African predators, such as lion, cheetah, hyena, leopard, caracal, serval

Conservation Impact:

Wildlife veterinary care, predator conservation, conservation education, wildlife rehabilitation



Directed and tutored by a wildlife veterinarian, a lion ecologist and experienced game rangers the 12 day African Predator Course covers the management and care of captive predator populations as well as pertinent topics and challenges in predator conservation in Africa.

You’ll learn about:

  • The management of captive predator populations
  • Design and improvement of enclosures
  • Handling and care
  • Veterinary care: Parasites, diseases and vaccinations
  • Global White Lion Protection Trust: Successful reintegration of captive-born lions
  • Lion conservation in Africa
  • Tracking and monitoring of white lions
  • Predators in the ecosystem
  • Kruger National Park: Observing predators in the wilD


For the first part of the course you’ll be working alongside a very experienced and respected wildlife veterinarian who does a lot of work in wildlife reserves adjacent to Kruger National Park as well as wildlife sanctuaries and rehabilitation centres. You will have the opportunity to assist the vet in a number of veterinary procedures on predators, although the exact predator species and veterinary procedure are subject to the demands at the time. Likely cases include darting predators to fit tracking collars or replace batteries on existing collars, administering contraceptives to prevent breeding in captivity, carrying out dental checks and procedures or administering vaccinations.

In addition to these practical sessions you will also cover the following topics in informative talks by the wildlife veterinarian:

The management of predator populations in sanctuaries

  • Enclosure size and design
  • Participation in routine veterinary care and procedures including vaccinations, the administration of anthelmintics, and the control of internal and external parasites
  • Informative session led by the veterinarian on common diseases in captive predators, both viral and bacterial.

Predator Handling and Care

  • Capture by mechanical means and use of dart gun
  • Chemical immobilisation – the role of veterinarians and staff
  • Tranquillisation and sedation


The course has the unique opportunity to spend time with the Global White Lion Protection Trust in South Africa’s lowveld. The trust has reintroduced 3 prides of captive born white lions into an area of 4,400 acres of natural bushveld. During your time here you will learn about the carefully phased scientific process used to reintroduce the white lions and integrate them with tawny lions.

Lion Conservation

  • An overview of status, threats and global conservation strategy of African lions
  • Background to the rescue, rehabilitation and reintroduction programme for white lions

Lion Tracking and Monitoring

  • Participate in tracking and monitoring the white lions that have been released
  • Participate in conservation management activities around the reserve

Carnivores in the Ecosystem

  • Overview of the role and importance of carnivores in ecosystems and particularly within the WLT Conservancy (spotted hyaena, cheetah, African wild dog, caracal, serval, African wild cat)
  • Threat of poaching to carnivores, trade in animal parts, exotic animal trade, canned hunting, and role of anti-poaching and how it is carried out.

Predator Conservation and Society

  • The cultural importance of and beliefs about carnivores, and the critical role of local communities in conserving carnivores

Kruger National Park – Observing predators in the field

You will head out on a full day guided safari in the Kruger National Park to (hopefully!) observe African predators in their natural habitat.


On completion of the course you will be sent a certificate of attendance.

Prices And Dates


  • 14 – 25 July 2016
  • 29 June – 10 July 2017

These dates are the start / end dates in Johannesburg. If you are taking the flights from London, you will depart London one day before and arrive back on the day after the expedition ends.


  • 2016 Course: £3,190 including flights from London
  • £2,300 / US$3,130 excluding flights

Prices include accommodation, meals, transfers from Johannesburg airport, 24/7 support and financial contributions to the wildlife vet and the Global White Lion Protection Trust. Prices are subject to change but will be confirmed in writing at the time of booking.

We also accept payment in EUR, CAD, AUD and ZAR. Please ask us for a quote, subject to exchange rates at the time.

You are welcome to join the African Predator Course in combination with another project during your stay. These placements are more complicated as they include travel arrangements between the projects, so please ask us for a quote for your desired project combination.

Rhino Rating

What is a “Rhino Rating”?

The “Rhino Rating” is our way of ranking a project in terms of how challenging it is – both physically and in terms of culture shock, comfort levels and skills required. Please refer to the “Rhino Ratings Explained” section for the general criteria for each rhino rating. The paragraph below explains the method behind our madness in choosing the rhino rating for this particular project.

Why does this course have a “2 rhino” rating?

The African Predator Course is suitable for people of all fitness levels. The programme does not place great demands on you physically – You just need to bring an open and keen mind as you’ll learn a lot! The lion tracking is done by vehicle (for safety reasons!) so you do not need to walk any significant distances. Work with the wildlife veterinarian is predominantly observing or assisting, with no heavy physical exertion. You will be based at the same camp for the duration of the course, where accommodation is in a basic shared house. Electricity and hot water are available, but bedrooms and bathrooms are shared and the house is simply furnished.


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