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Safari Field Guide Course in South Africa

Spend 23 weeks training in the African bush with an optional 6 months working on a game reserve

Program Details

Program Type

Internship

Program Focus

Wildlife Conservation

23 weeks from

£8,950.00

Code: ZABF0039N
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Program Information

Become an accredited Field Guide when you spend 23 weeks training in the iconic South African lowveld; one of the best big game locations in the country. On this hands-on internship, you will learn about conservation, animal behaviour and reserve management, as well as gain skills such as 4x4 driving and shooting. There’s also an optional additional 6 months’ work placement to give you 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 and experience the African bush at its best. This course is the ideal platform for a successful career in the African safari lodge industry or for a hands on experience in the African bush that you will never forget.

Bushwise is a great training asset to the safari world.

- Courteney Blunden, Africa on Foot

The curriculum includes bush skills such as shooting, 4×4 driving and bush knowledge such as conservation, 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 and lodge management, by providing a well-rounded, specialised education which focuses not only on the theory but the practical aspects of safari field guiding. The one-year course has been structured to allow the student to spend 23 weeks training on campus and 6 months on work experience at a 3 to 5 star rated safari lodge or research program.

Unlike many other training providers, Bushwise (the course provider) gives students a regular exposure to working and guiding around dangerous game, such as Elephant, Lion, Rhino, Leopard, Cheetah and Hippo. This invaluable experience gives students excellent grounding for placements and future employment in ‘Big Five’ game reserves in Africa.

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 six month course and not the work placement will still be professionally qualified if they pass their exams.

Testimonials

"I’m happy I decided to come and do this course, I’ve learnt so much about nature and had some experiences I will never forget. I’ve met a lot of good people and made some life long friends. I would recommend this course for anyone interested in wanting to know more about the natural world and themselves a little better too!"

- Diana Farina, (USA)

GVI Live

These updates cover all programs in this location

Bushwise

#goodluck to our Field Guide students who are busy writing their @FGASA_ Trails Guide exams at the moment!
November 14, 2014

Bushwise

Blue eyed #beauty seen on drive this week! http://t.co/QzPPQlXs1Y
November 13, 2014

South Africa Video

GVI Blogs

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 Advanced Rifle Handling Certificate
  • SASSETA (Rifle handling, proficiency, maintaining of fire arms and shooting)
  • THETA (The Hospitality, Sports, Education and Training Authority) National Qualification (Level 2) in Nature Guiding
  • National First Aid Certificate
  • Dangerous game experience
  • FGASA (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa) national certificate - Level 1 - practical and theory
  • 6 months work experience and testimonial from a 4-5 star lodge or a research program if included
  • Bushwise T-shirt, fleece jacket, cap and beanie
  • 4x4 competency
  • Ethical guiding principles
  • Other activities, such as sleep outs, Kruger trips, etc.
  • 2 x sets of uniforms
  • All compulsory books
  • Transfer from Oliver Tambo International airport
  • Limited internet access at no extra cost

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

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 Advanced Rifle Handling Certificate
  • SASSETA (Rifle handling, proficiency, maintaining of fire arms and shooting)
  • THETA (The Hospitality, Sports, Education and Training Authority) National Qualification (Level 2) in Nature Guiding
  • National First Aid Certificate
  • Dangerous game experience
  • FGASA (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa) national certificate - Level 1 - practical and theory
  • 6 months work experience and testimonial from a 4-5 star lodge or a research program if included
  • Bushwise T-shirt, fleece jacket, cap and beanie
  • 4x4 competency
  • Ethical guiding principles
  • Other activities, such as sleep outs, Kruger trips, etc.
  • 2 x sets of uniforms
  • All compulsory books
  • Transfer from Oliver Tambo International airport
  • Limited internet access at no extra cost

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

Course Life

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 of 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 practise 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.

At the end of each week all the students are tested on that weeks module before moving onto the next one. However, learning of 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.

Bushwise follows the curriculum of FGASA and we use the manuals as a reference tool as you will be taught by experienced guides and instructors.

After the morning activity you will be welcomed with a hearty brunch. By midday you will be pretty tyred 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 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.

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 kitchen and cleaning 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.

