FGASA Field Guiding and Conservation Careers Internship

Info

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

Next start date 07 January 2023

Duration 23 or 50 weeks

Format On-campus, in-country

Accreditation FGASA & CATHSSETA

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

Optional Extras FGASA Apprentice Trails Guide

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 (PrDp) 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.

Participants in the Conservation Internship won’t only gain practical guiding skills, bush knowledge, and field experience. They also grow as individuals, absorbing essential life skills and increasing their confidence, independence, and social communication and teamwork capabilities. This program provides opportunities for students to grow and mature while gaining valuable skills and experience.

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 07 January 2023

Duration 23 or 50 weeks

Format On-campus, in-country

Accreditation FGASA & CATHSSETA

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

Optional Extras FGASA Apprentice Trails Guide

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.

Life on the internship

Bushwise has a structured, daily program in place so that students get into the routine of a working field guide. We aim to give a balance of theory and practical training during each day, but we do allow room to adjust to program requirements, seasonal changes and student needs.

The curriculum includes bush skills such a wildlife tracking, shooting competency, 4×4 driving, outdoor first aid, and wildlife photography. It also includes in-depth knowledge and practical application of subjects such as conservation, ecology, reserve management, geology and animal behaviour. All training is conducted by professional guides, registered trainers, and instructors.

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 07 January 2023

Duration 23 or 50 weeks

Format On-campus, in-country

Accreditation FGASA & CATHSSETA

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

Optional Extras FGASA Apprentice Trails Guide

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)

  • Gardening in the Bushwise garden

  • Braai and social area

  • Game vehicles

  • Library of field guiding texts

  • Bushwise classroom

  • Emergency support from Bushwise staff