R Kelly

by Luke, in Zambia
29th September, 2009

I had a moment of crises today. It wasn’t so much the fact that the plane bounced in turbulence to the extent everyone banged their heads on the ceiling of the aircraft, nor the fact that the pilot said it was the worst he had ever experienced; it was more the fact he told me if we had been in a smaller aircraft it would have flipped us and we would have undoubtedly crashed. Whilst the pilot radioed through to warn all the other light aircraft in the region, I gripped the wing seat with white knuckles and wondered if there was any other way we could get home on Friday. Apparently not. Fantastic.


Kafue National Park is twice the size of Belgium. It is staffed by 250 rangers who work for ZAWA (Zambia Wildlife Authority). The money to fund the park comes from hunting quotas so it is one of those ironic situations whereby the hunters are conserving one of the last true bastions of African wildlife. Zambia is famed for its game and although we’ve only been here this afternoon we’ve already seen lots of fish eagles, hippos, crocs and some elephant.


Our first call was to help ZAWA investigate the sudden death of 35 buffalo found floating in the river. Not an easy mission but intriguing. It promises to be an amazing few days. Ever dutiful, Nick got a bit upset because we all refused to wear life jackets on the boat (health and safety strikes again) – but after the plane ride I think he’s going to have his work cut out on that aspect from now on. In fact, even he gave up on it on the journey back from the dead buffalo so I think we’re finally wearing the poor guy down. At least Bruce’s rendition of ‘I Believe I can Fly’ cheered him up again – more so when it was modified to ‘I Believe I can Swim’. Adam has it all on tape so maybe it will make the cut…


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