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Safari Field Guide Course in South Africa

Spend 23 weeks training in the African bush with an optional 6 months placement

Program Details

Program Type

Internship

Program Focus

Wildlife Conservation

23 weeks from

£7,950.00

Code: ZABF0039N
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Program Information

Become an accredited Field Guide and forward your conservation career when you spend 23 weeks training in the iconic South African lowveld; one of the best wildlife locations in the country. You will gain skills and qualifications applicable to many conservation careers and there’s an optional placement to give you the opportunity to gain experience and secure the best possible start to your career.
Overview
Life on the Internship
Program Details
Free Time
The Team
Dates & Costs

Overview

Join us in South Africa’s Lowveld region, one of the world’s best big game territories and train to become a qualified field guide, a knowledgeable conservationist and experience the African bush at its best. This course is the ideal platform for a successful career in the African safari lodge industry and many international wildlife conservation careers or for a hands-on experience in the African bush that you will never forget. So be proactive and broaden your horizons, while gaining diverse qualifications, experience and transferable skills to improve your employability. The course can offer all this, whilst you have an adventure of a lifetime.

It is not enough to say you love wildlife and are determined to work in conservation – you need your skills and experience to support this

– Conservation Careers advice.

On the course we offer high quality theoretical and practical training, covering a diverse range of topics while being situated in one of the wildlife hot spots in South Africa. The foundation of the course is structured around the FGASA (Field Guide Association of Southern Africa) syllabus, which will give you an in depth knowledge and understanding of Southern African Fauna and Flora. This, along with the additional activities, will show potential employers around the world that you have the ability and drive to learn, and importantly transferable skills to take into your conservation career.  Other relevant and exciting activities and qualifications have also been added to boost your CV and show employers that you are resourceful and determined about making it in conservation.

The curriculum includes bush skills such a wildlife tracking, shooting competency, 4×4 driving, outdoor first aid, wildlife photography, wildlife surveying techniques and in-depth knowledge and practical application of subjects such as conservation, ecology, reserve management, geology and animal behaviour. The course has been designed to develop applicants into highly skilled professionals in the exciting area of field guiding, conservation, research, adventure tourism or lodge management, by providing a well-rounded, specialised education which focuses not only on the theory but the practical aspects of wildlife conservation and guiding.

Unlike many other training providers, this course focuses on practical skills and gives students a regular exposure to working and guiding around dangerous game, such as Elephant, Lion, Rhino, Leopard, Buffalo and Hippo. This invaluable experience gives students excellent grounding for any of our placements and future employment in ‘Big Five’ game reserves, research and conservation jobs in Africa and beyond.

All the trainers are from The Field Guide Association of Southern Africa (FGASA) and the course is both theoretical and practical. Students who choose to take the 23 week course and not the work placement will still be professionally qualified if they pass their exams.

Testimonials

"I cannot begin to count the ways that completing the course has added value to my life.  I came to South Africa with no experience or knowledge of the bush except what I had learned from David Attenborough and other documentaries and books.  Despite this I knew it was something I was passionate about was determined to make the most of my experience.  I now spend every day assisting with the conservation and management of the reserve I work on.

I am now research guiding for Limpopo Eco Operations and devote much of my time to monitoring the rhino population on the reserve which is a direct result of the qualifications I gained on the course."

- Liz Spencer, (UK)

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Students

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • FGASA (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa) national certificate - Level 1 - practical and theory
  • FGASA Level 2 knowledge
  • SASSETA (Rifle handling, proficiency, maintaining of fire arms and shooting)
  • CATHSSETA(The Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality and Sports Sector, Education and Training Authority) National Qualification (Level 2) in Nature Guiding
  • National LEVEL 2 First Aid Certificate
  • Cybertracker track & sign qualification
  • National level 3, 4 x 4 driving qualification
  • Wildlife photography workshop
  • Birding specialist course
  • Reptile orientation course
  • Wildlife surveying techniques skills
  • Dangerous game experience
  • 6 months work experience from placement venue
  • Ethical guiding principles
  • Other activities, such as sleep outs, Kruger trips, etc.
  • 2 x sets of uniforms
  • All compulsory books (if included)
  • Transfer from Oliver Tambo International airport (if included)
  • Limited internet access at no extra cost
  • T-shirt, fleece jacket, cap and beanie

