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Wilderness Leadership School - Bio Monitoring Patrols

Funds Raised:
R 80 166
Fundraising Target:
R 2 000 000

Personal message

During lockdown, the Wilderness Leadership school looked to directing the capacity of the highly skilled corps of wilderness guides to assist our parks in which we operate our trails in adding eyes, ears and feet on the ground. These areas which under normal circumstances would have a high trail presence but now presented a vulnerability and opportunity for poaching.

Little did we realise how important this presence would become and how long the impact of the Covid pandemic would prevent normal trail activity from starting up again.

The wilderness guides are arguably, among the highest skilled personnel in wild areas and can remain in these areas for long periods of time, undetectable and self -reliant. With a combined 100 year experience, they have a precise knowledge of the area and an impeccable security record, they provide the perfect support base for the severely pressurised anti-poaching units currently operating in these reserves.

As the economy looks to open up post-covid, so does the severely depressed socio-economic impact on rural communities become sharply evident in the concurrent rising numbers of poaching incidents in our Parks.

These Bio Monitoring Patrols have proved invaluable as a support to the Parks. And in the absence of the traditional trail activity which provides the lifeblood of income to the iconic, Wilderness Leadership School and in keeping with the legacy of conservation enshrined by the founders, Ian Player and Magqubu Ntombela, we are launching an appeal which will enable the wilderness guides to continue to provide this invaluable service to the Parks in the form of Bio Monitoring Patrols.

Each patrol costs in the region of R 45 000 to carry out (detailed budget available on request) and we envisage carrying out 96 patrols from now until end 2021. A key sponsor would be wonderful but every Euro, Dollar and Rand can make the difference to our capacity to carry out these invaluable contributions to conservation!!



  • Sep 01, 2021 - R 250.00 Fees covered
  • "With thanks for the life - and in memory of - Dr Ian Player" - SueB

  • Feb 15, 2021 - R 5 000.00 Fees covered
  • "To the beingness of the wonder of the wilderness" - Aldine Armstrong Armstrong

  • Feb 01, 2021 - USD $ 16.54 Fees covered
  • "Keep up the great work!" - Bridget Drynan

  • Jan 11, 2021 - USD $ 10.38 Fees covered
  • "Keep up the wonderful work WLS! " - Micah van Schalkwyk

  • Dec 23, 2020 - USD $ 36.24 Fees covered
  • "Well done on wonderful work - went on my first trail in the 80s" - Moyra

  • Dec 23, 2020 - USD $ 3 427.45
  • "Mandla G, Njabulo, Sibusiso, Sipho- we think of you often and we are transformed by our time with you- thank you. " - Massimo,Sally,Ali,Jan,Lorna

  • Dec 22, 2020 - USD $ 355.90 Fees covered
  • "keep up the good work!" - margon

  • Dec 18, 2020 - USD $ 1 296.00
  • "Thank you for the amazing work WLS does and the difference it makes to wilderness values and consciousness" - Wilderness Foundation UK

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Fundraising target

R 2 000 000.00

Donations to date

R 80 166.39

Wilderness Leadership School Trust

Wilderness Leadership School Trust Logo

The Wilderness Leadership School was the first non-profit organisation in Africa dedicated to providing a pure wilderness experience for people of all backgrounds, races and nationalities. Steeped in a rich environmental history, The Wilderness Leadership School was founded in 1957 by the legendary Dr. Ian Player who, together with his friend and mentor Magqubu Ntombela, recognised the necessity for people to connect with the environment.

Long before ecology had become a vogue catch-word, the Wilderness Leadership School foresaw the urgent need for a large body of well-informed, conservation-oriented leaders, capable of and dedicated to the defense of our planet’s irreplaceable natural resources.