Southern African Wildlife College

Funding Needs

The financial needs of the College, which enables it to carry out its mandate, have grown substantially over the years. Fortunately so too has the reputation of the College which, in turn, has made the expansion of the scope of training offered possible. 
In diversifying its offerings to meet the needs of the industry, the College has embarked on a number of different training programmes and projects aimed at conserving our natural resources and protecting targeted species whilst also helping to capacity build the conservation and tourism industry. This in turn will help to significantly prevent and reduce poverty by maintaining ecosystem services and supporting livelihoods.

Some of the graduates celebrate their achievementsADOPT-A-STUDENT LEARNER LEGACY PROGRAMME

You can support a student or group of students completing any one of our training programmes: 



The College currently offers two fully-accredited year-long qualification courses: 
• The Higher Certificate in Conservation Implementation and 
• Leadership and the Advanced Certificate in Trans-Frontier Conservation Management. 

Both of these courses include modules which have been included as a direct result of a training needs analysis conducted across SADC and which equip the student to deal with the key challenges facing conservationists today. 

Bursary Funding Required: R 60,000 per student including tuition, meals and accommodation. 

Note: A further contribution can also be made by the donor/funder which will then cover the student's transport costs, a stipend etc. Scholarships of R 90,000 are thus also awarded.


It is essential for future leader in conservation to be identified within the school system at an early age and to be supported within the field of conservation training. This 5 months training programme ( which includes 2 months in the workplace) is aimed at school leavers who are interested in a career in Conservation and Environmental Education. 

It supports the student's skills development from school through to career opportunities via practical and theoretical application. 

Bursary Funding Required: R 50, 000 per student including tuition, meals and accommodation.


The primary objective of this skills development programme is to train field rangers over a period of five weeks; giving them the skills to operate as a field ranger whilst also enabling them to effectively assist in curbing poaching activities and securing Africa’s wildlife populations in the reserves in which they operate.

Bursary Funding Required: R25,000 per student including tuition, meals and accommodation as well as Ground to Air and K9 capability training on the Basic 6 week Field Ranger Training Programme and R8,500 per student for the Two Week Special Skills Anti Poaching Advanced Training.


This 10-day skills development course is aimed at natural resource managers and people working within community-based conservation agencies. It is geared towards equipping participants with the knowledge and skills needed in gaining an understanding of local communities and their issues whilst identifying new approaches to natural resource management so as to influence policy on community issues and implement projects within their local area of operation. 

Bursary Funding Required: R 7,500 per student including tuition, meals and accommodation.  

The minimum group size for options B, C and D are 10 people. Should you wish to fund an entire programme the bursary funding can be extrapolated to cover the minimum number of students and the costs of the training course itself. 

Note: All the above costs are in ZAR but can be provided in other currencies. It is also important to note that the costs quoted may fluctuate as their are variations depending on whether the training is done at the SAWC or on-site and may also vary in terms of external trainer rates, accommodation type, transport requirements etc.

Financial Gifts

All funds, with the reference Learner Legacy, deposited into the SAWC’s banking account will be specifically utilised for the Adopt-a-Student campaign towards bursaries or to supplement any shortfalls or additional costs required by students to complete their studies.Please do however notify us of your contribution. 

Direct Bank Transfer: Ref: Learner Legacy 
Banking Details: Account Name: Southern African Wildlife College 
Bank Name: Standard Bank SA 
Branch Code: 0527-5242 
Swift Code: SBZAZAJJ 
Account Number: 230118860

What you will Receive in Return

Apart from knowing that you will have made a difference to someone’s life and the life of the people he/she supports, you will also be making a contribution to conservation in Africa in perpetuity. 

