Instantly the accuracy of GPS technology improved tenfold and tens of thousands of GPS receivers globally received an instant upgrade. Following this exciting development, GPS enthusiast Dave Ulmer decided to test the accuracy of his clever and now newly upgraded gadget by hiding a “cache” and encouraging fellow GPS-wielding explorers to find it, based on its co-ordinates. Thus, was the rather fun idea of geocaching born — and there are today, millions of geo-caches hidden all over the world, just waiting for the kid in all of us, to go find them!
We decided it was time to test the theory at the Blyde River Canyon. There’s a cache at “The Three Rondavels” viewpoint — which viewpoint was in fact closed, due to industrial action! Undeterred, most hearty tourists abandoned their cars on the main road, jumped the gate and went there anyway, ourselves included, and it was a beautiful long walk with stunning vistas along the way — a bonus in fact.
The exercise of tracking down a geocache amounts to nothing more than a treasure trail for grown-ups, evoking the same child-like excitement! They are hidden in places of interest or natural beauty, so in tracking them down one gets to visit some intriguing and lovely parts of the world.
We found our first geocache exactly in the vicinity expected, once again proving how amazingly accurate a GPS can be. It was hidden under a ledge of rock, concealed using a couple of stones and a piece of drift wood. It consisted of a small plastic container. Inside were the obligatory log book and pencil, plus a few little souvenirs placed by others who’d located it. We studied the logbook. People from literally all over the world had been here before us.
It was fun reading their comments, and we added our own and left our own souvenir — all we had to hand was a rehydration sachet, but good enough!
Geocaching really appealed to our party of three’s sense of fun and curiosity. We’re outdoorsy types to begin with, of course, but I can imagine this entertaining pastime has dragged plenty of those otherwise glued permanently to their computer screens, into the great outdoors, appealing to the technophile in them, not to mention, their inner child! So now, we’re fired up to plant some caches of our own. There are currently only 18 registered geocaches in Zimbabwe. Watch out for more! And to find out more, go to geocaching.com.