Archive for June, 2010

Me an Helen with some village cuties

Malawi certainly is the ‘warm heart of Africa’, as the guidebooks say it is. We’ve been greeted everywhere with genuine warmth. After spending a night in the capital city of Lilongwe we made our way to Lake Malawi, which spans the length of the narrow country, to Kande Beach, a campsite midway up the west side of the lake. Upon arrival we were in awe of the lake and the size of the waves it manages to conjure up. I suppose it’s on par with one of our Canadian Great Lakes. I’m not sure how it stacks up size wise, but it’s ginormous and is surrounded by lush rolling hills.

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Lioness on the prowl

Although Antelope Park was full of horses and elephants to ride and other game to see, the real raison d’√™tre for the park is the lions. The Park is running a fairly new four stage program for breeding and reintroducing lions into the wild, and most of the activities on offer are designed to showcase that program. Meg went on a “breeding tour” to learn more about the system and meet some of the more mature lions. Her thoughts on the tour:

“10 years ago, Antelope Park was strictly a commercial lion breeding park, open to visitors as it is now. What that means is that they would breed and raise the lions only to sell them to the highest bidder when they reached maturity. They would usually end up in a big game park somewhere where some jerk-o with a shotgun and a pile of money could go out and shoot the King of the Jungle. For good reason, they were receiving a lot of heat for this operation and have since changed focus to strive and ‘save’ the lions instead. It’s controversial whether or not the lions do need saving. They’re not technically endangered yet because there’s still something like 35,000 lions on the continent, although one hundred years ago there were a couple hundred thousand. In countries like Ghana, where thousands of lions once roamed, there is only one left. Antelope Park will sell lions to Ghana once they’ve completed the 4-step breeding program.

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Meghan and Petals

After our visit to the Great Zim Ruins, we drove to Antelope Park in central Zimbabwe. We arrived to find a welcoming committee of drummers and singers, and were greeted with cold water and juice, and the piece de resistance, hot towels! It’s hard to explain what a luxury a hot towel feels like on an overland trip like this. I felt like I wiped a week’s worth of grime and sweat off of my neck and face, and felt like a brand new man. Yep, it was that good.

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Farewell Debs

Bye-bye Debs!

A few days ago we said goodbye to Deb, who was leaving the truck in Harare, Zimbabwe. Even though we only got to hang out for a month, she was a special and integral part of cook group “CanEngland”, and she’ll be missed. Safe onward travels, Debs! Hopefully our paths will cross again one day.

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