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Wildlife Management Studies in Kenya and Tanzania

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Location

Kenya: Rural

Description

The School for Field Studies (SFS) Kenya and Tanzania: Wildlife Management Studies Semester program allows students to examine how land-use practices within Maasai group ranches can be sustainably managed to promote both local economic livelihoods and wildlife conservation. Students will gain a general overview of cultural perceptions, conservation issues, wildlife dispersal areas, and biodiversity conservation in Kenya and Tanzania while meeting and interviewing wildlife managers and members of the Maasai community.

Highlights

There are many opportunities for effective conservation, natural resource management, and rural development, despite the seemingly negative availability and quality of habitat and resources for wildlife and livestock on the Maasai steppe.

The diverse habitat surrounding the SFS camps is used by wildlife as migration corridors among protected areas. The curriculum and research of this program focus on determining how changes in land-use and resource availability in the Maasai steppe ecosystems can be managed in such a way as to foster the well-being of local communities while safeguarding and promoting biodiversity conservation.

Through classroom and field activities, students will contrast the conservation issues in the Tarangire-Manyara ecosystem of northern Tanzania with those in the Amboseli-Tsavo ecosystem in Kenya, just north of Mount Kilimanjaro. In this two-country program, students will begin their study at one field station, gaining general knowledge about the wildlife in the region, the pastoralist lifestyle, and principles of wildlife management.

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9 Overall Experience

Hakuna Matata

My most memorable experience is the 5 day camping expedition to Serengeti National Park. We spent a this time performing field research each day on all animals. We attended guest lectures with people that were working on special projects within the park as well. Also, playing soccer nearly everyday after classes with the local people with a view of the sunset of Ngorongoro Crater on one side of the field and a view of Moyo Hill on the other.

I am a Biology major who was able to get 2 sciences courses in and completed my capstone (directed research) abroad. I also wanted to go abroad to a country where English was not the first language, I would be living simply, and I would be exposed to a new culture.

We lived inside a field station in which each student lived in a room with 2 bunk beds for 2 students with a private bathroom for each. There was one classroom for all the classes located inside the camp.

  • Social Life

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Academics

    9

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9 Overall Experience

An unforgettable experience of Africa.

Mt. Kilimanjaro served as the backdrop for many of our field drives in Amboseli National Park. The timing of our trips, an early beginning to the wet season as it were, obscured many carnivores from being found. For those who are unaware, an unfenced park such as Amboseli may serve as a dry-season refuge for the wildlife. When the rains return, the animals migrate out and into the community areas. We were lucky to be in the park on the day of one of the most famous of these migrations: the elephant migration. Cars idling, the air hot and humid, and our breaths shallow we watched hundreds of elephants cross just meters ahead of us. Behind us, Kilimanjaro stood proudly, not a cloud for kilometers to block its view. We were literally living the moment shown in postcards (be wary though, if you see a postcard in Tanzania with Kilimanjaro and elephants, it was actually taken in Amboseli National Park, Kenya), and if for one day the beauty of the largest of land herbivores reigned dominant over all others.

I chose it for the location, the immerse home-stay aspect, the language (Swahili) classes, and the research opportunity.

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    4

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    6