A farewell to Namibia

This will probably be the last blog I send before I leave Namibia.  What a strange feeling!  I’ve been living in Africa now for almost a year and have done so many things that I find it weird that all of it has happened in such a short amount of time.  Here is a rundown of the major events:

1)      Got to watch captive-bred lions take down and kill prey right in front of my eyes
2)      Helped to dart a fully-grown lioness
3)      Helped to re-release a wild cheetah
4)      Rode an elephant at night (and nearly got thrown off)
5)      Walked with lion cubs in the bush
6)      Walked with cheetahs in the field
7)      Saw a lioness take down a vulture mid-flight
8)      Saw a whole bunch of awesome wildlife, e.g. leopards, cheetahs, honey badgers, aardvarks, aardwolves, genets, a caracal, a serval
9)      Nearly got charged by a wild male elephant
10)   Saw some of the most amazing sunrises/sunsets/moon/stars
11)   Helped conduct a necropsy on a lion cub
12)   Helped conduct annual examinations on wild and captive cheetahs
13)   Helped monitor wild cheetah movements throughout north-central Namibia
14)   Helped monitor wild black rhinos
15)   Got to track a wild leopard in the bush for a whole afternoon and evening
16)   Got a stomach ulcer
17)   Got three styes in my eyes
18)   Got bitten by a cytotoxic spider
19)   Got into a car crash
20)   Nearly got bitten by a Mozambique spitting cobra
21)   Met a shitload of influential people (Claudio Sillero-Zubiri, Jonathan and Angela Scott, Luke Hunter, Gus Mills, Tom Lovejoy, David Youldon, Tico McNutt, Christiaan and Hanlie Winterbaach, professors from Cornell University)
22)   Got invited to the Queen’s birthday, where the President of Namibia was present
23)   Got funding for my PhD
24)   Wrote up my Masters paper, which is being reviewed in one journal and accepted into a conference
25)   Wrote up two papers for other peer-reviewed journals
26)   Helped supervise seven other scientific research papers
27)   Became in charge of the entire social media plan for CCF
28)   Was on the board and an active member of The Waterberg Conservancy, The Greater Waterberg Complex and the Large Carnivore Association of Namibia
29)   Met the most amazing people and hopefully will stay friends for life

I have probably learnt more in this year than I have ever done in any previous year of my adult life and I can safely say it has been an unforgettable experience.  However, I definitely feel that I have come to the end of my journey here and I am looking forward to returning to the normality of the UK.  And my first stop: Starbucks at Heathrow airport!

I probably won’t have much internet access from now until mid-August, when I get back from my overland truck tour of Africa.  I will update my blog once I get back to Europe with (hopefully) lots of awesome pics of the experiences on our travels!

Some highlights of my photos:


  1. You are one lucky lady. Are you smarter for all you got to experience in Africa or did you experience so much in Africa because you are so smart. You are so young yet had such an incredible journey that I am sure you will never forget. It was a pleasure to have known and worked with you. Best of luck Nicky.
    Beata, Montreal


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