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FGASA Field Guiding and Conservation Careers Internship

Info

Don’t wait till you turn 21 to start your wildlife conservation career.

next start date 7 January 2022

DURATION 23 OR 50 WEEKS

Format On-campus, in-country

Price from £13,895

ACCREDITATION FGASA & CATHSETTA

AGE 18+

OPTIONAL EXTRAS FGASA Apprentice Trails Guide

Price from £13,895

enquire

Overview

Don’t wait till you turn 21 to start your wildlife conservation career.

Bushwise Field Guides offers the most comprehensive field guide course in South Africa for under 21s. Options for under 21s in guiding is limited due to professional driving permit (PdP) requirements, but Bushwise’s Conservation Careers internship gives you the opportunity to start your journey to become a professional field guide.

Overview of the Internship

The Bushwise campus is based opposite the Greater Makalali Private Game Reserve. It is about 60km from Hoedspruit, in the Limpopo province. There is no better place in the world to do your Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA) accredited field guide course. 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. The FGASA Field Guiding and Conservation Careers Internship is available to anyone over 18 years and provides a training platform for prospective field guides or conservation professionals. It also offers students exposure in various fields of safari careers to help them decide what they wish to do with their future careers.

Hear from our students and staff

Why choose us?

Bushwise provides the most comprehensive course in South Africa. Quality training, professionalism, and ethical guiding standards are our top priorities. And we have the numbers to prove it.

Bushwise students always achieve high marks in their FGASA exams. Since 2013, our average exam result is 88%. And since 2012, 100% of all South African students who graduated from the 50-week course were offered permanent positions.

It’s no wonder then that Bushwise graduates are sought after in the industry with many of the finest lodges and research bases contacting us to fill their field guide vacancies.

And if you’re not scooped up right after graduation, you can make use of Bushwise Recruitment: a free service that’s offered to all Bushwise students, past and present, to help you find a post to match both your interests and skills.

So what makes Bushwise programs stand out? Our comprehensive courses are delivered by a training team with over 50 years of combined experience in the industry. At the end of the course, you’ll have gained up to eight certificates, five of which are nationally recognised.

You’ll also complete added modules designed to help you stand out in the industry, with skills like orientation in the bush and social media training. You also have access to exclusive Bushwise online courses, which include expert-led masterclasses.

And we provide our students with first-rate support. In line with our [email protected] policy, we provide personalised support and training to each and every student. And since we have students from all over the world, we’re pleased to report that it’s easy for our international students to secure their study visa. This allows them to get their South African driver’s licence and professional driving permit. Both are needed for international students to register as guides and maximise their employment opportunities.

Bushwise
Bushwise

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Info

Don’t wait till you turn 21 to start your wildlife conservation career.

next start date 7 January 2022

DURATION 23 OR 50 WEEKS

Format On-campus, in-country

Price from £13,895

ACCREDITATION FGASA & CATHSETTA

AGE 18+

OPTIONAL EXTRAS FGASA Apprentice Trails Guide

Price from £13,895

enquire

Details

The course is known for producing the highest calibre of graduates for a competitive industry. Throughout Bushwise’s years of operation, its graduates have, collectively, achieved the highest marks of all FGASA’s long-term providers, and are considered the best-trained professional guides in the industry.

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 and climate
  • Ecology
  • Taxonomy
  • Biomes of southern africa
  • Botany – trees and grasses
  • Arthropods
  • Amphibians
  • Reptiles
  • Fish
  • Birds
  • Mammals
  • Understanding animal behaviour
  • Conservation management and historical habitation
  • Vehicle skills and basic mechanics
  • 4×4 training
  • Hospitality and hosting basics in a lodge environment
  • Principles of anti-poaching
  • Survival and navigation
  • Viewing potentially dangerous animals
  • Rifles and rifle handling
  • Bush first aid skills
  • Tracking (cybertrack track & sign)
  • Wildlife photography.

