My Brothers and Sisters in Africa:
Zimbabwe and Kenya

Jan 2012

Dr. John Moeller
Dr. G.R. Davis

Last revision 4 January 2011

Photographs by GR Davis from
December 2007 visit to Africa University

"One's destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things." Henry Miller

"Experience is a hard teacher. She gives the test first and the lesson later." Hindu Proverb


Project Description

Would you like to join several seasoned wildlife biologists and a National Geographic photographer to study the behaviors of African reptiles, amphibians, and mammals? Are you interested in learning about health care and education systems as you engage in service-learning at an orphanage in a Zimbabwean village? Would you like to collaborate with a sociologist to record the stories of the men, women, and children who live and work on a large farm in rural Zimbabwe? Want to learn about the impact of colonialism and the roles Westerners have played in the history and development of Africa? Would you like to see with your own eyes the impact of human activity on the wildlife in Zimbabwe, a country recovering from economic challenges, and then in Kenya where lions, elephants, giraffes, wildebeasts and other animals roam in carefully managed game preserves? If you would like to team with 1-3 Wofford students on one of these intensive service-learning projects based at Africa University in Zimbabwe followed by five days on safari in Kenya, then you should seek more details from Dr. John Moeller and Dr. G.R. Davis who can help you design a meaningful experience for yourself and your African brothers and sisters.


Children of Africa University farm workers gathering firewood

Course Information

Travel Information

Project Description and Academic Focus International Flight Information
Daily Schedule and Itinerary and Itinerary while in Kenya Passport and Visa Information
Accomodations and Food and Roommates US State Department Info
Selection of Participants Ground Transportation
Required Readings

Frequently Asked Questions

Course Requirements and Dr. Abercrombie's Six Commandments Accomodations and Food
The Instructors and Contacts Additional Excursions
On-campus Pre-departure classes Baggage and Packing List
Options while in Nairobi and Steven Moss' Advice

Health and Safety Issues

Examples of Student Writing from a previous Africa travel trip.  
Course Requirements and Grades Immunizations
Pre-requisites and Expectations Health Info from Center for Disease Control
Important Dates Travel Precautions
Africa/African American Studies Program at Wofford College General Information for Travelers
Other Links Travel Security Issues
Wofford-AU Student Conclave Topics  
Intro to Photography Workshop Powerpoint  




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Joel Nyabunze manages the piggery


Academic Goals and Nature of the Project:

The primary focus of this interim is service learning at African University (AU) in Zimbabwe, building upon the special relationships developed over the years by Dr. C.L. "Ab" Abercrombie and Dr. Chris Hope (Sociologist, retired from the College of Charleston.) Students will work in small teams (2-4 students) on individual projects at the university or in the surrounding community. In the initial offering of this interim, we have conceived of four major projects: 1) working at the Hartsell Orphanage (adjacent to the AU campus in Old Mutare) with health care delivery and education, 2) working with Dr. Randy Babb in his field work with mammals on the AU campus, 3) working with Drs. Abercrombie and Hope in their field work with reptiles on the AU campus, and 4) working with Drs. Davis and Hope on an ethnography of farm workers at the AU Farm. Thus the students will directly experience and work side by side with diverse individuals and organizations (agricultural, healthcare, and scientific) that impact a local African community and college. We anticipate this immersion into different activities will generate interesting and provocative discussions and broaden our students' understanding of a Zimbabwe and its ultimate connection to a global community. In turn we hope that our students will have a positive and observable impact in these communities as well.

We also expect to have smaller side trips to towns and nature preserves in Zimbabwe and Kenya to gain insights into the connections between local communities and natural areas. Finally, we will finish our travels with an exploration of the natural environment in the protected game reserves of Kenya where conditions are managed to sustain African wildlife which supports tourism, an important component of the economy. We will notice the stark contrast with Zimbabwe and especially the natural areas on the AU campus which have been exploited and depleted of wildlife as local people search for firewood, food, and dig mines in the river valley in search of gold. Although each student will be involved in a research or service-learning project, we intend for every student to realize that ecosystems and the organisms that live therein must be given consideration when we humans contemplate issues of sustainability and development in African nations and that Westerners, whether missionaries with good intentions or settlers seeking to tap the great resources, often failed to consider local traditions and customs in their attempt to "colonize" the Dark Continent. To that end, each student will read a memoir or biography by an author who has lived in Zimbabwe and in so doing develop a sense of how interactions between Westerners and native peoples have produced the current conditions. Because humans, the landscape and the wildlife form a fragile system in which human activities can endanger wildlife, we expand our sense of family (brothers and sisters) beyond the human inhabitants of Kenya and Zimbabwe to include the wildlife native to these special places. In comparing the managed wilderness areas of Kenya with the human pressures on the environment surrounding AU and its 600 hectare campus, our students should gain an appreciation of the challenges faced by these communities which should sharpen their awareness of the interplay between humans and nature back at home in the USA.