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Laundry, food and transport during weeks off
  • Recommended reference books
  • Transport costs to placement
  • Professional drivers permit & licensing costs, including transportation

Parents

Why Study Abroad

GVI Difference

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • FGASA (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa) national certificate - Level 1 - practical and theory
  • FGASA Level 2 knowledge
  • SASSETA (Rifle handling, proficiency, maintaining of fire arms and shooting)
  • CATHSSETA(The Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality and Sports Sector, Education and Training Authority) National Qualification (Level 2) in Nature Guiding
  • National LEVEL 2 First Aid Certificate
  • Cybertracker track & sign qualification
  • National level 3, 4 x 4 driving qualification
  • Wildlife photography workshop
  • Birding specialist course
  • Reptile orientation course
  • Wildlife surveying techniques skills
  • Dangerous game experience
  • 6 months work experience from placement venue
  • Ethical guiding principles
  • Other activities, such as sleep outs, Kruger trips, etc.
  • 2 x sets of uniforms
  • All compulsory books (if included)
  • Transfer from Oliver Tambo International airport (if included)
  • Limited internet access at no extra cost
  • T-shirt, fleece jacket, cap and beanie

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Laundry, food and transport during weeks off
  • Recommended reference books
  • Transport costs to placement
  • Professional drivers permit & licensing costs, including transportation

Course Life

The academic curriculum is accredited by the Field Guide Association of Southern Africa (FGASA); the ‘South Africa Qualifications Board’; and the ‘Culture Art Tourism Hospitality and Sports Sector Education and Training Authority ’ and all students are taught by experienced guides and instructors. All additional qualifications are also attained through accredited training providers.

A Typical Day

Typically the day will start early at around 5.30 – 6am. You will usually grab a cup of tea before heading out into the bush for a morning of practical training laden with reference books on the African bush and a pair of good binoculars. Each week you will be focusing on a different module such as birds, mammals, 4 X 4 skills etc.

On your practical sessions in the bush, either a walk or a drive, you will concentrate on these modules and put all the theory you have learnt in the classroom into practice in the field. For example, you might have collected some specimens that morning which you will bring back to the classroom for identification before the afternoon practical or lecture.

After the morning activity you will be welcomed with a hearty brunch. By midday you will be pretty tired and the African heat will certainly make you drowsy so all the students have a break to relax, rest or study – remember you have a test at the end of the week! After a break you will be ready to get some more fresh air and head out for an afternoon practical or lecture session building on your skills and knowledge gained in the morning session. All the teams return for an evening meal sat around the camp fire discussing their experiences that day.

At the end of each week all the students are tested on that weeks module before moving onto the next one. However, learning each topic is continuous as while you are out in the bush nature is all around you so you cannot help but increase your knowledge and skills as the weeks progress.

The course runs for 4 weeks and then you will have 1 week off to relax, either at camp or you are welcome to go off exploring. This might change at certain times but will basically follow this timeline. There is plenty to do here with Kruger National Park on our doorstep, visits to the Blyde River canyon, whitewater rafting, microlighting, horse back safaris – the list is endless! Please note that during time off, students are welcome to stay at the campus but please note that food, laundry, transport etc is NOT included during this time as the staff will also be having time off.

The course is fun but be warned this is no holiday – days are long and to reach the standard required to pass you need to be dedicated and focused.

It’s a wonderful experience that can only help you in the future. It will look great on your CV and help you find jobs in the conservation sector in your home country.

– Beth Silvester (UK)

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • FGASA (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa) national certificate - Level 1 - practical and theory
  • FGASA Level 2 knowledge
  • SASSETA (Rifle handling, proficiency, maintaining of fire arms and shooting)
  • CATHSSETA(The Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality and Sports Sector, Education and Training Authority) National Qualification (Level 2) in Nature Guiding
  • National LEVEL 2 First Aid Certificate
  • Cybertracker track & sign qualification
  • National level 3, 4 x 4 driving qualification
  • Wildlife photography workshop
  • Birding specialist course
  • Reptile orientation course
  • Wildlife surveying techniques skills
  • Dangerous game experience
  • 6 months work experience from placement venue
  • Ethical guiding principles
  • Other activities, such as sleep outs, Kruger trips, etc.
  • 2 x sets of uniforms
  • All compulsory books (if included)
  • Transfer from Oliver Tambo International airport (if included)
  • Limited internet access at no extra cost
  • T-shirt, fleece jacket, cap and beanie

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Laundry, food and transport during weeks off
  • Recommended reference books
  • Transport costs to placement
  • Professional drivers permit & licensing costs, including transportation

Course Details

The course is known for producing the highest caliber graduates for this demanding industry. Throughout the years, our graduates have achieved the highest marks of all the FGASA long term providers many times and are considered some of THE best trained guides in the industry.

