Terms and Conditions
By submitting your application for a Bushwise on-campus course or placement (“Bushwise Course”), you (being a “Participant”) confirm that you accept and agree to these terms and conditions (“the Terms”). If you submit an application for an online Bushwise course, and then subsequently elect to attend an on-campus Bushwise Course, you also agree to be bound by these Terms.
Please note that by submitting your application, you will enter into a binding legal agreement with Bushwise Field Guides (Pty) Ltd, as well as its affiliates and/or associates, including but not limited to GVI Programs Limited (being a company registered in both the UK and South Africa) (hereinafter referred to as “Bushwise”, “we”, “us”, “our”).
Please ensure you read these Terms carefully and do not hesitate to ask us any questions you may have before you complete your application.
WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO AMEND THESE TERMS AT ANY TIME. All amendments to these Terms will be posted online. Please make sure you check regularly to see if any amendments have been made.
These Terms are separated into 5 sections, namely:
- Section A: General
- Section B: Bushwise Professional Field Guide Course
- Section C: Apprentice Trails Guide Course
- Section D: 60-Day Safari Guide Course
- Section E: Online Training and Course
SECTION A: GENERAL
Bushwise agrees to organise and deliver the Bushwise Course(s) and other components, such as the course placements, as agreed upon in writing between you and Bushwise from time to time. Our services include, but are not limited to:
- Arranging full pre-departure briefings on the telephone and/or via email;
- Arranging suitable accommodation for the duration of the course or placement;
- Arranging food while the course is in session where indicated in course briefing materials;
- Arranging for transfers to and from the airport where indicated in course briefing materials;
- Arranging course instructors to lead and deliver courses, where required;
- Arranging the provision of course equipment, training and training materials relevant to the course;
- Providing a 24-hour emergency desk; and
- Providing international travel assistance and advice.
Please note that the course details reflected on our website and in our enrollment materials are subject to change, depending on availability. Bushwise reserves the right to make minor changes to your Bushwise Course or substitute course activities with activities of a similar nature or merit. We will do our utmost to keep you updated on any changes prior to your course commencement, where possible.
Any information we provide, including, but not limited to information about visas, vaccinations, healthcare, climate, baggage, group sizes and special equipment is given in good faith for informational purposes only. We do not hold ourselves out to be experts in all of these fields and suggest that external advice is obtained, if you deem it necessary to do so.
Refusal of Service
Bushwise reserves the right to refuse your application to join a Bushwise Course, at any time, for any reason whatsoever (which reason need not be communicated to you).
When you apply for a Bushwise Course, you will be asked to provide us with the following information:
- Legal name
- Phone Number
- Email/Physical Address
- Date of Birth
- Educational qualifications
- Driving licence and/or qualifications
- Criminal history
- Medical history – including mental health, current medications, vaccination status, and any medical requirements
- Dietary requirements
- Citizenship & country of residence
You confirm that all information that you provide during the application process is complete and correct. You must update Bushwise if this information changes prior to your course commencement or during your participation in the course. Failure to provide complete, accurate and uptodate information on your application will be grounds for the cancellation of your Bushwise Course, without refund.
Documents & Additional Information
- If you hold a South African citizenship or permanent residency: you will be required to show proof of your medical insurance/aid and medical evacuation cover. Your medical cover must include coverage for exposure/infection of certain viruses, as may be communicated to you by us from time to time, and cover the entire duration of your Bushwise Course (which includes your placement, if applicable).
- If you are an international Participant, which means you do not hold South African citizenship or permanent residency: you are required to secure travel and medical insurance policies to protect you against losses caused by travel, loss or damage of baggage and or personal effects by any means, non-refundable airfare, emergency medical evacuation and other medical expenses including medical coverage for exposure/infection of certain viruses (as may be communicated to you). The policies must cover the entire duration of your Bushwise Course and include off road 4×4 driving, rifle handling, work with animals and wildlife (including sleepouts and any other activities you plan to undertake on your Bushwise Course).
- Regardless of your nationality: it is strongly recommended that you purchase trip cancellation cover to protect yourself against losses relating to your inability to join your Bushwise Course for medical reasons or if someone in your family takes ill or dies suddenly as our “Cancellation & Refunds” and “Transfer” policies (as outlined below) will apply to these instances.
The details of your insurance policies must be provided to us prior to the commencement of your Bushwise Course, for your protection.
MediClinic Tzaneen is the closest private hospital to the Bushwise campus. We recommend confirming that your MediClinic insurance provider has MediClinic Tzaneen and a doctor from Hoedspruit or Tzaneen on their list of providers.
You must supply us with a criminal background check at your own expense. Details on how to complete this process will be supplied prior to commencing your Bushwise Course. You agree that your participation on a Bushwise Course is subject to the outcome of this background check. As per the “Application Process” clause above, failure to disclose in advance any known criminal history is grounds for cancellation of your course, without refund.
Health & Medical Forms
- A medical form will be provided at the time of booking and must be completed at least 8 weeks prior to the commencement of the Bushwise Course. As per the “Application Process” clause above, failure to disclose any known medical conditions is grounds for cancellation of your Bushwise Course, without refund.
- Bushwise reserves the right to request a negative test and/or screen for certain viruses and/or require Participants to quarantine at their own expense where a test for a virus is positive, as may be recommended by the World Health Organisation from time to time. Bushwise staff will support Participants who are required to quarantine by providing them with suitable accommodation recommendations and daily check ins throughout their quarantine period.
- Bushwise cannot guarantee you will not become infected by certain viruses. You release Bushwise, its employees, owners and partners of any liability with respect to any bodily injury, illness, death, medical treatment, or property damage that may arise from exposure to a virus related to, or in connection with, your participation on a Bushwise Course, except where personal injury has been caused by Bushwise’s negligence.
