Ultimate Cat Experience
I know I have some new readers since the move over to this domain, so hello and welcome! I'm also taking this time to share with you the amazing things I'm going to be doing over the coming months. For those of you who missed my original post, I must warn you, you may be about to get very jealous...
This Saturday, my boyfriend Dan and I will be boarding a plane to Africa! I know that already seems cool enough, but it gets even better... We'll be flying to Namibia where we'll spend a night in the capitol, Windhoek, before being tansfered to Harnas Wildlife Foundation. There are now 3 Harnas sanctuaries in Namibia, but the one we're volunteering on is situated within a 10,000 hectare area and has been run by the same family for the last 30 years. During this time it has cared for and rehabilitated many thousands of orphaned, injured, neglected, abused or abandoned wild animals including lion, leopard, cheetah and many more. We'll be volunteering here for two weeks!
A volunteer feeding the cheetahs
Volunteering at Harnas means working hands on with these animals! Well most of them. The majority of the animals at Harnas have come there as either injured or orphened infants, hand raised pets people no longer want, or "problem animals" that have been captured or shot by farmers who believed their cattle were at risk. Some of these animals can be released into the wild, but sadly, the majority cannot due to their upbringing before they came to Harnas. Harnas provides a sanctuary for those animals to live out their lives in a comfortable African environment, and if it wasn't for Harnas, most of these animals would not be alive today.
Schalk, right (one of the owners of Harnas), and a volunteer on a lion walk
Having been a major cat lover all my life, the obsession not surprisingly spread to big cats too, so this will be the ultimate cat experience for me! We will be able to touch and get in close contact with the most amazing cats, not only big cats but small wild cats too such as caracals and the African Wildcat (of which the kitties in our homes are decendants from). AND, to top off my ultimate cat experience, the sanctuary is also home to over 40 domestic cats! Yay!
I've been planning this amazing trip for 3 years, doing my research, planning and saving. I seriously cannot believe its less than a week away now, but I am SO excited. I'm not sure what sort of internet I'll have available while over there, but I'm hoping to be able to update the blog and Facebook page at least a couple of times while I'm over there. I'll be sure to rock some Cat Tees while I'm over there too!
One of the resident cats getting some attention from Schalk's son
After our two week stay in Namibia, we'll spend a week in Cape Town, South Africa, before we fly home. This trip is going to be far too short. But on the other hand I'll be missing my own special kitties too, so I'll be happy to come home to them. While we're away, Bosco and Ollie will be staying with my lovely parents.
Ok, now that I've made you all green with envy, I'll announce the winner of last week's giveaway. Congrats to NICOLE DENARDO, comment number 4, you were picked using random.org. Thanks to everyone who entered and remember to subscribe to this blog (top right) to keep up to date on not only my African adventure, but for future giveaways too!
Marieta, owner and founder of Harnas, with Zion the lion