Thursday, December 19, 2019


Jambo! My name is Tori, and I’m the new RA at Talek Camp. Matthew and I arrived in the Mara about 3 weeks ago now, and like he mentioned in his first post, there has been LOTS of rain. Coming from Florida, the so called “Sunshine State,” I was very used to heavy thunderstorms and downpours that lasted for days. In fact, it may have actually been me who brought the rain… Since leaving Florida, I’ve heard reports from family and friends about how unusually sunny it’s been lately. It seems my arrival in the Mara also marked the first day of consistent rains here. Coincidence? 

However, despite the short rainy season keeping us holed up in camp for days (going on weeks) at a time, I have been able to learn a lot about who else shares camp with us. The muddy, black volcanic soil of the Mara is good for two things: getting our giant Land Cruisers stuck and creating animal tracks! Every morning when I emerge from my tent, tracks of all kinds can be spotted throughout our walking trails. It is so interesting (and slightly terrifying) to discover who wanders Talek camp at night. To my surprise, it’s usually the hyenas! Even though we haven’t seen a single hyena in quite some time now due to the rains, it is somewhat comforting to hear them whooping loudly in the near distance at night and seeing their paw prints on the trails in the morning. After many consecutive days of sitting in camp, doing anything to pass the time, these little signs from the hyenas help me remember why I’ve traveled back to Africa again! Hopefully soon the rain will cease and we will be reunited with our fisi friends yet again!

For now, I hold onto the amazing animal encounters thus far, and can't wait for all that is yet to come! 

Michigan State University | College of Natural Science