Beginning in Harare, conservation students will meet with the National Parks Department to learn about its approach to wildlife conservation and the challenges that it faces. The students will then focus on fieldwork and research in one or more of the following: Rhino Conservation and Breeding (Save Valley and Malilangwe); Elephant Overpopulation – Conservancy Formation and Carrying Capacity Assessment (Gonarezhou); Transfrontier National Parks – the concept, implementation, and challenges; Lion Breeding and Reintroduction to the Wild (Zambezi Valley); Painted Dog Monitoring (Save Valley and Hwange National Park); and Anti-poaching Strategy and Practice (Victoria Falls). The program includes lectures, prescribed readings, guest lecturers, group discussions, and field research with Dr. Norman Monks and Dr. Jackie Abell. The course will be strongly field-based and candidates need to be comfortable with moderate physical activity and rural settings. The program will conclude with final presentations in Victoria Falls town (the home of the majestic UNESCO World Heritage Site locally known as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ – ‘The Smoke that Thunders’).
Despite the fact that poaching is rampant in much of Southern and East Africa, the nation of Zimbabwe has seen some remarkable successes in conserving a number of Africa’s most endangered species. Research in anti-poaching, breeding, and reintroduction into the wild programs is ongoing and the incredible diversity in wildlife allows students to gain a broad understanding of wildlife conservation practices.
By the end of this program, students should be able to:
- Demonstrate familiarity with field-based data collection techniques
- Present on poaching intervention strategies
- Discuss the key features of Transfrontier Parks
- Analyze wildlife population management strategies
Note: Specific learning outcomes and activities can be constructed in collaboration with EDU Africa’s dedicated curriculum development team.
Dr Norman Monks
Norman holds an MSc in Conservation Biology from the University of Kent in Canterbury, a Certificate in Industrial Environmental Management from Rhodes University, and a Doctorate in Wildlife Management from the University of the Free State. His 36 years of experience in working for the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority have included the management of the authority’s Game Ranching Research Unit, Gonarezhou National Park, and two UNESCO World Heritage Sites at Mana Pools National Park and Matopos National Park.
He has overseen all aspects of management including tourism, law enforcement, conservation, research and administration. Norman is a member of the African Lion Working Group and IUCN SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group. In 2003 Norman was presented with the “Researcher of the Year” award by the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority. In 2005 he was awarded the “Conservationist of the Year” award by the Conservation division of Safari Club International for his conservation and management contribution during his long career within the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority of Zimbabwe.
Dr Jackie Abell
Dr. Jackie Abell obtained her first degree in Psychology from the University of Dundee before going on to complete an MSc in Critical Social Psychology at Lancaster University. She became particularly interested in discursive psychology during this time and upon completion of her MSc, she went to study for a PhD at Loughborough University. More recently she has become interested in conservation and lion reintroduction, and how social psychological models and concepts could be applied to this field.
To improve her knowledge of biology she completed an MSc in Animal Behavior, and took up a role with the African Lion and Environmental Research Trust as Director of Research. Jackie has since published papers on conservation, reintroduction programs and identity. She is the lead author of the David Myers ‘Social Psychology’ textbook (European edition) which is now in its 2nd edition. Recently, Jackie was approved as a member of the IUCN, SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, who are a select group of experts responsible for conservation strategies throughout the world and hopes to continue championing the role of social sciences in conservation work.
Customize Your Program
Our friendly and experienced team will work closely with you to develop your custom faculty-led program from conceptualization to execution. We believe every journey to Africa gives students the opportunity to learn and transform and we pride ourselves on our ability to create unique, sustainable, and truly African transformative learning journeys.
Meaning “the place of eating,” Boma appeals to the senses with a variety of local dishes including game meat such as kudu, warthog, and ostrich. Guests are welcome to take part in traditional drumming and dancing. They even have the opportunity to eat a local delicacy – mopane worms!
Enjoy a cultural evening with Zimbabwean musicians, after which the local craftsmen will be available to teach you how to craft beautiful pieces of jewelry and sculptures. This cultural immersion experience will not only teach you new skills but give you insight into the cultures and traditions of the people of Zimbabwe.
High Tea at Victoria Falls Hotel
Visit the famous Victoria Falls Hotel, renowned for its colonial-era architecture. This five-star hotel is only a ten-minute walk from the falls and was built in 1904 as a key part of the “Cape to Cairo” railroad dream. Today, enjoying a high tea on the terrace gives you insight into what life was like over a hundred years ago as you gaze at the Victoria Falls Bridge with mist rising from the thundering waterfall.
These ferocious, predatory fish lurk throughout much of the Zambezi, catching prey with their enormous jaws and needle-like teeth. Add a tiger fish to your repertoire during your sports fishing adventure on the Zambezi.
Flight of Angels
Hover through the pounding mist of Victoria Falls as you explore the stunning landscape from the air. A specially designed helicopter, providing panoramic visibility to every passenger, takes you high into the sky to be truly encompassed by the mesmerizing grandeur of the falls.
Known as the “smoke that thunders,” Victoria Falls is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The waterfall system is the largest on Earth, about 1.7 kilometers wide and 108 meters high. Enjoy being awestruck by the sheer magnificence of the falls.