number of times.

March 03 - KUDU SEEN

Sunera from Natureways saw a female Kudu in the morning on the way to Nyamhunga, Between Batonka and Cutty Sark turnoff closer to Batonka on the Nyamhunga side of the road. Hope she stayed safe !!!




Sorefoot –  Who was treated some years back for a very bad leg that was suspected to be caused by a snare and one of the group of Bull Elephants that roam between Muchirara and Nyamhunga area ,was seen in a terrible mess. Badly swollen front leg with a large septic wound as well as septic wound at base of ear and other parts of his body.

Quick arrangements were made, Parks and Wildlife permission given along with a Ranger collected, Andries Scholtz called in with Marnie Kloppers to also back up. The Elephant was darted, wounds treated, except for wound behind ear as unable to get to ear due to position of Elephant.  Antibiotic administered.

Communication and pictures sent to AWARE TRUST Veterinarians for advice on treatment for the Elephant and if further treatment required




The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way it treats its animals – Mahatma Ghandi







Mr S Chibaya 0716 058488 or 0773 507436



Cavan Warran 0772 690 915 - KARIBA

Debbie Ottman Land Home 061 2342 Work 2764  Cell 0773 996 487- KARIBA

Sonya McMaster Land Home 061 2488 Cell 0772 874 352 – KARIBA



3 March  - 1 snare - Platform north up to power line rd.1 snare recovered. Eland seen again as well as a herd of 35-40 impala 5 waterbuck.

4th March - 0 snares - From Shumba rd going West to Nyanyana rd. No snares recovered. Impala, waterbuck,zebra and ele spoor plentifull.

5th March – 3 snares - >From end of efluent pipe to Cutty Sark turn of, Thee snares recovered. Resident buff heard using this area No buff spore yet.


SNARES March 24 2014 .jpg


6th March – 1 snare - Mushuma camp to NAU/power line. 1 wire, no game movement in the area.


7th March – 0 snares  - Zesa (Mahombekombe) going east. No wire, Plenty human activity in the surrounding bush judging by litter, beer bottles  etc.


10th March – 0 snares  - From information centre to Charara rd, No snares.

18 huge mopani trees found destroyed to charcoal burners. Several  trees  still smoldering.  Little or no game movement except for ele.


11th March – 6 Buffalo snares - From Dumps to foothills in the west on to University rd. 6 buff snares found. No animals seen apart from fresh buff spoor, (resident herd)


12th March. – 1 snare - Y-junction NAU/Banana farm rd  going west to Chegaruwe R. One snare. warthog, impala seen.


13th March – 1 snare - Nzou harbour to power line rd. 1 snare. No wild life seen except for warthog.


14th March. – ILLEGAL WOOD REMOVAL - MOPANI TREES DECIMATED - 4 hundred meters west of First and Last Restaurant  to investigate new charcoal burning area. One burner arrested who immediately reported he had a friend south of his group of trees.  Patrol and ranger set off to make another arrest.  2  persons were then taken by the Patrol to Border Patrol to hand over for arrest and subsequent conviction.   1 youngster was caught last year doing the same in an area nearby.

Between 30 and 40  Giant  Mopani Trees have been decimated in this area


The previous day Parks and Wildlife had arrested 1 of this same team who was given a very fitting sentence.

Thank you to the relevant Authorities


TREES MOPANI  NEAR AIRPORT 3rd March 2014 .jpgTREES MOPANI  CRIMINAL  NEAR AIRPORT 3rd March 2014 .jpgTREES MOPANI  NEAR AIRPORT  March 2014  Burner prisoner.jpg



Mr S Chibaya 0716 058488 or 0773 507436



Cavan Warran 0772 690 915 - KARIBA

Debbie Ottman Land Home 061 2342 Work 2764  Cell 0773 996 487- KARIBA

Sonya McMaster Land Home 061 2488 Cell 0772 874 352 – KARIBA


15th March. – 4 snares - LLA harbour to Mopani Bay the Baobab ridge. 4 fresh snares recovered below Baobab Ridge. A few bush buck seen.


