Browsing All posts tagged under »Congo«

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 […]

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 […]

Congo – Day 1

January 30, 2014

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The flight from Johannesburg to Congo is three and a half hours. Other than the air stewardesses I was the only woman on the flight which was practically empty. There were probably only a handful of us dotted about the cabin, all of the white passengers looked like they worked in the extractive industries and […]

Trophy Hunting

January 27, 2014

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At the beginning of the month I was approached by the news team at the cable channel Arise News to rejoin as a presenter. I did a small stint at the end of the summer but left after August to pursue other projects. It’s a news channel with a particular focus on African stories and […]

The Love of a Stranger – Bonobos Care About Others

January 3, 2013

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For the last month we have been reminded that Christmas is a time for sharing. But at the start of a new year how many of us carry this sentiment through the rest of the calendar months and how many of us would put a stranger before someone we know? Our natural tendency if we […]

Fish and Chimps – days 66 to 68 continued….

May 12, 2012

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When I started this study I was curious to find out what factors could be affecting the well-being and indeed the long-term survival of wild chimps in the Budongo Forest. I had no idea how many complex layers I would uncover in the process of probing and I’ve also come to realise there is a […]

Jasonga – Day 41

April 18, 2012

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It’s taken a while but I’ve finally had my first encounter with a pit-sawyer. It wasn’t hostile so I wasn’t chased out of the forest by people brandishing spears (stop panicking Mum and Dad!!). It was in fact instigated by me and the man I questioned is retired and pushing 70. They call him Jasonga […]