Field Guide students have an opportunity to undertake a 6 month placement. This allows students to gain valuable hands on experience, as well as cementing the information and skills learnt during the training period, and gaining a valuable ‘foot-in-the-door’ to the exhilarating and competitive safari tourism industry and, wildlife and conservation careers.

There are two placement options currently available. Please remember, the allocation is based on performance, interest and personality as determined by the head trainer. All students MUST pass both the FGASA and course requirements before being placed at any placement.

1. Professional Field Guiding

Work and guide in 3* – 5* safari lodges or predator research bases whilst having regular exposure to working and guiding around dangerous game, such as Elephant, Lion, Rhino, Leopard, Cheetah and Hippo.

Field Guides interact with tourists visiting national parks or private game reserves, sharing knowledge about nature and the environment. These guiding experiences are either conducted in a 4×4 vehicle or on foot. Field guides act as interpreters between the environment and the guests, with the ultimate intention of promoting conservation and environmental protection.

2. Wildlife Conservation or Management

Become part of a dynamic team of conservationists, wildlife researchers, reserve wardens or managers as guide or support staff member at a wildlife conservation area, game reserve, wildlife rehabilitation or animal care organization.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • FGASA (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa) national certificate - Level 1 - practical and theory
  • FGASA Level 2 knowledge
  • SASSETA (Rifle handling, proficiency, maintaining of fire arms and shooting)
  • CATHSSETA(The Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality and Sports Sector, Education and Training Authority) National Qualification (Level 2) in Nature Guiding
  • National LEVEL 2 First Aid Certificate
  • Cybertracker track & sign qualification
  • National level 3, 4 x 4 driving qualification
  • Wildlife photography workshop
  • Birding specialist course
  • Reptile orientation course
  • Wildlife surveying techniques skills
  • Dangerous game experience
  • 6 months work experience from placement venue
  • Ethical guiding principles
  • Other activities, such as sleep outs, Kruger trips, etc.
  • 2 x sets of uniforms
  • All compulsory books (if included)
  • Transfer from Oliver Tambo International airport (if included)
  • Limited internet access at no extra cost
  • T-shirt, fleece jacket, cap and beanie

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Laundry, food and transport during weeks off
  • Recommended reference books
  • Transport costs to placement
  • Professional drivers permit & licensing costs, including transportation

Life on the Internship

The academic curriculum is accredited by the Field Guide Association of Southern Africa (FGASA); the ‘South Africa Qualifications Board’; and the ‘Culture Art Tourism Hospitality and Sports Sector Education and Training Authority ’ and all students are taught by experienced guides and instructors. All additional qualifications are also attained through accredited training providers.

A Typical Day

Typically the day will start early at around 5.30 – 6am. You will usually grab a cup of tea before heading out into the bush for a morning of practical training laden with reference books on the African bush and a pair of good binoculars. Each week you will be focusing on a different module such as birds, mammals, 4 X 4 skills etc.

On your practical sessions in the bush, either a walk or a drive, you will concentrate on these modules and put all the theory you have learnt in the classroom into practice in the field. For example, you might have collected some specimens that morning which you will bring back to the classroom for identification before the afternoon practical or lecture.

After the morning activity you will be welcomed with a hearty brunch. By midday you will be pretty tired and the African heat will certainly make you drowsy so all the students have a break to relax, rest or study – remember you have a test at the end of the week! After a break you will be ready to get some more fresh air and head out for an afternoon practical or lecture session building on your skills and knowledge gained in the morning session. All the teams return for an evening meal sat around the camp fire discussing their experiences that day.

At the end of each week all the students are tested on that weeks module before moving onto the next one. However, learning each topic is continuous as while you are out in the bush nature is all around you so you cannot help but increase your knowledge and skills as the weeks progress.

