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Posts Tagged ‘Kalahari Anib Lodge’

Zanib the plains zebra is lovingly cared for at Kalahari Anib Lodge where it has been staying in the boma since it lost its mother during a zebra hunt on a neighbouring farm. Zanib is bottle-fed with a special milk formula every three hours, and at lunchtime there is also a meal of mixed cereals with a food supplement containing molasses.

Zanib, the little plains zebra

The way to the heart, as everyone knows, is often through the stomach. Zanib thrives very nicely on all the food which she is given with big dollops of love. Therefore a few hearts will be broken in about four months when Zanib is old enough to be released into the wilds to join the resident herd of zebras.

A total of 23 plains zebras were released in Gondwana Kalahari Park in July 2006 under the Gondwana game programme. They seem to enjoy their surroundings: their number has more than doubled to about 50 during the past years.

Kaylain loves to feed the zebra foal

The Gondwana Collection bought the farm Anib in December 2004 and transformed it into Gondwana Kalahari Park. Sheep farming ended, interior fences were dismantled and waterholes suitable for game were established. Game was once again able to move about freely. Blue wildebeest, hartebeest, eland and giraffe have since been reintroduced to the 100 km² nature reserve. It is also home to kudu, springbok, Oryx antelope and ostrich.

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“It has totally taken us by surprise that temperatures can drop so low in Africa”, said Dr Hannah Welstead and Dr Reza Noori, two young doctors from Britain, while enjoying the warmth from the fireplace at Kalahari Anib Lodge. “Our coldest night was in the Kalahari where we slept in the tent at minus 12 degrees.”Originally they planned to pitch their tent on the farm across the road from the driveway to Kalahari Anib Lodge. Their budget was too tight for a night on a camping site, let alone a lodge. But the gate to the farm was locked. When Lodge Manager Jaco Visser came past and heard their story he invited them to spend the night, including dinner and breakfast, without further ado.

Hannah and Reza have been travelling with bicycles and tents since 22 August 2010. They set off from London, their destination is Cape Town. Both are doctors who have completed their state exam and a two-year medical internship. Before specialising and being tied down in regular employment they took a gap year for an extraordinary cycling tour with an extraordinary mission. “With this tour we are raising funds for OGRA, an organisation in Kenya which trains healthcare staff and builds clinics”, Hannah and Reza explained. “We maintain a blog about our journey and collect funds through another website.”

Hannah Welstead and Reza Noori on a fishing boat in Kenya.

The adventurous tour took the couple through France and Italy, by ferry to Egypt, on the Nile into Sudan, up the Blue Nile to Ethiopia and from there to Kenya. Hannah and Reza spent almost three weeks in western Kenya to get to know the OGRA projects. “Poverty is beyond words”, they summed up their impressions. “My mother, who came to see us in Kenya, refused to go with us on her second day there because she could not take the squalor and hardship.”

From Kenya they continued through Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Botswana to Namibia. France and Italy had been a highlight of their tour. They passed through in early autumn and felt as if in paradise when peasants permitted them to help themselves to nature’s bounty and pick apples, plums, figs, walnuts and other fruit. Other highlights were the grand landscapes and high peaks of Ethiopia, negotiating 300 km of desert in Kenya, crossing a lake in a fishing boat (full of fish) and the azure waters of sparkling, clear Lake Malawi.

Elephants always have right of way (Botswana)...

“Not to forget the massive elephants which we saw in Botswana from closest quarters”, Hannah and Reza continue their story. “It is quite daunting to encounter these giants when you are on a bicycle and there is no fence or the protective shell of a car.”The ride through Rungwa Game Reserve in Tanzania also turned into a life threatening experience. Because of the wildlife they had been urgently advised not to venture there. It was evening when they arrived at a place which on the map looked like a village. Instead it was a deserted ghost settlement and they had to retrace 20 km to the safety of the closest village as night was falling. However, a busy highway in broad daylight proved even worse than the wilds in the dark. The front wheel of Reza’s bicycle was squashed by a heavy truck which overtook the two cyclists – Reza escaped unharmed as if by a miracle. The truck driver did not even bother to stop.

Hannah Welstead in front of the Meidum pyramid in Egypt.

From Kalahari Anib Lodge the Africa cyclists continued to Keetmanshoop and on to the Fish River Canyon. There they were hosted by Cañon Roadhouse and Cañon Lodge before they set off on the last leg of their journey: through the northwest of South Africa to the West Coast and finally Cape Town. “Our flight back to London is booked for 23 August, exactly one year and one day after we started,” they said as they mounted their bikes. “It will be strange to return to everyday city life.”

Links
Hannah and Reza’s travelblog
Donations for OGRA

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The Soetdoringlaagte nursery school, situated in a poor part of Stampriet has had a complete makeover – thanks to the selfless efforts of several staff members of Kalahari Anib Lodge. The team of eight set aside three days in June to refurbish little chairs and tables and repair the handles of doors and windows. They also built a sandpit and a small field for playing soccer and basketball. The layout of the nursery school’s rooms was rearranged and all the walls were freshly painted in cheerful colours. Grade 11 of Elnatan School in Stampriet helped with the painting job as part of their annual social project.
The renovation effortwas coordinated by Dgini Visser, the administration manager of Kalahari Anib Lodge. She also raised funds for the nursery school. Assorted stationary, a chair for the teacher, a CD player and CDs as well as various materials for handicraft classes were presented to the school after renovations had been completed.Some 30 children go to the Soetdoringlaagte nursery school. They are lovingly cared for and kept busy by Rita Tjitendero. None of them is turned away even if the parents can no longer afford the fee of N$ 10.00 per month (equals about € 1.00). Rita started the nursery school on her own initiative and hopes to be able to enrol in further training at some stage.

The Gondwana Collection took over Kalahari Anib Lodge in 2005 and has since supported various aid projects in the local community, e.g. donations of clothing, toys and blankets for the needy in Stampriet and Mariental. In early June the lodge’s management was asked to hand over 30 learning aids for preschool children to the Soetdoringlaagte nursery school on behalf of Bank Windhoek and the Republikein newspaper. When the management of Kalahari Anib Lodge visited the school they saw that much still needed to be done – and rolled up their sleeves. Smiling little faces are the reward…

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