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Bushwise Professional Field Guide Course

Info

Spend 23 or 50 weeks on one of the most comprehensive professional field guide training courses available.

next start date 7 January 2022

DURATION 23 OR 50 WEEKS

Format On-campus, in-country

Price from £13,145

ACCREDITATION FGASA & CATHSETTA

AGE 18+ (We welcome individuals of all ages that can easily walk 3km)

OPTIONAL EXTRAS FGASA Apprentice Trails Guide

Price from £13,145

enquire

Overview

Is this the Field Guide course for you?

Is your goal to become a Field Guide or work in the Eco-Tourism field? Do you want the most comprehensive field guide course available with a 6-month work placement? Bushwise Field Guides offers all of the above and guarantees a job offer for South Africans (T & Cs apply).

Overview of the course

The Bushwise campuses are based on private game reserves, within a 60 km radius from Hoedspruit in the Limpopo province.

The South African bushveld is known for its rich biodiversity and will offer you every challenge and opportunity to excel as an apprentice field guide.

Bushwise has built a reputation as a leading training provider in the safari industry and offers one of the most comprehensive courses available. We strive to not only have a 100% pass rate, but also guarantee a permanent position for our South African graduates on the Bushwise Professional Field Guide Course.

The course develops highly skilled professionals in the field guiding industry through the FGASA Apprentice field guide qualification (NQF2) and FGASA Fied Guide (NQF4) curriculum. The aim of the course is to provide a well-rounded and specialised education, and is specifically developed to provide vocational skills and qualifications required by employers in the Southern Africa region.

After completing and passing the 6-month course, students have the opportunity to do a 6-month work placement with a selection of lodges and game reserves in South Africa, like Thornybush, Timbavati, Makalali Private Game Reserve and Kapama to name a few. We have also had placements that have turned into permanent positions in Patagonia, USA, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Mozambique, Namibia and Rwanda. By getting experience in a luxury game lodge, animal rehab centre or at a wildlife research & monitoring centre, you can secure a permanent position as a field guide, reserve management, or conservationist around the globe.

Bushwise is accredited by the Field Guide Association of Southern Africa (FGASA), the South Africa Qualifications Board, and the Culture Art Tourism Hospitality and Sports Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA). All students are taught by professional guides and instructors, some who even trained through Bushwise. All additional qualifications are also attained through accredited training providers.

Hear from our students and staff

Why choose us?

Since 2012, 100% of all our South African students who graduated from the 50-week course were offered permanent positions.

We offer a 50% money-back guarantee*. If you don’t get a job offer within six months after graduating the 50-week course, 50% of your program fee will be returned to you.

Bushwise students achieve high marks on all exams.

We offer the most comprehensive course available in South Africa with the quality of training, professionalism, and ethical guiding standards as our top priority.

Bushwise students have gained employment at the finest lodges and research bases not only in Southern Africa but also all over the world.

Bushwise graduates are sought after in the industry with many lodges contacting us to fill their Field Guide vacancies.

Bushwise Recruitment is a free service to all past and current Bushwise students, helping you find the best job for your skills and interests.

Students have access to exclusive Bushwise online courses, including expert-led masterclasses.

Our trainers combined have over 50 years’ experience working in the industry.

We offer the most affordable daily rate when broken down in comparison to other training providers.

Students can get up to nine certificates, and six of which are nationally recognised.

We make it easy for international students to obtain a Study Visa which allows them to get their SA driver’s license and then their PrPD. This allows you to be able to register as a guide, do a placement and maximise your chance of employment.

Bushwise
Bushwise

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Info

Spend 23 or 50 weeks on one of the most comprehensive professional field guide training courses available.

next start date 7 January 2022

DURATION 23 OR 50 WEEKS

Format On-campus, in-country

Price from £13,145

ACCREDITATION FGASA & CATHSETTA

AGE 18+ (We welcome individuals of all ages that can easily walk 3km)

OPTIONAL EXTRAS FGASA Apprentice Trails Guide

Price from £13,145

enquire

Details

During the 23-week course (or during the first 23 weeks of the 50-week course) you’ll learn the essentials of field guiding theory, and ground this in practical experience.

You will be introduced to theory in the classroom on campus. This will be followed up by safari drives and walks in the reserve where you can see concepts applied.

Typically, you will have two training sessions a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, but this can vary depending on the stage of the course.

At the end of each week, you will be assessed on what you have learnt. At the end of the 23 weeks, students on the 50-week course will move over to their 6-month placement.

Course itinerary

The course varies between classroom-based learning and practical sessions. The balance between these two will differ module to module. But an average day could look like this:

05:30–07:00:

Meet in the Kitchen for coffee and a light breakfast, then depart for the morning activity, either a walk or a drive, or a lecture in the classroom

11:00:

Brunch

12:00:

Free time

15:00:

Afternoon activity or lecture in the classroom

Bushwise Field Guides carries out its practical training and skills development in the Greater Makalali Private Game Reserve, a vast 25,000 hectare nature reserve in the Lowveld that’s dedicated to wildlife conservation. The reserve is also home to the Big Five animals.

