Okay so I am sure you are dying to know about our trip to Zambia, but more so you are anxiously awaiting our arrival back in the US. I think the safari was the highlight of the trip for almost everyone. In total we ventured on 4 safaris, 2 morning safaris and 2 night safaris. If you have never been on a safari in Zambia you are truly missing out on an epic experience. The animals we saw consisted of elephants, giraffes, puku, lions, hyenas, water buffalo, elephant shrew, crocodiles, hippos, genets, leopards, impalas, wart hogs, water buck, wild dogs, baboons and lots of birds. Now imagine yourself in a jeep with no doors and no windows. The morning safaris began at 6 when the National Park opens, meaning we were woken up at 5 am to get ready for breakfast by 5:30.
Most animals were within 6 feet of our vehicle, the leopards got even closer using our vehicle to hide as it stalked its prey. There are a few animals that deserve a special spotlight. The wild dogs for instance are spotted every few days. We were especially lucky because we saw a very large pack of the wild dogs and we got to watch them hunt the puku. The wild dogs are ruthless, when hunting they were searching for the weakest link to find the easiest kill. One even chased a puku off the cliff into croc infested waters
The elephants were really quiet beautiful when watching them dig for water or eat from the trees. We had a quite terrifying experience with one particular elephant that seemed to seek vengeance on us. We drove within feet of the elephant, clearly not thrilled, it trumpeted at us. If trumpeting wasn’t enough to scare Chelsea out of her boots the elephant continued to chase after our vehicle. This happened not once but multiple times. Being charged by an elephant is not just terrifying but in an odd way quite thrilling.
Hyenas I am including because they are a creepy yet a very clever animal. They prowl at night and have a weird way of slinking around. Fun fact is the female hyenas are larger than the males to protect from cannibalism during times of little food. The hyenas as described by Taylor are bear, leopard, dogs.
The lions were a highlight for most because they are more difficult to find since they are constantly are changing their location. We were able to find the lions on both night rides. There were about 5 female lions, 2 mothers, and 3 cubs. They are so graceful the way they walk around and relax, preparing to hunt. There will be plenty of pictures uploaded when we get back to the US so keep your eye out.
This week we also went back to our original outreach locations to do hearing aid fittings. It went rather well at both Chimteka and Dzaleaka. The children were out and about at Chimteka as always, making friends and dancing with the Team. At the Refugee Camp the team tested a young 13-year-old boy who came to the ABC Clinic the next day. He was so full of life and quite enjoyed hanging our with Jacey and Chris. Both teams were exhausted, but all the packing and scanning was completed, allowing for a day of relaxation.
Today shall be a day of packing and shopping before we have our celebratory dinner with the ABC crew. We shall be back on the 4th after 2 days of traveling. Wish us luck!