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Week 1

Almost a week has passed by and it's been packed with activity. Usually the day starts with a Lion Walk, either with the MKs, or the 2Bs. The MKs are four 15 months old lion cubs, three females and one male, and the 2Bs are two 18 months old male cubs. A Lion Walk is a 1.5 hour walk in the bush with the lions following and walking among us. The MKs are nice to walk since it's four of them but also because the two females that has been born and bred her in the park are friendly and you can touch them, give them a nice belly rub and stroke their back when they walk past you. The 2Bs are getting close to the age they are retired from being walking lions because they'll soon get to an age where they will be too hard to handle especially when there are clients/guests on the walks. It can be easy to forget that these lions actually are wild animals, they act a lot like really big cats. But we always have lion handlers with us and we've had an inductions in how to behave around them. There is also a 3 month old cub here which sadly don't have any siblings so she has no one but her teddy to play with, so we do cub sits with her, take her for a small walk and play with her.

First_Lion_Walk.jpg

We've also been horse riding and taking the horses for a swim in the lake, I've never swam with a horse before, hanging around it's neck while it's swimming. There are also four elephants here which walk around on their own when their not used for rides, so one of our activities is elephant herding, to get them back to their enclosures for the night. While we're out walking the lions or the elephants, or out on horseback we often come across game, mostly impalas and zebras. Apparently there are quite a few giraffes here, but I have still yet to come up close and personal with one. The grass is so tall at the moment that it's hard to see the smaller game. The tallest of the grass reaches above my head in places. We also have to take part in less pleasant activities like enclosure cleaning, meaning picking up the lions pooh and removing the bones and hide left over from the last feeding. It's a rather smelly job in the heat. You just have to take the good with the bad. The bonus is that we get to spend time around the big lions. There is a total of 104 lions in the project including the ones at the release site. But it's only the 6 walking lions and the small cub we are allowed to go near, everyone else we have to admire from a far or through a fence. Other activities includes boma, which is cleaning the elephants enclosures, that's not that bad ,it's just four of them and it doesn't smell as bad as the lions enclosures. Then there is meat preparations which means preparing the food for the lions, which can include cutting up a whole or any part of a cow. So far I have not had the pleasure and I'm not all that keen to do it either. I've also been on one night encounter, a night encounter is when we take some of the older lions out and go look for game for them to hunt while we follow them in a vehicle. There is also a day encounter, at a night encounter we bring a red light that reflects in the eyes of the animals making it easier to locate. I was half hoping that we didn't come across any since I didn't really want to see a kill, but I did want to see game. But the lions we took out is still a bit young and inexperienced so they were never a risk to neither the impalas, the giraffes or the zebras.

Boma_or_Bakari.jpg

I love walking the lions, watching them play and just studying them. They are such graceful animals, though not all that good at getting down off of trees they've climbed up into. And I love hearing the bigger lions roar, it's an incredible sound.
The horseback rides are nice as well, you get closer to the game on horseback that on foot walking the lions. And you have a higher vantage point so they are easier to spot. I've still to go on a elephant ride, which gives you a even higher vantage point.

Every Saturday we go into town to visit the orphanage, to spend some time with the kids.

Posted by RaijaKarma 02:41 Archived in Zimbabwe

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det ser ut som du har det virkelig kjempebra Tine. det må være litt av en opplevelse. misunner deg litt, men jeg får heller gå tur med K. kanskje ikke like spennende, men koselig er det så absolutt.
nå er vi nede fra hytta. k har det helt ok, litt sturing de første dagene, men nå tror jeg det går bedere. har kost seg i snøen og ligget ute på terrassen. god matlyst. løpetiden går mot slutten, det har gått greit. Mamma her: Jeg tror jeg vil bli turist/gjest der nede, du reiser vel en gang til??? Ja, virkelig misunnelsesverdig. Gleder oss over at du har det så fint. Håper bare at safariene går uten problemer også. Pappa gikk nettopp ut med Karma, jeg synes ikke hun har sturet mye i det hele tatt. Hun har vært mye ute, og hun er jo så glad i å være i snøen. Og nå har vi jo vært på hytta i 4 dager. Hun kan ikke ha det bedre, når hun ikke er hjemme hos deg. Venter spent på neste raport om hvordan du har det. Stoooor klem fra oss.

by pappa (og mamma)

Fantastisk! Artig å følge med på opplevelsene dine! Men pass deg for de løvene... :-)

by Bjørn

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