Exciting Collaboration: Bushwise Field Guides and the Southern African Wildlife College
By: Annie DuPre, FGASA NQF2 and Apprentice Trails Guide
We are beyond thrilled to announce a new collaboration between Bushwise Field Guides and the Southern African Wildlife College (SAWC). Our two organisations have entered into a symbiotic training agreement, focused on trainer transformation and developing the gold standard for guide training. This agreement kicked off in the first week of January 2022, bringing even more excitement to the new year.
Working together, Bushwise and SAWC trainers will provide in-person and online training for NQF Level 2 Field Guide Training on the SAWC campus at Kempiana, next to Kruger National Park. Both Bushwise and SAWC are FGASA endorsed training providers, each bringing unique strengths and resources to this collaboration. Training will be conducted collaboratively with leaders from each organisation contributing their unique skill set. This follows a highly successful 2008 collaboration between our organisations, and we anticipate excellent results from this new chapter.
Significantly, special emphasis will be placed on increasing the number of historically disadvantaged individuals that go through our field guide training courses. The first intake of students for this specific element will be in July 2022 and we can’t wait.
It is envisioned that this collaboration will offer students a best practice, holistic approach to skills development in the fields of wildlife conservation and field guiding. Both organisations are working towards a central part of this collaboration: trainer transformation, where outstanding graduates will continue their training through an internship on the Kempiana property.
This image was taken pre-COVID-19.
This is a very exciting opportunity for SAWC and Bushwise students to advance their skills set and begin their careers. The ultimate goal is that selected individuals will then be mentored to become assistant or junior trainers themselves. If we are successful and meet our joint goals, we believe this collaboration will essentially provide more sustainable opportunities to participants’ families and increase diversity within the guiding industry.
This is a significant moment in the guiding world. Collaboration is one of the best ways to enhance guide training, and we believe this relationship between Bushwise and SAWC will deliver some incredible results. We look forward to sharing developments with our supporters, friends, and students, as two world-class and accredited organisations come together to expand the guiding industry, enhance local skills development, and contribute to the overall goal of wildlife conservation.
About Bushwise Field Guides
Bushwise Field Guides is a world-class FGASA accredited training provider that delivers exemplary guides to the safari industry. Bushwise was founded in 2006 to provide passionate conservationists an avenue to hone their skills and further their careers. It produces outstanding results with some of the most sought-after guides in the industry, and has maintained a 100% employment rate for graduates of the Bushwise Professional Field Guide course since 2012. This is accomplished through long-term courses where students are fortified with the knowledge, skills and experience needed to become leaders in the field guiding and conservation industries. Courses are taught both in-person on campuses in Limpopo, South Africa, and online around the world.
About the Southern African Wildlife College
The Southern African Wildlife College is an accredited higher education and training facility. Established by WWF-South Africa in 1996, as a needs-based independent non-profit organisation, the College delivers a full spectrum of conservation education, training and skills development programs, using an applied learning approach. In doing so, it provides tomorrow’s conservation leaders, field rangers, guides and the community with the skills needed to become partners in helping to conserve the region’s rich biological diversity and ensure that its resources and threatened species are protected.