Kruger National Park and various sites

Organization for Tropical Studies: African Ecology and Conservation

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Academic Program

Based in Kruger National Park, field study and research exercises will expose you to different types of savanna as you view the park's abundant wildlife. You will take four core courses: South African Ecosystems and Diversity, Field Research in Savanna Ecology, Conservation and Management of Protected Areas in South Africa, and History and Culture of South Africa. Science courses will be taught by Duke and OTS faculty and distinguished visiting scientists. Prominent South African historians, artists, and cultural theorists will lead the course on History and Culture of South Africa. The program is physically and intellectually demanding, stressing full immersion in hands-on scientific and cultural studies.

  • Fields of study: Biology, Ecology, Environmental Science, Conservation, Pre-Vet
  • Eligibility: 9.00 cumulative GPA, two semesters of college biology
  • Number of program participants: 25

Living Arrangements

The program involves travel throughout South Africa. At most sites students will have shared rooms (2-4 people) and all meals are provided. The program also includes a three day home stay in a South African village community.

Term Dates

  • Fall: Late August to mid December
  • Spring: Late January to mid May


  • Advising Tips: This program requires a faculty reference. Faculty referees may use the Scripps form or the student can provide a link to the online reference form.
  • Visa Information: Your passport must valid for at least six months after the end date of the program. You will also need a Visitor’s Visa to enter South Africa if you are not South African. Under separate cover, OTS will provide you with information about applying to the South African Consulate for your Visitor’s Visa. This information will only cover the time period in which you will be with the OTS program. For detailed instructions on how to apply and the documentation you will need, please visit the South African Consulate Website.
  • Budget Planning: For budget planning purposes, click here to view the current cost of living comparison between the USA and South Africa.
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