Introducing Jackie

This is young 4 week old Jackie.

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On an evening in March,  Jack the ranger was on the banks of the Lower Zambezi in Zambia cleaning his boat when he felt a thump against the side of it. He looked over to see a baby hippo staring up at him still with the umbilical cord attached.  After observing the baby for some time, it was apparent there was no mother anywhere to be seen, so rapid measures were taken to ensure the survival of little 2 week old Jackie.

OAT (Olsen Animal Trust) are funding the costs associated with the care of this gorgeous baby and she is now being taken care of by an amazing volunteer who has a beautiful plot on the Zambezi River. Jackie has a team of devoted carers 24 hours a day who are hand rearing her and she will be monitored by GRI’s vet on a regular basis to ensure the best possible care.

It is through the combined efforts of CLZ (Conservation Lower Zambezi) , GRI (Game Rangers International) Chipembele and OAT that, when Jackie is old enough, she will hopefully be able to return to the wild where she belongs.

Next week I will be travelling down to the Lower Zambezi to visit Jackie and her carers in person.  Can’t wait!  I will share more details and photos when I get there.

By the way she was originally called Jack, but after further examination she is now Jackie. 😉

Man v Wildlife conflict – KARIBA

En route from Tikki Hywood Trust to visit Mana Pools region I stopped off to see Kariba Animal Welfare Fund Trust in Kariba.  You won’t believe this but Kariba is a built up area and lions were just over the garden wall from Debbie’s house. Debbie is the founder of the trust.

Kariba Animal Welfare Fund Trust – KAWFT

These lions are a problem pride that are hanging about at the moment, they roam around the town at night hunting and killings dogs, unbelievable really but true 😳. In the past many humans have also been killed 😀

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This is a major human / wildlife conflict area, the worst I’ve seen. I arrived in Kariba at 8pm last night and was taken straight out by Kariba Animal Welfare to elephants that were passing by the Kariba dam and coming into conflict with humans walking home from work. Unbelievable sightings.




Bedtime Story

So at the end of another amazing day in Africa, and my last day in Zimbabwe, I’ve just done the final night time rounds with Lisa (CEO of Tikki Hywood Trust) checking on all the rescue animals (10:30pm)…

the following happened:

1) got shocked by the  bloody electric fence 😳😳😳😳

2) the female Serval stalked me and mock charged me 😳 (nice)

3) the white tailed Mongoose tried to attack me through the fence 😳

4) one of the bat eared foxes bit me twice 😳😳😳 (nice)

5) but finally and with my favourite animal here, Hooch the African wild cat. I lay on the floor and she just walked around me and around me rubbing herself all over me whilst I stroked and fussed her into a Frizzy Frenzy…….. she is such a Beautiful cat and I will miss her 😥😪.

As lovely as it is interacting with these wild animals, this sort of thing is always kept to a minimum as hopefully one day, as many of them as possible will go back to the wild.

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Next stop…..Zambia


Amazing Pangolin

Walking with Pangolin

My Tikki Hywood visit is sadly coming to an end, but my activities over the last few days have been incredible.

Pangolin are now one of the most endangered species in Africa as sadly they are poached for their scales that are used for traditional Chinese medicine and their meat is considered a delicacy.  These Pangolin have been rescued or confiscated from poachers and are being rehabilitated by the Tikki Hywood team before they are released back into the wild.022 copy

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I have just come back from walking in the bush with 5 rescued Pangolin’s. This is part of a daily routine carried out by the amazing team of carers here at Tikki Hywood.

I used to believe riding motorbikes was the BEST experience a human can have with their clothes on… ……but not any more…

That was the most AMAZING EXPERIENCE I HAVE EVER HAD!   Speechless 😳😳😳.

Check out Tikki Hywood’s website



I have bought a load of footballs to Africa to give to various families / communities etc. Here is a clip of the Pangolin carers kids having a kick about with me…


One more day left with Tikki Hywood Trust.   

Tikki Hywood Trust – Zimbabwe

I’m still speechless and totally overwhelmed by the amazing Lisa Hywood and her team of animal carers. Really nice to see the smaller wildlife species being given the care and attention they deserve.

I hope to find the words soon to share my feelings but for now here are some of the animals I’ve met who are currently being rehabilitated at the Tikki Hywood Trust. Every effort is made to return them back to the wild as soon as possible.

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I’m Totally blown away and have a large lump in my throat mostly of the time …😳😳😳😳😳😳

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Itchy Feet!

This ‘Oke’ is off again! It’s time for me to get back out there and see all the exciting things that are happening with our partner projects on the ground in Africa.

I’m going to visit some of the amazing and inspirational projects we support – first stop Zimbabwe, then on to Zambia before heading for Malawi.

I’ll be blogging all the way so don’t forget to click follow so you can watch my journey unfold. You will read about some extraordinary people and animals and share with me some unforgettable experiences as I meet and work with some of the people who make a real difference to the lives and the future of animals.

I’ve packed my bags, printed off my boarding pass and off I go on a new adventure. Can’t wait to get stuck in. Watch this space.


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