I went on a reccy to Satemwa Tea & Coffee estate to establish the potential for a volunteer/internship programme teaching English & Environmental classes. I was shown around by the owner of the estate, Chip Kay, and it turned out to be a fascinating journey through Malawi’s history as Chip (who has lived in Malawi all his life) told endless stories about the changes and struggles the country has seen throughout the years.

It’s a very pretty place and goes without saying that the tea I sampled was amazing.


Bella & Simba, Inside & Out

Bella and Simba are LWC’s resident lions, both of whom had very rough starts to life. Bella came from a zoo in Romania where she was kept in horrendous conditions and Simba was a travelling circus lion in France and lived in a trailer. Both of them were rescued by Born Free, and sent them to LWC to live out their days in a large, natural enclosure under the cover of the African sun.

Though their troubled pasts are now well and truly behind them, the repercussions on their health status from this past mistreatment are ongoing and the team at LWC are constantly trying their best to make them as comfortable as possible.

Born Free recently sent out one of their top veterinary consultants to give the two of them full health checks to establish a treatment plan, and I was assigned to take photos to document the procedures and equipment that was borrowed for the occasion. They both endured full days under anaesthesia where their general body condition was checked, x-rays were taken and Simba also underwent an endoscopy. It was a tiring two days but incredibly exciting to be able to witness.

The health issues monitored and advised upon included arthritis, bone deformities and pneumonia but our experts have a full plan in place for the two of them and will continue to provide them with first class care so that they can live a happy life here in Malawi.

Elephants in Kasungu

Olivia’s last weekend in Malawi was celebrated in Kasungu National Park. We had almost half the elephant population of the entire park wander through camp on both the Sunday and Monday, which provided us with great entertainment and countless photo opportunities. Other highlights included watching Jurassic World, after recreated Chris Pratt’s famous raptor shot but with elephants, and sundowners on Black Rock.

Hyaena Cub

Last year, four urban hyaenas outstayed their welcome, so to speak, and it was decided that the best thing for them would be to relocate them to Liwonde National Park. They were captured from the city of Lilongwe (not easy feat!) and housed at Lilongwe Wildlife Centre until the time came to release them in April 2015.

Shortly before their release, much to the surprise of everyone, the dominant female gave birth to a cub! However, the goods news was short lived as mum soon abandoned him, and any hope of releasing them altogether vanished. Our staff here at the Centre stepped in to take care of the cub as the four-strong clan were transported to Liwonde, without Buttons.

Buttons has had a rough start but we have a small team keeping him fit and well for the time being and our Animal Care Manager, Jasper, is making every effort to arrange a future for him in the wild.