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wildlife protection scout
training courses

"recces against poaching"

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Becoming a complete WP Ranger

AP4D wildlife protection courses run in two separate training paths because it is impossible to develop all skills in one course:

1)      The WP Scout courses develop the student into an expert in the recconnaissance of large wilderness areas on the search for poachers and traces of poaching. WP Scouts are most important because they are the eyes and ears in anti poaching.

Due to time issues, in the WP Scout courses we do not train the students in the use of firearms and in sophisticated crime-fighting tactics. This is why graduates are only qualified to make more “simple” arrests or interrogations. - Nevertheless, in some regions and by some organizations, only WP Scouts, without firearms, are required or requested.

2)      The WP Officer courses develop the students into experts in hot pursuit tracking, overpowering and arresting even violent and armed poachers. WP Officers work hand-in-hand with the WP Scouts.

3)      It must be noted, that only the combination of WP Scout and WP Officer results in the complete AP4D qualification: The WP Ranger. We therefore advise that all who want to work in wildlife protection/anti poaching go through both lines of training gradually.


Bushcraft and wilderness survival skills

are a basic requirement to complete the demanding tasks of a WP scout. The WP scouts must feel home in the wilderness so that they can stay on duty for many days without stress and fatique. ​

The Namibian law

Generally, job and training of the WP scouts are based on the Namibian laws for the protection of nature and wildlife on private, state or communal land. - Knowledge of all the necessary legal paragraphs forms the basis of their work and is a focus in all AP4D's training courses

Tracking & reconnaissance specialists

WP scouts are to detect, observe, pursue and report  suspicious occurences, suspects and offenders by scouting and tracking. For this purpose, the WP scouts are using reconnaissance tactics,  mobile by patrols and tracking teams as well as static from (changing) covered observation points. Observation, search tactics and especially superior tracking skills are of utmost importance.

AP4D is also intending to incooperate the use of drones to support the reconnaissance in their training programs. 

Arresting of suspects

The WP scouts are equipped for self-protection only with simple weapons (e.g. traditional weapons), not with firearms. They should therefore only detect armed poachers, observe them and report to the intensively trained Wildlife Protection (WP) Officers, WP Ranger or police for back-up. Only more simple arrests of none or lightly armed suspects should they perform themselves.

Nevertheless, because their intelligence gathering duties represent the basis for every further measure against wildlife and nature crime, WP scouts are of essential importance in the fight against poaching.

Health & Safety (Survival) Training

The work of WP scouts can be dangerous. Therefore, their health & safety training consists of a combination of SERE (wilderness survival, evasion, resistance and escape tactics), as well as first aid and search & rescue skills. 

Since also poachers "who do not look dangerous" can become violent unexpectedly and are sometimes armed, the training covers very intensively the legal aspects regarding the use of force, private defense, and especially practical self-defense without weapons, as well as with a range of simple and traditional weapons.

Natural history

is also an important aspect for the WP scouts. In order to best fulfill their functions, they must know the plants and animals, as well as animal behavior, and be able to "read" the bush.

Course structure

The WP scout courses offered by AP4D are divided into 3 levels: Basic, Advanced and Master courses, each lasting 15 days. - In each level the requirements and training content are expanded and deepened. Each course is certified with a certificate, whereby a minimum score of 60% must be achieved to pass.


By completing the Basic WP Scout course, graduates can start working as a scout, but they should definitely complete their training up to the master level in order to be able to call themselves a fully trained WP scout.


As a Master WP Scout certified by AP4D, the graduate has a qualification level that cannot be achieved through any other training institution in Namibia. – But course applicants and participants must remember that only the additional WP Officer Courses can get you to the final goal: The fully qualified WP RANGER !

In addition, such an excellently trained WP Scout also has the qualifications to work as a field guide or tracker in tourism if his main duties allows it.

Contact us to find out more about the course, application and entry requirements.

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