Dr. Shem Mwasi
Lecturer in Wildlife Management
SFS Wildlife Management Studies, Kenya
This is the first week of the spring semester here at the Kilimanjaro Bush Camp where The SFS Centre for Wildlife Management, Kenya is located. The students are just getting acquitted to these rather rustic dusty conditions and anxious on how the first session of the semester before they embark on the second session in Tanzania would be.
Many of the students are looking forward to their first encounter with the charismatic African wildlife when they visit their first wildlife protected area: Amboseli National Park, just 30 minutes drive from the camp. In fact, they are going to the park later today. The students have already been introduced to all the courses they are to take during the semester and have received the introductions well in my opinion.
The students who are from different academic backgrounds with the majority in environmental sciences will have in a short time from now start thinking and acting like good wildlife managers! A task that is not easy considering the complexity of managing wildlife in Africa.
The students thus will have a chance this afternoon to come face to face with wild mammals of Africa at Amboseli National Park where they will learnt how to identify, age and study their social behaviour from a safe distance of their land cruiser hatches using field guides and pairs of binoculars.
The will later this month participate in a joint total count of all wildlife with Kenya Wildlife Service personnel and other stakeholders in Amboseli National Park. Despite being an extremely dusty and exhausting affair, a sizeable amount of count information is expected to be collected!