FGASA Field Guiding

Info

Become an African nature and wildlife expert. Attend expert-led masterclasses, learn through engaging discussions and earn a certificate from the top-rated provider of field guide qualifications.

next start date 23 August 2021

course frequency Every 3 months

DURATION 12 WEEKS

TIME COMMITMENT 10 hours per week

FORMAT Self-paced, online

AGE 16–99 years old

PRICE £1,200

LANGUAGE English

PRICE £1,200

enquire

Overview

Bushwise Field Guides students are educated and trained to become field guides of the highest standard in the safari industry. Our top-rated courses pair the practical skills you require with a comprehensive foundation of theoretical knowledge. With this system, our graduates are able to create the best guided experiences.

We have developed an all-encompassing online field guiding course to accelerate your knowledge beyond the minimum requirements of the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA), and to give you a well-rounded foundation.

Bushwise’s Extensive Field Guide online course is aligned with the official FGASA syllabus and offers an additional 20 hours of learning for further qualifications.

Professional field guides are required to have a FGASA Apprentice Field Guide (NQF2) qualification with a total of 400 hours – 60% practical work, 20% theoretical work and 20% self-study. Our online course covers 100 of these hours. With this head start, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a professional in the field guiding industry.

Then, step into the heart of the African bushveld and take your field guiding career even further by completing the rest of your hours with Bushwise’s FGASA Professional Field Guide Course that’s offered at our campus on the Greater Makalali Private Game Reserve.

To give you the most out of your online learning experience, the Bushwise online course includes guided learning, self-assessments, video lectures, live webinars and formal assignments.

Your course will include 24 live sessions in 12 weeks. These sessions include lectures from industry leaders in conservation and field guiding, who will give you expert insight into real-life situations you might encounter. You’ll also learn about the types of challenges that exist in the industry and get insider knowledge on how these situations are addressed.

Our online learning platform also allows you to work and interact with like-minded students from all over the world. You can create conference rooms where you can meet international participants, participate in video study groups, or create a social space outside of the curriculum and make lifelong international friendships.

Feeling ready to start your professional field guiding career?

Course details

Course specifics
  • 10 weeks online (excluding orientation)

  • 10 hours per week

  • Self-paced, guided learning

  • 18 and over

  • English

What you’ll learn

On completion of this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Create a guided experience for guests on safari
  • Ensure the health and safety of your guests when on a guided experience
  • Identify, understand and explain animal behaviour
  • Identify different African species and ecosystems
  • Identify and interpret African animal tracks
  • Identify African bird species by song and appearance
  • Lead and engage large groups of diverse people from around the world
  • Understand the recommended ethical guiding practices and carry out an ethical guided experience in the natural environment
  • Understand the role and responsibilities of a professional field guide.

Join this online course to attend live lectures delivered by leaders in their field who have over 50 years of combined experience. These include directors of
conservation organisations, managers of wildlife reserves and experienced field guides. See the African wild through their eyes, informed by in-depth knowledge developed over many years.
Listen to their stories and learn from their successes and missteps. Ask them questions and receive personal feedback.

Why choose us?

You’ll be joined in these classes by others from around the world who are just as passionate about African nature and wildlife as you are and are on the same learning journey. With them, discuss real-world case studies that put the theory you’re learning into context.

Complete regular quizzes so that you can see your growing expertise, and assignments to apply your acquired knowledge to things you might see and experience while in wild African spaces.

You’ll complete the first 16 official FGASA modules. Topics covered include African mammals, plants, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects and fish. You’ll also learn about African ecosystems, geology, climate and even astronomy.

But, like all Bushwise courses, we cover so much more than the basics. By attending our masterclasses, you’ll gain specific insight into
elephant, pangolin and vulture conservation. You’ll also learn about how anti-poaching initiatives are run and about innovative conservation strategies. This course is designed for everyone, from students, new graduates or career changers who are looking to start a career in
African wildlife, to working professionals or retirees interested in citizen science projects.

If you’re interested in starting a professional field guiding career, this course is your first step. The study materials and registration fees for the FGASA Apprentice Field Guide NQF2, formerly known as Level 1, qualification exam are included in this course.

Info

Become an African nature and wildlife expert. Attend expert-led masterclasses, learn through engaging discussions and earn a certificate from the top-rated provider of field guide qualifications.

next start date 23 August 2021

course frequency Every 3 months

DURATION 12 WEEKS

TIME COMMITMENT 10 hours per week

FORMAT Self-paced, online

AGE 16–99 years old

PRICE £1,200

LANGUAGE English

PRICE £1,200

enquire

Testimonials

We pride ourselves on the success of our students. Their success starts with the quality and depth of our courses. Our online courses are no different.

We value the power of reviews and the importance they play in decisions for our prospective students.

Take some time to read what our alumni have to say. The testimonials from students around the world who completed our online courses will hopefully help you in making your decision to join the Bushwise team.

Read the testimonials below.

I really enjoyed the course. It was interesting and nice ...

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Overall this course was amazing I have learned so much ...

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It’s been an absolutely great time and a super introduction ...

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A wonderful course filled with loads of information, all set ...

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This is hands down the best online nature-related course I ...

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I thought I had average knowledge about nature but very ...

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I loved this course – was very informative and helpful. ...

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I have followed this amazing online course. It’s definitely a ...

