Sawma Conference

With our main theme focussed on “partnerships”, we aim to reflect on the full spectrum of partnerships, be it private / public, conservation area / community, researcher / landowner, or any partnership where mutual interests contribute towards conservation outcomes.

Due to limited size of the venue registrations for in-person attendance of the conference are now closed. Only registrations for virtual attendance will be accepted from now on. (21 August 2023)


Partnerships: a key component of conservation actions

Diminishing space for wildlife conservation: adaptive management, offsets and corridors

Research and monitoring in rangelands and ecosystems

The science–management-policy interface

Advances in technology and application in wildlife management

Disease management and biosecurity


Submission Portal Opens – Wednesday, 1 March 2023

Early Bird Registration Opens – Thursday, 6 April 2023 (valid until 23H59 on Friday, 30 June 2023)

Booking of Accommodation Opens – Thursday, 6 April 2023

Submission Deadline – Friday, 19 May 23h59

Review Feedback Distributed – End of May/Beginning June

Standard Registration Opens on Saturday, 1 July 2023

Registration Closes – Friday, 25 August 2023



Science-Management Interface Working Session -
Achieving Reserve Objectives

On Tuesday, during the formal programme of the conference there will be a special science-management workshop.
More information can be found HERE.


Managers who wish to attend the workshop can register to attend Tuesday’s presentation and work session at a discounted daily rate of R1000. By completing the online registration at 


Dr Angus Burns

Angus Burns is the Senior Manager for WWF-SA’s Land and Biodiversity Stewardship Portfolio.  He has been working in the conservation sector for over 27 years having pioneered biodiversity stewardship implementation in Mpumalanga, KZN and the Free State through his work in the grasslands programme.  Currently he oversees 3 teams focusing on protected area expansion in the Succulent Karoo, Fynbos and Grasslands biomes, as well as in the community conservation space.  Under his guidance, the Land and BDS portfolio has catalysed over 850 000ha of land under formal protection through land purchase, biodiversity stewardship, offsets and other mechanisms.

Dr Nkabeng Mzileni

Dr Nkabeng Mzileni started her career at St. Francis Xavier University where she completed a BSc in Ecology and Zoology. Her Honours and Masters degrees were completed at the University of Pretoria where she studied cheetah behaviour. From there, Nkabeng completed a DTech at Tshwane University of Technology studying tuberculosis in lions. The combination of management and conservation provided insight into a holistic conservation approach. Her scientific involvements spread beyond predator research into a broader ecological range. Nkabeng is currently a Regional Ecologist within SANParks and a published UNESCO endorsed scientist.

Mr Dave Hayter

From his early childhood, Dave Hayter was determined to become a conservationist and never wavered from that decision. He graduated with a Diploma in Nature Conservation and has been formally involved with conservation for approximately 37 years. He moved to the Free State in 1989 and has been with the Free State Department of Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs for nearly 34 years. He is currently the Acting Director for Biodiversity and Conservation and is a designated Grade 1 Environmental Management Inspector.

Dave has been prominently involved with the department’s Protected Areas Expansion Programme and has forged numerous partnerships with NGOs, Landowners, Environmental Consultants, etc in order to ensure that the Free State Province has Protected Areas which are representative of the biodiversity of the area and which will be able to persist into the future.

Mr Martin Haupt

Martin Haupt (AdvDip Nature Conservation) is the founder of Africa Wildlife Tracking (AWT) which he started in 1999. After a stint as assistant biologist on Marion Island (1982-1983), he became head technician at the Mammal Research Institute, UP, (1983-2009), where he honed his skills during numerous research expeditions throughout Southern Africa. In 2009, Martin left the university to focus on AWT full-time. He has worked with wildlife across the globe: from the Florida Everglades to the Arctic Circle, and dozens of African countries as well as the Middle-East and Asia. His specialist knowledge in the application of tracking technologies (satellite, GSM, LoRa, UHF and VHF) has led to the tagging of more than 80 unique species, including carnivores, ungulates, birds, reptiles and marine mammals. AWT has collected data on tens of thousands of animals since its inception.