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 Advanced Rifle Handling Certificate
  • SASSETA (Rifle handling, proficiency, maintaining of fire arms and shooting)
  • THETA (The Hospitality, Sports, Education and Training Authority) National Qualification (Level 2) in Nature Guiding
  • National First Aid Certificate
  • Dangerous game experience
  • FGASA (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa) national certificate - Level 1 - practical and theory
  • 6 months work experience and testimonial from a 4-5 star lodge or a research program if included
  • Bushwise T-shirt, fleece jacket, cap and beanie
  • 4x4 competency
  • Ethical guiding principles
  • Other activities, such as sleep outs, Kruger trips, etc.
  • 2 x sets of uniforms
  • All compulsory books
  • Transfer from Oliver Tambo International airport
  • Limited internet access at no extra cost

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

Course Details

The course, run by Bushwise Field Guides, is known for producing the highest calibre graduates for the demanding hospitality industry.

The academic curriculum is accredited by the Field Guide Association of Southern Africa (FGASA); the ‘South Africa Qualifications Board’; and the ‘Hospitality, Education and Sports Training Authority’

In 2012 the Bushwise graduates acheived the highest marks of all the FGASA long term providers and are considered some of THE best trained guides in the industry.

One year Bushwise students have the opportunity to be placed at a lodge or research placement for their 6 month work experience period. A few of these placement lodges/research centers are listed below. Please remember, the allocation is based on performance, interest and personality as determined by Head trainer and all students MUST pass both the FGASA and Bushwise course requirements before being placed at any placement.

We place our students at some of the finest lodges and predator research bases in Southern Africa:

Nkambeni Tented Camp

Situated at the Numbi gate of Kruger National Park, guides take guests on whole day or half day game drives into KNP. The concession is open to the KNP and is in a great game viewing area of KNP. All guides who have gone there have had a great experience. It is a great lodge to work at if you enjoy KNP (which we all do) and are interested in getting a lot of sighting experience. The lodge takes quite a few guides, usually for a placement period of at least 6 months.

www.nkambeni.com

Makalali Private Game Lodge

Situated on the GMPGR the lodge normally takes 2 guides for the placement period. The reserve is 26000Ha and has the Big 5 even though the Buffalo are not yet free roaming. You would do game drives in the morning and afternoon with guests who stay for at least 2 days. You would be their guide for their entyre period of stay. Fantastic experience in sightings as well as guest interaction is gained here. You will be given the opportunity to show your guests a reserve which has come a far way from cattle farm back into a huge Wildlife protected area.

www.makalali.co.za

GVI – Research Placement

If you enjoy more of the research side of things, then GVI is where you will want to be placed. GVI are involved in predator research and have daily drives whereby they track collared animals with the volunteers.

www.gvi.co.uk

Siyafunda – Research Placement

Siyafunda is on the 26000Ha Makalali Private Game Reserve and focuses on many research projects such as monitoring the elephants or monitoring the Ground Hornbill population etc. You, as a guide, would take the volunteers out on data collecting drives for all the big 5 and smaller animals. You may also be able to take part in a Lion darting exercise or some type of animal relocation or release opportunity. If you like research / guiding and not having the pressure of finding Big 5 everyday, then this is a great place for an awesome experience.

More lodge & research placements:

Bonamanzi – www.bonamanzi.co,za

Nambiti Lodge – www.nambiti.com

Africa on Foot – www.africaonfoot.com

Karongwe Portfolio Lodges – www.karongweportfolio.com

Rhino River Lodge – www.rhinoriverlodge.co.za

Ivory Tree Lodge – www.ivorytree.co.za

LEO Africa – www.leoafrica.org

How this program makes a difference:

Those staying for 50 weeks will have the opportunity to gain 6 months work experience. Placements are allocated based on performance, interest and personality (as determined by the head trainer). All students MUST pass the FGASA and Bushwise course requirements before being allocated a work placement which may involve working at a game lodge as a guide or assisting a wildlife research team.

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 Advanced Rifle Handling Certificate
  • SASSETA (Rifle handling, proficiency, maintaining of fire arms and shooting)
  • THETA (The Hospitality, Sports, Education and Training Authority) National Qualification (Level 2) in Nature Guiding
  • National First Aid Certificate
  • Dangerous game experience
  • FGASA (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa) national certificate - Level 1 - practical and theory
  • 6 months work experience and testimonial from a 4-5 star lodge or a research program if included
  • Bushwise T-shirt, fleece jacket, cap and beanie
  • 4x4 competency
  • Ethical guiding principles
  • Other activities, such as sleep outs, Kruger trips, etc.
  • 2 x sets of uniforms
  • All compulsory books
  • Transfer from Oliver Tambo International airport
  • Limited internet access at no extra cost

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

Life on the Internship

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 of 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 practise 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.

