Sustainable Use & Field Guiding

The Sustainable Use and Field Guiding Department works with ring-fenced funding, and recognises the fact that within conservation, the concept of sustainable utilisation is an essential element, especially in certain countries in Africa.

The sustainable use of Africa’s wildlife resources is essential to their conservation. The training programmes and various other short courses offered by the Sustainable Use and Field Guiding Department are built on four pillars:

  • A thorough understanding of conservation management grounded in sustainable use and conservation principles.
  • A mastery of the knowledge and skills needed to become a competent guide and tracker with a deep understanding of the natural environment. This encompasses not only a thorough knowledge of animals but also all other elements within their natural ecosystems and how they interact and affect each other.
  • Acquisition of the other skills required to become a competent hunting guide and operator. This includes how to effectively and efficiently manage hunting equipment, and how to communicate with and guide a client, and how to manage the necessary logistics.
  • Transparency – From the outset the SAWC has striven to work closely with all interested and affected parties to ensure the sharing of ideas and compliance within the relevant training requirements and the legal framework.

The College offers a three-month duration National Qualification Framework (NQF) Level 2 Dangerous Game Site Guide course and when requested, a two-month duration NQF Level 4 Dangerous Game Site Guide Course.  The College’s 4000-hectare core-training area situated within the greater Kruger National Park is the ideal venue for training. ‘Up close and personal’ encounters with all Big Five species are common and under the expert tuition and guidance of our experienced trainers our students become competent and confident dangerous game field guides.

Sustainable Use and Field Guiding - field guides in training getting familiar with the details of the ecosystem

Students are first trained as conservationists, then field guides, and finally in all aspects of the skill of safari hunting.  This qualification requires 18 months of intense theoretical and practical training at the Southern African Wildlife College and then a season’s apprenticeship with a registered safari operator.  To be fully ‘sustainable’, hunting must address three levels of sustainability. Hunting must be:

  • Ecologically sustainable – for the good of the many and various wildlife species (numbers and composition)
  • Genetically sustainable – age class and breeding opportunities, for the maintenance of healthy animal genetics and trophy quality, and finally
  • Financially sustainable – this is the economic engine which drives habitat protection and by so doing, wildlife conservation.

Learn more about our Sustainable Use and Field Guiding Programme

See the three different courses offered in the field of field guiding and professional hunting


Supporting Partners