19th March. – 0 snares - Chengaruwe R. East  to NAU rd. No snares, warthog and 4 groups impala seen.


20th March – 0 snares -  Chengaruwe R, south then West towards Nyanyana camp area. Carcass of zebra found near shore line. Cause of death could not be determined +- 3 weeks old. Half devoured by predators.  5 warthog, 8 waterbuck and  20-30 impala seen.


21 March. – 0 snares  - Kabuli Area. No snares. Zebra and small herd Impala seen.


24 March. – 4 snares  - From just north of Garakai going west to back of Tamarind Lodges. 4 snares recovered. The area just north and west of Garakai

& the Universaty rd is another area being damaged by stone/sand people.

The whole area is criss crossed by vehicle tracks. There are piles of sand, bags of sand, piles of gravel and the beginnings of a quarry where the side of a rise has been dug into to collect weathered latreite type ground. Ideal for compaction.


SNARES 3rd March 2014 .jpg


25th March. - >From Chawara river upto main rd then west looking for injured Elephant treated 16 March


26th March. - Effluent pipe west to dump looking for injured Elephant. 

Meeting with Parks & Wildlife Ecologist re injured Elephant to seek approval from Parks and Wildlife to Collar Elephant  “Sorefoot” in order to administer daily medication as advised by AWARE TRUST Vetinarians


27th March.  - Search for injured Elephant , awaiting application to collar


28th March. - Search for injured Elephant , awaiting application to collar


29th March  - Patrol on standby  awaiting application to collar


30th. March - Patrol on standby  awaiting application to collar



ON TREES BEING FELLED -comments to Mike Garden

Thank you for continuing to send out your readers' responses regarding the removal of Cypress trees both damaged and undamaged. The various viewpoints make interesting reading and there seems to be overwhelming agreement that they should be removed. I am also keen to see indigenous trees planted more widely along roads, in public spaces and on private properties for most of the reasons already given, however, as with exotics, this must be approached with caution. I say this because it appears that some readers lump all indigenous trees together without regard to their suitability. For example, although many indigenous species are drought tolerant amongst other attributes, some popular species are naturally found in areas of the country which receive higher rainfall than Harare and which may also receive rainfall at times during the dry season. Planting such species in Harare may not be a problem if you can water them sufficiently through the dry season but, for many, this means accessing the city's underground water reserves. With what we are learning about the critical state of these reserves planting such species should be avoided to help save water for basic needs for all. However, there are alternatives if you absolutely have to have such species such as recycling grey water to use in the garden.

Regarding Jacarandas, whilst they are exotics I do not know what their water demands are. They obviously thrive in many parts of the country, even very dry places, and are certainly invasive under certain conditions. Since they are invasive I would certainly not recommend their propagation and planting except in the case of our famous Jacaranda avenues. Harare is famous for these avenues, the vast majority of which do not receive any irrigation unless someone is watering their verge, God forbid! I believe these avenues should be maintained and protected, and any trees needing to be replaced or gaps to be filled should be with Jacarandas to maintain the appearance.

Speaking of invasive exotics may I also add that far more of a problem than Jacarandas and being extremely invasive are the exotic Bauhinias (not to be confused with the indigenous ones) found in many locations along our streets and in gardens. Beautiful they may be in flower but look at how they are spreading! In much the same league are some species of Lantana, Wattle, Water Hyacinth, Pines, Eucalyptus, Cedrella (Toona cillata) and so on, and look at the problems they are causing.

Since I am adding my comments to the Cypress debate along with my views on Jacarandas and invasive exotics in my last email I might as well carry on! Just this morning I was reminded about the few mature Flamboyants growing at intervals along Sam Nujoma on the Royal Harare Golf Course side between Downie Avenue and Josiah Tongogara, which appear to have had a large peg knocked into the trunk below the main fork then painted white in this location. They also appear to be either weeping a dark sap down their trunks from these pegs or have been treated with something. The pegs and paint on each tree look too uniform to be vandalism of some sort. Might any of your readers or those in council and responsible for these trees be able to comment on this?