- Bushwise staff are not medical professionals, and the standards of medical care in South Africa, and in the areas where Bushwise and placement partners operate, may be lower than you may be used to. You, and your primary care physician, are responsible for ensuring that you are able to manage your own mental and physical well-being, including administering any medication, for the entirety of your Bushwise Course.
- It is your responsibility to visit a local travel clinic and ensure that you have any necessary vaccines or medications for the full duration of your Bushwise Course.
- Bushwise reserves the right to require documentation from a doctor or specialist and/or to consult with our own medical and mental health professionals regarding your physical and mental fitness to undertake a Bushwise Course (including a placement).
- If Bushwise staff have any concerns about your physical or mental health during your Bushwise Course, they have a right to refer you to their own medical or mental health professional for further assessment.
- Bushwise reserves the right to reject or cancel a booking, curtail your Bushwise Course or placement, or refuse to provide you with a placement, on the grounds of your or our doctor’s comments or advice. In any of these cases, you will not be entitled to a refund or credit. Any additional medical assessments or documentation that we may require from you will be at your own expense.
- Bushwise reserves the right to share your medical history, including any documentation you have provided us, and/or the assessments of our own medical or mental health care professionals, with any potential placement partners.
- The Bushwise campus is in a low-medium risk malarial area. The surrounding areas are malarial so we recommend you take prophylactics. Consult with your doctor for guidance in this regard.
Prior to the Commencement of your Bushwise Course, you must supply us with the emergency contact details of a friend or family member. We reserve the right to contact this person should we deem it necessary to do so (and you warrant that they have consented to you providing us with their contact information).
Driving License and skills assessment
To drive the Bushwise vehicles, you must:
- have a valid, manual drivers licence;
- have at least 1 year of manual driving experience; and
- be able to demonstrate to us your ability to safely drive a 4×4 vehicle.
You will be assessed by Bushwise staff on your driving ability at the beginning of your course. The results of the assessment will be final and will not be subject to appeal. Should you fail this assessment, you will not be permitted to drive Bushwise’s vehicles and will automatically not pass your FGASA Apprentice Field Guide Practical Assessment. By not passing your practical assessment, you will not qualify for a placement.
In order to comply with local visa and permit requirements, you may also be required to provide additional documentation including, but not limited to, education certificates, passport/ID copies, and flight arrival and departure information. A full list will be provided to you at the time of booking. If this information is not provided by the deadline stipulated at the time of booking, Bushwise may have to cancel your booking without refund.
Visas & Passports
It is your responsibility to ensure you have (and maintain) any necessary visas and a valid passport for your program. With the exception of participants attending the 60-day Safari Guide course, Bushwise requires all international participants to hold a South African Study Visa. You will be required to apply for this visa at the South African Embassy in your home country. It is your responsibility to ensure you meet the requirements to obtain this visa. Bushwise recommends you contact your local embassy a minimum of 12 weeks prior to your course commencement to ensure you have the necessary paperwork to obtain your visa within the required time. Bushwise will not accommodate participants who arrive to the course late due to visa delays. Any visa information provided by Bushwise is done in good faith and Bushwise cannot be held responsible for South Africa’s decision to change visa rules, deny a visa application, refuse entry, exit or the right of passage. We bear no liability for any losses you may incur arising from any such action.
Please note that all payments made become non-refundable on their due date.
Bushwise’s current course fees are displayed on the website and are subject to change without notice. What is included in your course fee will be displayed on the “What’s Included?” tab on the Bushwise Courses’s page on our website. Your total course fee will be outlined in your acceptance email from us, where applicable (subject line “Congratulations! What’s Next?”).
From time to time, Bushwise’s Admissions Managers may award scholarships. These are awarded at Bushwise’s discretion and are non-transferable.
Bushwise accepts payments in GBP (Pound Sterling), USD (United States Dollars), EUR (Euros), CAD (Canadian Dollars), AUD (Australian Dollars) and ZAR (South African Rand). Currency exchange rates are set at Bushwise’s discretion and do not necessarily reflect current market exchange rates. You will be quoted in the currency of your home country (e.g. country of current permanent residence) and are not eligible to pay in other currencies. In the event Bushwise does not offer the currency of your home country, you will pay as follows:
- If your home country is in the European Union, not including the United Kingdom, you will pay in Euros (EUR). This includes countries that are not part of the eurozone;
- If your home country is in sub-Saharan Africa, as defined by the United Nations, you will pay in South African Rand (ZAR);
- If your home country is in New Zealand you will pay in Australian Dollars (AUD); and
- If your home country is outside of the countries and locations defined above, you will pay in GBP.
Unless agreed upon in writing by special arrangement (or as otherwise may be specified under the relevant Bushwise Course section below), you may select one of the following payment plans:
Full payment upfront:
- You’ll pay the full cost of your booking in one payment to confirm your program. The payment is due within 48 hours of your acceptance onto the program.
- A non-refundable deposit of ZAR 4995 / GBP 295 or equivalent in the currency you are paying, will be due within 48 hours of your acceptance onto the Bushwise Course to confirm your place.
- The remaining balance of your program fee will be divided into equal instalments due by the final day of each calendar month. The number of instalments will be calculated by counting the number of full calendar months that fall between the receipt of your deposit payment and 3 calendar months prior to your program start date. The final monthly instalment will be due 3 calendar months before your program start date.
- Choosing this payment plan incurs a fee of ZAR 2,125.00 / GBP 195.00 and this fee is split equally across all your instalments.