The Main Entrance to the Campus

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Pre-requisites and Expectations

This project is open to all interested students; there are no pre-requisites. Participants will be expected to walk without complaint for several miles on many days during the travel portion of the project, to function cheerfully in all weather conditions (including chilly nights and hot, rainy days in Zimabawe and Kenya), to be prompt, courteous, cooperative, reliable, responsible, and sensitive to cultural differences. All participants must be able to tolerate unforeseen changes to schedules, power outages and water shortages which are common on the AU campus, and unreliable internet connectivity. Students who do not cope effectively with stress or with new or uncomfortable conditions are advised to seek other Interim opportunities. Students with restricted diets should discuss this matter with instructors before enrolling.

Fields of the AU farm

In-class activities to accomplish the educational objectives of the project

Since this is a service-leaning project in which small groups of 2-4 students will engage in projects of their own interest and design, the instructors will assist students in locating reading materials and other resources specific to their projects and schedule meeting with these student teams to discuss their specific projects. Since all students will need to be knowledgeable about the context of their work, all will be exposed to (1) the history of Zimbabwe and Africa University, (2) the cultural and colonial history of the Africa with special emphasis on Zimbabwe and Kenya, (3) the geography and biota of Zimbabwe and Kenya, and (4) Africa and Africans as objects of missionary work. Our group will have lectures and discuss readings about each of those topics in the pre-departure sessions and continue those discussions throughout the travel portion of the project. In order to assure effective use of cameras, students will be given instruction in digital photographic techniques. Standard orientation-issues about safety, health, conduct-expectations, cultural sensitivity, responses to emergencies, etc. will be addressed.

The Africa University Chapel and Mount Chiremba

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Schedule and Itinerary.

Subject to modification to enhance the educational experience or in response to changes in conditions.

Classmeetings begin Thursday, Jan 5th.
Depart for Zimbabwe Jan 8,
Service learning projects based from Africa University Jan 10-19.
Wildlife Safari in Kenya Jan 20-26.
Return to US Jan 28.
Project work on campus until Wednesday, Feb.1.

Week 1:
Approximately 3 days of intensive classroom sessions to include orientation and preparation for travel to Zimbabwe and Kenya. Meetings on the Wofford Campus for orientation, travel safety and health issues, African ecology lectures by Dr. Moeller who has considerable knowledge of African reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. Dr. Davis will emphasize the colonial history of Africa and issues involving race, exploitation, and governance. Drs. Moeller and Davis will provide instruction on documentary photographic techniques. We'll discuss literature representative of Africa.


Weeks 2-3:
Begin travel portion of the course with 10 days of service-learning projects based on the campus of Africa University in Old Mutare, Zimbabwe under the supervision of Drs. Abercrombie, Babb, Davis, Hope, and Moeller.


Week 3
Travel in to Kenya with Drs. Moeller and Davis for wildlife safari: Late night arrival in Nairobi from Harare with a one day stay in the city and visit to the university. The following day we depart for Kenya National Park (1 night); Lake Nakuru and Thomson's Falls (1N); Masai Mara Game Reserve (2N); return to Nairobi for one evening and depart the following day to USA.
Week 4:
Complete travel portion. Return to Wofford. Summary sessions for 2-3 days; students will work on campus with computers in a room in Milliken Science Hall to complete work on project reports and compile the booklet and/or website.

Kenya Safari

January 20
Depart Harare on ET#873 departing at 1:35 p.m. arriving into Addis Ababa at 8:25 p.m.
Connect to ET#803 departing at 11:00 p.m.

January 21
Arrive Nairobi, Kenya at 1:00 a.m. Meet and Greet service with transfer to the Nairobi Safari Club Hotel.

We're considering several options for this "free day": Giraffe Manor, Carolina for Kibera, and Kazuri Beads Factory Tour.


This morning depart Nairobi and journey north, passing near Thika, which boasts the world's third largest pineapple plantation, and Dratina with its colorful market. We'll turn off the main road and head for the Serena Mountain Lodge ringed by dense rain forest that comes alive hours before dawn. This is a tree lodge set in a forest glade with a waterhole that attracts all sorts of wildlife during the day and night. The waterhole is floodlit and there is an underground viewing platform. Local game includes elephant, buffalo, rhino, waterbuck and hundreds of bird species. (B,L,D = Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner provided.)

