A week has now passed since the Kenyan bush became my temporary home. I have my own tent which is not much different in size from the room that I have back home in Denmark. The main difference is there’s less furniture in it and also it’s a tent. Whether I’m at the camp or out in the field collecting data, you are always surrounded by natures sounds. In the morning I hear the grunting and snorting sound of the hippos that live by the river just by the camp and the birds will be chirping away. I like to just go have a look at the hippos in the morning to see if they are up and in the water, or still lying on the bank. The last 3 days I’ve been out collecting data, though there has been a lot of rain in the afternoons and nights making everything muddy. I will be out and suddenly a chorus of frogs will start, and sound so loud and widespread that it can almost take you by surprise. We’ve had some thunderstorms the last few days, but luckily I have been back at the camp when they broke out. You hear the rumbling build up before the thunder clashes, once so loud that it woke me up in the middle of the night. It sounded almost like an explosion. Then the rain will be pounding down loudly, whether on the tent canvas or on the roof of the little office. I’ve gone to bed and heard the lion roar, and the bushbaby jump from branch to branch and making its own strange noise.
I’ve started to feel at home here in the middle of Mara, where life goes at its own pace. To some degree nature dictates your work. If it’s pouring down then I can’t really go out and do much work. If I stumble over some elephants then I’ll have to wait till they move on, before I can collect my data. It’s refreshing that life is unpredictable and you just have to adapt to whatever happens. It also includes some great experiences along the way. Only yesterday did I stumble upon a baby giraffe that was no bigger than its neck and head was visible over the tall grass. I’ve been out early mornings and had to eat breakfast out in the savannah surrounded by buffalos, zebras and gazelles.
The people here are kind and help make me feel welcome and at home. When the sun comes out between the rain, it is almost like a little piece of heaven. You get use to having to be escorted to your tent after dark because the camp is not fenced and all kind of wildlife can come through. You learn to adapt to showering at certain times, since that’s when there’s hot water (heated by solar panels). Dinner is late compared to what I’m use to, but even that I am becoming use to. Adaptation is how we survived in a new environment, which almost any biologist could tell you. So I’ve adapted from the cold of Denmark, to the warm and unpredictable Mara in Kenya.
Our twitter and Instagram show some of the experiences I have.