Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Easter and elephants*

Over Easter weekend I travelled across some of northern Nigeria with two other VSO volunteers Richard and Elizabeth. We left Kaduna on Friday afternoon - with an odd assortment of luggage items including a bottle of gin, motorcycle helmet and a kitten and returned on Easter Monday minus all said items, with some fun stories to tell.

On Friday night we stayed in Kano with Sophie, where we safely delivered the kitten and bottle of gin, in return for dinner (not of the kitten) mangoes and gin & tonics. Here's the kitten in it's basket on arrival, with a crowd of fascinated children...and Richard.

On Saturday we travelled to Bauchi, where we stayed with the fabulous Bauchi Boys, aka Father Leo and Noel, Irish priests who run a youth project and have been in Nigeria for 25 years. They have guest rooms where they put up (with) penniless VSOs... and kindly provided cold beer and plenty of amusing hats a few of which are modelled here...

On Easter Sunday we visited Yankari National Park, which contains a small population of lions, elephants, antelope and other animals. We took a safari tour, even though we’d been warned beforehand not to expect to see many animals. So we were very surprised to see a lioness and two of her cubs strolling through the bush! Sadly I can’t prove this with photographic evidence, as most of my photos are of bushes which may or may not have animals inside them. On the same trip we also saw waterbucks, antelops, warthogs, and western herdbeasts. Here's one of the antelopes.

Another highlight of the day at Yankari were the Wikki Warm Springs, stunning natural springs which are 31 degrees year round, and lovely to relax in.

The return on Monday was topped off by collecting our own kitten, brother to the one we took to Kano... photos will follow soon. Happy belated Easter to all!

*The title of this blog post is a little misleading, I gave into the alliteration... we didn’t see any elephants

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