Contact Information Southern African Wildlife College
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  • Cultivating the Custodians of our Natural Heritage

    I often remember the words of my wonderful friend, companion and mentor, Magqubu Ntombela, as we toiled up the hills in the hot sun Mfolozi Game Reserve. "We are doing the work of God", he would say. "And our reward will come when people realise how important our national parks and game reserves really are....Dr Ian Player, Internationally renowned conservationist...Read more

  • Wildlife Guardian Programme

    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 Breitling Replica Watches Africa (GRAA) gave  rise to the Wildlife Guardian Programme. This programme...Read more

  • Conservation and Environmental 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....Read more

  • Enterprise Development/New Venture Creation

    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 ...Read more

  • Community Rangers Programme

    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...Read more

  • The Sustainable Utilisation Programme – PH Course

    The programme is designed to empower persons from historically disadvantage backgrounds to access an employment sector which, according to the Department of Environmental Affairs, is responsible for making an extremely valuable contribution to the economy...Read more

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  • ZYP8




For the very first time since its inception in 1996, the Southern African Wildlife College opened its doors to school leavers from communities across South Africa. The Introduction to Conservation & Environmental Education Bridging Course started off as a pilot project in 2010 and due to its success, and with continued donor support, the course has been extended to 2014 with a view to making this a long-term offering.

Aimed at school leavers who are interested and have a passion for a career in conservation and/or environmental education, the course focuses on exposing the learner to the theory and practical application of environmental education and to the life of a field ranger in a conservation area. Learners undergo a contact training session at the College for four months and then are work-placed in host conservation organisation organisations for two months in order to get a real understanding of an entry level career in conservation and to gain valuable field experience. During this time the learners actively participate in daily patrols, field operations, the collection of field data, compiling field reports, game capturing/releasing, reporting procedures and attending poaching court cases. They are also involved in preparing and conducting environmental education programmes to local schools and to reserve visitors whilst also being included in other conservation related activities.

The training modules are accredited at NQF level 2 - Field Ranger and NQF level 5 - Environmental Education. Two additional non-accredited modules, Environmental Leadership and First Aid 1 & Reptile Orientation are also part of the training component. 

Further information can be  provided by the Project Coordinator, Sboniso Phakati who can be contacted at the College Tel: +27 (0)15 793 7303 or by emailing



Training plays a pivotal role in terms of rehabilitating and sustaining wildlife areas. One of the fundamental strategies of the Southern African Wildlife College - an appointed Centre of Specialization in conservation education, training and skills development within the SADC region - is to create a new generation of managers who are equipped to deal with the key challenges facing protected area management. Closely linked to the training of these managers is the role that wildlife and nature-based tourism plays in the socio-economic development of southern Africa and in turn, bringing larger areas under protected area management.

As such, the training offered by the Southern African Wildlife College covers the full spectrum of skills needed and focuses on providing courses that will not only develop and open up career opportunities for conservation personnel but will also help to transform the biodiversity economy of the region.

This incorporates environmental requirements for effective protected area management and the financial/economic component that will allow communities to benefit through access-and-benefit sharing activities; contracts for service provision; direct employment in the reserves, in related tourism businesses, and access to the value added chain (markets/trade).

As a continuation of the role the SAWC is playing in the development of skills and competence as a whole in the SADC sub-region, it has developed programmes focusing on strengthening existing and emerging enterprises within the trans-frontier conservation areas (TFCAs) in the SADC sub-region.  This allows for greater participation of local communities in the tourism value chain, thereby, finding alternative livelihoods other than a total reliance on agriculture and the natural resources around them.

If parks are set up responsibly they can be a generator of jobs, income and overall economic livelihoods. For example, people living in and around the parks can get involved in park creation and maintenance as well as other small business servicing the tourism industry.

As such, one of the skills programmes offered by the SAWC is aimed at start-up businesses or existing small business owners and entrepreneurs who require the knowledge and skills to set up or grow their current businesses, employ capable people and run a sustainable and profitable business.

Students who qualify against this programme will be able to:

-  Determine market requirements and manage the relevant marketing and selling process

- Determine financial requirements and manage the financial resources of a new venture

- Manage business operations to facilitate the successful running of a business.

Further information can be  provided by the Project Coordinator, Anelle Rautenbach  who can be contacted at the College Tel: +27 (0)15 793 7300 or by emailing




Southern Africa is one of the premier hunting destinations of the world and has a large and well established hunting industry employing some 40 000 people and generating in the order of R3.8-billion Rand annually from foreign as well as local hunters. The healthy game ranch industry, which has resulted in a greater wildlife population in South Africa than what was present at the turn of the century, is largely due to the hunting industry.  Given the importance of this sector, industry role players, hunting organisations and stakeholders have identified the urgent need for proper training for professional hunters.

A number of Unit Standards were developed specifically by a Standard Generating Body (SGB) for a national qualification for professional hunting and registered with the Southern African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). Despite unit standards being put in place, up until 2012 a comprehensive professional hunters course had still not been developed . The Southern African Wildlife College decided to step up to the plate and take positive steps towards addressing the current inadequacies in the training of Professional Hunters.

A curriculum was drafted and the basic groundwork put in place to present an two-year professional hunter’s course during which time students would attend an eighteen month contact session at the Southern African Wildlife College and then move on to a six months apprenticeship with an established and approved hunting outfitter with a good reputation. The duration of the course, which commenced for the first time in 2012, is thus two years but can be reduced to 18 months (12 months contact and 6 months with an outfitter) depending on the level of the trainee.


The course content includes not only those unit standards specified by SAQA but a number of additional subjects and modules. A partial list of modules / subjects that are covered are shown below. There is a strong emphasis on ethics, sound wildlife management and utilisation principles and on the role that hunting has to play in conservation.


Preference is given to prospective students from SADC countries. Previously and presently disadvantaged individuals, who meet entry level requirements, are given priority. A maximum of fifteen students are accepted and a strict pre-selection process is implemented to choose the most promising and suitable candidates.


  • Professional hunters will be trained to a level of excellence.
  • The reputation of professional hunters will be improved as they will be able to provide a better service.
  • Properly qualified and trained professional hunters will be available in the market.
  • Professional hunters will become active conservationists.
  • Skinners will be trained to a high level of competence and will instil confidence in clients that entrust expensive trophies to them.
  • Trackers will be trained to offer a high standard of service .
  • The industry will benefit by having properly trained professionals which will attract more hunters to southern Africa thereby boosting the regional economy.
  • Career paths and better work placement opportunities will be provided for qualified professional hunters, skinners and trackers.
  • Individuals will be empowered with the skills to operate hunting operations to the benefit of rural and poor communities.
  • A pool of properly trained professional hunters will be developed where hunting, as a form of sustainable utilisation, can be put into practice in the buffer zones of Africa’s expanding Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCA’s).

Further information can be  provided by the Dr Kevin Robertson, Business Unit Manager: Sustainable Use and Field Guiding who can be contacted at the College Tel: +27 (0)15 793 7322 or by emailing

For further details on these and other courses please refer to our Prospectus on the Training Programmes Menu which includes the entry level requirements and the course content and unit standards.

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