Southern African Wildlife College

University Programmes

In addition to the full spectrum of higher and further education and training offered to field staff and mangers of protected areas, the College also offers tailor-made programmes for visiting universities on conservation and environmental issues.


The programmes can be developed to suit the time constraints, budgets and curricula of these institutions and the individuals or groups they bring .

The SAWC has for many years welcomed students groups from around the world who have visited from universities and other training institutes as part of their abroad programmes to expand their studies, areas of interest or to conduct applied research in both a theoretical and practical way.

International students have in the past joined us from various universities in the United States of America – Michigan State University, Texas A&M, Grand Valley State University, University of Florida, Sierra Nevada College, University of Jacksonville, Marshall University, University of Southern Utah, University for Virginia and Santa Fe College. The University for Queensland from Australia has been in association with us for more than 10 years.

The College tailor-makes educational trips to meet any groups particular needs, with the focus being on learning experiences which are both theoretical and practical.

  International Programmes Brochure

.Topic Specific Presentations and Lectures in the various field of study and research

The following study fields provide topic-specific presentations and lectures regarding certain aspects concerning nature conservation and wildlife management practices, within both the private sector and national parks.

Community Based Natural Resource Management

The main focus of our CBNRM unit is to support the transformation of rural community into effective and organized community structures with high level of participation of the local communities in sustainable natural resource management. SAWC has launched CBNRM Projects within South Africa and the SADC region in which Universities can participate with their students on scheduled field excursions. Topics for discussion are available as follow:

  • Introductions to Case studies
  • The structure and roles of Communal Property Associations o Introduction to CBNRM Governance and Dashboard
  • CBRNM practical research that reinforces the information given through the talks in using and collecting data through the Dashboard in community.
  • Community-Wildlife Conflict and Interactions based on CBNRM principles o The importance of environmental education and certain practices


Eco-tourism and Community Development

An integral part of each educational tour we design is a visit to the local communities so students can see what life in a rural village in South Africa is really like. This also gives them the opportunity to appreciate that tourism and industry cannot grow unless they also benefit the communities within which they operate. The College supports a number of local community groups including a group of children who perform traditional Shangaan dancing as an entrepreneurial enterprise and helps them collect monies for their school fees. We also utilize these different groups for cultural evening experiences held at the College.

This is an invaluable source of income to these community members. Topics for discussion are available as follows :

  • Eco-Tourism and Conservation
  • Advantages and disadvantages of Ecotourism and Tourism development in South Africa
  • Concepts of Ecotourism, Sustainable Tourism, Responsible Tourism, EIA’s etc and the role of Tourism Development Planning
  • Role of Government, Private Sector and Communities
  • Developing physical facilities including transport roads and hiking trails
  • Cultural Heritage Site Management

General Reserve and Infrastructure Management

The basic core functions and responsibilities of a Resource Manager, Park Manager, Ecologist and Game Ranger are covered.

Topics for discussion are available as follows:

  • Erosion Management and Rehabilitation
  • Fire Management
  • Herbivore and Habitat Management
  • Identifying and Monitoring Local Wildlife
  • Infrastructure Management on Nature Reserves
  • Management of National Parks
  • Management of Private Nature Reserves
  • Recreational use of Natural Water Systems and Catchment Management
  • The Effects of Alien Biota on Ecosystem Services in South Africa
  • The Role of Geographical Information Systems in Conservation
  • Veld Management Practices – Research o Catchment Management – Introduction to managing African river system.
  • Wildlife Damage Control
  • Wildlife Electric Fencing

Large Mammal and Carnivore Management

In-depth studies of especially the African elephant behavioral studies, population dynamics, etc. are covered. Topics for discussion include:

  • Aging of Large Mammals: Elephants, Rhino’s, Antelope, Carnivores
  • Carnivore Management in South Africa
  • Elephants and the effect they have on Biodiversity
  • Game Censuses (Reasons & Methodology)
  • History of the African Elephant
  • Social Structures and Behavior of African Elephants
  • Water Provision and its Influence on Animal Movement (artificial)

