WILDLIFE CONSERVATION EXPEDITION
The Wildlife Conservation Expedition travels through northern and eastern regions of South Africa, exploring the unique wildlife management and health principles applied towards a sustainable future for both humans and wildlife. Concerned institutions, individuals and the diverse local tribes form an integral part in conservation to ensure the survival of the species diversity on the African continent.
During this expedition you will visit national and provincial parks, private other nature reserves, wildlife rehabilitation facilities, academic institutions and relevant Non-Governmental Organizations. Wildlife Ecology forms the basis of understanding the conservation through management of wildlife.
Current issues in wildlife conservation
One of the field destinations, the Kruger National Park, will provide insight into two of Africa’s major wildlife challenges -
how to control the increasing numbers of the African elephant,
and what would be the most effective ways to address the increasing total onslaught on rhinos.
Concerned institutions, individuals and the diverse local tribes form an integral part in conservation to ensure the survival of the species diversity on the African continent. With the African bush as your classroom, you will enjoy a practical and hands-on educational experience.
It is important to know that in conservation there is no precisely repeatable pattern. Animal behavior is studied, while water utilization and game condition is reviewed. The distance identification of the symptoms of some common wildlife diseases, and the regulations on wildlife movements, form part of the course. Feed selection, parasites, nutrition and the principals of sustainable use of wildlife will also be studied.
Game capture and relocation
The program includes 5-day game-capture program in wilderness areas. Wildlife veterinarians need to make informed decisions when wildlife management requires capture and relocation or care of wild animals.
You will be familiarized with the latest wildlife capture technology and participate in the mock darting of a moving target from a helicopter
Wildlife Ecology forms the basis of understanding the spread and management of wildlife diseases, the diagnostics and pathology.
During your stay at a veterinary wildlife laboratory you will learn and participate hands-on in analytical, pathological and post-mortem investigations
Upon completion of the program, students will:
Understand the unique concepts of wildlife management in Southern Africa through application of ecological and economical sustainable principles.
Understand the role which humans play in conservation, as a result of reaping the benefits of their input and protection of nature and tapping in on the tourism industry.
Become knowledgeable of the huge pressures on the natural environment by both humans and wildlife through population dynamics and industry.
Acquire awareness of the reality of modern day issues threatening the survival of species on the African continent and the human emotion which often and readily move emphasis away from scientifically sound principles applied with great success in the past.
Acquire hands-on knowledge of the natural surroundings, animal behavior, signs of the wild and survival skills in Southern Africa.
Understand the ecology of wildlife diseases that affect domestic animals of rural communities because of the proximity of wildlife.
Understand the effects of diseases in free roaming wildlife and how to monitor these and prevent the spread by using ecological principles and barriers.
Be able to assist in the capture of wildlife by understanding the use of equipment, trailers and helicopter protocol.
Know how to handle and care for a variety of wild animals in a captive, quarantine and or rehabilitation facility.
Understand the needs of African rural communities and how they view the value to them of the conservation of wildlife
On completing the Wildlife Conservation program you will qualify for 6 academic credits from the North-West University, South Africa. Students are graded throughout the expedition.
Grading is designed to facilitate the learning experience, encourage teamwork, synthesis and integration of key concepts. The requirements for university accreditation are essential. Deliberate attempts are made to move away from the often competitive and stressful grading approach that dominates many tertiary education systems. It is understood that much of the learning on this expedition is “experiential” and may be difficult to quantify. An expansive grading method is opted for where interaction, discussion and practical projects are integral parts of the system.
(Subject to revision)
Airport transfers, welcoming events.
Contact hours: 1T
Day 2 & 3
Visit a private game ranch to study the economic principles in game conservation.
Visit a predator rehabilitation centre.
Contact hours: 4L 4I 5F 4T
Visit to Vulture rehabilitation centre for an introduction in the conservation of vultures and the threats that they experience in a developing country
Contact hours: 2L 5F 1T
Depart for North West University, Potchefstroom
Registration and Lectures on Game Ranch Economics, Ecotourism
Contact hours: 4L 1F 1T
Travel to Kruger National Park
Accommodation: Camping in KNP
Contact hours: 1F 4T
Game viewing and ecosystem study, Kruger National Park
Accommodation: Camping in KNP
Contact hours: 1F 2T
Lectures on the management and ecology of wildlife in Kruger National Park
Accommodation: Camping in KNP
Contact hours: 4L 2I 2T
Lectures, demonstrations and participation in tracking, security, management and ecology of wildlife. Plant and tree identification. Animal behavior and fieldwork on security and anti-poaching and the use of UAV’s.
Accommodation: Private bush camp Greater Kruger National Park
Contact hours: 7F 4L 7I
Wildlife Diseases and the diagnostics, the pathology and bush laboratory techniques and total post-mortem analysis. Rural African domestic stock disease from wildlife prevention program.
Accommodation: Remote wildlife veterinary lab bushcamp, Greater Kruger National Park
Contact hours: 9F 8L 10I
Game Capture Program lectures:
Pharmacological workings of capture drugs and tranquilizers.
The use of darting equipment.
Care and nutrition in captivity.
Daily practical hands-on, in-field game capture operations.
Contact hours: 12F 4L 8I 3T
Darting a moving target from a helicopter.
Final exam, graduation ceremony and farewell dinner.
Contact hours: 3F 2I 2L
Depart for O.R. Tambo International Airport after breakfast
Contact hours: 4T
L= Lecture hours : 32 hours (= 3 credits)
I = Interactive demonstrations : 33 hours (= 1 credits)
F= Field modules : 44 hours (= 2 credits)
T= Travel time* : 18 hours
Total academic contact hours = 127 hours (6 credit course)
A comprehensive Information Dossier will be e-mailed to all participants upon their registration for the course. A study guide will be supplied upon arrival in South Africa. You are encouraged to expand on this with your own notes taken during lectures, meetings and interactions with wildlife professionals in the field.
1. Prof Wouter van Hoven (DSc)
Wildlife ecology , Elephant management, Wildlife economics, Sustainable use of Wildlife, African Rhinoceros Protection
2. Prof Peet van der Merwe (Ph.D.) - North West University
Game ranch economics
3. Prof Melville Saayman (Ph.D.) - North West University
4. Dr John van Zyl (BVSc) *
5. Dr James Roxburgh (MSc BVSc) *
6. Dr Nolan Landman (BVSc) *
7. Leon Theron (MSc Wildlife Management)
Nature reserve ecology and management
8. Ralf Kalwa (MSc Wildlife Management)
Wildlife Management Consultant,
Ecological management of Kruger National Park
9. Lourens van Essen (MSc Wildlife Management)
Wildlife ecologist and zoologist
*Veterinarians that are wildlife specialists providing lectures and practical participation in wildlife physiology, diseases and game capture.
*Because long distance traveling between venues is necessary students are always accompanied by an academic or registered tour guide and the safari bus actually becomes a mobile class room where discussions are encouraged.
Program costs and dates
US$4980 per person sharing
Accommodation and transportation for the duration of the program
Airport transfers as stated
Lectures and course material
Academic credits and transfers
Camping equipment where needed
Permits and entry fees
Excludes Air travel to and from South Africa & Optional activities
Any student with a disability, requiring specific accommodation or other assistance during the course, will be accommodated as far as possible. Please contact the office directly with special requests before registration.
Some activities involve moderate exercise like hiking and the recovery and movement of sedated animals. Such participation is always voluntary.
Scheduled Departures For 2019
WC01 22 May – 12 June
WC02 29 Dec 2019 – 19 Jan 2020