Professional safari guide course

Course information

The course, which is just short of a year in length, is for participants either serious about pursuing a career in field guiding or looking for a gap year learning experience. Students are exposed to diverse ecological and geological terrains, landscapes, wildlife species and so much more at wilderness camps in remote places such as Makuleke (Kruger National Park), Karongwe, Selati and Mashatu (Botswana). The unfenced bush camps provide a consistently stimulating environment in which to learn, supported by highly qualified and experienced instructors, each with their own unique way of training and guiding that will enhance your overall training experience.

Why do the course?

This comprehensive and unique course has been designed to supply the safari industry with high calibre FGASA qualified field guides. This course is not just for people wishing to enter the industry as field guides, but for anyone who wants to learn more about the African bush. This course is comprised of approximately 4 – 5 months of theoretical and practical training with highly qualified instructors, in which you will complete various separate certificate courses. Following this is a lodge placement period of between 5-6 months, which will make up the second half of your course. You will be placed at a lodge where you will work with experienced guides and lodge managers, where they have agreed to mentor you and develop your newly acquired skills. At the end of the course you will not only be qualified but will have also gained substantial working and practical experience.

Some subjects covered

Basic bush and survival skills, mammals, animal behaviour, geology, introduction to guiding in the natural erncironment, basic taxonomy, birds, basic ecology, tracks and tracking, reptiles, approaching dangerous game, fish, rifle handling, 4 x 4 driving, and night drives.

What you may graduate with

FGASA Field Guide Level 1 (theory and practical), FGASA Trails Guide Back Up (theory and practical), Firearm Proficiency Certificate (with a SASSETA accredited provider), Advanced Rifle Handling (FGASA accreditation), Animal Tracks and Tracking (FGASA accreditation), Basic Birding, Advanced Birding, Wilderness Medicine: Level 1 & 2, Navigation and Orientation, Lodge Placement Programme.


The sleeping arrangements at all the camps consist of two people sharing per tent. Single requests are required to pay double-rates. Women and men do not share tents unless booked as a couple.


Early morning wake-up (tea, coffee, biscuits, fresh fruit and cereal), Brunch after activity (cooked breakfast and fruit salad), Afternoon tea (light lunch/ sandwiches), Dinner (balanced, warm plated meal with meat, vegetables and salad).

Certification & accreditation

The Professional Field Guide course is accredited by FGASA (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa) and by CATHSSETA (Tourism and Hospitality and Sport Education Training Authority) for the Field Guide Level 1 qualification, thereby meeting the required standard. FGASA and CATHSSETA are the two bodies primarily responsible for regulating standards within the guide training industry in South Africa.

For the One Year Professional Field Guide course students will be registered with FGASA and CATHSSETA. Students need not arrange this themselves before coming on the course.

SASSETA (Sector Education and Training Authority) – Firearm proficiency training will take place on the first two days of course during orientation. This training is facilitated by a SASSETA accredited training provider and upon successful completion, participants will be awarded with a firearm proficiency certificate.

PDP (Public Drivers Permit) most lodges require that students have a PDP as this allows them to transport groups of people in a company vehicle. Please understand that participants under the age of 21 years and foreigners are not eligible to apply for a South African PDP. In this case, please enrol using your conventional license.

Further information

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