Well, we did it! We survived three months in the rainforest and made it home safe. Whilst the last few weeks were just as challenging as the rest, we managed to get all of our line transects and vegetation surveys complete, along with finishing our final camera trap and acoustic recording locations. Whilst we managed to finish on time, the weather did however have a different idea to us and tried to delay our final day of fieldwork with a solid few hours of torrential rain. Nonetheless, we managed to get into to forest and collect back in the final few camera traps (Though we ended up soaking head to toe and many hours later than intended!).
After a few hours spent packing up camp, we said our final goodbyes to the community we had spent the last 10 weeks with. To be honest, we wouldn’t have been able to do it without them and their invaluable help! We then took our whole team out for one final meal and a few drinks before saying goodbye to them.
For our final few days in Ghana, we travelled up to Kumasi to visit and stay at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). The university campus was amazing, and the shop that sold Pringles and ice cream (and in Adam’s case, Irn Bru) was much appreciated. Whilst in Kumasi, we also had the chance to visit Kumasi zoo and see the new forested enclosure that has been created by our field partner, WAPCA, for their collection of white-naped mangabeys. After spending so long searching for the mangabeys in the rainforest, it was amazing to get to see them up close! And their new enclosure looks fantastic.
After a lovely final meal on our last night in Ghana, the next day couldn’t have been more stressful. The last day was spent ringing airlines and after many changes to our flights as we had been taken off our original flight, we finally arrived at the airport to travel home and got on a direct flight back to London (Ryan even got a cheeky upgrade on the flight).
Being back in our own beds has been lovely; considerably comfier than the hard floor of our tents of the last three months. And now we’re back to normality and the long process of data analysis and write ups starts. The question now is…WHEN WE CAN GO BACK!?