Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Camping in the Forest

After a day of checking butterfly traps, butterfly sweep netting and bird surveying the volunteers headed home to prepare for a night of camping in the Shimoni Forest. Equipment was gathered, flat bread was cooked, and the vegetables were chopped for the night ahead. At approximately 5pm a group of 11 volunteers and 4 staff headed out into the Shimoni forest for a night of camping for the first time this expedition.  All were eager to head off and after a short walk the perfect camping ground was spotted to set up for the night. Some volunteers choose to stay in tents while others slept on sleeping mats under mosquito nets with the opportunity to view the stars before they fell asleep that night. A fire was created so that the dinner could be cooked and to make it a real camping experience. As the sun began to set everyone began to gather around the camp fire and dinner began to be cooked. After no time at all dinner was ready to be served and an amazing meal was had by all.  There was some chicken (not alive of course) that was supposed to have made its way to our camping site however due to some unforseen reasons the chicken was delayed only to be delivered later by a motorbike paid for by the Chief of Shimoni police. 
Maria with the delayed chicken

Unfortunately this motorbike broke down half way and so myself and a staff member walked down the road to meet the driver and pick up the chicken to be cooked. Whilst walking down a pitch black road through a forest can seem like something out of a horror film to some it was really an amazing experience as with our torches we managed to spot some eyes glinting back at us in the forest and we were surprised to find a small group of Sunis (dwarf antelope) staring back at us as we walked along the forest road. Shortly after we ran into the driver, got our chicken off him and headed back to the camp fire and the other volunteers who were ready to cook the chicken. Sitting around the fire we had our weekly pub quiz (which became the forest quiz) followed by some star gazing and then off to bed. Going to sleep with the stars above and bush babies cackling in the distance was an amazing experience. We were woken the following morning by the rising sun and the calls of the birds. Once up we all packed up camp and headed back home to the Shimoni house for pancakes - it was the perfect ending to a perfect camping trip.