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About us

Bushwise Field Guides is set in the heart of South Africa’s bushveld, in Limpopo.

We are a CATHSSETA-accredited and IFGA endorsed delivery partner with the highest success rate in national exams, and with the most sought-after graduates in the industry.

All Bushwise courses have been set up by expert trainers and practitioners with extensive knowledge and experience in the field: in program logistics, field guiding and the eco-tourism industry.

Bushwise delivers the highest standard in both theoretical knowledge and practical experience to ensure that our students land the best jobs in the future.

All courses are designed to train field guides of the highest calibre, who are equipped with all the skills and experience they need to excel in the industry.

Bushwise offers CATHSSETA-accredited field guiding courses, wildlife conservation programs and online courses.

Passion is at the heart of Bushwise, and you can learn more how Bushwise came to be from our co-founder, below.

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Careers after Bushwise

Our focus lies in training students to become top-quality field guides that are sought after within the safari industry. And we’re so confident in our offering that our South African students are guaranteed a job offer within six months of successfully completing both their Bushwise International Safari Guide course and placement.

During the course of their six-month placement, our students gain valuable hands-on experience. As a result of the intensive training includes in our courses, student’s will be equipped to take on the role of a park ranger, game ranger or wildlife researcher.

*Not including Covid-19 lockdown period when many companies had hiring freezes.

Hear from our students and staff

Our story

Bushwise founder Sophie Niemann is originally from the UK, but found her calling in the African bush. Now based in Hoedspruit, South Africa, Sophie shares her story from arriving in Africa to establishing the world-class field guide training company that is Bushwise Field Guides. 

My story might sound familiar to many other international arrivals who long to work in the wildlife and conservation industry. When I first came to Africa, many moons ago, I struggled to get a foot in the door to live my dream of working with large African mammals. After a long, slow road, I decided to train on my own to become a field guide and gain the experience and skills that would get me where I wanted to be.

Back in the early 1990s, there were no field guide training providers and it was all just self-study and self-motivated learning. Slowly but surely I gained my qualifications, experience and skills, which springboarded me into guiding and wildlife research positions across the continent, and into the journey of a lifetime.

In 2001, I joined GVI in its infancy, where I set up and ran the GVI Karongwe wildlife expedition. Back then, GVI consisted of only myself in the field and the founder of GVI, Richard Walton, who ran the office in the UK.

As GVI grew, I went on to set up and run wildlife and community conservation programs across Africa. These included predator projects in Venetia Nature Reserve in South Africa, community and marine conservation programs in Kenya, and SANParks internship programs, to name a few.


Our standards

Bushwise courses are top quality. Our comprehensive courses include all the information you need to start a career as a field guide, researcher or conservationist. They are delivered by experienced trainers, with years of experience in the field. We go to great lengths to uphold the quality of our courses, and the high standards of knowledge and expertise that our graduates are known for. That’s why we carefully select all the elements of our courses to guarantee quality training, and ensure that our students receive the foundation they need to reach their potential as field guides. We also include additional qualifications in the course. This promotes our students’ capabilities further and improves their career prospects in the industry. As a result of our standards and quality training, Bushwise graduates consistently achieve the highest pass marks in their field guide exams, and are highly sought after by leading South African employers.

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