Students will travel to Africa to learn about international conservation and development in national parks and wildlife areas of Zambia and Botswana. This course will cover issues of livelihoods and sustainable development in Zambia using the Livingstone Region of the Zambezi River as a model to explore the complex interactions between natural resources, local people, NGOs, government agencies, tourism providers, resource managers and tourists. We will focus our discussions on livelihoods, livelihood change and nature-based tourism in the context of sustainable development. In addition, students will engage with local communities, visit Victoria Falls World Heritage Site and Natural Wonder of the World, and spend time in iconic parks, like Chobe National Park, and engage with wildlife and managers!
After familiarizing ourselves with the unique natural landscape features, including Victoria Falls, a World Heritage Site and wonder of the world, we will explore nature-based tourism and sustainability with the view of understanding opportunities and challenges amidst tourism growth. We will also visit the Chief Mukuni Village to get a feel of a traditional way of life amidst tourism growth in the Livingstone area. Students will learn through extensive readings, class discussions, field visits (including field service projects with one of the local organizations or communities), meetings with tourism stakeholders, resource conservation activists and the local people.
Students will also visit the iconic Chobe National Park in Botswana and spend several days experiencing a safari of the major charismatic African wildlife and a unique camping experience within the park while engaging with park managers and professionals. This is a major highlight of the trip and a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Tentative course schedule
May 18 Depart Missoula
May 19 Overnight in Johannesburg, South Africa
May 20 Arrive in Livingstone Zambia. Check into the Kaazmein Lodge; Meet our Zambian cohort; Driving tour of the city.
May 21 Orientation to Livingstone Area; Livingstone Museum; Livingstone area background; Bird counts on the Zambezi River
May 22 Victoria Falls World Heritage Site.
May 23 Mosi-a- Tunya National Park
May 24 Tour of Sekute Community Trust/ African Wildlife Foundation
May 25 Chief Mukuni Village
May 26 Alert Program – Walk with Lions
May 27 Livingstone Tourism Association
May 28 Panel Discussions with Community Stakeholders Heritage, ZAWA, Ministry of Tourism, James, AWF
May 29 Field projects
May 30 Field projects
May 31 Field projects
June 1 Close out the Livingstone Experience
June 2 Depart for Chobe Elephant Park
June 3 National Park Safari Management
June 4 Chobe National Park Environmental Education in an expedition context.
June 5 Return to Livingstone
June 6 Depart for Missoula via Johannesburg
June 7 Return to Missoula or beyond
About the instructors
Jennifer Thomsen is an assistant professor of Park, Recreation, and Tourism Management at UM
Wayne Freimund is professor of Parks and Protected Area Management at UM
Jane Kwenye is a professor at Copperbelt University in Zambia and former graduate student at UM
PTRM 345X: Sustaining Human Society & Natural Environment, 6 credits (pdf file)
Open to undergraduate and graduate students
Scholarships and financial aid available
2018 dates TBD
Interested students can contact Jennifer Thomsen at firstname.lastname@example.org
$3,965 + airfare (cost includes all meals, lodging and tuition)