East Africa | Outdoor Educator

Live a true African adventure. Spend 33-days combining safari, Wilderness First Responder training, cultural immersion and high-altitude backpacking with NCOAE.

Questions? Call NCOAE Support (910) 399-8090


If you’ve dreamed of living a true African adventure, this is the course for you. You’ll spend 33-days combining safari, Wilderness First Responder training, cultural immersion and high-altitude backpacking with the National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE). Your outdoor classroom combines the stunning landscapes and cultures of one of Africa’s most interesting countries. And, you get to see elephants in the wild.

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33 days

Course Information

Adventure First

Africa will forever change your perspective about yourself and the world.

Africa will forever change your perspective about yourself and the world. NCOAE’s Outdoor Educator Instructor – East Africa course offers you the opportunity to develop outdoor leadership skills in some of the most stunning and wild corners of Kenya.

This course begins in Nairobi — Kenya’s capital and largest city — and is designed to immerse you in off-the-beaten track parts of East Africa. Go on safari to the famous wildlife reserves in Amboselli and Maasai Mara, where you will encounter zebras, giraffes, leopards and powerful kudo with their spiral horns. Camp in Maasailand and forge authentic relationships with the local Massai, while learning to be a better educator.

Imagine trekking across quiet trails in the Aberdare Mountains, known for their superb scenery, high altitude hiking and varied landscapes. And, all of this will lead you to a summit attempt of Mount Kenya, Africa’s second highest mountain.

At the end of this course — which is also available in Patagonia — you’ll be able use your newly developed technical, intrapersonal and interpersonal skill sets to teach, and lead others anywhere in the world — and become highly sought after on a global scale.

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  • Duration: 33 days
  • Minimum Age: 18
  • Tuition: $7,260.00
  • Credit Hours: 5

Education Always

  • Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification
  • Leave No Trace (LNT) Trainer certification
  • Expedition planning
  • Wilderness Risk Management
  • Remote wilderness camp craft
  • Backcountry navigation
  • Teaching-level knowledge of the NCOAE core curriculum
  • Navigating international logistics and Swahili-language variables
  • Itinerary
  • FAQs
  • Credits
  • Outcomes
  • Downloads

Itinerary Highlights

  • Attempt to summit Mount Kenya, a sacred peak to the Maasai and the highest point in Kenya (16,355’).
  • Build meaningful relationships with your group and with the locals.
  • Safari to internationally-recognized wildlife reserves, and witness the African savannah you’ve always dreamed of. You also might see the adorable, tiny furry mammal called a rock hyrax, said to be the closest living relative to an elephant.
  • Make a difference in the world while you participate in community service projects alongside the Maasai people.

Why Take This Course

  • To further your knowledge as an outdoor educator/field instructor
  • Test your abilities to travel and expedition in a foreign country
  • Connect to people from another culture
  • Climb one of the highest mountains in Africa
  • Learn about the theory of Adventure Education
  • Gain exposure to the NCOAE curriculum

Where You’ll Be

  • Maasai Community Land near Amboselli National Park
  • Maasai Mara Game Reserve
  • Amboselli National Park
  • Mt. Kenya National Park
  • Aberdare Mountains National Park
Where will we be staying?

Our accommodations vary from urban to rural settings. When we are in the city, we stay at hostels and guesthouses. Expect bunks, shared bathrooms, and common rooms full of like-minded travelers with great stories to share. When we get into the rural areas, we’ll stay in tents and enjoy our evenings trying to identify the stars of the Southern Hemisphere.

How different is the Outdoor Educator from the Semester course?

For the Outdoor Educator course, we pack a lot into your 33 days in Africa. We do this through combining the highlights of safari, local culture, and working through our exceptional Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course. The shorter, more intense course allows for a wide variety of activities against the backdrop of Africa. If you want to stay in Africa longer and do more, we suggest you consider joining us for a semester.

How difficult is the Wilderness First-Responder (WFR) course?

The WFR course involves a variety of technical medical information and hands-on training. Most graduates say the hands-on training is the most important part of the WFR course. The “real life” scenarios help you to understand how to use medical skills outside of the classroom. While the material is challenging and the course is demanding, our NCOAE instructors are some of the best in the industry. They want you to succeed, and they’ll take the time to ensure you thoroughly understand each concept during the course.

Is the Outdoor Educator course offered in other locations or on different dates?

NCOAE offers this course in a variety of locations and during different periods throughout the year to accommodate the destination and schedule that is best for you. You can explore Patagonia, Alaska, North Carolina, or the Pacific Northwest at various times of the year.

Beyond my tuition, what will I need to pay for in Africa?