Thank you. Regards Fergus

Some Travel News

I did the KweKwe Lupane route on Saturday. Quite passable river bed where the broken bridge is, however only in a four wheel drive. The river bed is very sandy and loose. Regards Trevor


We did the route last week, the bridge is still damaged but there is a road made now just above the bridge, but you need a 4x4 as the "road" goes through the river bed and there is a lot of river sand.


We did it in 2x4 and got stuck briefly, if we had been carrying any weight we would have been in trouble. Hope that helps. Kind regards Nikki


We travelled that road today. The bridge has not been repaired. We crossed the sandy river bed without a problem. You would have to have a 4 X 4.


I drove that road back in December . Not sure what it is like now . I did here a few weeks ago that one of the bridges had washed away. Personally I would not risk it again. My 4x4 has not been the same since...






Newsletter No: 110

April 2014


P O Box HG 594 Highlands   Harare   Zimbabwe                                   The Motor Sports Club House,  2 Annan Road, Eastlea, Harare.

The Chairman and Editorial Team:

CHAIRMAN:      Peter Benzon                0775.009.218            

EDITORS        Mike & Pat GILL  (M) 0778.843.843 (P) 0778.731.288 

4x4 Club Website                   Face Book Site:           The 4x4 Zimbabwe Club - Zimbabwe

The 4x4 Club is affiliated to the Zimbabwe Motor Sports Federation - ZMSF

Our Club is a member of the Mashonaland Motor Sport Association Club House, situated at: 2 Annan Rd. Eastlea.   It is available for hire for weddings, conferences, kid's parties, 21st birthdays, etc.

News, comments and opinions expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily those of the Club or the Committee




THE EDITOR’S DESK        -   Michael and Pat Gill

We do have such a lovely sport and so do the Mountain Bikers.   We see parts of our country where mere mortals fear to tread.  We were asked by Alan and Sheryl Winterton of the MTB to, once again, do support for the Iron Will Charity Eco Challenge, in the Matopos this year.  We spent a week at Camp Dwala on Eastern side of the National Park in a World Heritage Site. A lovely site, five kms off the road near the Matobo Mission on the Old Gwanda Road, 60 kms from Bulawayo.   There are reputed to be in excess of 2000 ancient rock paintings in the area.  From there we bombed out most days to do control points and time the cyclists in, we spent one night on the banks of Mtshabezi Dam, another day up a  kopje to the Plaque to commemorate the battle of Nkantola in the Matebele rebellion dated  20th July 1896.

There is no power at Camp Dwala, they use inverters, solar power and generators and it was so good to be out in the bush again.  Which caused me to coin a phrase:  "Being in the 4x4 Club we see parts of our country that cricketers and rugby players are never privileged to see."  

Drive well; enjoy the wide open world out there.     Pat    



CHAIRMAN'S CHATTER:        -    Peter Benzon

The 20th HP Lubes Jamboree is drawing near and things are going full steam ahead in preparation. It is going to be a great event!

I was looking at buying a Toyota Surf the other day and in the process we noticed that the airbags had blown. It had not had any obvious heavy body damage so I was intrigued and did some research. I came across a story on the internet of a guy in his Surf. He was helping his friend cut down some fir trees. No problems until it came time to remove the stumps from the ground. They dug around them and attached the Surf using a chain. The first stump came out easily. The second stump was more firmly attached to mother earth. The guy tried once and it didn’t move so he reversed back a couple of feet and took off. As he reached the limit of the travel of the chain he came to an abrupt stop. The airbags blew with a massive bang. He was blown against his seat; the passenger airbag blew the plastic dash cover straight off and into the windscreen shattering it. Quite a serious "Oh Shit Moment" you will agree.

The upshot is this poor guy has to spend two grand on airbags for his car, not only that he has to replace the front seatbelts because they are equipped with explosive pretensioners.  And to add insult to injury he has to replace his windscreen.