At the end of each week all the students are tested on that weeks module before moving onto the next one. However, learning of 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.

Bushwise follows the curriculum of FGASA and we use the manuals as a reference tool as you will be taught by experienced guides and instructors.

After the morning activity you will be welcomed with a hearty brunch. By midday you will be pretty tyred 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 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.

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 kitchen and cleaning 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.

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 Advanced Rifle Handling Certificate
  • SASSETA (Rifle handling, proficiency, maintaining of fire arms and shooting)
  • THETA (The Hospitality, Sports, Education and Training Authority) National Qualification (Level 2) in Nature Guiding
  • National First Aid Certificate
  • Dangerous game experience
  • FGASA (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa) national certificate - Level 1 - practical and theory
  • 6 months work experience and testimonial from a 4-5 star lodge or a research program if included
  • Bushwise T-shirt, fleece jacket, cap and beanie
  • 4x4 competency
  • Ethical guiding principles
  • Other activities, such as sleep outs, Kruger trips, etc.
  • 2 x sets of uniforms
  • All compulsory books
  • Transfer from Oliver Tambo International airport
  • Limited internet access at no extra cost

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

Program Details

The course, run by Bushwise Field Guides, is known for producing the highest calibre graduates for the demanding hospitality industry.

The academic curriculum is accredited by the Field Guide Association of Southern Africa (FGASA); the ‘South Africa Qualifications Board’; and the ‘Hospitality, Education and Sports Training Authority’

In 2012 the Bushwise graduates acheived the highest marks of all the FGASA long term providers and are considered some of THE best trained guides in the industry.

One year Bushwise students have the opportunity to be placed at a lodge or research placement for their 6 month work experience period. A few of these placement lodges/research centers are listed below. Please remember, the allocation is based on performance, interest and personality as determined by Head trainer and all students MUST pass both the FGASA and Bushwise course requirements before being placed at any placement.

We place our students at some of the finest lodges and predator research bases in Southern Africa:

Nkambeni Tented Camp

Situated at the Numbi gate of Kruger National Park, guides take guests on whole day or half day game drives into KNP. The concession is open to the KNP and is in a great game viewing area of KNP. All guides who have gone there have had a great experience. It is a great lodge to work at if you enjoy KNP (which we all do) and are interested in getting a lot of sighting experience. The lodge takes quite a few guides, usually for a placement period of at least 6 months.

www.nkambeni.com

Makalali Private Game Lodge

Situated on the GMPGR the lodge normally takes 2 guides for the placement period. The reserve is 26000Ha and has the Big 5 even though the Buffalo are not yet free roaming. You would do game drives in the morning and afternoon with guests who stay for at least 2 days. You would be their guide for their entyre period of stay. Fantastic experience in sightings as well as guest interaction is gained here. You will be given the opportunity to show your guests a reserve which has come a far way from cattle farm back into a huge Wildlife protected area.

www.makalali.co.za

GVI – Research Placement

If you enjoy more of the research side of things, then GVI is where you will want to be placed. GVI are involved in predator research and have daily drives whereby they track collared animals with the volunteers.

www.gvi.co.uk

Siyafunda – Research Placement

Siyafunda is on the 26000Ha Makalali Private Game Reserve and focuses on many research projects such as monitoring the elephants or monitoring the Ground Hornbill population etc. You, as a guide, would take the volunteers out on data collecting drives for all the big 5 and smaller animals. You may also be able to take part in a Lion darting exercise or some type of animal relocation or release opportunity. If you like research / guiding and not having the pressure of finding Big 5 everyday, then this is a great place for an awesome experience.

More lodge & research placements:

Bonamanzi – www.bonamanzi.co,za

Nambiti Lodge – www.nambiti.com

Africa on Foot – www.africaonfoot.com

Karongwe Portfolio Lodges – www.karongweportfolio.com

Rhino River Lodge – www.rhinoriverlodge.co.za

Ivory Tree Lodge – www.ivorytree.co.za

LEO Africa – www.leoafrica.org

How this program makes a difference:

Those staying for 50 weeks will have the opportunity to gain 6 months work experience. Placements are allocated based on performance, interest and personality (as determined by the head trainer). All students MUST pass the FGASA and Bushwise course requirements before being allocated a work placement which may involve working at a game lodge as a guide or assisting a wildlife research team.