As such you will: 
•Be recognised on our ADOPT-A-STUDENT wall at the SAWC (full contribution) You will receive reports from the Wildlife College and from the student you have sponsored (certificate course students) 
•You will be added to the SAWC’s newsletter mailing list


For more information or to make your Adopt-a-Student financial contribution,

Jeanné Poultney
Executive Management :: Marketing and Fundraising
+27 (0)11 704-4386

.Wildlife Guardianship/Anti Poaching Field Ranger Training

In response to the current rhino poaching crisis in South Africa, a joint proposal between the Southern African Wildlife College (SAWC) and the Game Ranger’s Association of Africa (GRAA) gave rise to the Wildlife Guardian Programme. This programme holds as its main aim the training of field rangers to compete with poachers so as to ensure the territorial integrity of Protected Areas and in so doing, protect its wildlife and our natural heritage. 

From 2008 - 2015 more than 5,940 African rhinos have been killed for their horns. (Stats - International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission’s African Rhino Specialist Group (AfRSG). Despite emergency summits and a public outcry there has been no respite and this massacre continues at an alarming rate. It is estimated that one rhino is being killed in South Africa every 8 hours albeit that there has been an increase in arrests being made.

Field rangers are the first and often last line of defence once poachers have entered a conservation area; literally the bullet proof shield for the rhino in some cases. In order to carry out this function they require dedication, physical fitness and stamina and a high level of skills in a broad range of fields. Your donation will help to ensure that they receive the training and equipment they need to help curb this rhino poaching scourge.

Community Rangers

Many of our wilderness areas are under the growing threat of increasing population growth, sprawling urbanisation, deepening poverty, encroaching land use, poaching and the unsustainable exploitation of natural resources.

It for this reason that an understanding, sensitivity, appreciation, transfer of real benefit and relevant knowledge needs to be communicated through the training process. Unfortunately, the effect of poverty, unemployment, lack of funds to further their studies and boredom among young people has in many instances prompted them to resort to illicit activities such as poaching of both wild animals and plants for their survival.


This poses a serious threat to both conservation of biodiversity and human life in general. These illicit activities have resulted in many of these young people being charged and convicted by both the park and/or the local and traditional authorities, with severe fines being a consequence. 

It is in this context that the SAWC is seeking funding to train and expose young people with the potential, to conservation guardianship skills and aspects of the wildlife industry thereby giving them a much better chance for future employment by communities and / or conservation organizations as field rangers and to ensure the transfer of knowledge once they are trained.

Ruben de Kock
Protected Area Integrity (AFRTS) :: Business Unit Manager
+27 (0)15 793-7349

The Bathawk Aerial Patrol and Monitoring Project

With the current rhino poaching crisis ultra light aircraft, such as the SAWC’s Bathawk and Savannah aircraft are vital in terms of anti-poaching training, ground to air patrols and support in terms of rhino monitoring and data capture. 

The inclusion of ground-to-air training, using actual helicopters and fixed wing aircraft, has raised the capabilities of the trainees being trained within the ranger division. This equipment makes a vast difference from having to improvise an aircraft to simulate training. The level of confidence has also grown exponentially in term of the application of air operations.


Since starting the “Eye in the Sky” project, air operations, patrols and monitoring continue at a rate of knots. “Tactical operations” in the areas in and around the College, support the work being done on the ground. 

As with the division, the Bathawk continue to evolve and are now equipped with modern technology including state-of-the-art software programmes and digital radios to aid in ground-to-air communication with Field Rangers being properly deployed in the fight against rhino poaching.

A big thank you must go to the Dioraphte Foundation, Friends of African Wildlife, The Sheldon Family Trust and Our Horn is NOT Medicine as well the many other donors who have helped support our “Eye in the Sky” project.

Ruben de Kock
Protected Area Integrity (AFRTS) :: Business Unit Manager
+27 (0)15 793-7349

.The K-9 Anti Poaching Project

The call for the establishment of the SAWC’s K-9 Unit was primarily due to the successes that dogs and their trackers were experiencing in the anti poaching field and will support the Kruger National Park and other entities involved in and requiring canine capabilities. 

