Name: Kim Johnson
School: Colby College
Program: Wildlife Management Studies, Kenya
Recently we got the opportunity to go on a week long expedition to Lake Nakuru National Park! It was a fun-filled adventure with lots of learning, and the surroundings were beautiful and lush. The first night was very exciting as we got to witness a lion being attacked by some cape buffalo! The buffalo chased the lion into a tree and were waiting at the bottom to prevent it from coming back down. This was all happening 200 feet from the fence of our hostel! It was cool to see the wildlife so close to our temporary home, but a firm reminder of the dangers nearby.
The first full day consisted of a traveling lecture around the park and a game drive. It was a slippery ride but we got to see our first rhinos! They are much bigger and more muscular than I had expected. The next day there was a short exercise for our Wildlife Ecology class in which we counted animals and recorded their habitats. In the afternoon we participated in an exercise on the impacts of humans in the park for Environmental Policy and an animal classification exercise for Wildlife Management. The third day we were able to go outside the park and see a little bit of Nakuru town during a traveling lecture that discussed the pollution of water and fencing that blocked wildlife movement. Even though it was pouring rain in the afternoon, everyone was still eager to go on a game drive to see all the amazing animals in the park.
The final day involved an intensive observation of zebra and rhino behaviors for Wildlife Management, and a relaxing trip to a nearby lodge in the afternoon. Some students chose to do a game drive as well, and we got to see a snoring lion that was sleeping less than 10 feet from the road — so cool! Overall, the expedition was a great experience for everyone and it was particularly enjoyable having all classes outside with related field exercises. Can’t wait for the next trip!