Hi Everyone!

Welcome to my first attempt at creating a blog!

Hopefully (internet connection pending...) I'll be able to keep you all updated throughout my travels and my news from Africa.

First entry will be from Zambia...

quarta-feira, 2 de março de 2011

Time is Flying!

Wowzers, where has the time gone?!
Africa has been keeping me busy and I have totally lost track of time!
Scary thought is that this time next month I will be back home. I can’t wait to see everyone and my girl, but just to let you all know, I may go into clinical depression when I leave here!
I arrived over in Vic Falls, Zimbabwe last Saturday (19th) and this week has flown by. Its been fantastic seeing everyone again and the lions that I walked in September (who are ENOURMOUS now!) Monde and Mvuthu are supposed to be 15 months old, but they are a tad large for 15 month old lions! I did get stalked and run at a little bit the other day by Mvuthu, but I stood my ground and he left me alone. However, turning around and seeing a male lion charging at you, staring you down, is pretty f**king scary!! Needless to say, Emski crapped herself a bit…
What an incredible 2 months it’s been. I will miss everyone here and ma lionsies something chronic. I have learnt so much and feel like a different person (again!). I hope the new ‘’family’’ I have found here, will have me back one day in the future.
All the lions in Vic Falls are great and the C’s (Chisa, Chundu and Chobe – 8 months old) are just too cute for words!
I will miss the people and the lions there very much as well, but one day I hope to be back.
Lots fun times have been had in Zambia as well. A couple of weeks ago, myself, Cara, Nix and Richard went to the Royal Livingstone for High Tea (Yummers!) You pay 20$ and its pretty much an all you can eat buffet of traditional English sandwiches, quiches, cakes, chocolates and all things yummy and calorific! Then it was down to the deck to watch the sun go down over the Vic Falls. Heaven!
Lots of lion walks in the sunshine! For the rainy season, today is the first day of rain we have had since my birthday at the beginning of February! Mornings have been cool, but when midday hits, it is super hot.
I decided to be an awesome intern a couple of weeks ago and cook my Emski Risotto for everyone in Dave’s house. Lovely evening until I fell…twice… The first time the chair I was sat on broke underneath me (no laughing!) and I hurt my ass big time! Then I was playing on an Xbox Kinnect and slipped and went straight down on my bad knee…ouch! I still have bruises and its almost 2 weeks later! And what was everyone doing? Laughing at me! Haha. No harm done, just a puffy knee for a few days!
So I’m now back in Zambia and Mama T arrives on Friday J Can’t wait to see her and show her everything here. Looking forward to seeing her on an Elephant – after all these years I cant get her on a horse, but an Elephant she wants to ride!
I’m working on updating pictures asap, so bear with me!
10 days to go until I start my journey home…
Until next week for my last entry!
Emski xx

sábado, 12 de fevereiro de 2011


Hello Everyone!

So Im almost 5 weeks through my stay in Africa! I can't beleive how quickly its gone. This time next month I will be starting my journey back home :( I will be so sad leaving Zambia as I've made some fantastic friends (both 2 and 4 legged!)

Have been doing so much I don't know where to start!!

My birthday celebrations were definately ones to remember! My day started out with a walk with my 2 favourite girls, Bemba and Bisa and a sunny start to the day. Then a group of us, the handlers/guides and ZAWA (Zambian Wildlife Authority) Scouts went on a snare sweep in the middle of the National Park. We took down 48 snares in the space of 2 hours! Its so horrible to see that this really does go on. We could barely see them let alone the poor impala/bush buck etc who are just going for a munch. Very satisfying to know know 48 lives were saved on Feb 3rd 2011 :) Then in the afternoon, we all drove up into the Dambwa forest for a huge braii and a bonfire. The kitchen staff pre prepared a feast for everyone and then we tucked in! Michael Jackson playing in the background, the sun going down, good red wine and great food. Then the stars came out , it was about 26 degrees and we had cake and marshmallows on the fire followed by ghost stories and drunken games. So much fun and one to remember!

Then last weekend I went out with my ''boss'' here, Cara and had a weekend of naughtiness! Saturday night started with dinner at Oceans Basket - incredible sushi and seafood - then we headed to the David Livingstone Lodge and The Royal Livingstone for drinks! Crawled back home at 3.30am! Then Sunday we went for lunch and I had a tour of Livingstone and climed the 'Big Tree' (yes, Emski climbed UP!) and sat watching the falls and Zimbabwe - heaven!

