Specialized Wildlife Protection Academy

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Specialized Wildlife Protection Academy
Abbreviation SWPA
Purpose Specialized Wildlife Protection Academy
Location South Africa
Region served
Major Thomas J. Fleetwood and Sergeant Major Gerhard D. Adam
Website www.swpa.co.za

The Specialized Wildlife Protection Academy was established in South Africa by former Major Thomas J. Fleetwood and Sergeant Major Gerhard D. Adam of the South African Defence Force. Their organisation is delivering Advanced Force Counter Poaching Game Rangers trained in bushcraft and anti-poaching. And is also manufacturing all specialized equipment for anti-poaching. The academy is accredited by the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA), the Endangered Wildlife Trust and by the Private Rhino Owners Association of South Africa.

About the SWPA[edit]

The two founders of the SWPA have 40 combined years of experience. Both are honorary officers of the anti-poaching team in the national parks of the North West Province. They train students at private & national parks as well from related wildlife organisations.

They train students in bush skills, survival, tracking and counter poaching so they can be deployed all over Africa to prevent harm to the endangered species and wildlife.

Thomas J. Fleetwood[edit]


Thomas Fleetwood was born in 1963 and qualified as a horticulturist. He started his career in the South African defence force where he qualified in various specialised courses. In 2004 he left as a part-time member. In 1998 he joined the North West Parks as an honorary officer in the anti-poaching unit. He is specialized in small team tactics, intelligence and survavil but also in tracking and anti-poaching operations. Together with Gerhard Adam, he is a co-writer of excellent anti-poaching training manuals.

Gerhard D. Adam[edit]


Gerhard Adam was born in 1957 and joined the South African defence force in 1976, where he served at the well-known 31 battalion. He was selected in 1981 to join the South African Special Forces. For more than 29 years he was active in the army and left in the rank of Sergeant major. He started to dedicate himself to nature conservation when he was responsible for the Modimbo corridor, Schiettoct and Shiela training areas.


The aim of all Counter Poaching Game Rangers are:

  • Ensure the territorial integrity of protected areas
  • Prevent the poaching of all species especially endangered species
  • Finding poachers guilty by collecting intelligence
  • Having the ability to follow and protect endangered species in a high risk Park or Game Farm & preventinfg poaching of such endangered species

Graduation skills[edit]

After graduation the new formed rangers will be specialized in Photography and Videography,Use of a telescope,Tracking of animals/humans,Survival,Navigation,Self Defense,First Aid and will have Discipline. Also the ability to identify all species and endangered species such as animals,plants,birds and insects.Rangers will also have an experience in river crossing and kayaking,Intelligence Collection, in fire arms,Boarding and guiding of landing choppers and aeroplanes. They will know how to use radio communication and infrared equipment by doing night sights and having exceptional bush skills.They will be able for to manage private & national parks, and have a knowledge of the Big 6 animals. They will have the methods of target penetration and will be able for to train and lead small teams in tactics and operations when infiltrating in poaching area's