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Info

Become an African nature and wildlife expert. Attend expert-led masterclasses, learn through engaging discussions and earn a certificate from the top-rated provider of field guide qualifications.

next start date 23 August 2021

course frequency Every 3 months

DURATION 12 WEEKS

TIME COMMITMENT 10 hours per week

FORMAT Self-paced, online

AGE 16–99 years old

PRICE £1,200

LANGUAGE English

PRICE £1,200

enquire

The Bushwise difference

Bushwise’s founder is a passionate conservationist. After her long and fruitful career in conservation, she realised there is a need for professional field guides to help ethically sustain the wonderful planet we call home. This passion gave birth to Bushwise in 2006, and we have been delivering the cream of the crop to the safari industry in qualified field guides.

It’s our passion, love and dedication for mother earth that drives us to constantly evolve in our learning methods. As a result, there is a substantial difference in experience and education that you receive at Bushwise, and that is why we deliver field guides of the highest standards. This is why we can confidently offer an employment guarantee to all our South African students

Highest quality
field guide trainer in South Africa

Bushwise is well known in the industry as a provider of the highest quality field guide trainer in South Africa. This online course aims to provide a level of quality and support which is no different.

Responsive and
efficient support that goes above and beyond

The Bushwise team is extremely passionate about nature and the field guiding industry, and focuses on providing support above and beyond other providers. Whether it’s assisting students to reach specific learning-based milestones, or providing support towards a new career path in the safari industry.

Expert-lead personal learning experiences

Bushwise’s online courses are unique due to the amount of personal and guided learning time the student gets. There are weekly live webinars hosted by the instructors, allowing you to engage with students in discussions and Q&As. There are also student forums available to interact with fellow students, discuss topics of interests, ask questions and learn new things.

Info

Become an African nature and wildlife expert. Attend expert-led masterclasses, learn through engaging discussions and earn a certificate from the top-rated provider of field guide qualifications.

next start date 23 August 2021

course frequency Every 3 months

DURATION 12 WEEKS

TIME COMMITMENT 10 hours per week

FORMAT Self-paced, online

AGE 16–99 years old

PRICE £1,200

LANGUAGE English

PRICE £1,200

enquire

Syllabus

This FGASA Field Guiding online course is a combination of both our online courses.

Download the full course syllabus for Nature Enthusiast and Introduction to Field Guiding here.

You’ll cover the following modules in this course:

  • Amphibians
  • Arthropods
  • Astronomy
  • Biomes
  • Birds
  • Conducting a guided experience
  • Conservation management
  • Ecology
  • Ethology
  • Fish
  • Geology
  • Historial human habitation
  • Introduction to the skills of guiding
  • Mammals
  • Plants – trees and grasses
  • Radio procedures
  • Reptiles
  • Rifles and advanced rifle handling
  • Taxonomy
  • Viewing potentially dangerous animals
  • Weather and climate

Week 1

What is a guided experience, and what skills are required as a field guide.

Managing clients’ interests and expectations through research, knowledge and making changes on your feet as required.

Communications skills, how to be approachable and solve problems.

Minimising and managing safety and emergency incidents.

Week 2

From your pre-briefing to the debriefing and all the things in between. How to integrate your knowledge to your guiding activity, and best practices to apply in field guiding.

Two-way radio techniques, sighting procedures and how to use a two-way radio in the field. You will also be able to give a brief to your guests on how to use the radio in the case of an emergency.

Focused on how you can improve your guided experience and reviewing your guiding activities.

Week 3

Learn with the utmost care the rules and safety of firearms, how to clean and take care of your rifle. You will be advanced in handling a bolt action rifle.

Week 4

Learn the important knowledge of how to interpret the behaviour of potentially dangerous animals, giving you the competence to provide your clients with a well-informed, safety-conscious experience.

Week 5

You will know and understand the meaning of geology, be able to provide explanations for the types of plant life and associated animal life that occurs in an area based on soil and rock types.

You will be able to describe the influences on the Southern Africa climate and explain weather conditions that apply to the area where you are guiding.

Week 6

You will know and understand the main interesting features of the night sky, season by season and how to include this in enhancing your clients’ experience.

You will know and understand how the various components fit into the larger ecosystems and understand its importance in guiding.

Week 7

You will know and understand how the dynamics of a particular area interact and the role of each element in the functioning of that area.

You will know and understand how the structures of taxonomy interrelate with the plants and animals in an area.

Week 8

You will know and understand basic botany related topics such as plant processes, be able to identify various plants and learn interesting facts related to traditional beliefs associated with specific species.

You will know and understand how to identify arthropods at a basic level, as well as be able to provide basic information that relates to interesting facts in respect of amongst other things, feeding habits and behaviour.

Week 9

You will know and understand how to identify common species of fish as well as the ecological importance of fish.

You will know and understand how to identify common species of frogs and toads, be able to identify them by means of their calls as well as understanding their ecological role.

Week 10

You will know and understand how to identify the different species based on their features, interesting facts relating to survival strategies and reproduction in the various different species.

You will know and understand how to identify the different species based on their features, interesting facts relating to survival strategies and reproduction in the various different species.

Week 11

You will know and understand how to identify the different species based on their features, interesting facts relating to survival strategies and reproduction in the various different species.

You will know and understand animal behaviour as individuals, but also group behaviour. You will be able to explain different communication methods, territories and interpret the signs and sounds of animals.

Week 12

You will know and understand what conservation practices are used in the natural environment and why these are carried out.

You will know and understand interesting facts about early human history, and the distribution of traditional southern African cultures.