January 23- TO LAKE NAKURU
Travel northwest to Nyahururu, still known as Thomson's Falls for its 237- foot cascade waterfall. Then head south to spectacular Lake Nakuru. After lunch at the Lake Nakuru Lodge enjoy an afternoon game drive into the most densely populated wetlands of Kenya. With a large population of flamingoes be on the lookout for both the black and white rhino. The Rothschild giraffe is another highlight as well as a fair share of buffalo, leopard, zebra and lion. Enjoy dinner and evening entertainment at the lodge.
(B, L, D)

After an early morning breakfast, drive to Narok town via mai-Mahiu with a brief rest stop and proceed on the Mara arriving in time for lunch ar Mara Simba Lodge. This afternoon enjoy a game drive into one of the largest and most well know wildlife reserves in Africa. It has an abundance of the "Big Five" wildlife. The lodge overlooks a dramatic bend of the Talek River. We'll enjoy the floodlit area by the river to view noctural species drinking after dark. (B, L, D)

Witness the wildlife again in the incredible Masai Mara Reserve. The lions, antelopes, elephants and zebras are bound to entertain you. After your morning game drive, return to the lodge for lunch and late this afternoon continue on another game drive before returning to the lodge before sunset. (B, L, D)

January 26- to NAIROBI
After breakvast we'll depart the Msai Mara and head across acres of rolling wheat and barley farms to Narok, the district headquarters of this part of Maasailand. From here we'll cross the vast plains on the floor of the Rift Valley whilst keeping an eye out for herds of giraffe and gazelle before heading up the rift escarpment. We'll arrive in Kenya's bustling capital in the early afternoon. Once in the city, we'll be dropped of at the Nairobi Safari Club Hotel with the balance of the day to be determined. (Breakfast only; lunch and dinner will be out-of-pocket.)

January 27- RETURN TO USA

After breakfast (provided) at the Safari Club Hotel, we'll have the morning free until our afternoon transfer to the airport for our flight to Washington DC via Addis Ababa. Depart on ET#800 at 5:45 p.m. arriving Addis Ababa at 7:45 p.m. connecting with ET#500 departing at 10:15 p.m.

January 28- Arrive in WASHINGTON D.C., fly to Charlotte.

Arrival into Washington D.C. (Dulles Airport) at 8:40 a.m. and connect with our domestic flight to Charlotte, arriving Saturday mid-afternoon.


Nairobi - Mount Kenya - Lake Nakuru - Masai Mara - Nairobi

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A Rock Python near the AU faculty housing area


Dr. Abercrombie and friends capture a python that will be measured, weighed and released on a remote part of the AU Campus.

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Pre-departure Class Meetings

We'll meet in the Olin Building on Thursday and Friday starting at 9:00 am sharp. We'll take a break for lunch and continue as long as necessary in afternoon sessions.

On Thursday, bring all remaining documentation, your cameras, binoculars, passports, and yellow fever certificates.

Be ready to discuss Abercrombie's letters and the book(s) you've read. We'll expect each of you to recall several examples from Ab's letters that you deem to be especially relevant/interesting/confusing/surprizing.

We'll review packing information, rules and expectations, and the various activities and projects that are anticipated.

Each student will select from a list of questions a topic to research and share with the class during the Friday class meeting.

We'll have a session on Essential Photography one of those afternoons.

A tentative list of questions.



Reference Materials

Required Reading for All


Ab at AU: Friday Afternoon Meditations from the Campus of AU, Fall 2010

Read these 14 weekly letters (list on right side column) from Dr. Abercrombie
and any other material you find interesting on that website.


US State Department Background Notes on Zimbabwe


US State Department Background Notes on Kenya




Choose one to read

To become familiar with the culture and history of Zimabawe, each student should choose to read at least one of the following or select an alternative and be prepared to lead a discussion about what they've read.

Roberts, Janine. Dare to Love Completely. Highly recommended for those intending to work at the orphanage.

Fuller, Alexandra. Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood. A white girl grows up during the turbulent years when revolution turned Rhodesia into Zimbabwe.

Fuller, Alexandra. Cocktail Hour under the Tree of Forgetfulness. In her second book, Fuller writes the biography of her wobbly mother and revisits her childhood and family history.

Godwin, Peter. When A Crocodile Eats the Sun: A Memoir of Africa. International travel journalist Peter Godwin periodically returns to his home in Zimbabwe to check in on his aging parents. As Godwin's father grows ever sicker, his native country also experiences difficulties associated with land reform and resettlement.

Lessing, Doris. African Laughter. Acclaimed author Doris Lessing looks at changes in her Zimbabwe homeland.

Lessing, Doris. The Grass is Singing. In this novel of mid-century Rhodesia, Lessing describes the racial and ethnic tensions that complicated (and sometimes destroyed) the lives of white Africans of English descent.

Meldrum, Andrew. Where We Have Hope: A Memoir of Zimbabwe. An American journalist moves to Zimbabwe and chronicles the continued struggle for political and economic freedom within the state run by Robert Mugabe.

