Contemporary East African Society and Conservation (in Tanzania)

This course is an immersive experience in Term 4 (January to early February), including travel to Tanzania, East Africa.

This course immerses George School students in Tanzanian culture, society, and nature by having them work collaboratively on inquiry-based, interdisciplinary projects with their student-peers from The Pamoja School located in the Maasai lands of West Kilimanjaro, Tanzania for part of their international journey. Students will engage in the vibrant cultures of West Kilimanjaro’s Maasai tribe and stay in a traditional Maasai village, sleeping in bungalows built of earth and clay. Student be guided by local Maasai tribesmen on walking safaris to search for wildlife and learn how local plants are traditionally used by the Maasai for medicinal and functional purposes. Students will also visit the Hadzabe – one of the oldest hunter-gatherer tribes in Africa – and have the unique opportunity to hunt with the men, practice bow and arrow skills, and walk with the women to gather wild plants, roots and fruits. Additionally, students will visit the Datoga Tribe, who are pastoralists that live off their livestock and are skilled blacksmiths.

The second portion of the international experience will focus on Wildlife Ecology. Students will have the opportunity to learn about the unique wildlife of East Africa and the conservation efforts underway to protect said wildlife while exploring the wilds of Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tarangire National Park, and Lake Manyara National Park. These areas boast the highest concentrations of elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs, giraffes, zebra, and wildebeests on the planet. Students will stay in or near the parks in tented camps or lodges surrounded by local flora and fauna. Student will record their wildlife observations in a detailed field journal and will have nightly reflections around the campfire to discuss what they learned during the day’s activities.

While at George School, students will have classes that will prepare them for their cultural and wildlife experiences while in Tanzania. This course will require students to be able to hike outside for several miles on uneven terrain.

Students earn 1 credit in science, 1 credit in history, and fulfill their service requirement. IB diploma candidates will be able to use this experience for their Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS) project. This immersion-term course is cross-listed as HIS990U (history) and SCI990U (science). A travel-abroad course, it requires parental consent.

Min-Max Credit Hours: 2.0-2.0