The course runs for 4 weeks and then you will have 1 week off to relax, either at camp or you are welcome to go off exploring. This might change at certain times but will basically follow this timeline. There is plenty to do here with Kruger National Park on our doorstep, visits to the Blyde River canyon, whitewater rafting, microlighting, horse back safaris – the list is endless! Please note that during time off, students are welcome to stay at the campus but please note that food, laundry, transport etc is NOT included during this time as the staff will also be having time off.

The course is fun but be warned this is no holiday – days are long and to reach the standard required to pass you need to be dedicated and focused.

It’s a wonderful experience that can only help you in the future. It will look great on your CV and help you find jobs in the conservation sector in your home country.

– Beth Silvester (UK)

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • FGASA (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa) national certificate - Level 1 - practical and theory
  • FGASA Level 2 knowledge
  • SASSETA (Rifle handling, proficiency, maintaining of fire arms and shooting)
  • CATHSSETA(The Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality and Sports Sector, Education and Training Authority) National Qualification (Level 2) in Nature Guiding
  • National LEVEL 2 First Aid Certificate
  • Cybertracker track & sign qualification
  • National level 3, 4 x 4 driving qualification
  • Wildlife photography workshop
  • Birding specialist course
  • Reptile orientation course
  • Wildlife surveying techniques skills
  • Dangerous game experience
  • 6 months work experience from placement venue
  • Ethical guiding principles
  • Other activities, such as sleep outs, Kruger trips, etc.
  • 2 x sets of uniforms
  • All compulsory books (if included)
  • Transfer from Oliver Tambo International airport (if included)
  • Limited internet access at no extra cost
  • T-shirt, fleece jacket, cap and beanie

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Laundry, food and transport during weeks off
  • Recommended reference books
  • Transport costs to placement
  • Professional drivers permit & licensing costs, including transportation

Program Details

The course is known for producing the highest caliber graduates for this demanding industry. Throughout the years, our graduates have achieved the highest marks of all the FGASA long term providers many times and are considered some of THE best trained guides in the industry.

Field Guide students have an opportunity to undertake a 6 month placement. This allows students to gain valuable hands on experience, as well as cementing the information and skills learnt during the training period, and gaining a valuable ‘foot-in-the-door’ to the exhilarating and competitive safari tourism industry and, wildlife and conservation careers.

There are two placement options currently available. Please remember, the allocation is based on performance, interest and personality as determined by the head trainer. All students MUST pass both the FGASA and course requirements before being placed at any placement.

1. Professional Field Guiding

Work and guide in 3* – 5* safari lodges or predator research bases whilst having regular exposure to working and guiding around dangerous game, such as Elephant, Lion, Rhino, Leopard, Cheetah and Hippo.

Field Guides interact with tourists visiting national parks or private game reserves, sharing knowledge about nature and the environment. These guiding experiences are either conducted in a 4×4 vehicle or on foot. Field guides act as interpreters between the environment and the guests, with the ultimate intention of promoting conservation and environmental protection.

2. Wildlife Conservation or Management

Become part of a dynamic team of conservationists, wildlife researchers, reserve wardens or managers as guide or support staff member at a wildlife conservation area, game reserve, wildlife rehabilitation or animal care organization.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • FGASA (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa) national certificate - Level 1 - practical and theory
  • FGASA Level 2 knowledge
  • SASSETA (Rifle handling, proficiency, maintaining of fire arms and shooting)
  • CATHSSETA(The Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality and Sports Sector, Education and Training Authority) National Qualification (Level 2) in Nature Guiding
  • National LEVEL 2 First Aid Certificate
  • Cybertracker track & sign qualification
  • National level 3, 4 x 4 driving qualification
  • Wildlife photography workshop
  • Birding specialist course
  • Reptile orientation course
  • Wildlife surveying techniques skills
  • Dangerous game experience
  • 6 months work experience from placement venue
  • Ethical guiding principles
  • Other activities, such as sleep outs, Kruger trips, etc.
  • 2 x sets of uniforms
  • All compulsory books (if included)
  • Transfer from Oliver Tambo International airport (if included)
  • Limited internet access at no extra cost
  • T-shirt, fleece jacket, cap and beanie

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Laundry, food and transport during weeks off
  • Recommended reference books
  • Transport costs to placement
  • Professional drivers permit & licensing costs, including transportation

Project Life

The academic curriculum is accredited by the Field Guide Association of Southern Africa (FGASA); the ‘South Africa Qualifications Board’; and the ‘Culture Art Tourism Hospitality and Sports Sector Education and Training Authority ’ and all students are taught by experienced guides and instructors. All additional qualifications are also attained through accredited training providers.

