Seeking Expressions of Interest: Study Trip to the Kruger National Park

Western Sydney academic staff will take students on an intensive two-week study abroad unit in the Kruger National Park located in South Africa. The Kruger National Park is one of the world's great parks, with a rich array of species including elephant, lion, giraffe, hippo, rhino, leopard, cheetah, warthog, zebra, hyena, and is home to over 400 species of birds and thousands of plants. On the trip, you will study in the field. Your lectures are out in the park with game guards and in a private teaching/research centre inside the boundaries of the park.

See Video - Western Sydney @ Kruger National Park (opens in a new window).


Name of ProgramStudy Trip to the Kruger National Park
Destination CountrySouth Africa
LocationKruger National Park (Opens in a new window)
Travel DatesMid January to early February 2019

What does the unit entail?

The unit focuses on the history, politics, philosophy, management, and science of the Kruger National Park. It is designed for students interested in studying environmental issues from interdisciplinary perspectives. The unit will study the evolution of the savanna ecosystem in southern Africa, examine the history of the various human groups that have called the Kruger home, look at the science and management of savanna, and explore current challenges that national parks face in the face of economic development, social change, and environmental fluctuation.

Will the unit count towards your course?

You will need space for an elective within your degree. The unit will be listed as the International Special Study (102193) and can be taken as an elective by students inside and outside of International Relations and Asian Studies major. It is a 10-credit point unit requiring a travel journal, an essay, and an oral presentation.

Where will I be staying?

Accommodation is provided in a research housing dormitory in the staff housing area of Skukuza, co-located with researchers and officials who work and live in the park. Housing will be in dorms. Meals, accommodation, and transport will be covered by costs.

Are there any field excursions?

In addition to required readings, the unit includes daily drives in an open-topped game-viewing vehicle and field-based experiences and lectures within the actual park. Field excursions will take place with historical and scientific experts and will be guarded by SAN Parks game guides who will ensure safety.  The lectures will help to reinforce key concepts and to give students a close-up view of the Kruger.

What else should I know?

  • Kruger National Park is located within a malarial area. July is low season for malaria, but prophylactics (anti-malarial medication) will be advised for students, ensuring safety. Please see information by the Kruger National Park (opens in a new window).
  • The class involves hikes in the field with armed game-guards. There is a risk of animal, poisonous snakes and tick bites. On entering the park students must sign a waiver to SAN-Parks relating to hazards. Your safety is our #1 concern. Our provider has had no serious safety problem in over tens years of managing study abroad trips with daily excursions into the field. All field excursions are led by one or more staff and escorted by 2 or 3 official game rangers with rifles. You are required to attend field excursions so you must be able to walk up to 10 km in up to 30 degree weather.

How much will it cost?

The total cost is expected to be around $6,400 exclusive of the cost of the unit credits. Students are expected to cover this cost either using private money or drawing on OS-HELP (see below).

Is there any financial assistance?

  • You may be eligible for OS-HELP, a deferred HELP debt loan for undergraduate Australian citizens - loans of $3000 and $6400 are available. Academic recognition is required; have completed 80 credit points of study, and have 10 credit points remaining on return. See OS-HELP (opens in a new window)

How do I apply?