Posted by: wildsidezambia | September 19, 2011

Three generations of Purcells visit Zambia

Many of Wild Side Tours’ clients to Livingstone combine a humantarian visit to the area with a bush holiday that Karien organises for them. Bill Purcell, a chemisty professor from Memphis, his son Barclay and grandson Will (11) travelled to Zambia in August as part of Global Samaritan Home for Children Organisation.

Bill and Barclay, a software engineer, both gave lectures and computer demonstrations to the children at the Global Samaritan Orphanage in Livingstone.

Bill during a chemistry lecture at the Good Samiritan home. "I used a lot of silly examples that made them laugh and understand", says Bill.

“This trip was life-changing for me”, said Bill. ” The experiences teaching in the orphanage, the purity of the people in the bush, the animals and the understanding of them by the native guides, and the deep feeling of connection without all our usual fluff and bother brought me home in a way.  Of course, for me, having my son and grandson with me brought me more joy than I have known.”

Plans to upgrade the home include facilities for the care of up to 200 AIDS-orphaned children. Facilities also include a guest house to serve those working on mission trips, an on-site church, high school for grades eight through twelve, computer lab, skills training area, recreation complex and a library.

Afterwards the Purcells decamped to Thorntree Lodge for a few nights where they were ‘met’ by a herd of elephants on arrival! From there they participated in lots of activities: walking with lions, canoeing on the Zambezi, game drives and of course visitied the Falls which is particularly impressive at this time of the year.

Barclay, Bill and Will Purcell

After a few days the Purcells were transferred to the Elephant Valley Lodge in Chobe. They saw elephants in large numbers, herds of impalas, many kudu, sable, bird life, hippos and a lioness and her two cubs hunting. “We came close enough to feel their strength and majesty”, says Bill. On a river cruise later they saw a leopard in a tree and a big male lion nearby a freshly killed giraffe. More leopard, lion and of course elephants, which abound in the park, followed in the next few days.

On Wild Side’s organisation of the leisure part of the trip, Bill commented “Nicely done – ran like clockwork.  Good team.  All good!”



  1. Well done, Bill! What a super story.

  2. Most exciting about paddling in one’s canoe on the Zambezi are the hippo watching from a distance… ! And it is important to keep it that way by keeping a close watch on them yourself.. ! We enjoyed the experience of seeing the country and the wildlife from the water enormously and our guide was very careful for us so we felt quite safe!

  3. Thanks for taking care of my family! Next time, my turn!

    • Absolutely Jennifer! What about three generations of female Purcells next time?

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