Meeting the locals

Lower Zambizi

46Had a male lion around my tent last night Roaring its head off ……. quite scary although I’m getting used to it now. Then a Hippo came out the water and the lion moved off.  Love it here, it’s Beautiful!

Swimming in the Zambezi was so much fun and an amazing experience. Swimming when there’s Hippos 100 metres away and crocs on the banks is kinda surreal.55

I’m leaving camp now and going to visit local communities along the river… looking at CLZ projects all day. Looking forward to it but no doubt it’s going to be heart wrenching and sad seeing so many people in poverty.

‘The Killing Hours’!

Lower Zambezi

second tent

I moved on from the GRI projects today and this is my first evening in the Lower Zambezi region where I will be spending the next week learning about the work of CLZ – Conservation Lower Zambezi.

http://conservationlowerzambezi.org/

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You’re not going to believe this but I’ve just been swimming in the Zambezi river at sunset (4pm to 6pm)…… The ‘Killing Hours’ as its locally known. There were loads of Hippos in the water and crocs on the river bank!

Big News… Congratulations Cosmas!

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Cosmas, Project Manager of ZPP  (Zambia Primate Project) has been nominated for a TUSK  Conservation Award! It is a very prestigious award and he is one of only 3 nominees. We had to celebrate… be rude not to, right?!

Check out the links below!  My sister Sue nominated him in February this year and we are all so excited that he will be coming to London to receive his award from Prince William at a black tie event at the Claridges in November!

http://www.tuskawards.com/

http://www.bornfree.org.uk/campaigns/primates/campaign-action/zambian-primate-project/

http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/605316/Prince-William-champions-of-Africa-endangered-wildlife

Lion Whisperer

Lions & Motorbikes
Lion Print copyI have now been given the nickname ‘Lion-Whisperer’… everyone at GRI call me the lion whisperer… those B@#*!*# BIG cats follow me around.
Last night at 7pm I was walking with one of the locals to the car park to move a motorbike for them, the rider wasn’t about and nobody else knew how to ride it so I volunteered… any excuse to get back on a bike hey ?…99
So we both have our head torches on and we are scanning the bush as we are walking, as everyone always does (safety first)… and then all of a sudden two eyes reflect from our head torch light back at us… Oh Yes… there it was, a female lion 40 yards away from us just lying down in the thick bush and looking us. The motorbike is still in its same place…!

Jeffrey

Jefferys story 1 copyWe just rescued a baby vervet monkey. He had no name so we’ve just named him JEFFREY (after my nephew!) Jeffrey was tied with a very short rope to a tree where he had very little access to shade and no access to water. He was situated in a tree above a bar that had music blasting out loud all day and night and there were lots of stray dogs barking at him as well as drunk and abusive people. We will now take him to the Born Free rehabilitation centre where he will be nursed back to full health and then released back into the wild.
Cosmos who is in all of the pics with me is the Project manager of the Zambia Primate Project (ZPP).

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jeffry the monkey copy http://www.bornfree.org.uk/campaigns/primates/campaign-action/zambian-primate-project/

Jeffrey is a lovely little thing but really scared right now and also quite thin.  He is in the back of the bakkie under a tarpaulin but he has water and food which we brought for him.

All good and feeling quite emotional…

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John the baboon found!

baboon copy

Cosmas found the missing baboon ‘John’ yesterday after a week of searching for him. He said when they found him he ran out of a tree and into Cosmos’s arms holding him tight.

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We toasted the return of John safely to his troop at dinner last night. Cosmas said the whole group were barking and screaming with excitement and joy when John returned. Cosmas and I leave for the Copperbelt region tomorrow morning on attempted primate rescue!!!

🐒

Bush Meat and Hippos

I just heard that SAPU (SPECIAL ANTI POACHING UNIT) had a successful raid last night, 2 guys arrested after 2 van loads of bush-meat were discovered.

Think about how many dead animals it takes to fill 2 vans (bush meat) … It’s disgusting but also very sad.

Just got to Mukambi camp – lodge… Stinking hot here and Basil the hippo is visiting the bar tonight!Hippo asleep copy