Benatar, Isaac. The Song of Africa. An autobiography of Jewish boy who was born and grew up in Salisbary (now Harare) after World War II.

Dodge, Ralph Edward. The Revolutionary Bishop. An autobiography of an Iowa farm boy who became a Methodist missionary to Angola and then a Bishop responsible for Central Africa. (You'll meet Dr. Ed Dodge, the son of the Revoluitionary Bishop when he arrives mid-January to teach for the spring semester at AU!)


Optional Reading especially for Biologists

Africa as a Species Machine: An essay by Dr. Abercrombie.
Ab describes his ideas about how the interactions of climate change over
geological time is responsible for the types and patterns of organisms and habitats
that we see in Africa today.


Optional Reading for Enrichment


*Abercrombie, C.L., *Davis, G.R., *Ferguson, T. A. and Hope, C. Thy Wonders Displayed: Africa University.
A copy of this book (*note 3 Wofford authors) is provided to each student.

Read as much of this tome as you care to, knowing that whatever you read
will prepare you better for what you will experience in person!

Thy Wonders Displayed...Africa University


C.L. "Ab" Abercrombie, G.R. Davis, Terry Ferguson, and Chris Hope
ISBN-13: 97800-9786343-1-5

(cover shown to right)

Published by the Africa University Press
Copies available late July 2009 for $20 from
The Africa University Development Office
PO Box 340007, Nashville, TN 37212
615-340-7439 or 615-340-7290 (fax)

"Teeming with beautiful photographs and engaging prose, Thy Wonders Displayed: Africa University, is a remarkable presentation of landscape and life. Readers of this book will quickly find themselves exploring the Africa University campus in a wise, thorough, and compelling manner. A.U. is contributing faithfully to a hopeful future. This book is a first-rate presentation of science with a soul."

Dr. Ron Robinson
Perkins-Prothro Chaplain and Professor of Religion
Wofford College

"I thought I knew the University, and in a way I did-- its main campus, dormitory, and classroom and activity buildings, library, administrative offices, and the chapel. This book, however, introduced me to a much larger understanding of the campus -- its geological landscape, its wildlife, and its farm... This lovingly crafted text is complemented by a striking collection of photographs that bring the campus alive with their witness to the goodness, wonder, and beauty of the place."

from the Foreward by
Bishop J. Lawrence McCleskey
Executive Vice President for Development, Africa University



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Joseph works in the chicken house


Selection of Participants

Participants will be selected based in part on the following criteria:
a) Compelling expression of interest in the subject matter of this project. Simply expressing a desire to travel is insufficient. Students should 1) explain why they wish to travel to Zimbabwe in particular, and how the specifics of this project appeals to them, 2) describe the skills and attributes that they possess that equip them for this project, and 3) enumerate those characteristics and/or competencies they would like to develop by participating in this project.
b) Prior travel experience and class standing (juniors and seniors who have not traveled previously are given some preferential consideration.) Freshmen and sophomore are welcome on this project.
c) Campus citizenship.
d) Personal attributes (such as tact, energy, enthusiasm, willingness to contribute to discussions, tolerance of inconveniences, etc.)
e) Recommendations from faculty and others qualified to comment on applicant's attributes.

The instructors seek students who are willing to seriously engage in academic preparation during the on-campus class meetings prior to the travel portion, and who will maintain serious interest, energy, and enthusiasm during the travel segment, and who will engage in thoughtful reflection and discussion throughout.

These instructors urge students to select their top choice of interim project based on the academic topic and avoid trying to guess which projects will "make" and which might be "oversubscribed." Also, though it may be comforting to travel with friends, we believe that an interest in the subject matter and service learning opportunities will provide sufficient stimulation such that whomever your travel partners may be, the experience will be superb.

Margarit manages the greenhouse and tomato garden

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Mary gathers eggs


Course Requirements

Students are expected to
a) attend all orientation and concluding sessions
b) participate in all aspects of the project, to include
.....i) read and report/discuss at least one of the assigned memoirs or novels.
.....ii) design their service learning projects which involves background readings directly related to their projects. Such readings will be selected in consultation with the instructors.
.....iii) fully engage in their service learning project
.....iv) report in oral form their progress during the service-learning project
.....v) interact with instructors, local individuals, AU campus personnel, tour guides, etc. become knowledgeable of the biota, landscape, history and especially cultural history of Zimbabwe and Kenya
.....vii) keep a diary/chronology for the travel portion of the project to document their daily activities, accomplishments, insights, and impressions.
c) contribute a written report of no less than 5 typed pages supplemented with photographs and other supporting material that summarizes the purpose, impact, and outcome of their service learning project on the local community and on themselves. These reports or versions thereof are to be assembled into a booklet or website that will document our activities and serve as a resource for students in subsequent years to consult as the successors to this first AU service learning project propose service learning projects of their own.


