THE RESEARCH ENVIRONMENT

The Kingdom of Swaziland is a small developing nation with an intact tribal culture ruled by the continent’s last absolute monarch. Swaziland provides an unprecedented opportunity for American students to engage in a culture with distinctly different social norms, beliefs, and narratives from those in the United States. Moreover, Swaziland is safe and has the infrastructure to facilitate research and accommodate the needs of American students.

Students will become part of an ongoing, productive, and international research collaboration between the University of Florida and the University of Swaziland. Students will be based at the Savannah Research Center created by University of Florida and the All-Out Africa Foundation to enhance student research opportunities. At the Research Center, students will be able to experience African wildlife first hand in a safe environment (no lions, elephants or rhinos) that does not require armed guards for walks in the bush (unlike many African parks). While most of Africa’s ecological field-based research facilities are based well within the confines of protected areas, the Savannah Research Center is based in the middle of an agricultural landscape on the edge of the Mbuluzi Nature Reserve, only minutes from crop and grazing lands. The Center positions us to uniquely address the ecological and conservation issues related to the increasingly agricultural landscapes found throughout Africa.

The center consists of walk-in tents with beds, bathroom and shower facilities, and a general usage building with a large porch and common area, kitchen, storage areas and a computer lab with computer work areas. The center has electricity and limited internet access. It is 25-30 minutes away from a supermarket and shops and two hours from the University of Swaziland. It is located on the banks of the Mbuluzi River, at the northern end of the Mbuluzi Game Reserve.

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