- A non-refundable deposit of ZAR 4,995.00 / GBP 295.00 or equivalent in the currency you are paying will be due within 48 hours of your acceptance onto the course to confirm your place.
- The remaining balance of your program fee will be due on the last day of the calendar month falling 3 calendar months before your program start date.
- Choosing this payment plan incurs a fee of ZAR 5,100.00 / GBP 300.00 and this fee is added on to your final balance due.
Cancellations & Refunds
Bushwise reserves the right to cancel or curtail a Bushwise Course for reasons of force majeure.
In cases of cancellation due to force majeure, your course fees will remain non-refundable and you will receive credit for the amount you have paid to use towards an alternative start date.
In cases of curtailment due to force majeure, your first recourse will be to claim the balance of your course fee from your insurance provider. If the reason for curtailment is not covered by your insurance policy, Bushwise will provide the Participant with credit to complete the remaining duration of your course or placement at a later date.
Bushwise reserves the right to provide substitute courses or placements, at its discretion. The use of a Participant’s credit will be subject to course or placement availability. Credit is non transferable and not redeemable for cash.
Cancellation/Curtailment by Bushwise
In all other cases where Bushwise cancels the course:
- Bushwise will offer you a credit for your course fees paid to use on another start date or alternative Bushwise Course. Use of your course credit will be subject to availability. Credit is non transferable and not redeemable for cash.
- Should you decline the offer of course credit, Bushwise will offer you a refund of your course fees paid.
The refund will be made back to the original method of payment. If the original credit or debit card has expired, the cardholder must contact their bank to recover the refunded fees. Bushwise will not refund alternative accounts or individuals. All refunds incur a processing fee for each payment that is refunded and can take up to 180 days to process in full.
- Bushwise will not refund you for any expenses incurred by you related to your course, including, but not limited to, airfare, visa expenses, insurance, documentation and equipment purchases. Please note this list is not exhaustive.
Cancellation/Curtailment by the Participant
If you cancel or curtail your Bushwise Course (including any placement) for any reason, any course fees paid by you or on your behalf will be non-refundable and you will not be entitled to any credit.
Due to limited course availability, transfers will only be permitted at Bushwise’s discretion. If permitted, you will be required to pay a transfer fee for each alteration made to your Bushwise Course.
The following transfer fees will apply:
– More than 12 weeks prior to your start date:
- For courses 60 days long or less: ZAR 3000 / GBP 150
- For courses over 60 days long: ZAR 3500 GBP 800 /
– Between 12 and 4 weeks prior to your start date:
- For courses 60 days long or less: ZAR 7050 / GBP 350
- For courses over 60 days long: ZAR 10000 / GBP 800
– Less than 4 weeks prior to your start date:
- For courses 60 days long or less: ZAR 15100/ GBP 750
- For courses over 60 days long: not permitted
The following conditions apply to all transfers:
- All transfer fees must be paid to confirm your new start date;
- Any payments made remain non-refundable, regardless of new due dates;
- Your existing pay schedule, including due dates for future payments, will not change;
- You will not be eligible for a refund of any course fee differences in the event you choose a course with a lower cost;
- In the event you choose a course or start date with a higher cost, you will need to pay the difference in fee;
- You will forfeit any Scholarship or other discount applied to your original booking;
- Your transfer request must include a date or course shown on the website; and
- All transfers are subject to availability and will be confirmed in writing by Bushwise.
On your Bushwise Course
You must always respect and follow the health and safety procedures and Codes of conduct as set out by Bushwise, its staff, partners and/or placement representatives.
Bushwise reserves the right to search your bag, room, personal vehicles or other property where there is deemed a health and safety, legal or other serious risk including the possession of illegal and illicit substances, including marijuana.
In the event you break any local laws, we will bear no liability and will not be required to liaise on your behalf with local authorities.
Bushwise staff reserve the right to make decisions on your emergency medical care deemed essential by the most qualified staff member in the event you are not able to do so and Bushwise will not be held liable for the outcome of such care.
Disciplinary Procedures including Expulsion
Bushwise reserves the right to issue a sanction of any kind, including expulsion/dismissal, regardless of whether any warnings have been given. All disciplinary action will be documented and take place in front of a witness, where appropriate.
Depending on the severity of the offence, which is decided at Bushwise’s discretion, your first offence will usually result in a verbal warning or written warning where appropriate. Repeated offences following a warning could lead to a written warning or a final written warning as appropriate. Thereafter any further offences will result in expulsion/dismissal. Please be aware that all warnings, and any other disciplinary records, will remain valid for a full period of 12 months from the date of their original issue and may jeopardise any placements.
A full list of rules, regulations and procedures will be provided at the start of your course, during your health & safety briefing.
The following non-exhaustive list details actions that are grounds for immediate expulsion/dismissal:
- Failure to follow rules, regulations and policies of Bushwise;
- Possession, taking, or supplying of illegal or mind-altering substances, including marijuana;
- Showing drunken behaviour or intoxicated while on the course or while interacting with Bushwise’s partners (please note that should excessive consumption of alcohol become a problem at any time during the Bushwise Course, we will report it to FGASA. Bushwise is bound by the FGASA training provider memorandum of understanding, and as such we need to inform them of any incidents. Your behaviour on and off the campus could directly affect your career as a field guide);
- Smoking or vaping in any building (including accommodation), in any vehicle, or during any lectures or practical excursions (please utilise a designated smoking area should you wish to smoke or vape, and discard any cigarette butts in the dustbins provided and not on the ground);
- Breaking local laws;
- Bullying, threatening, displaying cruel, thoughtless or rude behaviour or committing acts which could or imply injure or harm (mentally or physically) another Participant, a member of staff or any other person;
- Non-consensual sexual contact with any individual;
- Disobeying Bushwise’s or placement partner’s instructions in relation to health and safety;
- Disruption or obstruction of course activities;
- If Bushwise staff feel it is in the best interests of your health and safety or the course in general; and/or
- Committing an act or displaying behaviour which could jeopardise Bushwise’s reputation and/or future Bushwise courses or lead to the souring of relations between Bushwise and its partners.
