Sunday, 25 May 2014

Half way through my adventure in Kenya

Well I have now been in Kenya for three months and this marks the halfway point in my adventure with Colobus Conservation. Month one was all about new discoveries & experiences and month two gave me my first experience of African elephants. If I had to give the third month a specific theme it would be the endless power cuts and rainstorms.

Shalom to the half way point

For reasons not fully known to me we seem to be going through a period where the power says “I can’t be bothered with all this rain I am off”. After endless amounts of frustrating days not being able to use my laptop for work, (and in the evening) candle burning (was great for monopoly even if we did nearly set the game on fire), knocking into chairs/tables and heating up food by blowing on it I think we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel; literally. Here is a great way to sum up what Kenya Power, and to a larger extent life in Kenya, is like. We had scheduled to have our power turned off between 9am – 12pm to do some tree trimming work around the power lines the other day. Well the power was cut at 10.30am and didn’t come back on till 5.45pm, typical, but you just have to say Hakuna Matata (No Worries) and move on.

Not sure this Sykes monkey is enjoying the rain either

In other news this month I bought a pair of tailored, hand made shorts in tradition African colours (black & green), and I am very happy with them; they have pockets and everything. I watched the most stunning sunset over Shimba Hills National Reserve with some Lion King re-enactment; while seeing a herd of elephants in the far far far distance. The highlight (or more accurately brown trouser moment) was when being driven back in the dark on dirt roads and the driver would accidentally turn the lights out when switching from low to high beams; he wasn't exactly going slowly either. I also helped to stop a Colobridge collapsing into the road, a Colobridge is built above the main road to allow monkeys to cross safely.

It's the circle of life!

The sun setting on another glorious day in Africa

Yep, I have found the problem guys, it's falling over


I got to know a lot more about the yellow baboons, and that if you meet a large male half way up a ladder you suddenly get the power to scale down quicker than previously thought possible. I also learnt more about the Vervet monkeys and watched some of the re-released ex-pets get their radio collars removed; amazing what you can achieve with peanuts and sunflower seeds. You have also been introduced to one of the colobus troops I am following and now know a bit more about them. No injuries to speak of yet although I was nipped on the ankle by a damn Chiwawa that waited till I turned around before pouncing.

Large male baboon that run up ladder as I was going down


A Vervet now with his radio collar removed

Without doubt the highlight of the month was having the opportunity to walk for elephants beside Jim Nyamu for his campaign “Ivory belongs to elephants”. You can read about my full day out with him and see more pictures, just click here.


Walking no matter what the weather

Drying off with Jim Nyamu

I am now fully settled in my life here and am wondering how I will react when I see the prices of avocados and mango's back in London. Also, I have been enjoying roasted corn on the cob done on the side of the road here for roughly 25p for a whole corn.

Contemplating the beauty before me as the sun sets


Watching the sun raise as I begin to follow a colobus troop


You can see all my photos of my time in Kenya on my Flickr page here -http://bit.ly/1dpb3gd

Or on my facebook page here - www.facebook.com/diaryofaprimatologist

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