How we train

A holistic approach to conservation training

Our wildlife college students learn in the classroom, in the field and online. This blended approach differs depending on the course of study. The online learning components are fully supported by our academic team and prepare students  for their intensive time in the field, practically applying what they have learnt. Given our applied learning approach most of our courses can only be taught face-to-face, in which case learners come to our campus, or our facilitators go to where the training is needed.

A campus with an unequalled location

Spending time at our campus in the Greater Kruger National Park is a once in a lifetime opportunity for students regardless of their field of study. 

For researchers, field guides, field rangers and conservation managers, the campus  is perfectly located to provide practical examples and best practices, to bring the conservation theory taught in class, to life. 

As part of our commitment to ‘learning by doing’, we establish a cycle of innovation and development so our curriculum is constantly evolving. This means that through our blended  training programmes, we’re addressing current conservation training needs and shaping the conservation landscape of the future.

As a centre of specialisation, our approach is rooted in science, partnerships, and applied learning. Our Applied Learning Unit supports our efforts by facilitating monitoring, evaluation, research and application in all departments, enabling us to maintain our focus on real issues faced by students and practitioners in their work.

The benefits of this are that we are always

  • Teaching in a relevant, current and practical way
  • Keeping up-to-date with relevant techniques in our field
  • Pioneering the improvement of techniques
  • Publishing peer reviewed articles
  • Documenting and sharing our learning
  • Forging new and improved links with partners, other institutions and in the industry as a whole

We offer accredited coursesneeds-based short courses for conservation, and tailor-made modules, as well as postgraduate research opportunities for people working in conservation.

Natural Resource Management

There are two Higher Education and Training Certificate programmes in Wildlife Area Management: 

Wildlife Guardianship

Our Wildlife Guardianship programmes incorporate training in the field of protected area integrity, law enforcement and counter poaching and covers our field ranger training, airwing unit, and K9 unit under the Protected Area Integrity Department

Our innovative work in the field is pioneering new ways of protecting wildlife and catering for the emerging needs of conservation professionals.

What sets the College apart is that our field ranger trainees are equipped with knowledge and skills in law enforcement and tactical operations coupled with experience in ground-to-air operations and K9 capabilities.

Community Development & Youth Access

This department is aimed at helping communities participate in local wildlife conservation, creating a mutually beneficial role for tourism and developing sustainable practices within the community.

Our RISE (Rural Initiatives for a Sustainable Environment) unit falls within the department and focuses on community-based natural resource management and good governance. We work at various sites as a long-term partner in implementing context-driven community engagement programmes.

Responsible Resource Use

Our Responsible Resource Use department covers the field guiding, tracking, regenerative agriculture and professional hunting training at the College.

Within this framework, we strive to train students in attaining

    • A mastery of the knowledge and skills needed to become a competent guide and tracker;
    • A thorough understanding of conservation management grounded in sustainable utilisation of natural resources;
    • The acquisition of conservation-based skills required to become a competent hunting guide and operator.

Staff and students from around the world

Our College has trained over 18 000 people from 56 countries across the globe, while hosting university and graduate students from around the world. We work with conservation professionals, local communities, governments, and other educational institutions from a variety of origins, both in Africa and beyond.

Read more about the College’s Alumni and Community of Stewardship here.

Our dynamic lecturers are experienced, motivated and flexible. We also contract in expert instructors to present specific modules, ensuring that our training is as practical and current as possible and addresses real and emerging conservation needs. Instructors focus on competency-based teaching, so students improve on their existing relevant skillset and therefore increase their performance in the workplace when they return home.

An ideal place to learn and practice

Our location in the Greater Kruger National Park means our campus is one of a kind. It is perfectly situated to expose students to the issues, conditions, and environments they will face in their places of work throughout Africa and beyond. With training facilities, lecture rooms, and comfortable accommodation, students’ needs are catered for by a warm and dedicated team and an active student representative body.