So there is a lesson to be learned.   If your 4x4 is equipped with airbags do some research and find the fuse that will disable the system. When you are attempting a hard recovery remove the fuse. It may save your wallet and your heart!                    Peter Benzon



John PARKER:  John heard of our next expedition and decided this would be the life for him.  He is a miner in the Shurugwe area and drives a Jeep. 

Andrew WATERHOUSE;   Does anyone know Andrew, he joined us for the Ngomo Kurera run in January and regret I do not have a Membership Application form from him so cannot add him to our mailing list.                     Contact me:  Pat Gill 



David and Ria ROCK are on their annual pilgrimage to the north of Namibia and we look forward to hearing their stories when they return.

Pam and Bob Crook accompanied the Rocks but a g/box out repair to the crankshaft seal and a wheel bearing on their Landy caused them to return home. Sadly Bob's Mother had passed away too. 

Peter Ellis and Tammy:  The time bomb is ticking towards the wedding our chairman and the lovely Tammy Ellis on the 10th May. The air is almost palpable.  We wish them a long and happy life together. 



Water in the carburettor
WIFE: "There is trouble with the car. It has water in the carburettor."
HUSBAND: "Water in the carburettor? That's ridiculous"
WIFE: "I tell you the car has water in the carburettor."
HUSBAND: "You don't even know what a carburettor is. I'll check it out. Where's the car?
WIFE: "In the pool"




Dropped the cell phone in the pool?  Electrical gadgets do not like swimming but there is a First Aid you can try.  Not guaranteed to work but worth a try.  First get the battery out as soon as possible. There are several ways to dry it out so here are a few.

Store it in Rice for a couple of days, place it in the hot sun or under a strong light for several hours, soak it in Gin (Alcohol), Then find someone to check if it is repairable.




On checking the Nite Extreme entries I note a number of "members" entered who had not paid their 2014 subs.  You naughty boys, I know who you are and I will get you!!  Play the game. 




A HUGE thank you to Fuchs Lubricants and their team for all their sponsorship and prizes, without it this event wouldn't have been such a success. Our first major event of the year and what a way to start off.
Thanks to all the competitors, especially the ones from Bulawayo and Mutare.
Thank you to
Amelia Bennett for being Clerk of the course. To Roger Ellis thanks for organising the marshals, thank you to the marshals for keeping the drivers and public in check.
Thank you to my committee for their hard work. 

A big thank you to Mr Cruiser; Mica Q Hardware; Jim Perry Transport; Sendem; Supreme Butchery; Specialised Floor Services; Hukuru Chickens; Kiggen Construction; Stainzim; LR Manufacturing & Sales; Sawpower Blades (STIHL); Premier Auto; Prime Bond; Ezytrack; and Big Sky. 

Although named the Nite Extreme it started off with a Jamboree launch to thank all the sponsors of the forthcoming Jamboree in May.  This all took time and due to the competitors getting their cars to their respective test courses, and the marshals being briefed on penalties in the tests, some of us missed the fun and games with Castrol, again our major sponsor on the Jamboree. 

Two 'Rescue' cars, Mike Gill and Pete Jenkin, waited to pull cars back on their wheels or out the mud but, unlike last year, they had nothing to do.  Oh yes, several "Door handles, Roof, Wheels" did occur but all were push back by willing helpers.  I think the crowd enjoyed watching a car roll, get back on its wheels and continue with the test.  We had a very good crowd and I hear the caterers were sold out.

Results:     Class One - Standard and standard modified

1.       Alex Hawkins / Chad Bruford              Jeep

2.       Yesper Kirk / Matt Kelly-Edwards      Cournil

3.       Dale Kiggen / Geoff Clack                            Land Rover

                   Class Two   -     Special

1.       Adrian Watt / Jason Smith                Cournil

2.       Costs Dobropolous / Jason Landos       Jeep

3.       Mass Kirk / Thomas Kirk                    Cournil





Preparations are hotting up.  Course building days are getting closer.  A new repair centre is being prepped with a pit, cables laid for power and communications.  The grass is being cut and a hundred and one other things done.  This all takes a lot of work and we thank our hard working team for their input. 