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 Advanced Rifle Handling Certificate
  • SASSETA (Rifle handling, proficiency, maintaining of fire arms and shooting)
  • THETA (The Hospitality, Sports, Education and Training Authority) National Qualification (Level 2) in Nature Guiding
  • National First Aid Certificate
  • Dangerous game experience
  • FGASA (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa) national certificate - Level 1 - practical and theory
  • 6 months work experience and testimonial from a 4-5 star lodge or a research program if included
  • Bushwise T-shirt, fleece jacket, cap and beanie
  • 4x4 competency
  • Ethical guiding principles
  • Other activities, such as sleep outs, Kruger trips, etc.
  • 2 x sets of uniforms
  • All compulsory books
  • Transfer from Oliver Tambo International airport
  • Limited internet access at no extra cost

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

Project Life

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 of 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 practise 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.

At the end of each week all the students are tested on that weeks module before moving onto the next one. However, learning of 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.

Bushwise follows the curriculum of FGASA and we use the manuals as a reference tool as you will be taught by experienced guides and instructors.

After the morning activity you will be welcomed with a hearty brunch. By midday you will be pretty tyred 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 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.

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 kitchen and cleaning 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.

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 Advanced Rifle Handling Certificate
  • SASSETA (Rifle handling, proficiency, maintaining of fire arms and shooting)
  • THETA (The Hospitality, Sports, Education and Training Authority) National Qualification (Level 2) in Nature Guiding
  • National First Aid Certificate
  • Dangerous game experience
  • FGASA (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa) national certificate - Level 1 - practical and theory
  • 6 months work experience and testimonial from a 4-5 star lodge or a research program if included
  • Bushwise T-shirt, fleece jacket, cap and beanie
  • 4x4 competency
  • Ethical guiding principles
  • Other activities, such as sleep outs, Kruger trips, etc.
  • 2 x sets of uniforms
  • All compulsory books
  • Transfer from Oliver Tambo International airport
  • Limited internet access at no extra cost

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

Project Details

The course, run by Bushwise Field Guides, is known for producing the highest calibre graduates for the demanding hospitality industry.

The academic curriculum is accredited by the Field Guide Association of Southern Africa (FGASA); the ‘South Africa Qualifications Board’; and the ‘Hospitality, Education and Sports Training Authority’

In 2012 the Bushwise graduates acheived the highest marks of all the FGASA long term providers and are considered some of THE best trained guides in the industry.

One year Bushwise students have the opportunity to be placed at a lodge or research placement for their 6 month work experience period. A few of these placement lodges/research centers are listed below. Please remember, the allocation is based on performance, interest and personality as determined by Head trainer and all students MUST pass both the FGASA and Bushwise course requirements before being placed at any placement.

We place our students at some of the finest lodges and predator research bases in Southern Africa:

Nkambeni Tented Camp

Situated at the Numbi gate of Kruger National Park, guides take guests on whole day or half day game drives into KNP. The concession is open to the KNP and is in a great game viewing area of KNP. All guides who have gone there have had a great experience. It is a great lodge to work at if you enjoy KNP (which we all do) and are interested in getting a lot of sighting experience. The lodge takes quite a few guides, usually for a placement period of at least 6 months.

www.nkambeni.com

Makalali Private Game Lodge

Situated on the GMPGR the lodge normally takes 2 guides for the placement period. The reserve is 26000Ha and has the Big 5 even though the Buffalo are not yet free roaming. You would do game drives in the morning and afternoon with guests who stay for at least 2 days. You would be their guide for their entyre period of stay. Fantastic experience in sightings as well as guest interaction is gained here. You will be given the opportunity to show your guests a reserve which has come a far way from cattle farm back into a huge Wildlife protected area.

www.makalali.co.za

GVI – Research Placement

If you enjoy more of the research side of things, then GVI is where you will want to be placed. GVI are involved in predator research and have daily drives whereby they track collared animals with the volunteers.

www.gvi.co.uk

Siyafunda – Research Placement

Siyafunda is on the 26000Ha Makalali Private Game Reserve and focuses on many research projects such as monitoring the elephants or monitoring the Ground Hornbill population etc. You, as a guide, would take the volunteers out on data collecting drives for all the big 5 and smaller animals. You may also be able to take part in a Lion darting exercise or some type of animal relocation or release opportunity. If you like research / guiding and not having the pressure of finding Big 5 everyday, then this is a great place for an awesome experience.

