Business aside, my exploration was an eye-opener.

Business trips rarely afford you time to explore and experience a new city. My business was concluded early, and I had a day to explore and experience Bulawayo, the City of Kings, and Queens.

Though offered the option by the helpful fastjet representative to move my flight forward, I decline taking an earlier flight and decided to explore the city. “Can I at least propose a list of activities for you to do for the next two days? ”, she remarked whilst grabbing a piece of paper and a pen.

Before long, I found myself making my way to Chipangali Animal Orphanage. Upon my arrival, I registered myself as a day volunteer before the warden looked at me and said, “We must not waste time then, we will give you a brief and at midday take you through to the small cats sections”.

By small cats, I thought he meant orphaned baby lions, cheetahs, or leopards. My assumptions seem to have been confirmed when I said that is a beautiful baby cheetah, looking at this long-legged spotted cat walking towards us.

Holding his laughter back, Terrence our guide commented, “It is confused with a baby cheetah but that is a serval”. It was my first-time hearing of this cat. “Servals are found across Zimbabwe, and they prefer a mixed grassland as their habitat. They hunt mostly at night preying on birds and rodents” Terrence explained.

The golden yellow spotted cat continued walking towards us with its slender frame. Moving its long ears front and back it leapt on a rock and delivered a full view of its long legs.

“We rescued Sally, an eight-month-old kitten, from a snare near the villages. Kittens typically only leave their mother’s side after about a year. She was badly hurt and has since made a full recovery. Once cleared by the vet in the coming weeks she will be released in the Kazuma Pans near Hwange,” said Terrence.

I was asked to change the water bowl and perform other duties under the watchful eyes of both Terrence and Sally. Sally in the meantime purred seeming to thank me for the water. After Sally, we moved on to other small cats performing the same duty that I seemed to do well after my fourth shelter.

At day end, after saying my goodbyes to Sally, all I could think of was how elegant she was and laughed off what I thought was the origins of the catwalk in modelling terms. In my next travel to Bulawayo, I have already decided what to do in my spare time, visit Chipangali Animal Orphanage.