July 2021

Construction of the Academy

The construction activities are in full swing, the steel for the construction of the Academy is being tailor-made in the factory. The levelling of the site where we are going to build will start next week and the foundation will be laid. We try to use as many natural materials as possible and give the academy an eco-friendly feel. 

Wildlife Forensic Academy Europe

Exciting developments, Wildlife Forensic Academy – Europe (LIFE SWIPE program)

Our Academy is invited to establish a similar WFA in Europe! In this part of the world there is also a lot of poaching going on. And again there is a lack of forensic knowledge to solve these crimes. The duration of the project is 8 years and the budget is 8.000.000 Euro. Our Academy will play a leading role in this project. We will lead 4 work packages namely: Construction of the experience laboratory, Wildlife Forensic training, Innovation and Study trips to the Academy in SA. We are also working on a synergy between Europe and our Academy in South Africa. We will keep you posted on these developments. 

MOU Staffordshire University

We have signed a 5 year MOU with the Staffordshire University. The cooperation is based on: study abroad training for students and scientific cooperation. Beside this we will cooperate in other domains.

Wildlife forensic intelligence

The Academy will sign an MOU with Sensing Clues https://sensingclues.org/. This Dutch organisation is specialised in wildlife intelligence. Using state of the art technology such as sensors, satellites, data science and algorithms with the aim to predict and prevent wildlife poaching. Sensing Clues will use an office at our Academy. We will jointly provide training in the field of data science and algorithms for conservation. 

Wildlife intelligence

The Academy is working in close cooperation with WFA Ambassador Sonja van Meerbeek (Sustainable Scale-up Foundation) to establish a consortium in the field of: “ Space data for wildlife and conservation” Bid Begeleiding HORIZON-CL6-2021-BIODIV-01-02 Data and technologies for the inventory, fast identification and monitoring of endangered wildlife and other species groups


Together with our friends from Tacstone we are working on the e learning course. We have finalized the introduction course and will soon start working on the course “wildlife poaching, trafficking and trade. 

Introduction of new ambassadors and lecturers for our Academy

We welcome 5 new friends in our staff namely:

An ambassador for Canada, Ellen Denstedt

An ambassador for the Netherlands Sonja van Meerbeek (broker for impact)

An ambassador For Fundraising, innovation and business development, Bob Duindam

We as well welcome Monique Verkerk as a lecturer and Mariëlle Jegers an colleague from The Netherlands Forensic Institute.

 Kristin has left our Academy due to her other busy other activities, we thank her for her support.


We are working on the update of the website. We will add new developments such as: The landing page for wildlife forensic intelligence and a landing page for our e learning courses. Furthermore, some personal adjustments will be made.

Team meeting in South Africa

Greg and I are planning to assemble the whole team at the end of this year. At that time the Academy will be finished and we can use this venue to learn from each other and work with the trainers on how to deliver wildlife forensic training in our experience laboratory. Maybe we can combine this with the opening of the Academy.

Wildlife is endangered! With your participation you enable the

 Academy to train wildlife rangers in their combat against wildlife crime

 Get involved

Our Partners

May 2020

Recent events

Establishment of the Academy

The WFA team has completed detailed drawings of the Academy with our architect, Mr. Alex Stewart. Because of the corona pandemic South Africa is in lock down, which has delayed the building of the academy. There will be a partial relaxation of the lock-down in June, which hopefully ease up the restrictions in the construction industry and allow us to move forward with the building.

WFA ambassadors

The Academy aims to attract students from around the globe. We therefore need a worldwide presence. We have expanded our team with motivated WFA ambassadors. Let me introduce to you: Stephanie Preston and Kristen Smithers.

Dr. Stephanie Preston (WFA Ambassador and recruitment director North America)

Stephanie directs North American recruitment, promoting the mission of WFA to students and professionals who may find their calling in a degree in wildlife conservation supported by scientific education, training, and research. With a PhD in Veterinary Medicine, Stephanie has a lifelong commitment to research and teaching, inspired by once having been told by Nelson Bunker Hunt: “No one can take your education away and that makes it priceless.”

Beyond her professional acumen, Stephanie carries a passion for animals and how people interact with them, stemming from a storied career inside of the thoroughbred horse racing as an industry stakeholder, running the gamut from jockey to veterinary epidemiologist.

