It’s my first day in Zambia. It was a long but uneventful flight. No problems and I got away from the East Coast before the big winter storm hit. It was a narrow escape! It’s a 7 hour difference so there is a good amount of jet lag.
The group assembled early because the plan was to go to a small game preserve area and lodge that is called Lilayi. It is just outside of Lusaka. Traveling there I notice the lack of congestion, good roads and a lot of modern construction. It doesn’t look like there is much of a downtown. Things look quite clean and orderly. There isn’t the appearance of abject poverty although Zambia is considered a poor country. I understand that a lot of the population is subsistance farmers. Per capita income is low and the incidence of AIDS is high but dropping.
The lodge was very nice and served up good coffee and an excellent breakfast. After breakfast we loaded into an open Land Cruiser to take a tour of the game. It was nothing like the Tanzania savannah but interesting nonetheless.
The Lilayi Lodge
Some zebra action at the preserve.
The highlight of the trip was a stop on the preserve of a project that takes in baby elephants in distress, get them healthy and prepares them for release back into the wild. There are currently four baby elephants but they don’t turn any away. A number of them have been successfully released. The baby’s are fed from two liter bottle and gradually weaned. They are then sent to another preserve until they are ready for final release.
Baby elephants being fed from their bottles.
Baby elephants cooling themselves at the water hole.
After getting back from the preserve I got some rest and the group got together for dinner at a local restaurant. Work starts tomorrow.