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Vet Nurse Raises £7244 For WVS In The Coolest Possible Way

Tue 17th Oct 2017

Veterinary nurse Tanya Keane and vet Shona Winn from Two Rivers Vets in Peebles, Scotland raised an incredible £7,244 (including Gift Aid) taking on the mighty Zambezi river in the name of animal welfare! Read Tanya's blog to find out how they navigated hippo-infested waters whilst fundraising for animals in need, and how YOU CAN TOO!

It is hard to truly capture how amazing the Zambezi Canoe Challenge trip was through words alone, but I will try!

I was definitely nervous about going on this trip, and not sure I would have been brave enough were it not for Shona persuading me with her previous experiences of Malawi and agreeing to come along. But really, I needn't have been worried. If you want a sample of real Africa, out in the wilderness with all of the wildlife, but with the support and safety of a great group and excellent, knowledgeable guides, this is the trip to go on! I'm not going to deny we had some slightly scary moments, such as a massive adult hippo charging at us across the bank! But overall I felt totally safe under the care of our guides. We were also very well fed; how those guys make such amazing food on a tiny open fire is beyond me! The canoeing was at an ideal level as it was challenging to keep going during long stretches if your muscles were beginning to ache, but definitely do-able for beginners - which we all were! The pace is steady and you are pushed along by the current of the river.

We saw so many animals which would have been spooked if we were in bigger, noisier vehicles or boats. We saw loads of hippos, crocodiles, elephants, birds of all types, baboons and vervet monkeys, impala, warthog, giraffe, zebra, kudu and more! We also heard plenty of hyena, leopard and lions throughout the night! The camp where we spent the last two nights of the canoeing was lovely, at a watering hole in a national park with lots of animals and always elephants to watch! It was nice to have the unexpected additional activities of the village trip, night time game drive and walking safari.

Back in Lusaka, the Eureka Lodge was very nice, luxurious in fact after the bush. The trip to the Lilayi Elephant Orphanage was eye-opening and sad but at the same time, amazing. The game drive around Lilayi allowed us to get very close to their gorgeous giraffe. And the baby elephants were delightful! Hearing just how dedicated the team are there makes me realise why WVS support them. They are trying to do things the correct way - tackling the real issue and educating locals. I wasn't expecting to get a behind the scenes tour and it was a lovely touch and a memorable experience. The new tiny baby really hit home with me, standing looking at us with her trunk over the fence, craving touch and attention, so deprived of this from her own mother after such a traumatic start to life.

Thank you for running this amazing trip, I will never forget it! I would recommend it to anyone!

If you've been inspired by Tanya's story, take a look at our other fundraising challenges below, trekking through the Thai jungle or exploring the Jurassic Coast!