F = failure to complete any of a-c above
P = satisfactory completion of a-c above.
H = excellent performance in the completion of a-c above.


The Six Commandments according to Dr. Abercrombie:

1. Thall shall not buy diamonds.
2. Thall shall not mess around with very long dark or black snakes.
3. Thall shall not sleep with anybody you didn't know before this trip.
4. Thall shall not cross a street without looking both ways.
5. Thall shall not get into extended conversations about President Mugabe.
6. Thall shall give thyself the opportunity to fall in love with Africa, the landscapes, the peoples, and the pleistocene megafauna!

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Examples of Student Writing

Here are some examples of good student writing from a previous travel interim to South Africa and Namibia. Use these as models when you're writing about your experiences. They include sufficient detail about daily activities and personal reflections about the meaning of those encounters.

Blog by Ashely Carr

Blog by Sarah Harste

The writings of Zach Chillag


Pre-departure (Thursday and Friday) class meeting topics

Class meets in Olin 219 promptly at 9:00 am.

Thursday: bring passport, yellow fever certificate, your camera, binoculars, outstanding documentation for Wofford, the book(s) you read, pen and paper for taking notes and teamwork.

Optional: bring laptop for some searching during class time.

Topics and Activities:
Setting up a phone tree
Discussing Ab's letters and Commandments
Rules and expectations
More on packing: personal stuff, gifts (jump drives, salsa, toys, lab equipment, regalia...)

More on our travel plans (Airline Miles)
Cell phones and computers
Money and Credit Cards (notify banks with travel dates)
Daily plans while in Zimbabwe
The people you'll meet
Keeping a journal


Questions students will prepare for Friday presentations. Students will draw a number that determines the order in which they are to choose one of these questions to research and share their answers during a Friday class session.




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Credit toward African/African American Studies Program

Students may be able to apply this interim toward the requirements of the A/AA Studies Program. Check with the A/AA Studies Program coordinators for further details.

Norman works at the AU dairy

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Ground Transportation


Farm workers heading to the fields



American Methodists provided a new
Massey Ferguson Tractor for the AU Farm


AU Buses will transport us back and forth from the
airport in Harare to Africa University in Old Mutare.

We'll travel by two seven-passenger motor coaches during our Kenya Safari.

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International Flight Schedule

Revised as of 19 Decemeber 2011

We'll all travel in the Wofford College bus to Charlotte,
leaving from campus at 3 am on January 8th.





8 Jan
United Express # 6075
Charlotte (CLT) to Washington, D.C. (IAD) dep 6:00 am arrive 7:29 am
8 Jan
Ethiopian Air (ET) # 501
Washingon to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (ADD)

dep: 10:45 am arrive 8:05 am 9 Jan

9 Jan
ET # 873
Addis Ababa to Harare, Zimbabwe (ARE) dep 9:20 am arrive 12:45 pm
20 Jan
ET # 872
Harare to Addis Ababa dep 2:40 pm arrive 7:55 pm
20 Jan
ET # 803
Addis Ababa to Nairobi, Kenya (NBO) dep 11:15 pm arrive 1:20 am
27 Jan
ET # 800
Nairobi to Addis Ababa dep 6:20 pm arrive 8:25 pm
27 Jan
ET # 500

Addis Ababa to Washington, D.C. with stopover in Rome Fiumicino for refueling
arrive 2:25 am Dep 3:25 am (remain aboard)

dep 10:15 pm arrive 8:40 am 28 Jan
28 Jan
USAirways #3686
Washington, D.C. to Charlotte dep 1:40 pm, arrive 3:03 pm

Ethiopian Airlines is a member of Star Alliance Flyer Miles Program so if you are/become a member, you'll earn about 36,000 miles.



Information on baggage fees and restrictions is a bit confusing, but according to an agent at United Express they will be incurred based upon our first flight. Thus our travel to Zimbabwe will be based upon the United Express fees and restrictions and travel to the US will be based upon Ethiopian Airlines fees and restrictions.

United Express:
1. You can bring one carry-on restricted to 45 linear inches plus one personal item (equivalent to a laptop or small camera bag)
2. Your first check in bag is free but each additional bag is $70
3. Your check in bags must be limited to 50 pounds or you will suffer additional fees
Ethiopian Airlines:
1. You can bring one carry on restricted to 45 linear inches plus one personal item (equivalent to a laptop bag
2. You can check in two bags free of charge
3. Your check in bags must be limited to 50 pounds or you will suffer additional fees

Packing List

Packing list as an MS Word Document

One carry-on bag.
One personal carry-on item (purse, camera bag, or small bag).
One checked bag of less than 50 pounds. Could be wheeled suitcase or backpack stuffed inside a large duffel bag for airport baggage handling.

