Showing posts from December, 2011

Servals, puppies, goats and Hi Fi

Our early Christmas party round Laurie and Bruce’s house was… interesting.  We decorated a dead and leafless tree, whilst I stood around watching people drink alcohol I couldn’t drink and eat dessert I couldn’t eat.  And then we were forced to sing Christmas carols.  At that point, I decided to leave.  Here’s hoping Christmas Day itself will be slightly better, although I fear what they may try to make me in the vegan department…  Salad and sauceless pasta, probably?!
After all the felid delight of last week, we also stumbled across (or should I say, nearly ran over) a small serval as we were driving back from a waterhole count.  Servals are smaller felids with spots like cheetahs, long legs and short tails – they look very out of proportion but are adorable nonetheless.  It was amazing to see one, especially as they are so rare and illusive.
I got woken up last night to the sounds of jackals yapping, hyenas wooping, dogs barking and baboons wahooing.  I then got up in the morning to se…

Leopards, cheetahs and caracals

I think I can safely say that the land within and surrounding CCF is full of more predators than I have ever lived close to before – and this excites me greatly J  Only last night, whilst walking back to my house from dinner, did I spot a large felid walk in front of me.  My first thought in the low light was that it was a leopard, especially as people had only just been talking about spotting a leopard about 100m from my house on two occasions that same day.  However, upon closer inspection, I realised it was in fact a cheetah.  As soon as I noticed the animal, it stopped in its tracks and stared at me.  I wasn’t sure whether to keep on walking or turn back to tell someone of my finding.  I decided to walk back to the dinner table to tell people, but after 20 seconds or so, started to run as I thought it may have left by the time I got back.  Only in hindsight did I think that it probably wasn’t the best idea to run away from a predator!  Fortunately for me, the cheetah was more scar…

Aardwolves, bug bites and rainbows

It seems that if you want to work in a conservation organisation in Africa you need to be able to work 80+ hours a week without any days off!  I was hoping that things would be a little more relaxed here at CCF, knowing that I was told that I’d be able to take 1.5 days off per week, but it seems that this is not the case.  There are people who have been working here for 6+ months and may have only take 2 days off.   Some of the staff who work on the cheetah reintroductions work two straight weeks of 18 hour days – how does anyone do that without dying of exhaustion?!  I have no idea.  I asked Laurie when was the last time she had a holiday in the last 10 years and she said “make that 40 years”.  I honestly have no clue how you can go on that long without needing some time out.  In any case, I am HOPING to take my first day off today.  I already managed to sleep in until 8.30 am, which was amazing.  However, I do have a small excuse as to why I cannot work today, in that I appear to ha…