This Stray Dog Was Saved And Taken On The Road Trip Of Her Life Around Africa

20/1/2018

When Sara OrtinLeón, a young Spanish woman from Barcelona, decided to travel around Africa in 2015, she met Ginger, a street dog who is now her constant companion.A biology student specializing in primates, she went to a chimpanzee sanctuary in Zambia to study them more closely.As well as chimps, the facility was home to several dogs. Out of the many pooches, it was Ginger who stole León's heart. Still a puppy at the time, she and her sister Flora reminded her of her family's pet dogs back home and they quickly became inseparable.

Source: Sara Ortin Leon

I used to go to the enclosures everyday and spend all day studying the chimps, and she used to come with me. It was like 6.2 miles there, so we had to walk there and back.

Source: Sara Ortin Leon

Sadly her internship soon came to an end and León had to go back to Spain, even though she didn't want to leave Ginger behind:

She was happy [in Zambia], she was wild — a wild African dog. I thought, ‘I couldn’t take her back to Barcelona just because of me.’

So she went back home alone to see her family and finish her thesis. Try as she might, however, she couldn't stop thinking about Zambia. Finally, she bought a one-way ticket and left for Africa once more.Once there, she went straight to the sanctuary to find Ginger - but she wasn't there. Overrun with dogs, the director had sold some of them. Ginger and Flora were now guard dogs at a mining company.

Source: Sara Ortin Leon

I bought dog food so I had an excuse to go and see them, but I couldn’t see Ginger or her sister. I asked one of the guys where the dogs were, and he said, ‘There are no dogs, madam.’ And I thought, ‘What do you mean there are no dogs?’

Determined not to give up, she searched the property herself. "I turned around and I saw Ginger’s face at the end of the yard," she toldThe Dodo. "She was so scared that she couldn’t come close to me".Flora, she found out, had been beaten to death while trying to stop some thieves. Hearing this, León knew what she had to do. She took Ginger, right there and then.

I didn’t think about it. I just took Ginger, and my plan was to travel around and enjoy Africa.

Source: Sara Ortin Leon

Reunited at last, the two friends set off on a road trip across the continent, making amazing memories together; swimming in a lake in Malawi, hiking through the bush and watching wild animals on safari.However, some people in the countries they visited really didn't like dogs, meaning that Ginger wasn't always safe. To try and combat this, she andLeón decided to go into schools to teach children about dogs and let them see that they're not scary or dangerous.

Source: Sara Ortin Leon

Even more incredibly, Ginger has started to notice other dogs in need:

Ginger once found one doggy in the street, and we didn’t even see it. Ginger started pushing, and we thought it was a cat. I said, ‘Ginger, leave the cat alone.’ But we saw that it was a doggy in the city — and he needed help.

After a year travelling through Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Malawi, León and Ginger went back to Barcelona, where Ginger can enjoy sniffing out new experiences on another continent.

Source: Sara Ortin Leon

León wants to go back to Zambia soon, so that she can set up a non-profit group to help dogs like Ginger.If you plan to go on holiday with your dog, first make sure that you use an airline that welcomes animal travelers. If you're going by car, make sure everything goes smoothly with our fantastic tips!

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