African Field Ranger Training Services.

AFRTS offers a comprehensive and intensive Field Ranger training program to all agencies charged with the responsibility for the managing and conserving of wildlife resources in Africa.


AFRTS – A division of the SAWC: Southern African Wildlife College

Tel: +27 (0) 15-7937300 / 7349 / 7342




Field Ranger Selection Course (14 days)


The Field Ranger selection process is inextricably linked to the Field Ranger training course for the latter to be productive and cost efficient. Proper selection ensures that those students entering the Field Ranger training course are of the right caliber and that the time, effort and finances expended in training them is not wasted. Apart from the greater productivity and cost effectiveness achieved with the training course, selection ensures that high standards are attained and that a consistent minimum standard is achieved. The selection course runs for 14 consecutive days.


Aimed at selecting candidates for Field Ranger training


Course involves:

  • Physical selection
  • Casualty evacuation (Casevac) simulation
  • Ecology awareness training
  • Tracking/Mammal identification
  • Basic firearm awareness
  • Learners are monitored throughout and reported on individually.
  • A recommendation with regard to employability/suitability is based on daily reporting of observations made during the process.

Conservation guardianship. (6 weeks)


After the selection process successful candidates will undergo basic Field Ranger training. The skills and knowledge gained in this course are the fundamental skills that all Field Rangers need in order to effectively perform their duties. Those learners who show themselves to have leadership skills may qualify for further leadership training should it be required by their organisation.


Aimed at training Field Rangers.


Course involves:

  • Drill and discipline
  • Duties and responsibilities
  • Conservation philosophy
  • Patrols
  • Law enforcement
  • Communications
  • Tracking
  • Use of rifle
  • First aid
  • Night operations
  • Observation posts
  • Ambushes
  • Extended patrols
  • Crime Scene Control
  • Demonstrate an understanding of HIV/AIDS and its implications
  • Learners are reported on individually and rated in terms of competency.

Patrol Leaders Course. [2 weeks]


The leader group, in addition to receiving instruction in ecological concepts, community involvement,

and anti-poaching techniques, will receive training in field leadership and instructional skills.


The leader group training is conducted by the AFRTS trainers and will take two weeks.

Aimed at training patrol leaders - instructors to plan and conduct patrols in a protected area


Course involves:

  • Field orders
  • Field leadership
  • Planning patrols
  • Patrol preparation
  • Information gathering and dissemination
  • Basic conflict resolution
  • Learners are reported on individually and rated in terms of competency.

Protected Security Operations Planning Course [2 weeks]


This course addresses the need for anti-poaching strategies to become proactive rather than remain reactive.

This training is aimed at empowering managers of small-protected areas or bigger nature reserves or sections rangers to

design and develop a protected areas security operations plan.

Aimed at Protected Area managers/section rangers (Planning level)


Course involves:

  • 8 Step counter poaching model
  • Planning of operations
  • Field intelligence
  • Community involvement in planning
  • Training and employment of Field Rangers
  • Labour Law introduction
  • Investigations
  • Leadership


Specialized Courses


This course is custom designed for those organisation's that have specific problems that need to be addressed. These courses will augment prior training in terms of area specific threats and operations.


Aimed at qualified Field Rangers trained on-site.


Course involves:

  • Extended clandestine patrols
  • Observation Posts / Listening Posts
  • Tactical Movement
  • Field and contact Tactics
  • Advanced weapon handling
  • Night operations


In-Service training courses [approximately 7 days]


Follow up is a vital part of any training. This course is like a diagnostic to ensure that those who have undergone previous training are still up to the standard required to perform their duties effectively. It is recommended that in service training be conducted once or twice a year. The course if aimed at those individuals who have completed their basic Field Ranger course. The course will cover all spheres of training that was undertaken during the basic Field Ranger course.



Re-training courses [approximately 4 weeks]


Very occasionally some rangers need to be retrained. This course will retrain Field Rangers already training by AFRTS or can augment training previously done. This is basically a repeat of the basic Field Ranger course to get performance up to the required standards of competency. Re-training courses are flexible and they can involve a handful of individuals or they can be undertaken at the same time as a greater intake of new Field Rangers.



Instructor / Trainer Development


AFRTS has successfully developed trainers or instructors for two international conservation agencies. This type of development normally includes all the standard training and selection processes with instructional training in addition. This type of course is highly flexible and customised to suit the purposes of the organisation involved. This type of course allows for empowerment of an organisation in terms of internal staff development as well as longevity of projects undertaken in such organisation's.