FGASA accredited 23 and 50 week professional training

  • Safari guide students working on a vehicle

Course overview

“The courses are inspirational; definitely some of the best months of my life!” – Jason Kipling, graduate and Head Ranger at Umkumbe Lodge, Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve

Founded in 2006 we have trained over 300 students from within South Africa and around the world. As a leading training provider our students routinely graduate the FGASA exams with the highest marks and are considered some of the best trained guides in the safari and tourism industry.  It is our mission to ensure our students have the education, skills, confidence and networks necessary to excel in one of the most rewarding and exciting careers in the world.  Imagine your office spanning for miles over some of the most majestic landscapes on earth…

23 week and 50 week professional field guide training courses allow students to achieve the FGASA Level 1 professional field guiding qualification with an optional 6 month work placement in a well respected safari lodge in South Africa.

Course content

The 23 Week training course includes the FGASA Level 1 qualification, FGASA Level 2 knowledge base, Trails Guide Theory, Wilderness First Aid Level 2 Course, reptile orientation course & certification, Cybertracker Track and Sign Qualification, our Birding Specialist certificate, Advanced Rifle Handling (if level acquired), 4×4 driving course, excursions to Kruger National Park and other game reserves, wildlife photography workshop with an award-winning wildlife photographer and even an introduction to South African wines and wine tasting.

Other topics include an introduction to guiding in the natural environment, creating a guided nature experience, geology, astronomy, weather & climate, ecology, taxonomy, biomes of Southern Africa, basic botany – trees & grasses, arthropods, amphibians, reptiles, fish, birds, mammals, animal behaviour, conservation management & historical habitation, vehicle skills, hospitality & hosting basics, anti-poaching basics, survival and navigation, guiding with dangerous game and animal tracking.  In other words you will leave this course with the knowledge base of a FGASA Level 2 qualified guide!

Qualification

“Signing up and completing this training has changed the course of not only my career but my entire life.  I now get to wake up every morning to the sounds of baboons and hyenas, and end each day with the setting African sun; none of this would have been possible without undergoing this course.” – Ben Tupper

The academic curriculum is accredited by the Field Guide Association of Southern Africa (FGASA). FGASA is the industry’s leading independent body on the training and operation of field guides throughout Southern Africa.  Endorsed by the Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sports Sector, Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA) all qualifications are nationally recognised.

The course has been designed to develop students into highly skilled professionals in the exciting area of field guiding, by providing a well-rounded, specialised education which focuses not only on the theory but the practical aspects of guiding.  The course is the perfect starting point for a career in natural sciences, nature conservation or eco tourism and is a recognizable addition to any CV.

Placement

“I am currently working at a private big-5 reserve in KwaZulu-Natal. I was initially worried that I would be out of my depth among the more experienced guides but I’ve realised the knowledge and information I received during my course means I have the ability to guide and serve my guests at a level that exceeds the expectations of many.” –  Chris Tilbury

Follow your training with a six-month work placement as a professional field guide in one of South Africa’s finest safari lodges or as a vital field staff member at a leading predator research base.  Our long-standing reputation in the industry has afforded us partnerships with Nkambeni Tented Camp, Rhino River Lodge, Africa on Foot, Karongwe Private Game Reserve, Kapama Private Game Reserve, Umkumbe Safari Lodge, nThambo Tree Camp, Mohlabetsi Safari Lodge, Siyafunda, Leo Africa and GVI’s Karongwe Research Base to name a few.

The campus

Students are based at our Mahlahla Campus with practical training taking place on the near by Makalali Private Game Reserve, a spectacular 26,000 hectare Big Five wilderness reserve in the Limpopo province.  The campus is an hour from the attractive bushveld town of Hoedspruit with The Greater Makalali Private Game Reserve situated just west of Kruger National Park.

Mahlahla offers the perfect setting for group training as well as quiet contemplation for self-study and relaxation time.  Accommodating twenty students in comfortable shared twin rooms with access to a communal social and braai area, swimming pool, exercise tent, volleyball court, and full thatched lecture facilities, the campus has electricity and wifi access with all meals included during your training time.

Requirements

Matric or equivalent (eg. A levels)

Full valid manual drivers license and at least 1 year of driving experience

18 + years old for the 6 month course

21 – 39 years old for the 50 week course

Further information

To book a place, request further information or if you have any specific questions then please get in contact by emailing hello@fascinatingafrica.com