All tertiary institutions are invited to enter student teams for the annual SAWMA/Plaas Media Quiz, which will take place on Tuesday evening, 12 September 2023. Please refer to the attached advert for details on the entry requirements and what the Quiz will entail. Final entry date for teams: 5 September 2023. Please use the link below to enter your team.


Unfortunate, due to the limitations of the conference venue, in-person registrations are now closed. However, registrations for virtual attendance are still possible.  Please contact Jackey Deacon with regards to accommodation at Golden Gate.  Telephone: 082 447 1570 or email 


Golden Gate Highlands National Park is located in the north eastern part of the Free State, near the Lesotho border. It covers an area of 340 km². The park’s most notable features are its golden, ochre, and orange-hued, deeply eroded sandstone cliffs and outcrops, especially the Brandwag rock.

The vegetation in the Golden Gate Nature Reserve consists mainly of wooded ravines, gullies and grasslands. Golden Gate Highlands National Park was established in 1963 to protect the sandstone rocks which were once shelters for the Bushmen. The numerous caves and shelters in the area display many San rock paintings.

The park also boasts various rare and indigenous flowers that include the Arum Lily, Watsonias, Fire Lilies and Red-Hot Pokers. The park is one of the last refuges of the rare Bearded Vulture and the rare bald ibis which breeds annually in Cathedral Cave. The park is also home to a variety of mammals that include Burchell’s Zebra, Black Wildebeest, Eland, Blesbok, Springbok and the threatened Oribi. Some 140 bird species have been identified in the park, and a hide at the Vulture Restaurant enables bird lovers to view these creatures closely.

Numerous palaeontology finds have been made in the park, including dinosaur eggs and skeletons.


We would like to invite you to consider supporting the 2023 conference by either having an exhibition stand of R2000 for the week (excluding registration and accommodation), and/or by sponsoring an element of the conference.

Sponsorship opportunities and benefits

SAWMA has identified the following sponsorship opportunities – (some items have estimated prices)


Platinum Conference Sponsor
Gold Conference Sponsor
Silver Conference Sponsor
Bronze Conference Sponsor
Conference Gala Dinner
Opening function on first night
Branded Delegate water bottles
Student “quiz night” function
Branded water bottles for delegates
Branded conference bags
Branded Conference pens
Branded Conference notepads
Branded lanyards
Wine for the social functions (open offer)


R100 000-00 or more
R50 000-00 – R99 000-00
R20 000-00 – R49 000-00
R10 000-00 – R19 000-00
R60 000-00
R40 000-00
R30 000-00
R27 000-00
R18 000-00
R10 000-00
R5 000-00
R8 000-00
R5 000-00


Platinum Sponsor
Gold Sponsor
Silver Sponsor
Bronze Sponsor
Gold Sponsor
Silver Sponsor
Silver Sponsor
Silver Sponsor
Bronze Sponsor
Bronze Sponsor
Bronze Sponsor
Bronze Sponsor
Bronze Sponsor
Depending on the sponsorship

Sponsors would be recognised as a named sponsor in the Conference Programme and on all other media platforms used to promote the Conference. You would also be welcome to display any promotional material during the Symposium.

It is our firm belief that your support represents an investment in the future of conservation and wildlife management in Africa and we would be honoured if you would accept our invitation to be an integral part of the Southern African Wildlife Management Conference.

If you are interested to support the conference in the form of any of the above sponsorship opportunities, we invite you to contact:
Elma Marais
Secretariat: Southern African Wildlife Management Association (NPO 077-639)
PO Box 217
Bloubergstrand 7436
Ph: +27-21-554 1297

Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors



SAWMA Secretariat: Elma Marais

Southern African Wildlife Management Association

PO Box 217

Bloubergstrand 7436

Western Cape, South Africa


Ph: +27-21-5541297