Showing posts from November, 2011

Life in Namibia

I am finally beginning to settle in to Namibian life now after a brief panic period not knowing at all what I was doing!  I arrived into CCF the day after the previous ecologist had left, so I have had no one to mentor me whilst here, which is a bit of a scary prospect.  I have also been pulled between two tasks whilst here:  going to lectures for my course on human-wildlife conflict and learning about the tasks required of me as the ecologist.  However, as 90% of my time has been spent in the course, I’ve barely had time to figure out what I’m meant to be doing elsewhere here.  I keep having the students and interns I’m meant to be supervising coming up to me to ask for advice, although I have no idea what their projects are on or how I can be of assistance.  I keep feeling that I’m slightly out of my depth here, but I hope things will get easier as the days go on.
Fortunately yesterday I was able to spend the majority of the day in my office figuring out where everything is, sorting …

Too much travelling

Oh my gosh, three consecutive days of travelling through three countries has really worn me out.  I had my last day in Zimbabwe on Saturday, where I spent the morning doing a lion walk with the youngest set of cubs.  It was nice to go out on a proper walk with them, as I previously had only done one training walk and a client walk, and that was just to collect spoor measurements.  We had a nice stroll in the bush and then down to the river, where the lions sat on a boardwalk ready for some photos.  It did seem a bit “circuisy” getting them to sit and pose for pics, but I guess that’s what brings money in to the Park.

The day before leaving Yvonne the new lion researcher and I took a canoe out in the morning and went paddling down the river.  It was extremely peaceful and very serene; I just wish in a way I had come out at sunset because I’ve been told the sun reflecting in the water is a spectacular site.  We spotted lots of different birds along the way, including some Malakite (sp?) …

Final days at AP

I now only have two full days left as the lion researcher at ALERT.  It is a bittersweet time, as I wish I could stay to see how the cubs in the Ngamo release site grow up, but I can safely say that I am not going to miss anything else about this place.  It has certainly been an interesting time here in Zimbabwe and I feel like it was a good experience for me to come out here and learn about this project, but I am ready to move on now.  I shall however certainly keep updated with the Ngamo blog to read up about how the new cubs are doing and will hopefully keep in contact with the new researcher about things.

Just a couple of days ago Kenge the new mother in the pride started to integrate her cubs with the rest of the lions.  She brought her two beautiful cubs out from their den in the morning and spent around 10 minutes with the rest of the group, before the cubs decided it was time to head back home.  The cubs are adorable bundles of fluff and it was so nice to see them fit and heal…

Exciting news!

Wow a lot has changed since my last blog update!  It’s funny what difference a week makes to the life of someone.
As I mentioned on my blog in the beginning, I came to Africa via Namibia to talk to Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) about my future PhD that I will hopefully be starting in September 2012.  I also wanted to know if there would be a possibility of me working there after I finish here at ALERT in March.  They said they hadn’t got any positions open at that point but that they would let me know if anything did come up.  I thought that was probably just them being nice to me and didn’t expect anything to come of it.  However, a few weeks ago they contacted me to say their ecologist is leaving next year to continue her postgraduate studies and CCF asked if I would like to take her position.  Of course, I jumped at the chance, as CCF is somewhere I have been longing to work ever since I first heard about it.  It would tie in nicely with me finishing at ALERT and would tide me ove…

Blood and guts

This past week has been a concentrated mass of carnage to the highest degree.We released 17 zebra, 10 wildebeest and 50 impala into the Ngamo site last week and since then the lions have been on an extensive killing spree.They have already massacred 2 zebras, 2 wildebeest and 4 impalas within the space of 7 days!This is bearing in mind that they usually make one large kill every 4 days.These lions have gone from being pretty skinny to FAT in less than a week and it is amazing to see how different they look now – and in fact how much more energetic they are.I watched Nala and Narnia (aka the queens of brutality) spend all day yesterday trying to hunt down anything that moved within 200m of them.In fact, between the first and second session, they had managed to take down a pregnant impala that they were busy munching on next to a waterhole by the time we found them.We only knew it was pregnant because half way through devouring it, Narnia pulled out a foetus and started playing around w…