A Typical Day

Typically the day will start early at around 5.30 – 6am. You will usually grab a cup of tea before heading out into the bush for a morning of practical training laden with reference books on the African bush and a pair of good binoculars. Each week you will be focusing on a different module such as birds, mammals, 4 X 4 skills etc.

On your practical sessions in the bush, either a walk or a drive, you will concentrate on these modules and put all the theory you have learnt in the classroom into practice in the field. For example, you might have collected some specimens that morning which you will bring back to the classroom for identification before the afternoon practical or lecture.

After the morning activity you will be welcomed with a hearty brunch. By midday you will be pretty tired and the African heat will certainly make you drowsy so all the students have a break to relax, rest or study – remember you have a test at the end of the week! After a break you will be ready to get some more fresh air and head out for an afternoon practical or lecture session building on your skills and knowledge gained in the morning session. All the teams return for an evening meal sat around the camp fire discussing their experiences that day.

At the end of each week all the students are tested on that weeks module before moving onto the next one. However, learning each topic is continuous as while you are out in the bush nature is all around you so you cannot help but increase your knowledge and skills as the weeks progress.

The course runs for 4 weeks and then you will have 1 week off to relax, either at camp or you are welcome to go off exploring. This might change at certain times but will basically follow this timeline. There is plenty to do here with Kruger National Park on our doorstep, visits to the Blyde River canyon, whitewater rafting, microlighting, horse back safaris – the list is endless! Please note that during time off, students are welcome to stay at the campus but please note that food, laundry, transport etc is NOT included during this time as the staff will also be having time off.

The course is fun but be warned this is no holiday – days are long and to reach the standard required to pass you need to be dedicated and focused.

It’s a wonderful experience that can only help you in the future. It will look great on your CV and help you find jobs in the conservation sector in your home country.

– Beth Silvester (UK)

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • FGASA (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa) national certificate - Level 1 - practical and theory
  • FGASA Level 2 knowledge
  • SASSETA (Rifle handling, proficiency, maintaining of fire arms and shooting)
  • CATHSSETA(The Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality and Sports Sector, Education and Training Authority) National Qualification (Level 2) in Nature Guiding
  • National LEVEL 2 First Aid Certificate
  • Cybertracker track & sign qualification
  • National level 3, 4 x 4 driving qualification
  • Wildlife photography workshop
  • Birding specialist course
  • Reptile orientation course
  • Wildlife surveying techniques skills
  • Dangerous game experience
  • 6 months work experience from placement venue
  • Ethical guiding principles
  • Other activities, such as sleep outs, Kruger trips, etc.
  • 2 x sets of uniforms
  • All compulsory books (if included)
  • Transfer from Oliver Tambo International airport (if included)
  • Limited internet access at no extra cost
  • T-shirt, fleece jacket, cap and beanie

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Laundry, food and transport during weeks off
  • Recommended reference books
  • Transport costs to placement
  • Professional drivers permit & licensing costs, including transportation

Project Details

The course is known for producing the highest caliber graduates for this demanding industry. Throughout the years, our graduates have achieved the highest marks of all the FGASA long term providers many times and are considered some of THE best trained guides in the industry.

Field Guide students have an opportunity to undertake a 6 month placement. This allows students to gain valuable hands on experience, as well as cementing the information and skills learnt during the training period, and gaining a valuable ‘foot-in-the-door’ to the exhilarating and competitive safari tourism industry and, wildlife and conservation careers.

There are two placement options currently available. Please remember, the allocation is based on performance, interest and personality as determined by the head trainer. All students MUST pass both the FGASA and course requirements before being placed at any placement.

1. Professional Field Guiding

Work and guide in 3* – 5* safari lodges or predator research bases whilst having regular exposure to working and guiding around dangerous game, such as Elephant, Lion, Rhino, Leopard, Cheetah and Hippo.

Field Guides interact with tourists visiting national parks or private game reserves, sharing knowledge about nature and the environment. These guiding experiences are either conducted in a 4×4 vehicle or on foot. Field guides act as interpreters between the environment and the guests, with the ultimate intention of promoting conservation and environmental protection.

