The Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Before coming to Zambia in April, the last time I treated a patient who was suffering from pneumocystitis carini pneumonia (PCP) it was the early 1990s. He died from complications of HIV infection. Since the advent of combined, highly active anti-retroviral therapy in the latter half of that decade (coupled with the use of prophylactic… Continue reading The Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Mumps

One evening, over dinner, a Zambian guide at the lodge was talking about traditional treatments for illnesses. This was fascinating for me, and I filed away lots of interesting therapeutic techniques for future use. When a patient with mumps came to the clinic last week, I examined the patient to confirm the diagnosis and said:… Continue reading Mumps

Today, the bird I have most enjoyed watching was the Lilac-Breasted Roller

Lilac-Breasted Rollers are ubiquitous in the National Park. These birds are easy to spot because of their gorgeous plumage and their habit of perching on dead trees where they have a panoramic view of their surroundings. From on high, they can spot lizards, scorpions, small snakes and insects on the ground. They swoop down on… Continue reading Today, the bird I have most enjoyed watching was the Lilac-Breasted Roller

Today, the animal I have most enjoyed seeing is the Waterbuck

These antelopes graze in marshy areas and lagoons, but are not as “aquatic” as their name sounds compared with sitatunga in Uganda or lechwe in Botswana. I find them rather skittish and shy. As soon as I stop to take a photograph, they move on. In Colombo Zoo, 30 years ago, I made the mistake… Continue reading Today, the animal I have most enjoyed seeing is the Waterbuck

Today, the animal I have most enjoyed watching is the Hippopotamus

Hippos are big in the park. There are lots of them. Even when an epidemic of anthrax culled scores of them five years ago, they bounced back. It only takes a few years for their numbers to return to previous levels. Of course, no one mentioned “anthrax” apart from as a whispered aside. We don’t… Continue reading Today, the animal I have most enjoyed watching is the Hippopotamus

Bicycles

Bicycles: transport for the masses (with an average occupancy of 1.8 persons per bike). The maximum I have seen is five on a pedal cycle – two parents and three children, but sadly I do not have photographic evidence to back it up. Usually made in China, bicycles here have a steel frame so are… Continue reading Bicycles

Today the bird I have most enjoyed seeing is the Hamerkop

Hamerkop means “Hammer Head”. It describes this bird well. As well as looking like a hammer, its head also resembles those aerodynamic helmets worn by cyclists in the velodrome. And when it flies, it does look like an F16. It soars over marshy ground and drying-out lagoons, looking for an ideal spot to peck up… Continue reading Today the bird I have most enjoyed seeing is the Hamerkop

The animals which I have most enjoyed seeing today are the Gnu and the Honey Badger

Gnus are rare in this part of South Luangwa. So rare that the impala he wanted to hang out with were spooked by his presence and ran off. He galloped after them, matching their speed but not their agility. Cookson’s Wildebeest are not the most intelligent of animals. They even look stupid. I took this… Continue reading The animals which I have most enjoyed seeing today are the Gnu and the Honey Badger