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Tales of a Vale, part 1

A tale of a Vale: Part 1 of 3 : This is a view of the Namitembo Valley, on the western outer slopes of Zomba Plateau. Posted especially for today, the International Day for Biological Diversity.

This spectacular scenic spot is less than an hour's hike from our humble home, nestled in its woodland sanctuary within the folds of the shoulder of this majestic mountain. Of all the many stunning views we are lucky enough to have within walking distance, this has to be one of our absolute all-time favourites.

One of the very few advantages of the current worldwide situation and the complete lack of tourists and travellers is that my wife, Petal, and I actually get to take out our dogs and hike together. One of us usually holds the fort at home on the range, whilst the other is out doing the rounds walking the hounds, and often gladly guiding our guests; so visiting this spot in tandem together was a rare treat for us, and fairly neat for us, a magical morning made for two. So, all in all, a trip to enjoy for my girl and her boy, and memories to make and remember, but...

And it’s also a picturesque panorama to post, an instant for Instagram, to share with friends and family, and guests both old and new and potential, but...

But, but, but...

This tale is also one of a lot that's wrong, and what we all need to aspire to; of what we need to achieve, what we hope and believe, will enlighten and lift and inspire you.

You see the scene you've seen whilst scrolling your screen is not the idyllic iconic image of nature it first appears.

You see, what looks like a primordial riverine gorge, an untouched wild ravine, is badly scarred by the hand of man. The whole of Namitembo Valley was, and should be, and could be covered in a canopy of Afro-Montane cloud forest; a dense, rich biodiverse ecology, an evergreen and ever giving source of life…

To be continued in the next post…

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