In the event of expulsion for any reason, you will not be entitled to any reimbursement from Bushwise, nor will Bushwise be responsible for any additional costs incurred by you as a result of expulsion.
Any requests to dispute dismissal must be put in writing by you to [email protected]. Bushwise will then provide an off site senior manager to review the case and make a full and final decision. Bushwise will not engage with requests made by third parties unless explicitly directed in writing by you.
Any form of weaponry (including knives, rifles, pellet guns, etc.) are not permitted at campus, unless with prior written consent from the Bushwise general manager. Should a Participant be found in possession of a weapon without consent, serious repercussions will ensue.
Pets and Animals
Participants are not permitted to bring pets of any description to the Bushwise campus. Participants are also not permitted, unless under direct supervision or for a training exercise, to catch or touch any animal. Absolutely no feeding of any animal at campus is permitted. Serious repercussions will incur should this happen.
Bushwise Equipment and Furniture
Please treat all equipment and material belonging to Bushwise with care and respect. Any item which is lost or damaged by a Participant will need to be replaced at cost to the Participant; this includes vehicle damage due to negligence. Furniture may not be removed from rooms, offices, lecture area or dining area. No cups, plates or cutlery may be taken from the kitchen or dining area to other rooms. Please note that no equipment, vehicle or material may be used without specific permission from the relevant member of staff.
Staff accommodation and offices are out of bounds to Participants at all times, except with the permission from the head trainer or general manager.
Activities Outside of Bushwise
International and domestic travel provides an opportunity for various tourist activities and experiences. We cannot bear any liability for activities that you choose to undertake that are not officially included in your Bushwise course. What is included in the course is laid out in the “What’s Included” tab on your chosen course’s page on our website. These rules apply regardless of whether we introduce or recommend a given activity or provider.
Participants are responsible for their own private transport. Bushwise will provide transport in case of emergency – this excludes minor medical conditions or doctor’s appointments. There will be a register to sign when you leave the property; this is for security and insurance purposes.
If a graduation event is scheduled to be held upon the successful completion of your Bushwise Course, Bushwise shall bear no responsibility for the travel, food, and/or accommodation arrangements and expenses incurred by any of your guests attending (or planning to attend) the graduation ceremony. In addition, Bushwise shall not be responsible for any illnesses, injuries, or other losses or damages suffered by your guests whilst attending the graduation ceremony (unless we acted with gross negligence). You will be responsible for ensuring that your guests are aware of these Terms.
Bushwise reserves the right to change the times and dates of the graduation ceremony without compensation, should it deem it necessary to do so in its sole discretion. In such an event, Bushwise will not refund you or your guests for any expenses incurred by you and/or your guests related to your graduation, including, but not limited to, airfare, visa expenses, insurance, documentation and equipment purchases. Please note this list is not exhaustive.
Any research, data, reports, photographs and documentation collected by you on your Bushwise course remains the property of Bushwise. Bushwise’s permission must be received before that data can be used (e.g. before you can include it in a research or scientific paper). No compensation will be provided to you for any data or research you collect.
Any course equipment provided in-country remains the property of Bushwise and must be returned in good, working order upon conclusion of your Bushwise course. In the event such equipment is lost or damaged due to negligence, you must pay for, or replace it.
All lectures, training material, research, data, reports, photographs and documentation relating to the Course and Bushwise, are the sole property of Bushwise and cannot be used or reproduced without our express written permission.
Any photographs, videos or multimedia that you produce or give to Bushwise may be used by Bushwise without charge in all of our media, promotional or commercial materials (whether now existing or in the future invented). If you choose to supply Bushwise with any photographs, you hereby confirm that:
- you irrevocably grant perpetual permission to Bushwise, and licensees and assigns, to use such photographs throughout the world for any of their commercial or non-commercial purposes in any and all media, including, without limitation, in Bushwise’s printed publications, presentations, promotional materials, in the advertising of Bushwise’s goods or services or on Bushwise’s website and social media;
- you waive all moral rights in such photographs to which you may now or at any future time be entitled under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 as amended from time to time and under all similar legislation from time to time in force anywhere in the world; and
- you shall procure any necessary third-party consents and/or waivers to give effect to this clause and shall indemnify Bushwise and its related companies and associates against any claims, losses, damages or costs arising from its failure to do so.
In addition, you give Bushwise (and its affiliates) permission to take and/or use your image in GVI’s media publications and other promotional, commercial or marketing material, which may include, but is not limited to, the posting of such image on social media and/or GVI’s website. In particular:
- you acknowledge and agree that your image may be taken and shared by other individuals with access to Bushwise’s social media platforms.
- you waive any right to inspect or approve of the photographs or videos that may be used.
- you waive any right to royalties or other compensation arising from or related to the use of the image.
Social Media Policy
By applying for a Bushwise Course and entering into these Terms, you agree to abide by our Social Media Policy, as amended from time to time.
You should direct any complaints in writing to [email protected]. Bushwise will not engage with complaints made by third parties unless explicitly directed in writing by you.
You accept that you will be subjected to various emotional, physical and psychological demands by participating on a Bushwise course or placement. You are aware and accept that the standard of living in South Africa, and the areas where Bushwise and its placements operate, including food, hygiene and accommodation, may be below the general standards of your own country or city.
