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Bushwise and the

   International Field Guide Association

Bushwise is the exclusive Southern African training provider for the International Field Guide Association (IFGA) qualification and standards.

What is IFGA?

IFGA defines professional standards for the world’s leading wildlife and safari guides. It was created by and for guides across the globe.


If a guide has the letters IFG by their name, it means they were successfully accepted into – and passed – the most selective guide training program in the world. It also means they are prepared to exceed guest expectations every step of the way, whether at a luxury safari lodge in Namibia, in the Costa Rican rainforest, in the Patagonian mountains, or beyond.

IFGA is straightforward.

One global standard – one qualification – to set you apart. No membership dues or annual fees! Learn more.

How can I become IFGA qualified?

Guides can become IFGA qualified in two ways:

1. For new guide candidates, by earning their qualifications with an IFGA-certified training provider.
2. For existing guides, an IFGA-certified assessor can conduct an assessment onsite or at their training campus.

Bushwise is the exclusive Southern African IFGA-certified training provider, and our trainers are IGFA assessors. 

Assessment criteria

IFGA course requirements

IFGA training programs offer a selective admissions process, where approximately 20% of applicants will be accepted to complete this prestigious training.

  • Candidates must at minimum:

    • Be 21 years old and possess a valid professional driver’s permit; and

    • Demonstrate a clear commitment to ecosystem conservation, a passion for guiding, and a determination to succeed.

  • Components of training:

    • First Aid certification

    • Vehicle-based guiding assessment

    • Cybertracker track & sign and trailing assessment

    • Rifle handling and shooting assessment

    • VPDA Trails training & assessment

    • Soft skills and hospitality training

    • Lodge induction training

Assessments for existing guides

IFGA welcomes existing guides who wish to gain this prestigious qualification to contact Bushwise Field Guides and arrange for an assessment. 

  • Candidates must at minimum: 

    • Be 21 years old and possess a valid professional driver’s permit;

    • Be a CATHSSETA Nature Site Guide (NQF2);

    • Have a VPDA Trails qualification;

    • Have Tracker Level 1;

    • Have a valid first aid certificate; 

    • Be currently, actively guiding; and

    • Submit a CV and video of motivation or complete an interview with an IFGA Assessor before the assessment occurs.

  • Assessment includes:

    • Vehicle-based guiding assessment; and

    • Rifle competency assessment (for South African candidates).

Dates and costs

IFGA training program:

The IFGA training program is offered in conjunction with the Bushwise International Field Guide course, at no additional cost for qualified students. Please contact us for additional information.

Onsite assessments for existing guides:

Assessments can be arranged with our IFGA-certified assessors for onsite assessments. We also host assessments on the Bushwise campuses. Please contact us for dates and costs.

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