Southern African Wildlife College

Applied Learning

The Applied Learning Unit has been created at the Southern African Wildlife College to facilitate monitoring, evaluation, research and application in all departments. Monitoring allows a department to collect information in a logical and robust way so that it can be properly evaluated. Research allows the College to trial new technique and or applications and or make changes to current methods and assess what impact these new or changed techniques have. As a training institution, the College is in the fortunate position to be able to teach and engage with students on the lessons we learn during this process.

This will in turn help the College to achieve its aim of making our teaching and curriculums using applied learning rather than purely theoretical, with a focus on real issues faced by students and practitioners in their work. This is relevant to all sectors within the College but especially to the College’s business units and core departments which have the most direct links to the wildlife economy. The outcomes of this applied learning will be:

(1)Teaching in a relevant, current and applied work orientated way.         
(2) Keeping up to date with relevant techniques in these fields. 
(3) Pioneering the improvement of techniques in these fields. 
(4) Publishing a peer reviewed article, or an article in a respected publication, per annum from each business unit, each unit having at least one by the end of 2018 
(5) Producing an Annual “Journal” with project and research results of all College departments, business units and core, starting 2017. 
(6) Forging new and improved links with partners, other institutions and in the industry as a whole.


The National Treasury’s Jobs Fund Project 4/1004 

The National Treasury’s Jobs Fund Project awarded in 2015 has contributed to an important capacity building initiative at the Southern African Wildlife College, which is aimed at developing the skills of people and placing them in employment to help ensure the survival of southern Africa’s rich biodiversity and its threatened species.

The Project, which will be implemented over two years, will see 257 people trained and permanently employed whilst at the same time playing an important role in developing the capacity of five employer organisations. These employer organisation’s include Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Limpopo Department of Economic Development Environment and Tourism (LEDET), South African National Parks (SANParks), The Lawrence Anthony Earth Organisation and Wildlands Trust.


Aimed at addressing the need for qualified and competent field rangers, the project recruited 137 unemployed youth from the communities on the boundaries of the reserves/parks in 2015 with a further 120 learners being recruited in 2016. These learners were trained on a year long Natural Resource Guardianship accredited programme. During their training were placed in the workplaces where employer organisations supported them and provided experiential training. On completion of the 12-month training process, they were employed in these organisations.

The impact and significant changes brought about by this project will be evident:  

(1) Within the communities from which the youth are recruited- contributing to alternative livelihoods, poverty reduction and socio-economic development,  
(2) In the improved capacity of communities to manage their own wildlife resources in Mayibuye and Somkhanda Community Reserves,
(3) Via the improved capacity of the five employer organisations to manage the parks/reserves and protect vulnerable and threatened species like rhino, and  
(4) Through the creation of an additional 257 permanent jobs which in turn will provide steady growth to the number of qualified and competent field rangers who will serve as guardians, and the first line of protection to our natural resources

Our sincere thanks is extended to the Dioraphte Foundation based in the Netherlands, Friends of African Wildlife based in Zürich, the Tusk Trust based in the UK, Scott Dunn via the Tusk Trust as well as The Timbavati Private Nature Reserve and MyPlanet Rhino Fund in South Africa who have partnered with the College to support the matched funding requirement of the project.

Deutsche Gesselschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Fire 

The final disbursement from GIZ was received in October 2015 and we are very pleased with the outcome of this project. The College was commended by GIZ for the overall commitment and quality of the service they had experienced working with the SAWC. The College and the partner institutions have now incorporated the developed modules and material into their curricula.



Through this project we aim to improve our Higher Education and Training modules on Community based Natural Resouce Management


The Norwegian Programme for Capacity Development in Higher Education and Research for Development (NORHED) aims to strengthen capacity of higher education institutions in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMIC) to educate more and better qualified candidates, and to increase quality and quantity of research conducted by the countries’ own researchers.  

Higher education and research are priority areas of Norway’s development cooperation policy and the College is a proud development partner. The Integrated Information Management System (database) development and communication strategy, supported by this project is underway. In addition, the project allows for infrastructure development, which resulted in the College erecting seven “safari” tents. 

These have, since their official opening, proved a valuable and useful addition to the SAWC’s accommodation capacity with numerous researchers making use of these facilities. The project also makes provision for SAWC staff to do their MScs through this project during 2016/2017.

WWF - SA GT5213 

‘Learning-by-Doing’: Creating a Sustainable Community based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) Unit at the SAWC and a Business Model for CBNRM Implementation in South Africa. 

The project is intended to continue supporting the College’s ‘Learning by Doing Approach’ to training. It is focused on creating a sustainable community based natural resource management unit at the Southern African Wildlife College and a business model for CBNRM implementation in South Africa. 

Under the auspices of this project, the SAWC’s CBNRM unit was reintroduced and branded as RISE: Rural Initiative for a Sustainable Environment. With the grant provided, the College’s mandate was to expand the CBNRM Unit to include a Natural Resource Economist.


WWF - SA ZA2335.B 

The activities of the Unit, through its learning by doing approach, has continued to impact positively the conservation activities in the project sites where the College has been involved. Governance support was provided to Somkhanda community in Kwa-Zulu Natal, and the Sabie/Mangalana community project in Mozambique. 

Following the recruitment of the new staff, a CBNRM staff training workshop was held at the SAWC to improve understanding and performance and the transfer of skills whilst also facilitating the data governance survey

WWF-SA ZA5256 

The main objective of this three-year project, which is intended to run until March 2018, is to contribute to the protection of wildlife (especially rhino) in the Mangalane-Sabie area and adjacent Kruger National Park by linking communities and conservation. 

The key objectives are to support an expanded wildlife economy, improved community governance and benefits, and to enhance awareness of conservation laws in Mozambique. 

The project further promotes interaction between various stakeholders including rural communities, government departments, private sector and NGOs. The current area of operation is to support activities around Mangalane community and Sabie Game Park.
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