BY: Tasneem Johnson-Dolle
Have you always dreamt about becoming a game ranger? Joining a field guide course is a great way to begin.
Bushwise Field Guides offers Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA) courses that make learning everything you need to know easy.
There’s no better time to start up your wildlife training journey. World Ranger Day is in July, but at Bushwise we like to celebrate rangers all year long.
Let’s take a closer look at World Ranger Day and the best game ranger courses to get involved in.
What is World Ranger Day?
World Ranger Day comes around every year on 31 July and gives us all a chance to better understand the role that wildlife rangers play in conservation. It’s also a day that commemorates rangers’ contributions in the field.
Wildlife ranger jobs can be challenging, since resources are sometimes limited and the dangers of the work are all too real. Besides the fact that these conservationists work with wild animals, they’re also at the forefront of anti-poaching efforts and preventing human–animal conflict.
For this reason, the International Ranger Federation (IRF) – the organisation that started off this annual event – placed honouring rangers, who have been injured or died in the field, at the heart of what World Ranger Day is all about.
But, wildlife ranger jobs can be as rewarding as they are challenging. And wildlife rangers have the potential to make the most meaningful impact when it comes to conserving Earth’s animal species and natural spaces.
Read more about how game rangers contribute to the field in this article: The important role game rangers play in conservation.
And, landing an epic career begins with making a strong start to your wildlife training. Here’s how Bushwise’s top-quality in-country game ranger course can add to your ability to land wildlife ranger jobs.
How a game ranger course should prepare you for the field
Game rangers are wildlife rangers who specialise in working with game animals. A regular day for any game ranger may include animal tracking and monitoring, managing natural environments, engaging with local community members, taking tourists out to connect with nature, and even addressing wildlife crimes.
It takes skill and confidence to complete these tasks. And, to complete them all in one day (which may well be required every once in a while), means you’ll need to be able to perform at your peak.
Having the theoretical and practical knowledge that you need, along with tons of real-life experience, means that you’ll be able to tackle your work skillfully, and easily shift between the different types of wildlife ranger jobs you’ll be expected to do. And this is essential for any game ranger worth their salt.
If you’ve earned your stripes through a top-quality game ranger course, you won’t have to think twice about what to do when you’re out in the field, how to ensure the safety of yourself, your staff and your guests, or how to troubleshoot when you’re faced with a novel dilemma.
Here’s more about our Bushwise FGASA courses and how theyll set you up to be successful in landing wildlife ranger jobs.
The best game ranger course to get involved in
Choosing a game ranger course to get involved in means picking a provider that prioritises safety, top-quality training, expert supervision and ample opportunity to gain real-life experience in the field.
How important is this? Well, set off to the wild and see for yourself.
So, picture this, you’re out in the savannah with the sun beating down on your khaki-covered back. You’ve just turned off the engine of your safari vehicle and you’re waiting for the hum under the hood to die down so you can tune into the sounds around you.
You leap out of the driver’s seat and see the dust kick up around you as your feet collide with the soil. You smile. You’re home, and ready to set off on another day’s work as a game ranger.
Bushwise is the industry leader in field guiding and our FGASA Field Guiding and Conservation Careers internship can make all the difference when it comes to your wildlife training.
Not only will this course help you to become a top-quality game ranger, it’ll also add to your employability and give you the chance to land a placement with Bushwise or one of our reputable partners.
Further reading: The importance of a work placement
Here are the top reasons why our courses are the best in the industry:
Our courses are the most comprehensive, and your course fees include the opportunity to earn extra in-house certificates on top of your FGASA qualifications. These additional qualifications add to field employability in a big way.
All Bushwise trainers are experienced professionals with a wealth of real-life knowledge for students to draw from.
We offer personalised guidance so that every student can learn in a way that is ideal for them. We have one trainer for every six students – the lowest student to trainer ratio in the industry.
Bushwise has the highest employment rate in the industry with regards to its game ranger course graduates.
After completing a Bushwise FGASA course, graduates have secured conservation work in South Africa and abroad.
How to get involved in Bushwise’s game ranger courses
Whether you’re ready to hop on a plane and pursue your studies in the savannah, or looking to ease into your studies online first, Bushwise has you covered.
Our FGASA Field Guiding online course will introduce you to all the theory you’ll need to get a headstart in your wildlife ranger training. This comprehensive course is aligned with the FGASA syllabus and covers 100 of the 400 hours you’ll need to qualify as a FGASA Apprentice Field Guide.
This means you’ll be ahead of the game before even setting foot in the savannah!
And, if you’re keen to dive into the in-country experience, our experts are ready to train you up in the best game ranger course on offer.