Info

Don’t wait till you turn 21 to start your wildlife conservation career.

next start date 7 January 2022

DURATION 23 OR 50 WEEKS

Format On-campus, in-country

Price from £13,895

ACCREDITATION FGASA & CATHSETTA

AGE 18+

OPTIONAL EXTRAS FGASA Apprentice Trails Guide

Price from £13,895

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 FGASA 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

Don’t wait till you turn 21 to start your wildlife conservation career.

next start date 7 January 2022

DURATION 23 OR 50 WEEKS

Format On-campus, in-country

Price from £13,895

ACCREDITATION FGASA & CATHSETTA

AGE 18+

OPTIONAL EXTRAS FGASA Apprentice Trails Guide

Price from £13,895

enquire

Included

We provide the most comprehensive FGASA field guiding program and have the most affordable daily rate.

To compare what we offer with other providers, see this handy chart.

Certificates

Nationally recognised certificates
  • FGASA Apprentice Field Guide (NQF2)
  • FGASA Apprentice Trails Guide theory (practical add on available to complete qualification in full)
  • FGASA Field Guide (NQF4) knowledge
  • Firearm Proficiency SASSETA
    • Unit Standard: 117705 – Demonstrate knowledge of the Firearms Control Act 2000 (Act No 60 of 2000) applicable to possessing a firearm
    • Unit Standard: 119651 – Handle and use of manually operated rifle or carbine
    • Unit Standard: 123519 – Handle and use of manually operated rifle or carbine for business purpose
  • National Level 1 & 2 First Aid Wilderness certificate
  • National Level 3, 4×4 driving qualification – Unit Standard: 254135: Apply the techniques for operating four wheel drive (4WD) vehicles, in on-road and off-road conditions
  • Cybertracker Track & Sign qualification (SASSETA & CATHSSETA)
Bushwise certificates and training
  • Bushwise Professional Field Guide Course certificate
  • Wildlife photography workshop
  • Bushwise birding specialist course
  • Reptile orientation course
  • Dangerous game experience
  • Social media module in the field guide and lodge industry
  • Advanced rifle handling

Included

  • Experienced, long-term staff conducting all the necessary course training
  • All necessary fgasa course manuals and materials
  • Safe, but basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • Two sets of uniforms
  • All compulsory books (if included)
  • Limited internet access at no extra cost
  • T-shirt, fleece jacket, cap and beanie
  • All meals while on the course (except during off weeks)

Activities

  • Visits to other reserves or places of interest.
  • Activities, such as sleep outs, kruger national park trips
  • Bushwalks

Support

  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Ethical guiding principles

Training

  • Camp management and leadership skills
  • Basic vehicle mechanics
  • Hospitality training
  • Basic astronomy
  • Survival skills

Not included

Flights, medical and travel insurance, visa costs, personal kit, additional drinks and gratuities, international and domestic airport taxes, laundry (during weeks off), food and transport (during weeks off), recommended reference books, professional drivers permit and licensing costs, including transportation to tests.

“Bushwise has been sending us placement students for the past few years. We are very impressed by the quality of the preparation of the students who start their internship with LEO Africa and some of them were also offered a job after their internship. We highly recommend Bushwise as a training facility if guiding or conservation are your passions and you would like to work in the field and have a great preparation.”

Leo Africa

“Bushwise is consistent in providing high-quality and informative blog articles for us to publish. Accompanied with stunning photos, their articles always make for a fascinating read, be it about a particular animal species or general facts on wildlife and guiding. No matter what the content, their articles can be considered as valuable resources for those interested in field guiding and to those interested in learning more about African wildlife.”

Theo Felmore, Content Editor Africa Geographic

“Lowveld Trails Company has enjoyed a productive professional relationship with Bushwise Field Guides, facilitating the practical component of their Trails Guide Courses for the past 3 years. Bushwise produces some top quality Field Guides, evidenced by the fact that one of their alumni is now employed by Lowveld Trails Co.”

Wayne te Brake, owner Lowveld Trails

“Bushwise have been traversing on The Greater Makalali Nature Reserve (GMPGR) since 2006. Bushwise offers Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA) field guide training courses amongst others which are run over 60 days. Over this period the guides are trained in all facets of field guiding and ultimately come through the course with skills that allow them to start a career in guiding. The GMPGR has a variation of commercial lodges, private lodges and volunteer organisations operating on the reserve. Many Bushwise students/guides have been placed within these operations over the years. Due to the high standard of training of field guides Bushwise have developed a good reputation as a professional training organisation. They are always willing and eager to assist with training field guides within other operations on the reserve and helping wherever they can. As the Warden of the GMPGR I have come to expect friendly and professional conduct and behaviour from the Bushwise management, trainers and guides.”

