A Travellerspoint blog

Week 3

Meatprep and Marriage proposal

The last week at Antelope Park didn't start out too godd, the meat prep was just as dreadfull as I had feared. I was feeling sick the whole day, both before and after. The cold room is a refrigirated container, at the time it was holding at least two donkeys, I didn't enter to confirm is there was any other animals in there. One of the donkeys had been killed by it's owners neighbour when it wandered into his corn field. Instead of giving it back he killed it. And not in a nice way, by using an axe! No wonder I was feeling so bad, I'm overly sensitive to these things.
I didn't take part of the actual meatprep, I was standing 10m away while one of the staff was dismembering the poor donkey. He took off all the legs, the head and the neck and left the rest in the container before we went to feed the walking lions. Boma and Bakari got the head and the neck while the MK's; Meeka, Moyo, Mara and Kali got the four legs. Meeka and Mara ended up fighting over Meekas leg even though there was one for each, kids...

There has been a few highlights this week as well. I've had another fantastic horseback ride! This time it was just Didier and me. The scenery is amazing! We came really close to both zebras, giraffes and some female kudu. We managed to sneak up on the zebras and antered along with them when they took off, it's quite an experience riding alongside a herd of zebras. We did the same thing with the giraffes, they have a really funny way of running, long legs and long neck. My horse jumped a few termite mounds along the way, in the heat of the chase, it was fun jumping again, it's been 15 years.

Another highlight has been bottlefeeding the 2P's, Pakas 4 weeks old cubs. The cubs are taken from their mother when they are 21 days old. From then on they are bottlefed and exposed to people. I was so glad I got to experience it before I left, they only started allowing the volunteers to feed the cubs a few days before I had to go. There has also been two other litters born in the park the last week, both Lulu and Chemma had their cubs. The import permit for the cubs from South Africa came through this week so Lewa will finally have a playmate and companion.

I've also had a marriage proposal this week, the day I left. It was really sweet, a love letter for the road attached to a gift along with some words and frases in shona translated into english for me to learn. He really put some time and effort into it, asking me to bring wedding rings when I come back. He is the sweetest guy, but I don't think I'm quite ready to get married to someone I've known for three weeks and not even kissed. All though an African wedding would be fun. Might be somewhat of a culture crash. Men in Zimbabwe can have more than one wife, or rather girlfriends at the same time, but they can only be legally married to one. It's been the subject of many a lion walk and given us all a lot of funny conversations.

The morning of my depature we got up at 4 am and went to hear the morning roaring at the breeding program. That's were all the big lions are. A lions roar is amazing, I love the sound, it's so powerful. When they all roar at the same time it's like your whole body vibrates. I recordet the roaring on my mobile and if it turnes out good I'll be using it as the sound of my alarm clock. That way I'll wake up every morning to the sound of the lions roaring and it will always remind me of the time I spent with them. Thank you Evans for taking us at 4 in the morning!! I know you'd much rather would have slept.

It was really sad having to leave, I've gotten attached to the lions and to the people working at the park, they are all so friendly.
I had a good last walk with the Mk's the morning I left. But it was so sad leaving them, I cried my eyes out when I had to leave them behind in their enclosure for the last time. They are around 14 and 15 months old now and will have been retired as walking lions by the time I'm able to go back unless I go back in the next couple of months.

Posted by RaijaKarma 20:19 Archived in Zimbabwe

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