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Clarkson, May and Hammond filming The Grand Tour in Zimbabwe

by Staff reporter
21 Sep 2023 at 13:11hrs | Views
Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond recently embarked on the filming of an episode of The Grand Tour in Zimbabwe. The popular Amazon motoring show is entering its fifth season after a hiatus that began in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Clarkson disclosed their presence in Zimbabwe through an Instagram post on Wednesday, in which he, May, and Hammond were captured under the iconic Flamboyant Tree in Honde Valley, Manicaland Province. Clarkson captioned the photo with, "Good to be back."

A picture of the trio dining at a restaurant in the scenic Eastern Highlands also surfaced online.

The former Top Gear hosts were initially spotted at OR Tambo International Airport on September 17, disembarking from a British Airways flight. When a motoring fan named Penny Jane questioned their presence in South Africa in a post on X, Clarkson humorously replied, "Changing planes."

A crew member later posted an Instagram picture showing the wing of an Airlink plane, presumably en route to Harare, with the caption: "Hello Africa."

Clarkson has long expressed his affinity for Southern Africa, having previously filmed Top Gear episodes in Botswana and Mozambique, as well as The Grand Tour episodes in Namibia and South Africa. In April of this year, he visited a gift shop in Victoria Falls and informed surprised staff that he was looking for a gift for his newborn granddaughter.

For a significant period, an informal ban imposed by the Zimbabwean government prevented Top Gear from being filmed in the country. However, following a military coup in November 2017 that removed the late leader Robert Mugabe, Clarkson expressed his eagerness to produce a program in Zimbabwe during a December 2017 interview with Entertainment Weekly.

"I love southern Africa, so filming there is a joy. Now, fingers crossed we'll be able to go film in Zimbabwe next year now that that's become available," Clarkson remarked.

One aspect of filming in Africa that Clarkson particularly appreciates is the relatively relaxed approach to health and safety regulations. "They simply don't understand what you mean by health and safety," he noted. "You can do anything you like. Anything is possible. And it's beautiful, the weather is lovely, and you're uninterrupted by any of the things that plague the western world."

Hit shot … Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May's hit motoring show is in its fifth season on AmazonIn The Grand Tour, the trio embarks on adventures in various corners of the world, showcasing a diverse range of vehicles.

In the Zimbabwean episode, Clarkson, May, and Hammond have taken the wheel of a blue Lancia Montecarlo, a purple 1974 Triumph Stag, and a yellow Ford Capri RS3100.

Online fans have been engaged in lively speculation about the other destinations they may be exploring, with many expressing their desire to see them visit Victoria Falls.

"I was hoping to catch a glimpse of Victoria Falls, but it's located on the far side of the Eastern Highlands. Unfortunately, we have no information about their exact starting point or their final destination," commented @michaelloda9 on Reddit.

Another enthusiastic fan of The Grand Tour was impressed by their choice of the Eastern Highlands as a filming location.

"Nyanga is a breathtaking place, with its mountains, wattle forests, and pristine rivers suitable for drinking. In terms of scenery, I would compare it to Scotland, albeit with less rainfall," added @JimBean.

Interestingly, it seems that Victoria Falls might indeed be their next destination. An advertisement published in the local Chronicle newspaper on Thursday revealed that the Victoria Falls Bridge, which connects to Zambia and is renowned for bungee jumping, will be temporarily closed on September 30 for an hour.

The advertisement, placed by Emerged Railway Properties Management, stated that the bridge closure between 10.30 AM and 11.30 AM is "to facilitate a government-sanctioned filming project at the bridge." Is it a coincidence? It certainly seems unlikely!

Giveaway … A newspaper advert in The Chronicle newspaper says the Victoria Falls Bridge will close for an hour on September 30 – it is believed The Grand Tour crew will be filming in the area

Zimbabwe trip … Jeremy Clarkson buying his granddaughter an ‘elephant' on a visit to the Victoria Falls in April 2023. He posed for a picture with with Orange Elephant VF manager, Lyle Knox-Leet

Source - zimlive