Wear your nicest clothes (for dinners and church services) during the flights.
Walking shoes
Socks and liners (not all cotton)
Shorts/pants (zipoffs are nice)
Skirt (optional for Joseph)
T shirts (2-4, not all cotton)
Fleece or light jacket
Rain Jackets (crucial)
Hat with wide brim
Long Sleeve Shirt (lightweight)
Flight Clothes = going-out-to-eat clothes
Bathing suit
Bandanas (2)
Belt (if needed)

Personal toiletries
Toilet paper (can get once in country.)
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Chapstick with sunblock
Sunblock lotion

Other Gear
Notepad and pencils
Garbage bags
Ziplock bags
Pocket knife (must be in checked bag)
Field guide(s) and Travel Guide Books
Maps (optional)
DEET (mosquito repellent)
Water bottle
Tripod and/or monopod (optional)
Umbrella (optional)
Head lamp (preferable) or Flashlight
Lightweight Sleeping bag (optional)
Detergent in a bag or small bottle
Extra batteries

Bold = put in carry-on bag or money pouch

Airline ticket***
Yellow fever certificate***
Bank cards call re travel plans
Paper journal/notebook
Medications in original bottles
Antimalaria, pepto-bismol
Something to read on the flights
Digital storage media with your name
camera cable to connect to computer
AC adaptor(s)
Photocopies of passport
Photocopies of bank cards
Small Pillow (suitable for airline and tent camping)
Toothbrush & paste
Cash (US$ ones, fives, tens, & twenties) in money pouch
Watch/alarm clock



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The Soungweme girls

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Accomodations and Food


On the AU Campus, food in the dining hall is between $2.00 to $3.50, depending on how wide your varieties are. The meals are made up of starch, usually rice, potatoes and our staple sadza, meat dishes such as beef, chicken, green vegetables, fruit. Drinks, (sodas) cost 50 cents per bottle and $1.00 for the canned drink.


For those who stay for some time at the Fairfield Guesthouse, you can buy food in town and use the kitchen that is shared with the other guests.


Most meals are provided during the Kenya safari but while in Nairobi you'll need money to purchase meals.


AU Campus: Agriculture Building


Sadza, beans, and cabbage in the AU Dining Hall

Dorms on the AU campus

Students will reside in the AU Dorms and/or at the Fairfield Guest House during ten days of service learning.
We'll dine modestly in the University Cafeteria.


Nairobi Safari Club only
a McDonald & Griffin
b Coxe & Patterson
c Schronce & Ling
d Gardner & Sidden
e Davenport & Shaw
f Taylor & McAbee
g Davis & Moeller

Roomates all other Kenya sites

A McDonald & Taylor
B Coxe & Griffin & Patterson
C Schronce & Ling
D Gardner & Sidden
E Davenport & Shaw
F Davis & McAbee & Moeller

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The Soungweme family


The Instructors

Project Mentors (left to right) are Dr. Davis, Dr. Hope, Dr. Abercrombie & Dr. Moeller
seen here on an alligator project near Georgetown, SC.

More about each of the Project Mentor

During the travel portion of the trip, if it becomes necessary to contact a professor or student, please do so only in the case of emergency and then only via Dean Amy Lancaster.


Dr. G.R. Davis, Professor of Biology
Office phone 864-597-4621
Cell 864-237-2165
fax to Department of Biology 864-597-4659

More about Dr. Davis

Dr. John Moeller,
Associate Professor of Biology

More about Dr. Moeller

Dr. Clarence "Ab" Abercrombie
Professor Emeritus, Wofford College

More about Dr. Abercrombie

A letter to the Wofford students from Dr. Abercrombie


Amy Lancaster, Assistant Dean for Academic Administration and International Programs

Boyce Lawton,



Emergency Contact Numbers during Travel Segment

Sharai Nondo, Acting Director, Information and Public Affairs
Africa University
Box 1320
Mutare, Zimbabwe
Phone : +263 20 66169/61611/60075
Fax: +263 20 61785

Pollmans Tours and Safaris (while in Kenya)
Nairobi Office
+254 20 354 1552 / + 254 20 213 6503 / +254 73 599 9903 / + 254 72 187 6311
fax +254 20 533 123
Emergency Numbers: Abdi Hilal (mobile) +254 73 378 6162
Daniel Mungai (Mobile) +254 73 378 6126
Esther (Mobile) +254 72 236 6134

Nariobi Safari Club Hotel
Phone 011-254-20-25133
21-22 Jan 2012 and 26-27 Jan 2012

Serena Mountain Lodge near Mt. Kenya National Part
Phone 011-254-61-2030785
22-23 Jan

Lake Nakuru Lodge, Lake Nakuru, Kenya
phone 011-254-51-850228
23-24 Jan

Mara Simba Lodge near Masai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya
pohne 011-254-50 22051
24-26 Jan

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Ponds near the AU field are home to many species of frogs



Additional Activities

At some locations, there are optional activities at additional cost. These often involve performances of traditional songs and dances and in most cases a tip of $5 US from each student is expected (not included in course fee.)