2. Wildlife Conservation or Management

Become part of a dynamic team of conservationists, wildlife researchers, reserve wardens or managers as guide or support staff member at a wildlife conservation area, game reserve, wildlife rehabilitation or animal care organization.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • FGASA (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa) national certificate - Level 1 - practical and theory
  • FGASA Level 2 knowledge
  • SASSETA (Rifle handling, proficiency, maintaining of fire arms and shooting)
  • CATHSSETA(The Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality and Sports Sector, Education and Training Authority) National Qualification (Level 2) in Nature Guiding
  • National LEVEL 2 First Aid Certificate
  • Cybertracker track & sign qualification
  • National level 3, 4 x 4 driving qualification
  • Wildlife photography workshop
  • Birding specialist course
  • Reptile orientation course
  • Wildlife surveying techniques skills
  • Dangerous game experience
  • 6 months work experience from placement venue
  • Ethical guiding principles
  • Other activities, such as sleep outs, Kruger trips, etc.
  • 2 x sets of uniforms
  • All compulsory books (if included)
  • Transfer from Oliver Tambo International airport (if included)
  • Limited internet access at no extra cost
  • T-shirt, fleece jacket, cap and beanie

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Laundry, food and transport during weeks off
  • Recommended reference books
  • Transport costs to placement
  • Professional drivers permit & licensing costs, including transportation

Free Time

Saturday afternoons and Sundays are free time (although it’s recommended that students use this time for personal study and preparation for the upcoming lectures). However after every 4th week students get a full week off and are encouraged to leave campus, travel and explore the local area.

Some highlights to be enjoyed:

  • Blyde River Canyon – boat trips, kloofing, whitewater rafting, paintball, hot air ballooning and camping to name just but a few!
  • Kruger National Park – Orpen and Phalabourwa Gates are 1.3 hours drive from the campus. Daytrips/overnight camping available.
  • Moholoholo Rehab Centre – endangered species rehabilitation
  • Panorama Route – Bourke’s Luck potholes, God’s Window and waterfalls are just some of what you can see, easily completed in a day
  • Giant Baobab/Upside Down Restaurant – get up close with huge baobab trees, and don’t forget to try the great pancakes!
  • Debengeni Falls, Tzaneen – stunning waterfall, picnic area and hiking trails

Car Hire:

If you plan a trip away in your weeks off you may need to hire a car as public transport is almost non-existent in this area. The estimate cost for hiring a car is R450 per day, including insurance and unlimited mileage, cost could vary according to car size and different options. The more friends you take with you the cheaper it makes it too.

Many students also travel further afield to places such as Mozambique (Tofo area), Cape town, Durban and St Lucia World Heritage Sight during their off weeks.

It definitely gave me the “edge” over other applicants for the job.

– Viv Eckersley (Australia)

The Team

Daniel Ponce-Taylor
Director of Programs

Meet Danny, our Director of Programs. Although he’s based in Playa del Carmen, Danny oversees the development and running of all of our field operations. He started out with GVI as our Country Director in Mexico and quickly became an invaluable part of the team.

Although being Director of Programs is a pretty demanding job, Danny manages to find time to do the other things he loves in-between. He’s an avid photographer and is always training for a triathlon or ironman.

What’s Danny’s favourite aspect of his job? “Starting new projects – we get lots of request for assistance and it’s difficult to decide when funds are limited. The evaluation process and those initial talks with local partners are very interesting. Seeing projects grow from an idea to full programs is very exciting. I also love the relationships you create with local organisations, they become friends and we jointly work to achieve the project aims.”

Miche Knight
Country Expert

Meet Miche, our SA Wildlife Country Expert, intrepid adventureress and a Little Mermaid geek!

When asking Miche where she’s travelled to, a shorter answer would be to ask where hasn’t she been! From Singapore, Paris, Munich, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Thailand to name a few, our Miche is most certainly well travelled! She even had a brush with a horror movie franchise, when she was staying in Thailand and was awoken by a bird mimicking the sounds of The Grudge!

What’s Miche’s favourite part about working at HQ?
Definitely not having to wear the ye ol’ corporate uniform and getting to spend her lunch breaks “in the most amazing chill out zone.”

Veronica Baas
Research Assistant

Meet Veronica. In addition to being a Research Assistant on Karongwe, she’s also the resident ‘Mountain Coordinator’. To find out how one coordinates a mountain, we asked her to describe a typical day…

“Starting early, we head up and up and up the mountain and check our traps for any small mammals.  If we caught any, we record the data and then release them.  After that, there’s time to visit one of the many viewpoints or relax at the river.  After lunch, we go to look for reptiles or check butterfly traps and then it is back up and up and up the mountain to check the mammal traps again.”

