To begin, I want to talk about something you will experience anywhere and everywhere you go during your time in Tanzania. Whether you are at the local coffee shop, driving to a neighboring town, or on safari, you will encounter some of the most breathtaking views you have ever seen. Of course, pictures show this best, so here are a few to prove my point!
While the camp is in the town of Rhotia, you will also get to experience several other parts of the country. There are many trips to neighboring towns like Karatu and Mto wa Mbu which both have markets and other fun activities like wood-carving and picturesque hikes! Rhotia itself is a great town to be situated in with many chances to interact with the locals, purchase fabric to make new clothes, and visit the very good coffee shop (the one with one of the best views I’ve seen so far). We also experience three different national parks—Lake Manyara, Tarangire, and the Serengeti—and we have a weekend away in Arusha, too!
Next, I want to talk about the people here. Not only is it exciting to be studying with other students who share the same passions and interests as you, but it is also exciting to work and live with all of the staff members here. You can expect to always be greeted with a beaming smile and the perfect opportunity to practice Swahili. Then, there are the community members outside of camp—another great opportunity to practice Swahili! From the young kids waving exuberantly as you drive by town to the men and women running the shops, it is always interesting, fun, and insightful to interact with the local people and learn about their culture.
The Learning Experience
Imagine going to school and enjoying every single class you’re taking. While that may seem like a far-fetched idea, here at the Center for Wildlife Management studies it is just the opposite! The extremely knowledgeable professors put together classes that are relevant, eye-opening, and thought-provoking. Along with this, the abundant opportunities to take our learning outside the classroom provide experiences that can’t be found anywhere else. It is both amazing and surreal that we are able to learn things in the classroom and then apply them and physically see them around Tanzania. I cannot wait to begin the directed research project and can only imagine how enriching that experience will also be!
The Flora and Fauna!
So far, some of the most amazing experiences I have had here include seeing a multitude of new types of plants and so many incredible animals that I thought I would never be able to see in their natural habitats. And learning about them in the classroom only makes it even more incredible! From the many baboons to the elephant herds, the opportunity to observe these animals in the wild exceeds any and all expectations and allows you to understand them in a much greater capacity. While pictures hardly capture the experience, here are two of my favorites from our trip to Lake Manyara National Park!