Multi-stakeholder - Role of Research and Management of Data

Research as a tool for valuable supporting roles from multi-stakeholders in the Kruger2Canyons Biosphere region collaboratively place everything into perspective and demonstrate how various fields and activities are linked with each other to make informed decisions for entire landscapes. Topics for discussion are available as follows:

  • Importance of Scientific Research in Wildlife Management Practices
  • Introduction to Conservation Research – Basic Scientific Methods of Research
  • Multi-stakeholder Conservation and Land Use Planning
  • Projects in the Kruger2Canyons Biosphere region

Law Enforcement in Protected Areas

Law enforcement in conservation areas has become one of the most crucial components of the conservation community as it relates to protecting reserves and the biodiversity these reserves hold. Topics for discussion are available as follows:

  • Current situation in Africa on Rhino and Elephant poaching and strategies that governments, NGO and the private sector have put in place to combat the crisis
  • The Anti-Poaching Crisis: With specific focus on the war fought for the Rhino
  • The Field Ranger - Paramilitary Training Programmes at the SAWC for Field Rangers
  • The handling and use of weapons in South Africa
  • The history of hunting versus poaching bushmeat in Africa – past cultural practices challenge today’s politics and conservation needs
  • The K9 unit’s role in conservation


Sustainable Use and Veterinary Services

Discussions on sustainable use and hunting of wildlife, wildlife diseases, game capture practices and important research practices are conducted by well-qualified veterinarians and researchers from both the private sector and National Parks Board. Topics for discussion are available as follows:

  • Economics and politics of hunting in the current Africa. Economics and ownership of wildlife – the South African history and current model
  • History of wildlife diseases in Africa
  • Hunting as a proactive conservation tool
  • Hunting and the value of wildlife today in Africa
  • Introduction to hunting and conservation
  • Legislation and international pressure on the hunting industry
  • Management of African wildlife diseases
  • The history and redline zones for wildlife disease management - their identification and impact
  • The importance of hunting in conservation economics
  • Veterinary research (role and importance in wildlife management)

Transfrontier Conservation Areas

Topics for discussion are available as follows:

  • An introduction to the history of TFCA development, stages in TFCA development, establishment and implementation, stakeholders role and involvement (government, private sector, communities etc)
  • Case studies, positive and negative socio-economic and environmental implications of TFCAs, potential ways to enhance positives and minimize negatives.
  • SADC policies relating to TFCA development, types of TFCA


Wildlife, Resource and Biodiversity Management

These topics links with the reserve management topics but focus on the fauna and flora aspects, their importance in ecosystem function and their conservation in general. Topics for discussion are available as follows:

  • African Ecology and Conservation – An introduction to South Africa’s rich biological and cultural diversity
  • Animal Behavior and how that relates to managing the various species in protected areas
  • Conservation Biology – An introduction to the scientific study of nature and Lowveld biodiversity with the aim of protecting species, their habitats, and ecosystems from excessive rates of extinction and the erosion of biotic interactions.
  • Endangered Wildlife (Research and Management)
  • Herpetology – An introduction to the reptiles of the Lowveld
  • Ornithology – An introduction to the birds of the Lowveld

Recreational Activities that can be provided/arranged for University Groups or as part of the Educational Tours

  • Abseiling
  • Bridge Swinging
  • Bush walks in Big 5 Area
  • Cliff Jumping
  • Elephant Museum Tour
  • Game Capture
  • Helicopter Flights
  • Horse Riding
  • Hot Air Ballooning
  • Kapama Cheetah Breeding Project
  • Lion Breeding Project Tour
  • Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre
  • Mokwalo Hunting Safaris - Tour & Guided Activities
  • Rafting
  • Reptile Park Tour and Demonstrations
  • River Rafting
  • Rural Community Visit and projects
  • Tour to God's Window, Berlin, Lisbon and Mac-Mac falls
  • Tribal Village Tours
  • Visits to Private Nature Reserves in surrounding area
  • Wildlife Game Drives

If you are interested in organising an educational tour to the Southern African Wildlife College,

Marilize van der Walt
Wildlife Area Management :: Senior Advisor/ Coordinator
+27 (0)15 793-7336
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