Kristin Smithers (WFA Ambassador Great Britain)

Kristin is a recent graduate from the UK, whose family roots are strongly cemented in South Africa. From a young age Kristin has had a passion for wildlife conservation and the environment, often spending school holidays in the Eastern Cape, South Africa volunteering with rhino conservation procedures. Having witnessed first-hand the devastation caused by rhino poaching, Kristin is determined to be a part of the fight against wildlife crime. She aims to use her international reach to raise awareness of the plight of the rhino, and hopes to convey her passion for wildlife conservation to a UK audience, encouraging like minded students to come to Cape Town and investigate a critical global issue in state-of-the-art facilities.


The Academy has a collaboration with 2 internship organisations in Cape Town. If students have received training at the Academy they can also undergo an internship. The Academy has a good relationship with these agencies, is familiar with their working methods and has visited their accommodations. In fact, the students only have to indicate the internship of their choice. We also assist students with their visa application, accommodation and research.

Collaboration with Dutch and Belgian universities

The Academy recently organized a meeting in 7 universities of applied science from the Netherlands and Belgium. The universities have indicated that they see an added value in the training offer of the Academy in combination with the offered internships. Together we agreed to start the courses in mid-2021. The aim is to work on a sustainable relationship.

Corona virus

Worldwide, there are increasing signs that governments want to stop wildlife poaching. After virus diseases such as: AIDS, SARS and MERS there is now even more urgency than before because the corona-virus also comes from the consumption of wildlife. This implies that there will be a ban will be on wildlife crime, wildlife trafficking and wildlife trade. This fits the objective of the Wildlife Forensic Academy.

Wildlife is endangered! With your participation you enable the

 Academy to train wildlife rangers in their combat against wildlife crime

 Get involved

Our Partners

March 2020

Dear Friends, this is the first newsletter of the Wildlife Forensic Academy (WFA). This letter will inform you about the developments and progress at the WFA. We will circulate updates about the courses, success stories, challenges, partner content and other ways to get involved with us. Please remember to share our social media posts and encourage family, friends and colleagues join us on this adventure.

Recent events

Signing of the agreement with Buffelsfontein

The founders of the Academy, Greg Simpson, Fred van Alphen and Andro Vos, signed an agreement with Paul Loubser, the owner of Buffelsfontein Reserve. The reserve will host the WFA and is only one hour drive from Cape Town. Students will enjoy the academy facilities, lodges and catering area surrounded by wildlife in their natural environment – an experience not to be missed.

 The Atlantic Ocean and Table Mountain can be seen from the lodge

The establishment of the Academy

In March 2020 the main academy building will be built between the existing lodges. The Academy centre will host the classrooms and virtual reality laboratory used for education proposes.

Application to study

During March/April 2020 we will have discussions regarding customized programs and provide detailed information on courses, duration, prices and travel requirements (visa etc.). In September 2020 the first classes for visiting students will begin.



After the course at the Academy – students will have the option to enroll in an extended internship. Students need to apply well in advance to ensure that we find a suitable option for you in our partner network. Internship will be in the Western Cape which will allow students to enjoy the many exciting and beautiful activities on offer. During the internship the Academy, internship partner and students will work together to ensure goals and objectives are achieved. Our activities and adventure tourism partners will also be in touch to let you know what is happening and how to best enjoy your time in the Cape.

Presentations to colleges and universities

Over the past 3 months the Academy has presented to 5 Universities of Applied Science in the Netherlands and 2 in Belgium.  Students have provided a great response and signed up to join the WFA in Africa.

In March we presented at Erasmus Hoge School in Brussels and met with lecturers from the University of Ghent.

On behalf of the Wildlife Forensic Academy I would like to thank the students from Van Hall Larenstein, de Hoge School van Amsterdam and Saxion for their enthusiasm and registration. In April we will provide updates to you.

Wildlife Forensic Academy in the media

The development of the academy has not gone unnoticed by the press – please have a look at this publication in the (national high quality newspaper in The Netherlands) Volkskrant of January 11, 2020.


Please also watch out for the broadcast on national television:  Jinek, during March 2020

Wildlife is endangered! With your participation you enable the

 Academy to train wildlife rangers in their combat against wildlife crime

 Get involved

Our Partners

About WFA


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To apply at the Academy, or for further information of any kind please contact:

Andro Vos

Greg Simpson

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