Your tuition with NCOAE covers all major costs related to your room, board, and lodging, except when specified in the itinerary. You may request an optional dinner out when we are in an urban environment, which you would need to pay for separately. Additionally, you’ll need to budget a small stipend for your personal items, including souvenirs, extra snacks, and gifts.

What kind of food will I be eating?

Since we will be sourcing our food locally, we’ll be eating many of the African staples. Expect grilled meat, potatoes, rice, and delicious baked bread called chapati. Traditional African dishes are often a treat for our groups. We can also accommodate vegetarians and a variety of food preferences. Please note that the majority of African foods are prepared with peanuts, and this course may not be suitable if you have a severe peanut allergy. Breakfast usually consists of anything from granola to eggs to pancakes. Sometimes, we will prepare our own meals, and on other occasions, we will eat meals prepared by local cooks.

How will I be able to give back?

Because each international NCOAE course includes an opportunity to give back to the local community, rest assured that your course in Africa will make a difference in the lives of others. Our service work varies, depending on what is needed most. Because of our busy schedule during this Outdoor Educator course, our service work is coordinated with our network of friends in East Africa, and we encourage them to offer guidance on what we can do to have the greatest positive impact. We may be called on to volunteer in a local orphanage, clean up a community center, or paint a playground. But regardless of what we do, it’s always a rewarding adventure!

Is Africa safe?

Nothing is guaranteed “safe.” However, think of Africa as you think of the United States. There are rural places in the United States where you probably feel at ease leaving your items unattended and walking alone. In some urban areas, on the other hand, you wouldn’t want to be outside after dark, and you would need to rely on someone you trust and who is familiar with the area to identify potentially dangerous areas. East Africa is the same way. We will be in a variety of environments during our semester, with various levels of risk associated with each environment. Our NCOAE instructors and local guides will do their best to ensure you are knowledgeable about the local terrain and cultural differences. By understanding the risks, you are able to travel with our group in Africa with an increased level of confidence and awareness.

Do I need many immunizations?

NCOAE adheres to the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding immunizations required for those traveling in East Africa. Their website has all of the information you need on vaccines and travel, as well as a list of local travel clinics where you can get the vaccines you need prior to the semester. Visit the Travelers’ Health page on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for additional information.

Will I see wild animals?

Wild animals are unpredictable. We will be traveling in environments where visitors often see lions, zebras, and giraffes, but we cannot guarantee the amount of wildlife you’ll see. Africa’s national parks are home to a great diversity of wild animals, but in rural areas, many wildlife populations have diminished due to hunting or their natural territory has been encroached upon by human settlement. Injuries from animals are rare in Africa, and are often the result of poor human judgment; for example, getting too close to a wild animal while trying to take a photo of it. But, we feel fairly confident that you’ll be able to have a safe selfie with an elephant before the semester ends.

Academic Credit

Your work during our Outdoor Educator Instructor training course is eligible for up to five college-level credits through Keystone College:

  • EXPL 2110 — Experiential Learning: 3 credits
  • PHED 1125 F2F 001 — 1st Aid/Safety: 2 credits

Course Outcomes

The NCOAE Outdoor Educator – East Africa course is exceptional with its unique combination of adventure and skill development.  Additionally, the international setting of Kenya provides you with the advantage of expanded perspective, knowledge, and awareness.

Where do you want to go (physically, mentally, socially, academic, etc.)?

Kenya is the perfect classroom to help you become an outdoor educator with international experience that stretches both your body and mind. During this course, you will gain the skills and knowledge to run a practical and principled trekking expedition in a foreign country. Your new skills will include map reading, route finding, outdoor cooking, international logistics planning, Leave No Trace (LNT) outdoor ethics, high altitude self-care, and more.

Additionally, you’ll obtain a Wilderness First Responder medical certification, a prerequisite for the top jobs in the outdoor and adventure travel industries.

How will NCOAE help you get there?

Throughout the course, you’ll learn concrete tools to help you develop communication, leadership and decision-making skills. And, at the end of the adventure, you’ll return home with a deepened appreciation for the richness and diversity of our global community and newfound inspiration to contribute in meaningful ways.

NCOAE’s international programming objectives revolve around the concepts of self, community, action and impact; focus on authentic international learning and hands-on education; and involves locals and communities to create meaningful academic and personal connections.

The wilderness skills you gain are applicable to a wide variety of jobs and opportunities in the outdoor, wilderness, and adventure travel industries, including college and university outdoor recreation programs, and others throughout the country.

This Outdoor Educator – East Africa course and academic adventure is only offered through NCOAE, which is why we’re excited to offer it in Kenya.

Upcoming Dates / Reserve Your Spot

This Outdoor Educator – East Africa course and academic adventure is only offered through NCOAE, which is why we’re excited to offer it in Kenya.

Become an outdoor educator with once in a lifetime international experience that stretches both your body and mind.