Rob Panos, Warden The Greater Makalali Private Game Reserve

“Bushwise is highly regarded in the training arena and students from all over the world and Southern Africa attend the course at a unique location within the Lowveld area. The facilities, level of training and standard of the graduates is exceptional and as such, guides graduating are sought after by the Tourism Industry.”

Michelle du Plessis, Managing Director FGASA

“Nestled between the Blyde River Valley and Kruger National Park, Kapama’s four individually appointed and 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.”

Kapama Private game reserve

“Africa on Foot specialises in walking safaris in the big five Klaserie Private Nature Reserve; a wildlife rich region in the heart of the Greater Kruger. The Klaserie shares unfenced borders with the Kruger National Park which means predators and other wildlife roam freely throughout.”

Africa on Foot

“To Learn and To Teach” ("Siyafunda" in Zulu) are the objectives on which Siyafunda Wildlife and Conservation is founded and the basic principles that drive our projects. Our aim is to obtain a greater understanding of wildlife and the environment in which it thrives and to teach our knowledge to all who assist us at our Siyafunda projects.”

Siyafunda

“Harnas Wildlife Foundation is an experienced and active player in the conservation of Namibian wildlife, the protection of natural resources and is providing social, rational and physical education to those who seek the benefit thereof. But above all, Harnas Wildlife Foundation strives to give back to every living being what is relevant to its existence as far as our capabilities will allow.”

Harnas wildlife foundation

“Garonga offers a true Big Five safari experience, with expert guides and trackers who are knowledgeable about the wide variety of animals in our nature reserve. Track wildlife in the pre-dawn or enjoy traditional early morning and late afternoon game drives.”

Garonga Safari Camp

“Situated at the base of the majestic North Eastern Lowveld Drakensberg mountain range in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, Moholoholo offers a unique experience to all nature enthusiasts. Here at Moholoholo “The Very Great One” we offer travellers a time to unwind, relax and enjoy our beautiful Lowveld region.”

Moholoholo

“NYATI Safari offers world-class safari in our own exclusive safari lodge in South Africa. Our safari lodge is located in our private 10,000 ha "Big 5" wildlife reserve, which is part of South Africa's famous Kruger National Park. Here we can guarantee that you will get close to Africa's wildlife - and most likely "The Big 5"; The lion, the leopard, the rhino, the buffalo and the elephant.”

Nyati safari lodge

“Bundox Safari Lodge & Retreat is an authentic safari getaway situated in a private nature reserve, located on the doorstep of South Africa’s most visited wildlife region, Kruger National Park, Panorama Route, and the Blyde River Canyon within arm’s reach.”

Bundox Safari Lodge

“Bush breakfasts on the edge of the river, daily game drives, sundowners and expeditions into the neighbouring big five Balule reserve are just a few of things to expect while on safari with us.”

Rukiya Safari Camp

“Bushwise graduates are the best suited candidates for our placements. They have to be strong minded, dedicated and have a passion for wanting to protect rhinos and other animals from poaching. Bushwise does a great job of selecting those candidates for us and they have been a great addition to our Anti poaching field ranging teams. We would not hesitate to permanently employ Bushwise graduates”

K9 Conservation

“"we have no hesitation in recommending Bushwise to other lodges or operators. Their students have always proven to be enthusiastic, motivated and of a high caliber, slotting in quickly and easily to the busy operations of our lodges. We commend them on always matching our needs with that of a suitable profile and personality of student that fit the Thornybush portfolio"”

JB Burger Thornybush Luxury Game Lodge Collection

“Ivory Tree Game Lodge is situated in the north-eastern region of the Pilanesberg National Park, in an ancient amphitheater divided by riverine woodlands. The central facility includes a pool, bar, conference room, dining room, boma, reception and curio shop. Ivory Tree Game Lodge offers 5-Star accommodation in the malaria-free, Big Five Pilanesberg Game Reserve. All 67 rooms are decorated in earthy tones and offer comfortable outside seating areas to enjoy the surrounding wilderness.”

IVORY TREE GAME LODGE

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