Browsing All Posts published on »February, 2014«

Indian Wedding Season

February 22, 2014

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It’s quite one thing to hear about elephants on the road, all dolled up for wedding season and another to witness it in the flesh. What a magnificent beast!

Indian etiquette

February 21, 2014

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In the last two months I have managed to be in four different continents (America, Europe, Africa and now Asia). I am in India, my ancestral home. I feel happy here, a lot of my childhood upbringing was steeped in Indian tradition and it makes me feel connected to the billions of people who live […]

From elephant poacher to protector, the pygmy who is the latest eco-guard addition to Congo’s Odzala National Park patrols

February 14, 2014

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The speed at which Brice Mouapele moves through the dense tropical undergrowth is impressive. The hot damp humid air is stifling, but Mouapele appears unaffected as he brushes past thick shrubs and jungle vines in his camouflage fatigues clutching his rifle. The 39 year old pygmy is the latest addition to the team of eco-guards […]

Bloody battle to save Congo elephants from ivory poachers

February 11, 2014

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As a conference on wildlife trafficking opens in London, Congo conservationists claim Chinese in the country are boosting the supply of AK47 bullets to poor communities to encourage elephant poaching. Odzala-Kokoua National Park is Congo’s biggest national park and contains one of the country’s most intact savannahs, as well as a vast expanse of equatorial […]

Missing a flight

February 9, 2014

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In all my 38 years I’ve never once missed a flight. In my 20s I had a few close shaves, but I always made it to the gate. The hairy moments were usually after a large night out where I had drunk too much, slept too long and left home too late. My best mate […]

Sign on the dotted line….

February 6, 2014

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Next week marks ten years of waiting by conservationists for an area of forest in Congo to be granted protective status. The verbal agreement made by the Congolese government on February 11th 2004 was to turn Ogooue-Leketi – a dense evergreen tropical rainforest- into a national park. The so-called promise was made after an iron […]

The American Embassy

February 5, 2014

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What are the chances of going to Congo and meeting a diplomatic in a dodgy bar? Well that’s exactly what happened to me on Monday night. The ex pat community is very small in Brazzaville and most people socialise over dinner and then go out for a few beers. Tarzan, the Brit and I headed […]

Gorillas and Witch Doctors

February 4, 2014

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Saying the climb down Mount Ngakah was difficult is an understatement. By the time we schlepped back to camp it was almost 3pm. I was absolutely starving and ready to collapse. Lord knows how my legs didn’t buckle in the shower as the ice cold water fell over me. The boys headed for the river […]

Lesio-Louna and Mount Ngakah

February 3, 2014

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This weekend Tarzan, the Brit and I went to Lesio-Louna. It’s in the province of Pool about 170km from Brazzaville. Famed for it’s striking landscape it is also home to a gorilla orphanage in the heart of a forest. We left the apartment on Friday at 6.30pm and loaded up the pick-up truck taking with […]