Topics include

  • Introduction to guiding in the natural environment
  • Creating a guided nature experience
  • Geology
  • Astronomy
  • Weather & climate
  • Ecology
  • Taxonomy
  • Biomes of Southern Africa
  • Botany – trees & grasses
  • Arthropods
  • Amphibians
  • Reptiles
  • Fish
  • Birds
  • Mammals
  • Understanding animal behaviour
  • Conservation management & historical habitation
  • Vehicle Skills and basic mechanics
  • 4 x 4 training
  • Hospitality & hosting basics in a lodge environment
  • Principles of anti-poaching
  • Survival & navigation
  • Rifles & rifle handling
  • Bush first aid skills
  • Tracking (Cybertrack Track and Sign)
  • Wildlife photography

Info

Spend 23 or 50 weeks on one of the most comprehensive professional field guide training courses available.

next start date 7 January 2022

DURATION 23 OR 50 WEEKS

Format On-campus, in-country

Price from £13,145

ACCREDITATION FGASA & CATHSETTA

AGE 18+ (We welcome individuals of all ages that can easily walk 3km)

OPTIONAL EXTRAS FGASA Apprentice Trails Guide

Price from £13,145

enquire

Bushwise campus

The Bushwise Field Guides campus is based opposite the Greater Makalali Private Game Reserve, about 60 km from Hoedspruit in the Limpopo province.

The South African bushveld is known for its rich biodiversity and will offer you every challenge and opportunity to excel as an apprentice field guide. There is no better place in the world to do your field guide course.

Bushwise has built a reputation as a leading training provider in the safari industry and offers one of the most comprehensive courses available.

We strive to not only have a 100% pass rate, but also guarantee a permanent position for our South African graduates on the Bushwise Professional Field Guide course.

Campus tour

Join us on a vrtual tour of the Mahlahla campus at Bushwise. Wouldn’t you love to call this home?

Facilities

Accommodation for the in-person courses is on the Bushwise Mahlahla bush campus, which is an eight-hectare, fenced lodge-style campus.

The bush campus is safe from predators, so you are free to go for a walk or run anywhere on campus. We have a large variety of bird species that are regular visitors to the campus dam, as well as secretive species such as honey badgers and civet that are seen almost every night. We also have the occasional visit from pangolins and leopards.

In these surrounds, you can sharpen your practical skills by going on bushwalks, spending time birding, and encountering the animals that roam the campus.

Students will share a chalet (known as a rondavel) that accommodates two students. A weekly laundry service is provided for uniforms and bedding, free of charge, and students also have full access to the campus facilities for personal use.

The chalets, dining area, and laundry facilities are all clustered together. But it’s just a short walk around the dam to get to the classroom. The classroom is only partly enclosed, so you’ll remain immersed in the bush during training. It’s topped off with a thatched roof and light shading on two sides. And for the hot summer months, there’s a swimming pool next to the classroom.

Available on the

Bushwise Mahlahla bush campus

  • Shared rondavel (with fan)

  • Communal bathroom

  • Wifi

  • Juice, tea and coffee (available 24/7)

  • Swimming pool

  • Basic gym area (with weights to help you keep in shape)

  • Bow and arrow shooting range

  • Gardening in the Bushwise garden

  • Braai and social area

  • Game vehicles

  • Library of field guiding texts

  • Bushwise classroom

  • Emergency support from Bushwise staff

Info

Spend 23 or 50 weeks on one of the most comprehensive professional field guide training courses available.

next start date 7 January 2022

DURATION 23 OR 50 WEEKS

Format On-campus, in-country

Price from £13,145

ACCREDITATION FGASA & CATHSETTA

AGE 18+ (We welcome individuals of all ages that can easily walk 3km)

OPTIONAL EXTRAS FGASA Apprentice Trails Guide

Price from £13,145

enquire

Placements

On the 50-week course field guide students have an opportunity to undertake a 6-month placement. The Bushwise head trainer will assess each and every student to see which placement suits them best, focussing on evaluating students based on performance, interest, and the students’ personality traits. That is why Bushwise has a 100% employment success rate for South African students.

This allows students to gain valuable ‘hands-on’ experience, and cement the knowledge and skills learnt during the course. It also provides a valuable foot-in-the-door to the safari tourism industry, wildlife careers, and conservation careers. Here are the two main placement options:

Placement career path options

Professional field guiding

Work and guide in 3* – 5* safari lodges. This includes exposure to working and guiding on a big five reserve with dangerous game such as cheetah and hippo. Field guides interact with tourists visiting the private game reserves, and focus on sharing knowledge about nature and the environment. These guiding experiences are either conducted in a 4×4 vehicle or on foot.

Field guides act as interpreters between the environment and the guests, with the ultimate intention of promoting conservation and environmental protection.

Wildlife conservation or management

Become part of a dynamic team of conservationists, wildlife researchers, reserve wardens, or managers as guides or support staff.

Your placement will typically be within a wildlife conservation area, game reserve, wildlife rehabilitation, or animal care organisation. Availability on wildlife conservation or management programs is very limited and can only be offered when available.

All students must pass both the FGASA and Bushwise course requirements before being placed at any placement.

Nestled between the Blyde River Canyon and Kruger National Park, Kapama’s four luxurious camps offer an escape for nature lovers from across the globe. This untouched part of Africa is home to some of our most endangered, beautiful and fascinating wild life.

Nestled between the Blyde River Canyon and Kruger National Park, Kapama’s four luxurious camps offer an escape for nature lovers from across the globe. This untouched part of Africa is home to some of our most endangered, beautiful and fascinating wild life.

Nestled between the Blyde River Canyon and Kruger National Park, Kapama’s four luxurious camps offer an escape for nature lovers from across the globe. This untouched part of Africa is home to some of our most endangered, beautiful and fascinating wild life.

Nestled between the Blyde River Canyon and Kruger National Park, Kapama’s four luxurious camps offer an escape for nature lovers from across the globe. This untouched part of Africa is home to some of our most endangered, beautiful and fascinating wild life.

Nestled between the Blyde River Canyon and Kruger National Park, Kapama’s four luxurious camps offer an escape for nature lovers from across the globe. This untouched part of Africa is home to some of our most endangered, beautiful and fascinating wild life.

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