Sarudzai, a field hand


Ponds on the AU campus are home to many species of amphibians


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An AU Security Guard

US State Department International Travel Information

There are no US State Department travel warnings or advisories for Zimbabwe or Kenya as of 12 March 2011 and 17 November 2011. Likewise, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom have no restrictions recommended for Kenya and Zimbabwe. The US State Department issued a Travel Warning to Kenya dated 28 December 2010 for potential terrorist threats stemming from events in 1998 and 2002. The State Department website cautions against travel to regions of Kenya bordering Somalia. Our itinerary does not include travel in that region. Our travel plans have us spending one day in Nairobi, Kenya before traveling to Kenya National Park, and we expect to make arrangements for activities that day that minimize risks associated with travel in that city. Upon our return from the safari to Nairobi, we will depart in the late afternoon for Addis Ababa and thence onward to Washington DC and Charlotte NC. We (Moeller and Davis) have enrolled in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program which will automatically notify us via email with State Department updates related to Kenya and Zimbabwe.

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Shem, a diary worker



Spiny mouse captured near the Gold Mines

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Travel Security Issues

Consular Information Sheets published by the State Department provide information on entry requirements, medical facilities, crime, traffic safety & road conditions, aviation, and embassy locations. Check the Information Sheets for Background Notes (country Profiles) for Zimbabwe and Kenya. They are posted on the State Department website and provides information about the population, ethnic groups, geography, government and political conditions, history,economy, travel and business information.

The State Department also publishes "Tips for Student Travelers" which is very sound advice. "A Safe Trip Abroad" is also packed with useful information.

The organizers of the travel trip are cognizant of safety and security issues and will not knowingly endanger themselves or students by traveling to dangerous regions. We will be monitoring US State Department information.

Old AU Campus and Farm Fields from the Hill of the Cross


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Students are to consult with their physicians regarding immunizations which are appropriate for travel to Zimbabwe and Kenya.


The Center for Disease Control's recommendations for travelers to Zimbabwe


The Center for Disease Control's recommendations for travelers to Kenya


You may arrange to obtain immunizations locally from

Spartanburg Regional Hospital's Travelers Health Clinic
864-560-6806 contact person Julia Oehlson 8-4:30 closed noon-1 except Friday.
101 East Wood Street, Spartanburg, SC 29303 Fax 864-560-7329 email:

Physician's fee = $76 (special reduction to $50 for our group) plus the cost of each immunization (i.e. Yellow fever is $104.)


Passport Health



Timothy, the field foreman, oversees the planting of corn



Snakes are very common on the Africa University campus

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Course Costs and Other Expenses

$4417 Course Fee includes round-trip airfare, airport transportation, insurance, emergency cell phone for the project leaders, room and board at Africa University in the campus dormitories, tours and park entrance fees, locally-guided safari includes all meals, group transportation costs in Zimbabwe and Kenya, and hotels during transit.


Additional Expenses not included in the Course Fee:

Not included in the course fee: texts and reading materials, personal expenses, Zimbabwe visa ($50 US upon arrival in Zimbabwe), Kenya visa ($50 in Bole international Airport.) optional day trip of 25 miles from Africa University to Mutare ($25), beverages and snacks during safari and on travel days (estimated $60), bottled water if students choose not to drink the local water (estimated $20), tip for safari guide (estimated $20), entertainment i.e. tips for performances by native singers and dancers (estimated $35), passport, medical expenses (i.e. vaccinations), personal cell phones and phone cards, binoculars and camera, guidebooks, travel guides, and texts (The professors will have a sufficient number of copies to share), meals in cities (estimated $30-60 US), and souvenirs.

Waiting for the bus in Mutare


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Chorusing frogs highlight the night walks on the AU campus


Exotic insects are commonplace on the AU campus

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Passport and Visa Information


For students who already have a passport: check the expiration date to be sure that your passport will be valid for the duration of our trip. Passport must be valid for 6 months beyond our scheduled stay.

For students who need a passport: all necessary materials and information can be obtained from the main Spartanburg Post Office at the corner of South Church Street and Henry Street. You will need to provide a certified copy of your birth certificate, complete with embossed seal.

Check here for the latest US State Department Passport Information. And another update is here.


VISAS - Please ensure your passport has sufficient blank pages (at least two double pages) for any visas required and for entry/departure stamps. Visas can be purchased at all the African airports. However, long lines could occur if visas are purchased at these airports. The fees below must be paid in cash (US$10 and US$20 bills are recommended for this purpose) Prices are subject to change.