Always remember the Jamboree is the only event in the year where we earn any money from the gate.  If you are looking for a job (voluntary of course) then we would be very grateful

for your help.  Contact Roger Ellis his details are below in the Committee List. 



Zambezi Expedition       12 – 15 June 2014 

Plans are underway and as soon as we have some concrete details we will let you know.  To date we have 23 entries.   If you would like to be on the waiting list please advise us by email.  This will be a true 4x4 social, bush event with wild camping but please no trailers. 



Watch out for flyers which go out before every event. 

Keep an eye on our Facebook site for Club activities.  

4x4 Club Diary   -      2014

Note the date changes in yellow.

These dates change as the year progresses, but flyers will be sent out before each event.

(A) Social Family Day. (B) Touring/Camping (C) Comp Car 4x4 driving.

Saturday       3 / 4 May                 Course building day                     (A)      Donnybrook

Sat / Sun       17 / 18 May                        Course building to fine tune courses (A)

Sat/Sun 23/25 May   Hp Lubes 4x4 Jamboree   (C)   D/brook

Thurs/Sun    12/15 June               Zambezi Expedition                       (B)       Escarpment

Sat/Sun         2 / 3  August            Bulawayo Jamboree                      (C)       Bulawayo

Sat /Sun        13/ 14Sept               Training day/ Junior Jambo         (AC)    Donnybrook

Fri/ Sun         26/ 28Sept               Bushpig                                             (C)      

Sat/Sun         1 /2    Nov                 3 hills                                                           (B)       

Fri / Sun        7/ 9    Nov                Mutare Jamboree                          (C)       Mutare

Sunday          7          Dec                 Christmas run                                (A)

Note some dates may be changed as circumstances dictate.

 Expedition dates are still under scrutiny. 

No doubt there will be extra Trail Drives fitted in for your enjoyment







In hindsight I should have posted my Facebook status as: "I've blown the head gasket on my 2000 XR3i" rather than "I've just buggered a 14 year old escort".
The police still haven't seen the funny side, my laptop's been confiscated, and the wife has gone off to her mum's.





CHAIRMAN                            PETER BENZON                            0775.009.218

TREASURER                            KELVIN WEARE                             0772.326.687

SECRETARY                            CAROL WEARE                                     0733.400.496

CHF MARSHAL/D.BROOK    ROGER ELLIS                                           0772.219.154

MEMBERSHIP                        WILMA HOEFNAGELS                0774.342.648

ENVIRONMENT                      MUZZA BLACK                                             0772.241.000

EVENTS                                   JASON YOUNG                               0772.918.878

EVENTS                                   JESPER KIRK                                             0772.414.281

EVENTS                                   MATT KELLY-EDWARDS  0772.384.404      

NEWSLETTER                         MICHAEL AND PAT GILL                                       0778.731.288 

JAMBOREE CHAIRMAN        TIM THORBURN                       0772.645.518      



To enter Donnybrook Park on a non-event day it will cost you $2 per car, providing you have you membership card.  Non-members will be charged $20 per car.  You must sign the book at the gate and put your name, your Club and membership number.   Do not pay without signing the book.

Please note:  If you wish to go to Donnybrook to play and there is another event on, then the organizing club can charge what they like for you to enter.  They will have hired the entire complex for that day. Please don’t try and argue with the gate attendant, they will just be doing their job.  Either pay-up or go away and come back on a free day. 



We have a Face Book site "The 4x4 Zimbabwe Club – Zimbabwe" which is used daily by members to keep in touch with photos of events, etc. 

Motor Sports Association Club House

MSA Membership: The Club House bar works on a Swipe Card basis and any member of an affiliated club can join.  Pay your $20 Club House subscription and get your card.  Bar prices are double for non-cardholders. 

Hall for Hire - Hire our affordable Club facilities for parties, Wedding Receptions, meetings, seminars, courses and other functions.  Assist us in this way to obtain funds for the Clubhouse.



Till next time.                  

Michael and Pat GILL

Phone:   04.494028    (M) 0778.843.843   (P) 0778.731.288