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Wildlife Management Studies in Tanzania

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Location

Tanzania: Karatu

Description

The School for Field Studies (SFS) semester program in Tanzania allows students to examine the drivers of habitat degradation and land-use change, as well as the implications for both local economic livelihoods and wildlife conservation. Students gain a general overview of cultural perceptions, conservation issues, wildlife dispersal areas, and biodiversity conservation in Tanzania, and have a chance to learn and apply in the field multiple techniques and approaches to studying wildlife, natural resources, and ecosystems.

Highlights

-- Visit to cultural manyatta, an opportunity to glimpse Maasai and Iraqw cultures: musical ceremonies, demonstrations in fire-making, dances by Maasai morans (warriors), and lessons in spear-throwing
-- Explore Lake Manyara National Park to learn large mammal identification, baboon ecology, and threats to wetlands
-- Take an excursion to Tarangire National Park for exercises on animal counting, wildlife management, lion ecology and behavior, conservation models, and preservation of corridors
-- Visit Ngorongoro Conservation Area to learn about inclusion of indigenous communities in conservation and management of natural resources
-- Multi-day field expedition and camping trip to Serengeti National Park to study large mammal ecology, diseases, and migrations
-- Visit Burunge Wildlife Management Area to study community-based management of wildlife and understand how communities benefit from conservation of wildlife resources

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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

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6 Overall Experience

Educational, life-enriching, mind-expanding, fun, and exciting.

I chose this program because I am a Biology Major--a chance to do field studies abroad.

My memorable experience was searching for the endangered cassowary bird.

  • Social Life

    6

  • Health and Safety

    6

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    4

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Academics

    6