You also understand that certain risks may arise, including, but not limited to:
- hazards of travelling in remote areas;
- travel by automobile, van, bus, aeroplane, boat, train or any other means of conveyance;
- the forces of nature;
- civil disturbances;
- national or international conflicts;
- arbitrary itinerary changes made by foreign governments or vendors;
- interacting with dangerous wildlife;
- working with, and around, firearms;
- personal injury or illness from the local environment;
- accident or illness in remote locations without immediate evacuation or medical facilities; or
- negligent acts of third parties.
You confirm and agree to all of the following:
- you understand these and other risks inherent in such a course;
- you also confirm that your participation is completely voluntary;
- you assume all risk associated with your internship/placement;
- you agree to indemnify us and those involved in delivering the placement component against any claims of any kind that arise from your participation. These claims include those arising both directly and indirectly from your participation in the course.
Security is everybody’s responsibility at Bushwise. Participants are asked to be vigilant at all times whilst on Bushwise’s property. To ensure that your time at Bushwise is one that is always as safe as possible:
- Be aware of strangers on the property.
- Watch for people loitering outside of the property gate.
- If you see someone behaving in a manner that suggests dangerous or criminal behaviour, report their presence and actions immediately to the closest member of staff.
- Look after your personal property – never leave bags, purses, phones or other items lying around Bushwise unattended.
- Report the presence of any strange or any unidentifiable items that you notice on the property, especially if they are unattended.
- If you have a motor vehicle at Bushwise, keep it locked at all times while you are not in it.
Bushwise will not pay financial compensation which exceeds the amount of your course fee, except in cases of death or personal injury caused by Bushwise’s negligence.
In cases of death or personal injury caused by Bushwise’s negligence, any liability by Bushwise and/or its employees and/or its agents is limited to the financial amount that will be paid out by the insurance policies in Bushwise’s name. If no compensation is received from these policies, then any and all liability whatsoever, including without limitation, claims grounded in negligence, is hereby limited to a maximum amount of £2,000.00.
English (UK) Law shall apply to this Agreement and the parties agree to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts.
SECTION B: BUSHWISE PROFESSIONAL FIELD GUIDE COURSE
Before a Bushwise Professional Field Guide Course begins, we will send out a welcome letter to all Participants with directions to the Bushwise campus. When planning your flights or other transportation, please ensure that you arrive in South Africa with ample time to get to the Bushwise campus by the start date of your course.
For those arriving in Johannesburg, we will arrange a transfer from the airport to the Bushwise campus on the first day of your course. The drive is approximately 6 hours. This transfer is automatically included for international Participants and can also be arranged at an extra cost for South African Participants. A detailed letter with times will be sent closer to the course start date.
Should you wish to be dropped off at the Bushwise campus or to drive yourself there, please contact our enrolment team in advance as parking space is limited. Please note that Participants are not permitted to arrive at campus on any day other than the agreed start date of the relevant Bushwise Course.
On arrival at the Bushwise campus, we will give you time to settle in and get to know your fellow Participants and our staff. During the first week of your Bushwise Course, our staff will go through an orientation program to familiarise you with all aspects of your training, which will include the planned program, health and safety measures, and general student life.
Life on Campus
Accommodation and Facilities
Accommodation is in shared bungalows, safari tents and/or lodge-style rooms, with real beds, electricity and communal bathrooms. It is your responsibility to keep your room clean and tidy at all times. You are welcome to bring a mosquito net, if you choose to do so. Our campuses have well-equipped lecture rooms, dining areas, and braai areas. There are also common facilities such as a swimming pool, walking trails and recreational areas.
There will be a designated fridge available for limited food storage. No other kitchen equipment may be used without permission from a staff member. If at any point you use the kitchen, please leave it clean. The chef has the right to refuse to cook a meal should a Participant or Participants leave the kitchen area in a mess. Please respect the space, and clean up after yourself.
Participants are also responsible for the cleanliness of the dining and bathroom areas. A roster will be available with Participants’ names, stating who is responsible for assisting staff in kitchen and household duties, such as cleaning and washing of dishes. Bathrooms are cleaned weekly and at all other times all Participants are responsible for keeping the bathrooms clean and tidy.
Internet and Communication
WiFi is available in certain spots around campus. Please note that there are limited WiFi access points and, due to the isolated location of the campus, signal and connectivity problems are sometimes experienced. Mobile reception in and around campus is very limited, certain network providers work better than others on each campus. Please feel free to reach out to us if you would like recommendations on service providers.
Your uniforms will be washed and ironed twice a week, and linen once a week. Rosters of these days will be placed at the laundry and the Participants’ notice board. We provide supplies for the washing of your personal items.
Meals and Dietary Requirements
Two cooked meals are served daily, one for brunch and one for dinner. Fruit, cereals, porridges, tea, coffee and bread are available between meals.
Bushwise endeavours to supply healthy, balanced meals to all of our Participants. If you have dietary restrictions, please inform us before the Bushwise Course commences. Please note that it is not always possible to supply vegetarian substitutes. Expensive items, such as tofu and soya milk, will be for the Participant’s account.
Duties on campus are split and shared between Participants. Please remember to fulfil your responsibilities to maintain structure and a clean and safe campus for you and your fellow Participants. These duties, such as camp manager duty, demonstrate important information regarding an individual’s attitude and management abilities and will be taken into consideration towards overall course performance and placement decisions.
Dress code and Uniforms
Participants in the Professional Field Guide Course will receive two sets of uniforms (consisting of 2 x short sleeve or long sleeve shirts and 2 x shorts or 2 x trousers) . Additional sets of uniforms can be purchased at a discounted rate. You will also receive a Bushwise fleece jacket, beanie and cap. You will be expected to wear your uniform and name badge daily during training hours.
