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Featured: Faculty-Led Programs in Kenya

We are always excited to highlight Africa’s extensive learn-through-travel opportunities. Even more so when we can demonstrate how students can immerse themselves in subject-specific activities, providing exposure of immeasurable value.

Exposure in the field brings learning to life like no textbook can. Our continent provides dynamic field experiences from diverse cultures, extreme change in landscapes to socio-economic variation.

Focusing on Kenya, we hone in on the ecological and tactical outdoors training opportunities linked to its conservancy model. The co-existence of communities and wildlife in protection areas has resulted in numerous conservancies and consequently pockets of biodiversity and ecological gems. Through educational programs, students can not only experience pristine environments that host diverse wildlife but also learn about conservation through active participation.

Programs are created to give students access to first-hand experiences, like for example data collection, monitoring and outdoors survival training and so forth; Experiences that are not only unique to the environment but also not of usual touristic nature.

Our first example of such a program is our Kenya Conservation and Ecological Program. This program is any aspiring conservationist’s dream. It takes participants from the reforestation of Brackenhurst’s Botanic Garden to conservancies and national parks. Practical experiences (like game drives) are coupled with complimentary lectures, linking textbook knowledge to practice in an insightful manner. We also set up camp in Aberdare National Park, immersing participants in a study location and optimising all educational opportunities.

From bush to beach, the program also takes participants to the coastal part of Kenya, for Marine Conservation and a study of birds. The program opens doors to insights into the conservation teams’ everyday lives, in a way that no ordinary tour would.

Our Savannah Survival Training Program in Kenya offers an in-depth look at survival in the wild. Participants will learn to see opportunities in next to hopeless situations and embrace nature for their survival. This program is based in the LUMO Conservancy, near Kilimanjaro. The owners of the bush lodge are experienced guides and bush skills trainers and take it upon themselves to show participants all about survival in the Savannah of Kenya. Life skills included are ones that can be used almost in any outdoors situation, like preparing and starting a fire, purifying water, building a shelter and defence as well as hunting with learned knife skills – to name a few. From training to application, participants will now use these skills in a camp not too far from the base.

When words and textbook diagrams gain meaning in a real life scenario, knowledge is absorbed in a more lasting way. In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”