This last week has gone so quickly and I have been lioning lioning and a bit more lioning! One of the girls, Subi, up at Dambwa, a 4 yr old lioness (HUGE!) is hopefully pregnant so her cubbing den is being finished so she can have her first litter in private. We are still awaiting the arrival of our 7 new babies from South Africa. They are in quarantine at the moment, so hopefully I'll have some time with them before I leave.

This weekend off will hopefully be another chilled one, but I have to go back to the seafood place where I just found out they import...SARDINES AND CASAL GARCIA!!!

The volunteer house here is chocabloc, so its nice that I have my own place away from here as its pretty crowded with 12 vols!

I've yet to come face to face with one, but the lions are enjoying the buffalos in the area...a couple of weeks ago, one group was out walking and the volunteers had to climb up trees to get away from them. All good and well providing the lions don't decide to climb up after them...which is exactly what happened! No one was hurt thankfully and the buffalos also escaped with their lives this time!

It has been absolutely scorching here since my birthday with no rain and clear blue skies. Thankfully, the rains look like they are comming back for a few days to cool everything down. Middle of the days last week were well into the 30s and with no wind and super high humidity levels, we were all sweating like demons! 6am or at around 7pm are times when its the perfect temperature.

Anyways, I best stop writing or I will never get back to work. Off now to see the big guys out in the forest and take some data on them.

Missing everyone and my horse back home and wish I could bring you all out here.

Untill next time, lots of love to all from Zambia xx

P.S. I actually forgot the most important part of the week...the birth of Baby Ibo!! Nix and Richard (general managers) goat, had a baby this week!! The call came in and on a specialist intern work and off we went to see little Ibo(nes)...in the words of Cara 'GO GO GO''!!

segunda-feira, 31 de janeiro de 2011

Weeks 2 and 3 in Zambia :)

3 weeks of my African Adventure have passed and I am feeling so settled here J
So, what have I been up to? Lions, lions and more lions!
Week 2 we all went out to the Ngolide Lodge in Livingstone and had the most amazing Indian meal I think I’ve ever had. Yep, Indian in the middle of Livingstone! Big Indian community here and in fact, the whole LE site is owned by a lovely Indian family. After our fantastic meal, a few of us decided to go for a few drinkies in town – an experience! Lots of fun dancing in the newly nicknamed ‘Bingo Bongo’ club!
Spent lots of time getting to know the vollys and really get on well with them all. My address book is getting bigger, with new friends in Canada, Norway, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Australia and Zambia!
Livingstone town itself is not huge, but there are some nice places to eat out and to have a drink. The ‘Shoprite’ store is a big supermarket and can get most things here. Although brand named things are quite pricey, local produce is reasonable. I cannot get my head round this currency though. Zambian Kwacha. About 5000ZMK = 1 USD! So we have so many notes floating round in our wallets thinking we are millionaires! Found a wad of 50 ZMK notes the other day…total added up to about 1 dollar 20 cents! Changing money is a bit of a mission with lots of forms to fill in but after about an hour – job done haha!!
Elephant Research is also one of my favourites which is where we go out on the back of a vehicle for a few hours with head researcher Jacqui and try and track down the elephants in the national park. No elephants yet as some have crosses to Zimbabwe and Botswana and our afternoons seemed to turn into a game drive along the Zambezi! Saw giraffe, zebra, waterbuck, wildebeest, impala, hippo, crocodiles and monitor lizard!
2nd weekend off and myself, and 3 others (Seb, Sabrina and Henni) went exploring the Victoria Falls from the Zambian side. Incredible once again and I even though I had seen it before from Zimbabwe, it was still absolutely mind blowing. We were able to get a lot closer from this side and walked over a bridge (getting soaked) which is about 250m along the front of the falls. Then we found a path that took us to the top edge of the falls, just before it drops off and we paddled our feet in the Zambezi as we sat on the big rocks in the sun for an hour. No crocs down there, but lots of little fish wanting a nibble!
Then we went to the curio market and got ourselves some bargains! I told myself I didn’t need any more artifacts to bring home, but that idea was soon out the window!
From the Falls, we crossed through to the Zambezi Sun Hotel for lunch and an afternoon of relaxation! Lunch and drinks probably about 15USD so not too bad. Then the clouds parted and out came the sun for a good couple of hours. 40+ degrees I rekon! So the only sensible thing to do seemed to have a cocktail to cool down!! The Hotel is lovely, with Zebra and Impala just wandering around the grounds!  Then it was back to base for dinner and a wander down to Thorntree Lodge for a beer watching the hippos at sunset.
Week 3 started again with lots of lion time J One of our 13 month olds made her first kill this week and sent us all running through the bush following them on a hunt – exciting stuff!
Quite a lot of time spent up at Dambwa Forest with the big guys which I love and Tswana is fast becoming a favourite of mine – not sure how Id get her back home though?!
Had news last week that V had been kicked in the face by another mare at home and had chipped her jaw bone! Bless her…but thankfully Dr. Lars was on the case with my roomie and the QPA girls looking after her for me – can’t thank them enough as I was feeling so guilty that Im on the other side of the world! Latest news is that she’s recovering really well J
Everything is very chilled here and ‘African Time’ is often slower than Portuguese time!
The food here is fantastic and I haven’t had a single meal twice. Our chefs are amazing and cater for fussy no meat, no beans me unbelievably!!
I’m going to Victoria Falls (where I was in September)  to do some work with the cubs over that side on the 19th of Feb. Staying for 6 nights so needless to say I’m super excited to see them and everyone over there again.
For now, Im enjoying my day off sat in the garden watching Cara’s dogs attempt to take on the baboons…
Until next week J xx
Will try and add pics on here soon - net connection doesn't seem to like pictures!