In addition, you will be required to bring the following with you:
- Brown or khaki ankle boots or normal boots made of leather or fabric (boots are to be polished regularly).
- Khaki, brown or green socks with boots.
- Brown, khaki or green jerseys and jackets, no bright colours.
- Natural coloured hats (brown/khaki/green) without branding.
- Natural coloured bags/backpacks for walks and sleep-outs.
The following restrictions will apply (industry standards):
- Your hair will need to be neat and tied back and kept out of your face during activities.
- No dreadlocks are allowed.
- Men’s hair must be cut short at the back and on the sides and facial hair must be clean-shaven.
- Light make-up for women is permitted, as well as one small pair of stud-type earrings in the ear lobe.
- Other visible piercings need to be removed during training hours.
- Visible tattoos need to be hidden.
- Jewellery and nail polish is allowed in moderation only.
- No military uniform/clothing will be permitted. It is against South African Law to wear any form of military uniform (jackets included) unless you are currently enrolled in the defence force.
- No clothes other than your uniform are allowed to be worn for any activities.
During a Professional Field Guide Course (if applicable), you will be given a one week break every semester. During this time, you may be required to leave campus and use the opportunity for personal travel or, where possible, to return home. Participants are to depart on the Saturday morning and return by 2pm the following Sunday.
Bushwise is not responsible for any travel arrangements during this time nor do we bear any liability for activities that you choose to undertake that are not officially included in your Bushwise course. If you are permitted to stay on campus during these breaks:
- Food will not be provided and you will need to purchase and cook your own meals;
- Laundry service and room cleaning will not be available;
- Staff will not be present on campus; and
- You will be required to sign a waiver exempting Bushwise from any liability during this time.
Participants may have family visiting them during their off week, but please note that no Participant can have visitors at campus at any time. We can recommend accommodation nearby for your guests.
Participants must have a valid manual drivers licence prior to starting the Bushwise Professional Field Guides Course. The costs involved in obtaining a South African licence and Professional Driving Permit (“PrDP”) are not covered by Bushwise and will be solely your responsibility. More information regarding PrDP applications will be sent in a confirmation email.
Important note: PrDPs are necessary in South Africa to drive guests on game vehicles. This is a requirement for guiding placements after the Bushwise Course. You must be at least 21 years of age and have a South African drivers licence to apply for a PrDP. Your driving abilities will be assessed by Bushwise staff before you are allowed to drive a company vehicle during practical training. Criminal records may affect the attainment of a PrDP. Please make sure you have disclosed any criminal record you may have before finalising a booking with Bushwise.
Exams and Grading Policies
The minimum required pass mark for all subjects is 75%, including the Bushwise Course, soft skills, practical tests, FGASA Nature Site Guide NQF2 (previously Apprentice Field Guide or Level 1) theory and FGASA Nature Site Guide NQF2 practical assessment. Certificates and placements are issued only to Participants who have paid their accounts in full, as well as successfully passed all the theory and practical components required for the certificate.
This is a FGASA accredited course so the foundation is based on the FGASA syllabus. This means that you have to pass the theory exam, set up by FGASA as well as the practical assessment to be able to advance to the next stage of the syllabus. If you are unsuccessful in any of these at the first attempt, this might mean missing parts of the training course, which cannot be rescheduled.
Participants will be continually assessed on aspects such as Participant performance, attitude, behaviour, initiative, driving abilities etc. throughout the course, starting from the starting date of the course. These assessments will be referred to when considering placement options for Participants and will be deciding factors in the scoring of the practical components of the course, so keep in mind that placement decisions and course outcomes are not purely based on theory results. These assessments can be done through observation, written exams or practical assessments. Instructors will keep your portfolio of evidence updated on an ongoing basis.
Each semester progress reports will be discussed with Participants in order to see where they can improve. This will be a benchmark for your required FGASA practical assessment once you have written the NQF Level 2 or other theory exams.
In some cases, it might so happen that the instructors set combined assignments that cover material from more than one subject. Course work, class work, group and individual exercises, and even “homework” may also be given, graded by the instructor, and used towards assessment marks. Instructors will give you the assignment’s due date when they issue the work to you.
Assignments must be handed to the specific instructor who issued the assignment to you. Some of the instructors may also use oral presentation marks for assignment grades. Absenteeism or illness does not constitute cause for late submission.
Tests and exams
Tests are usually written every Monday morning. There are compulsory workbook sessions on Saturday morning, including a question and answer session for the Monday tests. After the morning activity, you will usually have Saturday afternoon and Sunday off to prepare for the upcoming week’s tests.
Please note that:
- If an instructor cannot read something written in a test, examination or assignment of any sort due to the fact that the Participant’s handwriting is illegible, no mark will be allocated for that work.
- During the week, time between activities is meant for studying and the completion of workbooks or assignments, as well as preparation for upcoming lectures.
Any Participant who makes him/herself guilty of cheating will face very serious actions. In addition to the Bushwise disciplinary rules laid out in this guide, the following points must be kept in mind:
- The rules will be applied equally to all parties concerned, whether they claim to be the “cheater” or the “cheated”.
- Any Participant found guilty of cheating may not apply to redo, resubmit or rewrite the work.
- If this is a recurring problem from an individual Participant, he/she will be suspended from the Bushwise Course and disallowed from writing any examinations administered by Bushwise for 1 year.
Absenteeism and the Absenteeism Policy
It is an implicit requirement of all Participants that they attend 100% of their scheduled lectures and practical sessions throughout the academic semester to graduate and get a placement. Time lost during practicals or lectures is to be made up by the Participant in his or her own time.