Veronica’s favourite aspect of her job? “Seeing the excitement on the volunteers’ faces when they help to locate a focus animal or seeing and sensing their awe at being at the top of the mountain, seeing the countryside below them.”

Rosie Miles
Base Manager

Meet Rosie, our Base Manager in Karongwe. A former Environmental Scientist for the New Zealand government, with an honours degree in Astronomy and Planetary Geology and a qualified Field Guide, Rosie is a total all-rounder!

Having volunteered herself since she was 18, Rosie understands the value of having volunteers on Karongwe and loves to see them progress in their knowledge, skills and passion. “I love watching how volunteers that have been here for a month step it up a notch when a new lot of volunteers arrive. You feel proud to see how much they have learnt when compared to the new arrivals.”

Her favourite experience on Karongwe so far? “Without a doubt, Ketswiri’s four little cheetah cubs. There is nothing cuter on this planet than cheetah cubs and as they have grown they have got more and more active and curious, and more interesting to observe. If I could, I would sit with them all day long.”

Nico Kritzinger
Research Assistant

Meet Nico, a Research Assistant on Karongwe. He was a professional guide for over 4 years before joining GVI. Although He dreams of being a storm chaser, Nico seems pretty happy to spend his free time chilling out with the volunteers, playing pool and darts with them and playing Frisbee with Zuri, the base dog.

Our favourite story about Nico is how he saved Ketswiri, a resident female cheetah. “I noticed she couldn’t step on her left front leg, so I called the game warden and we got the vet in that same afternoon.” The vet removed a 10cm stick which was lodged in her leg – a death sentence without Nico noticing her limp. “It did feel amazing to know we had saved her life.”

What does Nico like about being based at Karongwe? Life in general! “Finding the animals, all the random awesome sightings, having a good time with the volunteers and staff and making some really good friends all round.”

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Select a Departure Date

2016
2017

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Charitable Trust Climate Offset Contribution

Donate money to GVI’s Chartiable Trust Carbon Offsetting initiative and help reduce the impact of climate change and help communities who are most affected.
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FGASA Field Guide Work Placement

Work and guide in 3* – 5* safari lodges or predator research bases whilst having regular exposure to working and guiding around dangerous game, such as Elephant, Lion, Rhino, Leopard, Cheetah and Hippo.
£0.00

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • FGASA (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa) national certificate - Level 1 - practical and theory
  • FGASA Level 2 knowledge
  • SASSETA (Rifle handling, proficiency, maintaining of fire arms and shooting)
  • CATHSSETA(The Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality and Sports Sector, Education and Training Authority) National Qualification (Level 2) in Nature Guiding
  • National LEVEL 2 First Aid Certificate
  • Cybertracker track & sign qualification
  • National level 3, 4 x 4 driving qualification
  • Wildlife photography workshop
  • Birding specialist course
  • Reptile orientation course
  • Wildlife surveying techniques skills
  • Dangerous game experience
  • 6 months work experience from placement venue
  • Ethical guiding principles
  • Other activities, such as sleep outs, Kruger trips, etc.
  • 2 x sets of uniforms
  • All compulsory books (if included)
  • Transfer from Oliver Tambo International airport (if included)
  • Limited internet access at no extra cost
  • T-shirt, fleece jacket, cap and beanie

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Laundry, food and transport during weeks off
  • Recommended reference books
  • Transport costs to placement
  • Professional drivers permit & licensing costs, including transportation

Our Impact

Location

Mahlahla, Limpopo

Our FGASA and hospitality operations are situated in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, approximately 500km north east of Johannesburg and just 1 hour’s drive from the western gates of Kruger National Park. With the towering Drakensburg escapment to the west, this stunning area of South Africa’s lowveld offers breathtaking views, diverse landscapes and some of the best Big 5 game-viewing opportunities in Southern Africa. Our field guide and hospitality placement opportunities are located in some of the finest luxury safari lodges and game reserves of Southern Africa.

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Our open days are designed to be a fun, informal and relaxed event that is open to everyone!
October 2015
17th October
London
11:30-16:30
22nd October
Manchester
16:30-19:30

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