The African elephant is a keystone species with a profound influence on the landscape and dynamic in which it coexists with other African wildlife. As the largest (and one of the most charismatic) animal walking our planet, its conservation continues to attract concern within and beyond Africa. Join SFS Faculty and leading elephant scientists to learn about these animals in the elephant conservation strongholds in and around Amboseli National Park. Hear the perspectives of local communities living at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro, including their day-to-day interactions with the African elephant.
Embark on multi-day camping expedition to Maasai Mara, where you’ll hope to encounter the ‘Big Five’–the African elephant, African buffalo, lion, leopard, and black rhino.
On a multi-day camping trip, explore Amboseli National Park – widely regarded as the best place in the world to observe free-ranging elephants.
Examine the causes, manifestations, trends, and current state of human-elephant conflicts in the Amboseli Ecosystem and their implications on elephants’ conservation and co-existence with local communities.
In addition to the SFS program costs listed to the left, students should plan for additional expenses such as airfare, a passport, visas, medical costs, and personal spending.
Check out the Financial Planner below for an estimated breakdown of these costs along with more information about financially planning for your program abroad with SFS.
All students are welcome to apply for our need-based financial aid. Students who exhibit financial need for their program will be offered SFS financial aid. SFS aid is offered through a combination of scholarships, grants and loans.
Pell Grant Match
SFS matches Federal Pell Grant funding for students applying to an SFS semester program.
Many SFS students receive aid through their home institutions or other outside sources, so check with your financial aid office to see what aid may apply to an SFS program.
This academically rigorous program follows a six-day/week schedule. The interdisciplinary curriculum is designed to help students actively discover and understand the complexities of environmental, social, and economic issues in Kenya. Read more about the SFS program model.
Major academic themes include:
Elephant social behavior, communication, and intelligence
Population dynamics and management
Conservation strategies and challenges
Elephant habitat range and suitability
On the Elephants of the African Savanna program, you will take one 4-credit course. This course is participatory in nature and is designed to foster inquiry and active learning combining lectures, field exercises, assignments, and tests. This course is taught in English.
Click on the course to view a description and download the syllabus
SFS 3252 Elephant Ecology and Conservation in Kenya (4 Credits)
The African elephant (Loxodonta africana) is an important keystone species in Africa and has profound influence on the structure and dynamics of landscapes where it co-exists with other species. It’s one of the most charismatic and charming species, but its conservation and population status has continued to attract a lot of concern within and beyond Africa. A key worry is that its conservation is increasingly becoming uncertain across the entire African continent due illegal poaching, landscape fragmentation, and retaliatory attacks by local communities due to prevalence of human-elephant conflicts. In this course students will learn and examine diverse and critical aspects of African elephants in Africa, Kenya, and in the Amboseli and Maasai-mara landscapes. This learning process will be achieved through classroom interactive learning sessions, experiential field activities, class discussions and lectures by Faculty and various guests.
You will acquire hands-on skills in the field, including: elephant identification techniques, aging elephant dung, ground counts, behavioral studies, home range assessment using telemetry techniques, mitigation of human-wildlife conflicts, use of Swahili language, ethnophoto-voicing techniques, conducting social surveys (household interviews, focused group discussions and key informant interviews), data synthesis, analysis and interpretation, and scientific writing.
You will visit key elephant conservation areas in the Amboseli region, visit the Kimana Sanctuary and community conservancies, learn from the Maasai people and other local tribes living at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro and in the Maasai group ranches, and interact with researchers from the Amboseli Elephant Research Project.
Take back-to-back summer sessions and get the hands-on learning and skill-building experiences of an internship, while going off the beaten path and exploring the world. Each summer session focuses on a different topic, and you’ll have time to travel independently between sessions.
RECOMMENDED PROGRAM COMBO
Fundamentals of Wildlife Management (Kenya Summer I)
Elephants of Cambodia (Cambodia Summer I)
The Center lies in the heart of Kenya’s Rift Valley, nestled between three world-famous national parks. The snow-capped peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro towers over miles of savanna, replete with a diversity of wildlife. Students and staff live on a sprawling, grassy campus made up of traditional thatched bandas (cabins) and a central chumba (main building), just down the road from the small town of Kimana.
Dorm living with 4-person bandas
Chumba contains classroom, computer lab, and study spaces
Kitchen and dining hall, on-site cooking staff
Campus offers amazing views of Mt. Kilimanjaro
One-mile running trail on campus
Volleyball, soccer, Frisbee, and fire pit
Click on the icons below to learn more about our Center in Kenya.