Update from our desert expedition / working holiday volunteering with oryx and wildcats in the United Arab Emirates (www.biosphere-expeditions.org/emirates)

Hello everyone and welcome to the first diary entry for Biosphere Expeditions’ 2013 Emirates desert expedition. My name is Malika Fettak and I will be your expedition leader. You will also meet Greg Simkins, Steve Bell and Pete Roosenschoon, from the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR), as well as a host of other people, whom I will introduce to you as things progress.

I am still in Germany getting ready for the expedition and then I’ll be about a week ahead of you arriving in Dubai on 15 January. My number there should be [removed from online post for privacy reasons] and I will confirm this again once I have landed. Remember that this is for emergency purposes only (such as missing assembly). Once in Dubai, I’ll organise the cars, cook, food, camp, equipment, you name it.

Luckily Greg and Steve are very tidy and have created a beautiful storage space for us at the DDCR (see below for the space, Steve, Greg and yours truly from last year),

so my luggage, apart from a few pieces of clothing, looks like this.

My luggage

There’s some paperwork, of course, and in case you were wondering what all the snazzy Swarovski Optik gear is for, here’s a short explanation:

Spotting scope & tripod (the long things) are for looking at oryx bottoms (all will be revealed on site), as are the binoculars. The swish laser rangefinders (squarish things at the bottom) are for measuring the distance between yourself and the oryx bottom in a very accurate, sciency way.

Have you seen the expedition summary video we put together a while ago? Have a look below to get you in the mood. There are a few good-looking oryx bottoms on display too.

But enough of that. Get ready for lots of sand, sun and some tough work with Steve, Pete, Greg and I. You’ll need a break after your break after working with us for a week in the desert 😉

Safe travels and see you in Dubai

Malika

P.S. And as I pack my bags, news comes in of an accolade for our forthcoming expedition, which is named on today’s The Independent’s “Best Desert Adventure Holidays” list.

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