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SHARPE'S GRYSBOK ( 50CM) More stocky than the grey duiker, Sharpe's grysbok also has longer hair over its hindquarters. Its reddish-brown coat is streaked with white. With its short neck and long legs, this antelope has a high- rump posture when browsing. GREY DUIKER ( 50CM) A shy browser, grey duikers can go without drinking water for very long periods. The males, who bear horns up to 11cm long, tend to reside on elevated ground so they can watch over their territory. Females tend to stick to more densely vegetated areas. STEENBOK ( 60CM) Known for the black crescent- shape between their rather large ears, steenbok also have a long black bridge leading to their nose. Their scent gland is found in front of the eye - look for its black circular shape. Although usually solitary, mating pairs tend to occupy the same territory. Pamushana Lodge, which offers conscience- salving tourism for the ├╝ber- loaded. My eyes were out on stalks when shown my cavernous $ 800- per- night room, with its vibrantly emblazoned bold Shangaan motifs, luxury furnishings, multiple bathrooms and personal infi nity pool. The list of famous clientele at Pamushana includes Michael Douglas and King Juan Carlos of Spain. My evening game drive through miombo woodlands, with ironwood and acacia thickets framed by fl at- top mountains, revealed Malilangwe as something of a Noah's Ark. Committed to restoring the estate's biodiversity over the past 15 years, they've used some of their funds to reintroduce numerous species such as rhino. Other programmes include the captive breeding of roan, and research into wild dogs and spotted hyenas. As Malilangwe's core ethos is ' conservation through development', I joined project offi cer Shepherd Mawire the next morning for a trip to the surrounding communities who benefi t from the estate's work. We visited small- scale irrigation schemes and a market garden programme aimed at empowering local women. Our next stop was a child supplementary feeding station, which is currently feeding 22,000 youngsters daily. Created in 2004 in response to the malnutrition resulting from successive droughts, the programme provides schoolchildren and those under fi ve years of age with nhapi- tap (' sweetness' in Shona), a blend of soy- beans, maize, sugar and salt. " If the children start to understand the benefi ts of conservation now," said Shepherd, " they will carry this with them into the future." ? Mark Stratton travelled in Gonarezhou National Park and Malilangwe with thanks to Clive Stockil, Chilo Gorge and Senuko Safari Lodge ( www. senuko. com) and Singita Pamushana Lodge ( www. singita. com). Opposite page: Peering through the Chilojo Cliffs in Gonarezhou National Park Clockwise from left: Tourism revenues enable the Malilangwe Trust to feed 22,000 children every day; rooms with a view - Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge and Pamushana Lodge; Shepherd Mawire in the Malilangwe Trust's vegetable garden MARK STRATTONSINGITA PAMUSHANA LODGE CHILO GORGE SAFARI LODGE MARK STRATTON

Sentinel 28 Travel Zimbabwe December 2009 inosaur bones, prehistoric arrowheads and beads, and shards of beautifully decorated Mapungubwe pottery. History is everywhere, making visitors believe every unturned stone on Sentinel might just reveal some ancient secret. Despite its lurking paleontological and anthropological treasures, this 32,000ha estate, which borders South Africa, was once a ranch run by the Bristow family. And in the early 1980s they converted it into a venue for wildlife tourism. " We've got piles of elephants and leopards," said Colin Bristow of Ecological Africa, " but what makes Sentinel unique is its cultural past and archaeology." Oozing antiquity, weather- beaten sandstone escarpments form part of the geological Karoo System that was deposited some 200 million years ago. And after checking into one of the four comfortable stone cottages at the lodge run by Colin and his brother, I hopped into Colin's ' time machine' ( a 1950s series 1 Land Rover) and headed back to the Stone Age. In a rock- shattered valley where baobabs take perverse pleasure thriving in waterless aridity, I revisited childhood aspirations to be a palaeontologist. In a pit lies an impressively intact skeleton of a massospondylus, which dates back to the late Triassic ( 200- 228 million years ago). Its head isn't visible, but the dinosaur's long vertebrae, leg bones and five- digit forefeet, which possess a large, vicious- looking thumb- claw, are superbly preserved and exposed. Amazingly, there is still more to be uncovered from inside its prehistoric stony tomb. " It stood around six metres tall, had a long neck and tail, and was bipedal. A bit like a giant kangaroo," explained Colin, as I pictured a hellish version of Skippy the Bush Kangaroo. " But with that claw," he added, " I can't believe it was a herbivore." Although, judging by the way he enjoyed the dinosaur- sized slab of beef his chef served up to us for dinner that evening, I don't think Colin could believe anything was a vegetarian! He went on to explain how his mum found this specimen as well as the scattered remains of at least 28 other massospondylus in this valley alone. All of them have yet to be excavated. Elsewhere, we rattled our way through the millennia while crossing the strata on Sentinel's rock- strewn plateaus. At times, the area resembled a moonscape. We entered several prehistoric cave shelters, with the one at Penemwa hosting exquisite elephant paintings. I could almost sense ancient cavemen huddled around fires admiring Sentinel's big starry skies. Next, we stopped on a plateau strewn with shattered fragments of ornate pottery. Dating back to 1000AD, the remains were likely part of a satellite village of the celebrated Mapungubwe civilisation, which was located just 6km away in today's South Africa. Lastly, we checked out the remarkable caves around Tswaine, which house still- intact 18th- century sorghum storage jars hidden from invading Zulus by the local Venda people. The contents, preserved in the dry air, look as if they were placed there yesterday. The next invasion, the Bristows' hope, will be tourists. They're pinning hopes for Sentinel's success on a collaboration between Zimbabwe, South Africa and Botswana, which will form the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area. The project is in its advance stages and will link Sentinel to the Mapungubwe UNESCO World Heritage site. Mapungubwe's famous golden burial treasures could yet be Sentinel's golden chalice. F Mark Stratton travelled to Sentinel with thanks to Ecological Africa ( www. ecologicalafrica. com). Its head isn't visible, but the dinosaur's long vertebrae, leg bones and five- digit forefeet, which possess a large, vicious-looking thumb-claw, are superbly preserved. Amazingly, there is still more to be uncovered from deep inside its prehistoric stony tomb treasure In a distant corner of southern Zimbabwe lies one of the region's richest archaeological grounds. It's an extraordinary place to visit. hidden