" Kenya Visa costs $50.00
" Zimbabwe Visa costs $50.00


Tongesai visits his wife's tomato patch


Linus worked at the reservoir for the AU campus



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Important Dates

Students wishing to commit to one travel/study project should turn in a $500 non-refundable deposit and complete Interim 2012 Travel/Study Project Application ( to Dean Lancaster by no later than 3 p.m. on Friday, May 6 (checks only, made out to Wofford College with project destination and W number noted on "Memo" line).


Frogs mating after the December rains

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Generic Information for International Travelers


General Tips for Traveling Abroad

Bureau of Consular Affairs (US State Department Home Page for Travel Advisories.)

Tips for Student Travelers from the Bureau of Consular Affairs


Health Information from the Center for Disease Control.

Students are responsible for determining which, if any, medications they should obtain.

Walking home after a trip to town

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Some Frequently Asked Questions. (Consider that will it be dusty on the safari. Bring bags for your electronic equipment.) updated 2 January 2012

1. What is our luggage limit? Number of bags? Weight?
See the packing list information.

2. How much spending money should I bring? Should I carry cash, traveler's checks, an ATM card or a combination of all three?
ATM cards are preferable and in Zimbabwe don't count on having access to a bank or ATM. We'll get to a bank every now and then in Kenya. Probably the best thing is to carry cash in small denominations. You'll need $100 just for visas when entering Zim and Kenya. You'll need money for some meals, souvenirs, water if you decide to buy it, and tips for guides. Hard to say how much because different folks have different spending patterns and appetites.

3. Will we get to shower every day?
Showers should be available most days, but perhaps not every day.

4. Would you recommend taking a video camera?
Personal choice, same charging opportunities as for a computer.

5. How much will I be moving my luggage? Would it be easier to pack in a backpack?
For this trip, a large rolling suitcase is good. A back pack is a good option but you'd need to place it inside a large duffel bag for the flights. You will need to load up the vehicles with your own bag each time we move so make sure you can handle your own stuff. We won't have porters.

6. Do we need to worry about (buy and bring) mosquito repellant?
Always a good idea to have a personal supply.

7. Are towels a necessity to bring?

8. What kind of clothing should we bring?
Shorts, T shirts, long trousers and long sleeves for the evenings and something warm (a light-weight jacket). Again, see the packing list.

9. Do we need Dramamine or other such medicine for the bus rides or flights?
Bring a sufficient supply of any personal medicine you might need.

10. What is the average temperature of during January?
It'll be hot and rainy in Zimbabwe.

11. Will we be able to wash clothes at some point during the trip?
Yes, even if it be hand washing. Bring a little powdered laundry detergent in a ziplock bag.

12. Will our personal belongings be safe (i.e. cameras and other valuables)?
Cameras will probably be with the owners most of the time. Never leave your valuable is plain sight. In fact, leave at home (in the US) whatever you can't afford to lose.

13. Do I need a mosquito net?

14. How much freedom are we going to have to explore and investigate on our own?
Quite a bit, actually. While in Zimbabwe, we'll be occupied by various activities. On safari, generally we get started about sun-up and accomplish a great deal before noon. In the early afternoon, there is usually some "down time" and often in the late afternoons before and after dinner there is free time to investigate about the campsite.

15. Do we need hiking boots?
A light weight pair is a good idea but not essential. You will need good walking shoes; some days we'll be walking several miles. Sometimes the sand is hot. On most occasions sandals will be fine but bring some socks to avoid irritation that comes when walking through deep sand.

16. Are we going to be able to call home?
Don't count on it. It will probably be expensive. Instead, you might rely on email.

17. Should we bring filters or water treatment tablets?
No, they are not necessary.

18. Should we bring our own sleeping bag?
Yes. Bring a light weight bag if you already have one.

19. What happens if I get sick or injured?
We take you to a doctor, if it is serious. In a worst case scenario, you will be evacuated.

20. What happens in the case of a family crisis back home?
It is a personal decision as whether to leave the trip or remain. If you have supplemental travel insurance, the insurance policy may cover the cost to get the passenger to the airport and back to the USA if there is a medical crisis with a family member.

21. Will I be able to recharge batteries (ie. for cameras, etc.)
Yes through an outlet at some of the accommodation mains power (220v) will be available. We will have some outlet adaptors.

22. Will there be telephone and/or internet access?
Limited telephone, limited internet.

23. Are there cultural concerns related to clothing? (Shorts?)
No, but don't invite come-ons by wearing short shorts or skimpy clothes. Have a set of casual clothes suitable for wearing to church or out to eat in a restaurant. Nothing too fancy.

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