Friday, June 28, 2013

Sunrise - Sunset

We have been on the go, up and out early each morning but this morning we were up before sunrise and returned after sunset. We headed out for the Mukini Big Five Conservation Center today. They are working with both lions and cheetahs  to return them to the wild. Cheetahs, especially have been on the decline. This program has some animals that have been hand raised, which allows them to interact with humans. It was amazing - we got to walk with 6 month old lion cubs, pet them and watch as they had a grand time playing. We walked cheetahs and they like having their head, chin, and back rubbed. The cheetah we were with returned the good scratching  I gave to her by licking my hand. Felt a bit like sand paper but I was not about to pull my hand away.

The other animal we got to interact with was the elephant. The elephant has been a part of the Mukini tribe, as they were handles throughout their history. They want to keep the heritage alive. Which allows visitors to ride the elephants. I did not ride one, but Rick did but I did walk with the elephants and  was able to get some photographs of Rick.

After we finished out morning with the animals we went over to the Mukini Village. We meet with the King and were invited into his palace. We sat and spoke with him about the village. I presented him with a piece of my artwork, a handmade paper piece with a print of zebras that had been hand-colored.  The village has some electric in the palace, water is carried to the huts from central locations throughout the village. They have primary & secondary schools within the village. They have a craft market to sell the things that they make, sculptures & bowls to name a couple made from teak, zebra wood, or ebony.

Before we were to head home we found out we were going on the Africa Queen for an evening dinner cruise as the guests of the King. It was a very long day but ended with a lovely sunset on the Zambezi River, where we saw Hippos, Baboons, cranes, croc's and a giraffe.

A gift for the King of the Mukini Village

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