Tanzania Semester

Leadership & Guide Training Courses
(80 days)



Home to Mt. Kilimanjaro, the tallest peak on the continent, and some of the most unique ecological zones in Africa, Tanzania is a prime location to gain international leadership experience and technical skill. The diverse terrain encompasses the Serengeti plains, filled with zebras, giraffes, lions and elephants, rainforest, alpine desert and the glaciated summit of Kilimanjaro. This unique geography, the Ngorngoro Conservation Area UNESCO World Heritage Site, over 120 different ethnic groups, and world class safaris make Tanzania one of the most intriguing areas to develop leadership skills.

Kilimanjaro and East Africa Backpacking Meet a Masai warrior walking the plains of the Serengeti, trek alongside the glaciers of Kilimanjaro, and learn the basics of Swahili in order to purchase fresh fruit in a market. The course begins with a hiking safari around the Ngorongoro Crater. Next, you’ll climb to the summit of Mt. Meru (14,967ft/4,562m), a spectacular caldera and area that sees few people.

As you acclimate, you’ll practice the fundamentals of navigation and route finding and learn about high altitude medical considerations. The course culminates with an ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,340ft/5,895m), the highest point in Africa. Students gain substantial experience by taking an active role in leading the climb. This course can be combined with First Aid & Professional Incident Response and a Service Program for a full semester.

First Aid & Professional Incident Response This program combines a 10 day Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course and a 12 day Professional Incident Response course. The focus is high altitude medicine, risk management, and emergency response considerations in the developing world. This comprehensive professional training program produces competent international first responders and incident managers.

Service Program IWLS Service Programs work with local schools, clinics, and youth centers in Moshi and small villages on the slopes of Kilimanjaro. Whether working with local youth to paint a school, supporting health education, or participating in forest conservation efforts, these important programs are a way to gain substantial experience working with aid projects in developing countries, and they are profoundly appreciated by local communities.

After each segment you will have a few days to unpack, clean up, reconnect with all your loved ones, and prepare for the next portion of the program.

Upon completion of your summer semester in Tanzania, you will be a competent and confident leader in a variety of terrains and techniques. Qualified students may have the opportunity for employment as a guide or instructor with IWLS.

THE INSTRUCTORS AND GUIDES OF IWLS are widely recognized as some of the very best in their field and have practical leadership experience from around the globe. They are well trained and have an uncommon enthusiasm for sharing their skill and knowledge, borne out of a passion for outdoor exploration.

The International Wilderness Leadership Schools’ educational model nurtures leadership development and creates an awareness of the guiding mentality that is essential for leading safe, fun adventures in the mountains. The combination of technical skills training, experiential education and practical leadership experience make the IWLS curriculum world class.

Silhouettes and glacier views on Kilimanjaro summit day. -Eileen Levy

THE IWLS GENERAL CURRICULUMoutlines the essential components for effective outdoor leadership. Here are a few points that the course will focus on.

  • Equipment/Clothing Selection and Use: You’ll learn to choose the right gear for the correct application, whether enjoying a sunny afternoon on a snow slope or trekking through a tropical rainforest.
  • Leadership: You’ll have the opportunity to lead the group in a variety of activities and objectives.
  • Environmental Ethics: As adventurers in some of the most pristine environments on the planet, it is our duty to respect the natural landscape. All of our courses practice and teach Leave No TraceĀ® principles.
  • Safety and Risk Management: Safety is always the #1 consideration. As the course progresses, you’ll develop an awareness to appropriately asses risk and make safe decisions.
  • Wilderness Emergency Procedures and Treatment: Learn how to effectively manage safe, efficient, and timely backcountry rescues.

-Wade Binkley

IWLS MOUNTAINEERING CURRICULUM is built from countless expeditions in Alaska and around the world. You’ll learn how to be a competent and proficient mountaineer in a variety of different environments. Below are some topics we’ll cover.

  • Self-Arrest: What happens if you fall on a steep now slope? Learn, through hands on experience, how to stop a fall quickly and efficiently.
  • Anchors: Anchor building is a fun, yet intricate subject. We’ll examine single, double, triple and complex anchors, and their different applications. Learn how to place anchors in snow, rock, and ice.
  • Crevasse Rescue: Traveling in glaciated terrain requires that every member of the team be proficient in crevasse rescue. We’ll learn how to get a team mate out of a crevasse quickly and efficiently.
  • Technical Climbing: Rock climbing, ice climbing and steep snow climbing are all included in the IWLS’ curriculum.

-Eileen Levy

IWLS BACKPACKING CURRICULUM prepares students for exploration into remote, backcountry settings. Here are some points we’ll cover on your course:

  • Swiftwater Rescue: You’ll learn the skills necessary to descend a river safely and how to correct things if problems occur. From learning how to pluck swimmers from rapids to righting flipped rafts, this comprehensive course sets the standard for river rescue.
  • Stoves and Campfires: The ability to repair a broken stove, make an emergency fire after being submerged in an icy river, and melt snow efficiently for water are key components for leading a group in the wilderness.
  • River and Stream Crossings: In river crossings, attention to detail and safety are #1. You’ll learn and practice safe techniques for wading across a small stream or doing a Tyrolean traverse across a raging river.
  • Geology: From plate tectonics to granitic batholiths, you’ll learn the history of the land you are exploring and how these forces create and influence the environment around you.

EXPERIENCE LEVEL No previous experience is necessary for this course. However, with a desire to learn and an enthusiasm for adventure, you’ll develop the skills necessary for a lifetime of wilderness exploration.

CERTIFICATIONS Upon completion of the 80-day course, participants may qualify for the following certifications:_

24 Day Guide Training Certificates of Completion
International Wilderness Leadership School


Wilderness First Responder
International Wilderness Leadership School


Professional Incident Response
International Wilderness Leadership School


DATES & PRICES Please see our schedule for current dates and price information.