The addition of the Unit to the SAWC’S African Field Ranger Training Services division explicitly talks to the building and protection of rhino populations through field conservation efforts. Run as a College project, the full scope of the project aims to train field rangers (as dog handlers) and dogs in disciplines that are considered to be of most benefit to the anti-poaching community.

The initial focus of the Project is on rangers (handlers) and dogs in the disciplines that are not currently being offered elsewhere and will provide the greatest immediate benefit to the anti poaching operations, whilst also directly building on the current K9 capability of the Kruger National Park. 

This in turn supports the five tactical areas that have been identified as priorities by WWF-SA to support rhino conservation efforts: Building resilient rhino populations through field conservation efforts, engaging local communities in wildlife conservation, strengthening national law enforcement activities, developing bilateral cooperation between South Africa and transit and consumer countries and ultimately reducing demand for illicit rhino horn.

Bolstering this is the College’s provision of well-trained and equipped rangers, delivered through the new ranger training station, as well as aerial surveillance to help plot and monitor rhino movements and poacher suppression tactics and, during an operation, carry out poacher suppression tactics. 

Given the high levels of poaching pressure being experienced in the Greater Kruger area, which includes the Kempiana property on which the SAWC is based, and which is owned by WWF South Africa, it is envisaged that through the provision of effectively trained handlers and dogs, that poaching statistics will decrease substantially, and arrests will increase in this high impact zone. This will largely be due to the ability of the dogs to track at speeds much faster than people, and in terrain where the best human trackers would lose spoor.

The project currently includes Free Tracking Dogs: Trained to locate, track and indicate the presence of fleeing poachers off line, free running as well as the incursion Dogs (Spoor Cutters): Trained to locate and indicate the crossing of borders and roads by poachers.


Funding provided by the WWF Nedbank Green Trust has helped support the establishment of dog handler and dog master accommodation on site, the development of accredited training material for free-tracking hounds and the 18-months of training required by the tracker dogs and their handlers. 

Our sincere gratitude is extended to both WWF SA and the WWF Nedbank Green Trust for their ongoing support and commitment to rhino conservation efforts. In addition to the K9 unit, WWF SA also provides support to the College’s Community Based Natural Resource Management Unit and projects sites as part of the priorities identified in support of rhino conservation.

Johan van Straaten
Protected Area Integrity (AFRTS) :: Manager K9 Unit
+27 (0)15 793-7342

The Youth Access: Conservation and Environmental Education Bridging Programme

It is essential for future leaders in conservation to be identified within the school system at an early stage and to be exposed to appropriate training opportunities. This programme is aimed at historically disadvantaged school leavers who have shown an interest in pursuing a career in the conservation field.

This course is designed to open up career and job opportunities for school leavers and it also enables them to gain the necessary credits to enrol for full time study in their chosen field. Donors who pledge their support for this programme will make a significant difference to the lives of youths wishing to increase their chances of employment or further study. 

More recently a second programme is now run annual in support of young people across the SADC region who wish to pursue a career in conservation.


Sboniso Ryan Phakathi
Community, Youth Development and Access :: Community Liaison and Youth Access Programme Coordinator
+27 (0)15 793-7303

Community based Natural Resource Management/New Venture Creation/ Enterprise Development Programmes

The future of South Africa's economy does not only lie in the formal sector, but also within the informal SMME sector. This is a growing part of South Africa's economy and requires substantial focus from a developmental perspective. 

It is essential that communities benefit from the wildlife economy and from the sustainable use of natural resources as well as from tourism initiatives that include the rehabilitation and sustainability of these protected areas.


The emphasis that the College places on community based natural resource management is crucial to bringing about this change. By supporting RISE (Rural Initiative for Sustainable Environment) donors will assist with poverty alleviation, job creation and the development of the wildlife economy, which in turn will help to ensure that people living in and around are parks are able to benefit from the tourism chain.

Dr Alan Gardiner
Wildlife Area Management :: Head
+27 (0)15 793-7309
© 2014 - 2018 CODEX dds & Southern African Wildlife College