Covid-19 travel restrictions have had a devastating impact on conservation in South Africa. Most reserves rely heavily on tourism revenue to protect wildlife and sustain ecosystems. Some even depend on a steady supply of student volunteers from abroad. We wanted to respond to this challenge. So we teamed up with South African conservation projects and international ambassadors to create online courses. These raise funds for our partners through our Conservation Collaboration Fund. is our response to this challenge. Available through our Project Shop, they present opportunities to learn about African wildlife and help us to protect it.
Our growing collection of mini-courses is a doorway into the conservation industry. Collaboration allows us to present content directly from wildlife veterinarians, ecologists and game reserves. We’ve packaged series as individual modules to make them accessible and affordable. In this way, learners can also mix-and-match their own learning programmes.
With this article, we’ve created an overview of our online courses in three broad categories:
- Volunteer Courses (featuring Virtual Volunteering and Conservation in Action)
- Student Courses (featuring Wildlife Vet Online, Ecology Online and Nkonzo Wildlife Research’s Flagships of Southern Africa)
- Kids Courses (featuring Big Cats, Rhinos, Animal Identification and Tracking Course Introduction)
Online Courses for Volunteers
We’ve designed online courses as virtual introductions to some of the most inspiring community and conservation projects in South Africa.
This series presents unique South African organisations that work tirelessly to make a meaningful difference in their communities. It also provides opportunities to support them in real life, through tasks that address specific challenges.
The FOOD Project focuses on the UN’s second Sustainable Development Goal: Zero Hunger. Modules investigate improved nutrition, sustainable agriculture and food security as major targets. On the other hand, The LIFE Project looks at the basic things we need to live: food, water, health, education. A strong local context and the real-life application of statistics and solutions unify all our Virtual Volunteering courses.
Conservation in Action
Conservation In Action is our reserve relief project. In fact, all of the revenue generated from this series goes to supporting our close partners in the face of Covid-19. This series will continue as long as we all feel the repercussions of the pandemic. We’re collaborating with Dyer Island Trust, Natures Valley Trust, Hoedspruit Endangered Species Center and Sibuya Game Reserve for future modules in this series. If you’d like updates on our progress, sign up for our newsletter here.
Online Courses for Students
The modular nature of this series makes it accessible and affordable to university students. We have forged partnerships with leading UK universities (including the Royal Veterinary College, University of Nottingham and the University of Edinburgh) and progressive veterinary societies (RVCZS, NUVZS and DVWCS). This allows us to offer free memberships to students enrolled at select institutions. Furthermore, Wildlife Vet Online is a point of entry into the industry for students interested in working with exotics.
Wildlife Vet Online
Wildlife Vet Online is ideal for students of veterinary science and other biosciences (e.g. ecology, zoology and wildlife conservation). It is presented by Dr Peter Rogers (BVSc). With over 35 years of experience, he is undoubtedly one of the most experienced wildlife veterinarians in the world. He specializes in the capture, rehabilitation and relocation of some of South Africa’s most endangered species.
Each module in this series provides two to four hours of clinical EMS (extra-mural studies), certified by Dr Rogers. Optional extra credit assignments are similarly certified. Our student members also receive certificates and have access to additional resources. Currently, the series covers African Elephants (two modules), African Rhinos (two modules), Cheetah Management and Pangolins. We supplement lectures with monthly Q & A sessions, exercises and worksheets.
Besides Dr Rogers’ series, modules that focus on sea life, in partnership with the Dyer Island Trust and Marine Dynamics, are also in the pipeline. Sign up for our newsletter here if you’d like updates on modules focused on sharks, whales and seabirds and more.
We’ve designed this series to present online versions of selected wildlife observation and research experiences available in South Africa. To that end, we collaborated with projects that offer direct encounters and projects that offer “hands-off” conservation support experiences. In this way, we’re able to provide both practical and theoretical instruction. Research findings, sanctuary management and wildlife conservation blend to create a well-rounded perspective.
TEP Ambassador Terry-Lee Honiball is currently doing her Master’s in Large Carnivore Ecology. Who better to author Ecology Online: Large Carnivores? This module covers African Wild Dog, Brown and Spotted Hyaena, Cheetah, Leopard and Lion. Lesson topics include common terms, population research and diet research.
Flagships of Southern Africa
The Flagships of Southern Africa course is ideal for learning about the conservation value or status of Africa’s best-known species. The course is presented by Nkonzo Wildlife Research, one of our long-standing partners. It introduces each one by covering basic biology such as communication strategies, distribution, and taxonomic classification. It then expands on the conservation status of each species, covering threats, conservation and research publications about their behaviour. The course also covers scientific findings on each species to see what experts have to say on burning topics.
All learning material is in text format (PDF documents) and online quizzes are on our platform. Nkonzo Wildlife Research issues a Certificate of Accomplishment to each student with a score of 90% or more.
Online Courses for Kids
Our kids’ courses don’t just teach – they also create opportunities for young people to support conservation in South Africa. We’ve developed these courses in collaboration with international students, our own global ambassadors and South African projects and small businesses.
Conservation Kids is ideal for children aged 6 to 12. This series introduces Rhinos (African and Asian) and Big Cats (lions, leopards, cheetahs, jaguars and tigers). The courses highlight habitats, diet, reproduction and conservation. On the other hand, the Climate Change course looks into the causes and impacts of this burning issue, along with solutions and next steps.
Junior Wildlife Vet
We created Junior Wildlife Vet, especially for teenagers with a strong interest in becoming vets. Animal Identification introduces them to world-renowned wildlife vets and vets-in-training alike. It also looks into animal anatomy and other telltale signs like sounds, scat and tracks. Following on from there, Tracker Course Introduction delves deeper into the different aspects of tracking and presents some animals with unique features.
How It Works
As a social enterprise, The EXPEDITION Project works for the greater good by doing good business. Membership fees allow us to publish quality content in collaboration with our conservation partners. Additionally, we’re able to donate profits to worthy projects on your behalf. In return, we offer discounts on paid courses and other selected Project Shop items. Members are also eligible for special benefits like mentoring and live support.
Where your money goes:
- Donation to our Conservation Collaboration Fund
- Content creation
- Administration and project communications
Our active community
Are you looking to volunteer either online or in person? Would you simply like to help where you can with what you have? Even learn some new skills while you do it? Our Volunteer Membership offers skills development and activities that protect our planet and all who live on it.
For those who want to volunteer in person, we offer trip planning and advice. We also provide priority support before, during and after the adventure. Furthermore, volunteer members qualify for exclusive deals and discounts from our accommodation and restaurant partners in South Africa.
Are you in school, college or university? Interested in scientific fields like conservation, ecology, zoology or veterinary medicine? Our Student Membership plan gives you access to material relevant to you, your educational career and interests. We also offer advice and support for further education and career development. This membership also presents a gateway to academic research and the wildlife vet industry, along with networking opportunities.
Additionally, students receive up to 50% off on paid courses and selected Project Shop items.
Are you under 16 and interested in conservation? Would like to find out more about what you can do to protect our precious animals and world? Our Kids Membership is your gateway to relevant content, courses, support and project updates. We also offer advice and support for further education and career choices.
Our Kids Membership is ₤2.50 monthly, or ₤25 annually (two months free). Kids receive up to 25% off on paid courses and selected Project Shop items.
Help us boost the efforts of the people on the ground – from ecologists and veterinarians to preschool teachers and environmental educators. Join us today!
If you would like to ask more questions, get started by filling out our Course Enquiry Form here.