Showing posts from October, 2013

What to do when a jackal steals your food

During this last week, a friend from CCF and I took a trip to Etosha National Park, the flagship nature reserve in Namibia.  It is famous for its huge salt pan that is over 100 km wide at some points, but also famous for the wildlife that lives there.  I had never been before so was very excited to go, especially as there is a lack of wildlife on and near my farm (partly due to it being poached out, potentially by the refugees at the camp just 15 km away….). On the day of departure Anja was packing some items in the back of my car and found a scorpion next to the camp food box!  She managed to get it out and I took a snap of it before we released it back into the wild away from our sleeping bags and mattresses – didn’t want to get a shocking surprise when getting into bed that night! We arrived into the park at lunch time and had a brief drive around before heading to one of the rest camps as it was far too hot for both us and any wildlife to be out at that time of day.  After having…

Rain, rain, go away, come again another day...

“Rain, rain, go away, come again another day”…..
……is not something you would hear a Namibian say.
This year marks the worst drought in the country for 30 years.  With a normal average rainfall of 400mm (the lowest in sub-Saharan Africa), last year amounted to 250mm.  That was after 5 good years of rains (average 500-600mm per year), so you would have hoped that the last few years would have been enough to stock the animals, plants, and soil up for any bad years, but alas it doesn’t work like that in this country.  Most soil does not soak up much water, but rather causes flash flooding, and because the sun is so strong here, the puddles are quickly evaporated and taken away to a different country with the wind.
Namibia is known for unpredictable wet seasons, where rainfall regularly peaks and troughs.  However, people are (in general) very good at remembering positive things and also very good at forgetting negative things.  How does this affect the country?  Well, as most of the lan…

Cows, calves and cars

Since my last blog, there has been an arrival of new milking calves, namely Jersey cows and Jersey crosses.  The Jersey calves in particular are absolutely adorable and look like little deer when they’re first born. I had fun yesterday taking some photos of 2 cheeky calves at the water trough, where one thought the water in the trough wasn’t good enough and instead decided to get the cleanest water out from the tap with its surprisingly long tongue! Amy then decided that she was too hot and had a bath in the trough. When I planned to do this PhD, I knew I’d need a car to drive around to different farms so that I could interview farmers.  I’ve never owned a car myself (although I was allowed to drive my sister’s old Ford Fiesta when I was 18) and have been reluctant to ever buy a car in the past as I deemed them expensive and unnecessary.  However, as public transport is basically non-existent in Namibia, the country is so vast, and farms are far apart from each other, it was essentia…