This is a non-negotiable point for each specific unit standard of CATHSSETA, and FGASA requires the full allocated practical time period set aside. Should you be ill or if there is a problem and you cannot attend a practical or lecture, please notify the head instructor and a medical certificate will be required.
If a Participant is late for class or an activity, they will be excused from that activity or class. It will be at the instructor’s discretion whether the Participant will be allowed to enter the classroom or join an activity. All sections of the Bushwise Course have relevance to the course qualification, previous experience will not exempt a Participant from attending that particular lecture.
Lecture hours and schedules
All lecture hours are scheduled and subject to change according to circumstances. All changes will be communicated to the Participants.
Supplementary test / examination costs
Bushwise theory tests are written weekly to prepare you for the FGASA NQF Level 2 exam. You will need to pass the NQF 2 exam (min 75%) and the NQF 2 assessment in order to pass the Bushwise Course. You will need to write and pass the first special sitting that Bushwise arranges with FGASA, which is a written exam paper and practical assessment to attain your full qualification in nature guiding.
Should you fail your first sitting, you fail the Bushwise Course, but you can still achieve your FGASA qualification if you pass the exam at the next sitting. Bushwise covers the costs for the NQF2 exam and the Apprentice Trails Guide theory exam. Any re-write exam is at the expense of the Participant. If you fail or miss the NQF Level 2 exam which is organised by Bushwise through FGASA, you can only re-write the exam at a national set FGASA exam date. A Participant is not forced to re-write an examination. This is by his/her own choice. The same point also applies to internal assignments and tests.
If you do not attain the relevant levels, you will not be able to be placed in a lodge after your initial training period. The booking and payments of re-writing the NQF Level 2 or Apprentice Trails Guide exam are the responsibility of the Participant and payments are to be made directly to FGASA.
Once you’re qualified as an NQF2 Nature Site Guide and you have obtained your First Aid and PrDP, you have to register with LEDET. This is an additional cost of approximately R300.00.
Manuals and Workbooks
All relevant FGASA manuals and workbooks are included online for all Participants in a digital form. Hard copies can be purchased by a Participant as an additional cost.
The following section applies to Participants who have selected the placement option with their Bushwise Professional Field Guide Course. Placement is defined as an unpaid, practical internship/work experience arranged by Bushwise and another organisation.
If you have booked the 50-week Bushwise Professional Field Guide Course or the 50-week FGASA Field Guiding and Conservation Careers Internship, in order to qualify for a placement you must:
- be under the age of 39 at the start of your placement;
- have 1 year of manual driving experience prior to commencement in your Bushwise Course and be able to demonstrate the ability to safely operate a 4×4 vehicle;
- achieve a FGASA Apprentice Field Guide theory pass rate of 75% or more on the first sitting as scheduled by Bushwise; and found competent in the FGASA Apprentice Field Guide practical assessment:
- achieve a Bushwise theory pass rate of 75% or more, an average practical grading rate of 75% or more and a minimum score of 75% on participant’s soft skills; and
- have 100% attendance on the Bushwise Course.
All grades and assessments are not subject to appeal and are final.
Placements are offered at the sole discretion of Bushwise. Bushwise can refuse to provide a placement based on general performance, and behaviour which will be tested through continuous assessment and performance reviews.
In the event that Bushwise does not offer you a placement for any reason, Bushwise will not provide any refund or credit and you will not qualify for the Employment Guarantee as outlined below.
While on your placement, you understand and agree that:
- you will be expected to perform a variety of duties, including, but not limited to general guiding duties, assisting in the bar, serving drinks and undertaking stock takes,
- housekeeping, maintenance (including fence maintenance and road clearing), reception duties, food and beverage duties;
- the standard of your placement organisation, including but not limited to, the accommodation and health and safety standards, may not match those of Bushwise;
- you will be required to comply with the placement organisation’s rules, policies and the reasonable instructions of the placement organisation’s representatives, in addition to the rules already set out by Bushwise;
- you will not receive any remuneration;
- should you leave your placement early, for any reason, you will not be entitled to an alternative placement or refund and will automatically be disqualified from the Employee Guarantee outlined below; and
- your placement partners and Bushwise are under no obligation to offer or provide you with employment opportunities.
You further understand and agree that:
- the location and type of placement offered to a Participant is at Bushwise’s sole discretion;
- you will be provided with, and be required to sign a work placement agreement between you, Bushwise and the placement organisation. Should be refuse to sign this agreement, you will not be able to commence your placement;
- you must begin your placement on the date indicated by your placement organisation, placement partners are not responsible for accommodating personal travel plans and failure to start your placement on the requested date may result in termination of your placement without refund;
- should you decline a placement provided by Bushwise, or fail to be accepted to a placement after a personal interview, we are under no obligation to provide you with an alternative and you will not receive a refund;
- Bushwise and your placement organisation are under no obligation to offer you employment following your placement;
- if you find your own placement or employment whilst on a study visa you will not be entitled to any refund and Bushwise may be legally obligated to notify immigration officials which may result in your visa being cancelled where applicable; and
- you may not contact Bushwise affiliated lodges, game parks, game reserves, tourism institutions or tourism services providers to seek placements or employment without the consent of Bushwise.
If a situation arises that limits placement opportunities for participants, due to changes in immigration regulations, the health of the tourism industry or general laws, both nationally and internationally, or for any other reason, the highest performers will be given priority for placements, at Bushwise’s discretion.
