Daniel and Bridget arrived this week from the Bat Conservation and Research Unit in the UK for a scoping trip with African Bat Conservation. I was super excited to have them hear as I was working with them both at AEWC Ltd before coming here and have been trained by Daniel over the years. He also has some super sweet camera gear and can set up amazing stuff so you can get in flight bat photos! Dom is going to love it too as she is into photography too. She also helped me make a load of food for our week on the road. We welcomed them with a big brunch that both teams here at the Urban Research Base came too as well as one of our staffs parent who was visiting! I made grits and eggs, using the nsema (local maize meal) to make the grits for a big American style spread. We also had banana pancakes, sausages and loads of passion fruits Tom had bought! Delicious.
We had a really successful week catching bats with the Team! Though I cannot tell you more on here about some of our special finds, you will need to follow the ABC newsletter for that! We started off in Lilongwe showing them around the city and some of our cool sites with different bat species. We visited various parts of the country including Kuti Wildlife Reserve, Kumbali Lakeside Retreat and Kasungu National Park, taking a fully packed car and loads of food supplies and a couple of cooler boxes. We managed to have a braai whilst in Kuti and have a dip in the lake at Kumbali. We were even lent those canoes again! I love it near Lake Malawi as you get so many beautiful baobab trees like this huge one at Kuti (which also had bats roosting inside)!
After the lake we headed to Kasungu and have never been before so I was excited for that, and to top it off we saw an elephant! We had been photographing some Mauritian tomb bats roosting on the outside of a building and as i was heading back to the car for a cheeky coffee and mandazi, I spotted it not all that far away from the car! An amazing sight and so awesome to see one up close and we got to watch it for a while as it slowly meandered through the grass and then walked away along the track. We had to stay really still though as you would not want to spook an elephant!
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