More lodge & research placements:

Bonamanzi – www.bonamanzi.co,za

Nambiti Lodge – www.nambiti.com

Africa on Foot – www.africaonfoot.com

Karongwe Portfolio Lodges – www.karongweportfolio.com

Rhino River Lodge – www.rhinoriverlodge.co.za

Ivory Tree Lodge – www.ivorytree.co.za

LEO Africa – www.leoafrica.org

How this program makes a difference:

Those staying for 50 weeks will have the opportunity to gain 6 months work experience. Placements are allocated based on performance, interest and personality (as determined by the head trainer). All students MUST pass the FGASA and Bushwise course requirements before being allocated a work placement which may involve working at a game lodge as a guide or assisting a wildlife research team.

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 Advanced Rifle Handling Certificate
  • SASSETA (Rifle handling, proficiency, maintaining of fire arms and shooting)
  • THETA (The Hospitality, Sports, Education and Training Authority) National Qualification (Level 2) in Nature Guiding
  • National First Aid Certificate
  • Dangerous game experience
  • FGASA (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa) national certificate - Level 1 - practical and theory
  • 6 months work experience and testimonial from a 4-5 star lodge or a research program if included
  • Bushwise T-shirt, fleece jacket, cap and beanie
  • 4x4 competency
  • Ethical guiding principles
  • Other activities, such as sleep outs, Kruger trips, etc.
  • 2 x sets of uniforms
  • All compulsory books
  • Transfer from Oliver Tambo International airport
  • Limited internet access at no extra cost

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

Free Time

Saturday afternoons and Sundays are free time (although it’s recommended that students use this time for personal study). 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 Bushwise campus. Daytrips/overnight camping available.
  • Moholoholo Rehab Centre – endangered species rehabilitation
  • Panorana 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 Resturant – 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.

The Team

Peter Bradford
Country Director

Meet Pete, our Country Director for South Africa. He’s been with GVI since 2004, when he joined us as a Field Manager.

Pete’s highlights since working for GVI? “Witnessing birth, life, drama and death in the South African bush, and over time, really getting a sense of the inter-connectedness and cyclical nature of it all. The biggest privilege though, has been sharing it with our volunteers, guiding them in their early forays into this vibrant, exciting ecosystem and seeing their growth over time on the program is truly wonderful to witness.”

What does Pete think volunteers bring to the project? “Have you ever driven a game viewer off-road, at night, while using a telemetry receiver, spotlight and GPS, all while talking on the radio and trying to scribble down some data?! The volunteers are a great help in many different ways. Some, when they first arrive, believe they have no relevant skills to bring to the team, then later discover that seemingly obscure talents can make a difference too.”

Rachel Greenwood
Bushwise Communications Manager

Meet Rachel, aka Heidi, because of her plaits and frequent visits to Switzerland (we also have it under good authority that she yodels in the shower). She joined GVI because of the opportunity to break away from a city job and make a real contribution to vital research with endangered wildlife.

Apart from summitting Kilimanjaro and meeting the iconic Sir David Attenborough, one of the coolest things our Rach has done is go to depths of 1000m in a ROV Submarine for one of the many wildlife doccies she worked on as assistant producer for National Geographic!

Her one travel must-have? A head torch, “It’s vital for all night time bush activities and extremely helpful when pouring beers in the dark!”

Select a Duration

Select a Departure Date

2015
2016

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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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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 Advanced Rifle Handling Certificate
  • SASSETA (Rifle handling, proficiency, maintaining of fire arms and shooting)
  • THETA (The Hospitality, Sports, Education and Training Authority) National Qualification (Level 2) in Nature Guiding
  • National First Aid Certificate
  • Dangerous game experience
  • FGASA (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa) national certificate - Level 1 - practical and theory
  • 6 months work experience and testimonial from a 4-5 star lodge or a research program if included
  • Bushwise T-shirt, fleece jacket, cap and beanie
  • 4x4 competency
  • Ethical guiding principles
  • Other activities, such as sleep outs, Kruger trips, etc.
  • 2 x sets of uniforms
  • All compulsory books
  • Transfer from Oliver Tambo International airport
  • Limited internet access at no extra cost

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

Our Impact

Location

Bushwise Limpopo

Bushwise 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. Practical training takes place on the stunning Greater Makalali Private Game Reserve and 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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