In order to qualify for the employment guarantee you must have the following:
– Hold South African citizenship;
– Be between the ages of 21-39 years old upon your completion date;
– Book the 50-week, Bushwise Professional Field Guide Course a minimum of 18 months prior to the course start date;
– Complete the 50-week, Bushwise Professional Field Guide Course and placement, including any extensions to your placement, concurrently;
– Have paid your course fees in full;
– Have 100% attendance record on both your course and placement;
– Log 10 encounters and 50 guiding hours during your placement;
– Hold a valid PrDP licence;
– Obtain the following recognized certificates or qualifications:
- FGASA Apprentice Field Guide Qualification;
- FGASA Apprentice trails guide Theory;
- CATHSSETA (Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Sector Education and
- Training Authority) national qualification (NQF Level 2) in Nature Guiding;
- Firearm Proficiency SASSETA (Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority);
- Unit Standard: 117705 – Knowledge of the firearm control act;
- 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;
- Basic Wilderness First Aid – US ID: 119567;
- CyberTracker Tracker Level II (2); and
- Advanced rifle handling.
– Obtain the following Bushwise, in-house, certificates:
- Bushwise professional field guide course certificate (passed Bushwise Theory, Practical assessment and soft skills all scoring with 75% or above );
- Wildlife photography workshop;
- Bushwise birding specialist certificate;
- Reptile orientation course certificate;
- Dangerous game experience; and
- Social media module certificate in the Field guide & Lodge industry.
You will not qualify for the employment guarantee in the event that:
- You do not qualify for your placement as outlined above;
- You do not complete a minimum of 161 days on your placement;
- You do not disclose medical history (including mental health) on your application or are found to be medically unfit by a medical professional during your course or placement, which may impact your ability to obtain employment;
- You receive a written or verbal warning during your Bushwise course or placement; or
- You breach Bushwise’s, or your placement’s, code of conduct and/or health and safety policies.
The employment guarantee is also dependent on the health of the South African international and domestic tourism market, and as such, the employment guarantee will be null and void in the event that:
- The South African Government has issued any restrictions on international or domestic travel at any point during your course or placement;
- The latest Tourism Quarterly Performance Report, published by the Department of Tourism of the Republic of South Africa, shows a decline in foreign travellers compared to the highest level of foreign travellers reported in the same calendar months in the past 3 years;
- The South African Government issues a national state of disaster in accordance with the Disaster Management Act, 2002 at any point during your course or placement; or
- The British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advised against all but essential travel to South Africa at any point during your course or placement
In the event that you meet all of the qualifications above and do not receive at least one written or verbal offer of employment (including full-time, part-time, fixed-term or contract employment) during your placement, or 6 months following the completion of your placement, you will be entitled to a refund of 50% of your paid course fees up to a maximum of R90,000. The refund will be made back to the original method of payment. In the event the credit or debit card has expired, the cardholder must contact their bank on how to recover the refunded funds. Bushwise will not refund alternate accounts or individuals. All refunds can take up to 180 days to process in full.
At the end of the Bushwise Course, it is your responsibility to arrange your own transport from the Bushwise campus. There are a few options in the area such as SafariLink that can assist with shuttles. If you go on to a placement after the course, upon request, we may be able to assist with transportation depending on availability and location.
SECTION C: APPRENTICE TRAILS GUIDE COURSE
The cost of the Apprentice Trails Guide Course and what’s included is listed on the “Dates and Costs” tab of the program page on Bushwise’s website and is subject to change without notice.
In order to confirm your place on this Bushwise Course, you must pay the full course fee at least 12 weeks prior to the course start date. Payments for the course are non-refundable and non-transferable.
Spaces on the Apprentice Trails Guide Course are reserved for current Bushwise Participants on a first come, first serve basis. Other Participants who meet the requirements for this course may be accepted if there are spaces available, at Bushwise’s discretion.
The Apprentice Trails Guide Course will require a minimum of six Participants to run and can take a maximum of 8 Participants. In the event the course you have booked does not recruit the minimum number of Participants to run, you will receive a refund for your payments made towards this course, in this instance only. Please see the “Cancellation & Refunds” section above for Bushwise’s terms on refunds.
In order to be assessed and qualify as an Apprentice Trails Guide, you must meet the following requirements prior to your course start date:
- hold a valid FGASA Apprentice Field Guide (Level 1) qualification;
- have passed the Apprentice Trails Guide theory examination;
- hold a SASSETA (Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority) qualification for the use of a manually operated rifle, and must have obtained unit standard 117705 for knowledge of the Firearms Control Act; unit standard 119651 for the handle and use of a manually operated rifle or carbine; and unit standard 123519 for the handle and use of a manually operated rifle or carbine for business purposes; and
- hold an advanced rifle handling (ARH) qualification.
If you do not meet the requirements above, you will not be able to qualify as an Apprentice Field Guide and you will not receive a refund. However, you may still take part in the Bushwise Course, in order to:
- gain more experience;
- log hours (if you have achieved level 1 field guide qualification); and
- gain confidence.
SECTION D: 60-DAY SAFARI GUIDE COURSE
The 60-Day Safari Guide Course requires a minimum number of 5 Participants to operate and a maximum number of 9 Participants may attend. You will be notified of your course status at least 12 weeks prior to your start date. In the event your selected start date does not reach the required minimum number (or exceeds the maximum number), you will be given a list of alternative dates for a free transfer. We recommend not booking any flights or incurring other non-transferable expenses prior to your course confirmation, as Bushwise will not refund you for any expenses incurred by you related to your program, including, but not limited to, airfare, visa expenses, insurance, documentation and equipment purchases.
Please note this list is not exhaustive and Bushwise shall bear no liability whatsoever for any losses or damages that you may suffer as a result of a change in start date in this regard.
SECTION E: ONLINE TRAINING & COURSES
As part of your training, you may receive access to our online courses. By accessing these courses and other online training materials, you agree to be bound by our Terms of Service, as amended from time to time.