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Be seen. Be heard.

Office of International Programs

2004 - Mount Kilimanjaro and Serengeti

In June 2004, Professors Alexandra Deufel (Biology) and Robert Kibler (Humanities) led a group of students to Tanzania to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Afterwards, the group went into the Serengeti on safari. At nearly 20,000 feet, Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest free standing mountain in the world, the highest point on the African continent, one of the famous seven summits of the world, and a place of mystery and fascination the world over. Students began physical training regimens months before departing, and all successfully made the climb to either Gilman’s Point or Uruhu Peak-the two summits. The climb took 5 hard days, beginning in rainforest and ending amid the thin glacial air of the barren mountain top. The final summit bid began at midnight, with group members wearing headlamps and scrambling up frozen mountain scree and rock through a blizzard.

After climbing down the mountain, students jumped into an old British Amry truck and headed out on safari. The first stop was the Ngorogoro Crater or Caldera-formed when a mountain collapsed millions of years ago, trapping prey and predator alike at its bottom, thus setting conditions for a balanced ecosystem full of elephant, monkey, baboon, zebra, gazelle, wildebeest, lion, hyena, and hippo. Afterwards, the group visited the nomadic Masai people, who herd cattle in the Serengeti, staying in temporary huts made of cow dung, and guarding their herds from lions and hyena with spear and bush knife. Their ancestors were perhaps the ones whose 1.75 million year old footprints were discovered trapped in volcanic ash in nearby Oldupai Gorge by the Leakeys. Students had the opportunity to earn course credit by keeping scientific journals and by researching subjects related to the mountain, the Serengeti, or colonial enterprises and national independence in Tanzania.