On my recent trip into Africa on motorcycles, my friend Ray and I passed through Zimbabwe en route to Kenya, where I met with an unfortunate accident by hitting a cow on the road between Bulawayo and Hwange (Wankie). The hotel we were looking for was much further than we were told and at around 7pm that night I ran into a herd of cattle crossing the road. Needless to say the bike was beyond emergency repairs and would not start. Continuing the journey was out of the question. A truck stopped and informed us that there was a Catholic Church Mission Hospital and police outpost some 10 km up the road.
Ray then road on for help the hospital was so poorly marked that he rode a further 30km before he turned back. On his return he spotted ST Lukes Hospital and Church. He went and knocked on the doors and speaking to the staff they simply said: “that type of thing happens in Zimbabwe” and offered no further assistance. Even the doctor refused to come to the door to speak to Ray or offer any assistance knowing I may have been injured. The police were there but with no radio or vehicle to assist they were little more than useless.
While standing there several cars and trucks passed without stopping. Eventually around 10pm a bakkie with two young South African guys ( Chris Loggerenberg and his colleague Ertjies) who were working on contract in Hwange (Wankie) stopped to see if they could assist. After seeing the damage, they loaded the bike and Ray riding behind we travelled a further 350 km to Hwange. Chris was amazing. He gave up his bungalow so Ray and I could have beds to sleep on. Hwange is a small coal mining town but being in Zimbabwe, having my bike repaired would be impossible. The following day Ray then returned to SA without support and Chris assisted me in reporting the accident to the police. I was so thankful for his help as he had a good relationship with the station commander making the process painless. Chris then began making arrangements to have my bike transported back to S.A. He had my bike stored behind security at the coal mine and then out of the kindness of his heart, took me a further 100km to Victoria Falls so I could catch a plane back home.
I wonder what would have happened if Chris had not stopped. Here I am alone on a dark road with S.A. number plates. Surely any person with criminal intent would know I would be carrying Forex. We also found out later that Elephant, Hyena and Lion roam the area as the National Park fences are down. Locals in the area do not walk alone as a result. It seems Chris was more worried about me being mauled than being attacked for my money. Maybe that is why the cars and trucks did not stop. However I owe a debt of gratitude to Chris and Ertjies for their help. Two nicer people you couldn’t hope to meet. I was so taken by Chris and his willingness to make sure I was safe and my piece of mind that I managed to get his father’s (Rusty van Loggerenberg) number in Glentana in the George area and phoned him to let him know what a fantastic son he had and that I count myself very lucky that Chris was travelling along that road that night.