quarta-feira, 19 de janeiro de 2011

Zambia Week 1

Yebo to all from Zambia!
Well after a one week, already so much to write about! This side is very different to Vic Falls, but amazing none the less. The people here are great and my Lion Manager Cara is awesome. After a quiet first week with the volunteers, we are now a fully stocked site and last night we had our first Zambian night out. Dinner with everyone at a gorgeous lodge in town then off for some drinks TIA style!
I landed on Tuesday morning (12 Jan) in sweltering heat to a very green Africa – a big change from the dry brown and yellow back in September. After a few adjustment days to the new site and routine, all is fantastic.
The site here is huge! I am staying in the staff section in a gorgeous thatch roofed cottage in the area they call ‘Bristol’. Have my own room with the bathroom and showers outside. Brushing your teeth outside at night and hearing the hippos nearby is pretty amazing. Not so much when you run into one…
We have 2 sets of walking ‘cubs’ here, the R’s (Rufiji, Rwanda and Ruma – 18mts old) and the 2 B’s (Bemba and Bisa ‘ 14mts old) and they are just gorgeous and Bemba is coming home with me in my case. Then out at the Dambwa site (release site for stage 2 which is enourmous) there are the 12 big lions. Subi and Nyika (breeding lionesses at 4 yrs old) then Toka and Zulu (BIG boys…) and then the lovely 8 girls (Temi, Tswana – who may also come home in my case – Rundi, Rusha, Kela, Kwandi, Loma and Leya) These girls are getting huge now – we cant go in with any of the 12 as they are preparing for stage 2 and plus just to say hi, they really would just flatten you when greeting you!
Last week, we spent an evening down at the Zambezi River (about a one minute walk away) watching out for hippos and crocodiles as the sun went down.
My first weekend off in Africa on Saturday and where did I go? – Victoria Falls! Had a brilliant weekend over that side with the old crew from September and the lions I walked with last time, including the 3 C’s who at 7 months old are going to be occupying a separate case for me to bring me. Hopefully going to be spending a bit of a longer stint over that side next month to do some work with those cubs and some research for the programme on those lions with their researcher, Wesley. It will be a bit quieter over there volunteer wise, but as I am a total cub hogger, lots of lion time for me J
As it’s the rainy season over here, lunch times (thankfully) are pretty wet for about an hour but apart from the first 2 days, we’ve managed to stay pretty dry! When the sun comes out it is stifling and in the 30+ degree temperatures.
I’m sure I have forgotten to write up so much, but will keep updating when I can!
Until next time, African Emski is signing off – SIYABANGENA!