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Where

   the wild

becomes knowledge

Course details

The foundation for a wild career

Is your goal to become a safari guide, wilderness guide, wildlife guide or conservationist? The Bushwise Professional Field Guide course is the most comprehensive and immersive course available. Train with the industry’s award-winning instructors and wildlife experts, using the International Field Guide Association (IFGA) curriculum.

 

 

Course overview

Imagine driving a 4x4 game viewer across a riverbed, pointing out rare bird species to your guests. You slow to a stop – is that a leopard you see? Later, you serve sundowners and take in another vibrant African sunset. An afternoon spent sharing wildlife knowledge, nothing’s better!

 

The Bushwise Professional Field Guide (PFG) course develops highly skilled professionals in the field guiding industry. It is specifically developed to provide vocational skills and qualifications required by employers in Southern Africa. In addition, our top-performing students can also qualify for the IFGA qualification at no extra cost to their training. 


Training is held in Big Five territory, where you’ll observe animals in their natural habitat. Days are spent studying, going on game drives, observing wildlife, learning new skills and putting knowledge into practice. Train with expert and award-winning instructors as you learn wildlife theory, hospitality, storytelling, conservation, lodge management, animal behaviour and much more. 

 

Students also have the opportunity to do a 6-month work placement with a selection of lodges and game reserves in South Africa: Thornybush, Timbavati, Makalali Private Game Reserve and Kapama to name a few; or further abroad in destinations like Thailand, Madagascar and Costa Rica. Our graduates have worked around the world, in places like Patagonia, USA, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Mozambique, Namibia and Rwanda. By getting experience in a luxury game lodge, animal rehab centre or at a wildlife research and monitoring centre, you can secure a permanent position as a safari guide, reserve management or conservationist around the globe.

 

 

Why study with Bushwise?

Bushwise Field Guides was founded by 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 our natural environment. This passion gave birth to Bushwise in 2006, and since then, we’ve delivered the cream of the crop to the safari industry. It’s our passion, respect and dedication to nature that drives us to keep on improving our courses.​

92% of lodges prefer Bushwise grads

When lodges see the Bushwise and IFGA name, they know you’ve received the top-tier field guiding education. In fact, lodges regularly request Bushwise grads for open positions. That’s because we understand what employers are looking for, and prepare you in the best way possible to enter the industry. We also work closely with key players in the wildlife sector to align our curriculum with the latest industry requirements.

No.1 rated on TrustPilot

Our courses consistently rank highest on multiple review platforms, from No.1 on TrustPilot to our top ratings on Google, Facebook, GoAbroad, and GoOverseas. We produce the best field guides entering the industry, and lodges regularly contact us to request alumni for their job openings.

Exclusive IFGA training provider

We are the sole Southern African training provider for the International Field Guide Association (IFGA) qualification. When a wildlife guide has the letters IFGA after their name, it means they were successfully admitted to and passed the most selective field guide training program in the world. They are are prepared to exceed guest expectations, every step of the way.

Global opportunities

Through the IFGA curriculum, there are also unique work placement opportunities in remote destinations like Costa Rica, Thailand, Madagascar and more. Bushwise students use their training to advance their careers, all over the world. Our graduates have gotten jobs in places like Patagonia, USA, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Mozambique, Namibia and Rwanda.

Award winning trainers

The Bushwise team includes award-winning staff, including Pioneer Moyo and Nico Brits, category winners from the Safari Guide of the Year competition 2022 and 2023. Our trainers are experts in their field, and are constantly gaining experience and knowledge themselves. We are a specialised and committed team, with nearly a century of experience combined. We have experts in entomology, ornithology, conservation, rifle handling, botany and more.

Career guarantee

Bushwise offers an exclusive career guarantee – the only in the industry. We are so confident in our training programs that we guarantee to South African students of our 12 month course that they will receive a job offer within 6 months of graduating.

100% Employment rate

Since 2012, Bushwise has seen a 100% employment rate for South African graduates of our Professional Field Guide course (not including COVID-19 period when many companies had hiring freezes). This is due to the fact that our graduates are well-prepared for the job market, with skills and experience that goes beyond the books and beyond expectations.

Recruitment services

We offer comprehensive career counselling and recruitment services to all of our students, helping them reach their dream career and excel in their goals. This includes access to a vast alumni network, job posts and notifications, personalised job-search assistance, connections with hiring managers, and much more.

Support at every step

Feel safe and supported throughout your time with us. Safety and first aid training are a priority that we take seriously. Bushwise’s practical courses are unique due to the amount of learning support we give students. When you need extra guidance on a topic, our trainers will be there to give you the support you need.

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Projected
career path

Global
career potential

Salary
expectations

Award

Recognition

Selective

admissions?

FGASA QUALIFICATION

Recognised in Southern Africa

Guide at a range of lodges

£11,000-£26,000 per year (Basic salary + tips)

FGASA Nature Site Guide

Recognised as industry standard for guiding in South Africa

No

How does an IFGA qualification compare?

The International Field Guide Association (IFGA) sets global standards for wildlife and safari guides. 

 

The letters IFG after their name mean a guide has been successfully admitted to, and passed, the most selective guide training program in the world, and they are prepared to exceed guest expectations, every step of the way.

 

Bushwise is the exclusive Southern African training provider for IFGA qualifications. For the select students in our Professional Field Guide course who qualify, IFGA training comes at no additional cost.

Shaping ultimate

wildlife guides

Guide or head guide at luxury lodges, hosting international guests

Yes, placements across five continents

£48,000-£64,000 per year (Basic salary + international tips)

The letters IFG after your name

Preferred by 92% of luxury lodges

Yes. Approximately 20% of candidates are successful.

IFGA
QUALIFICATION
FGASA
QUALIFICATION

Guide at a range of lodges

Projected career path

Global career potential

Recognised in Southern Africa

Salary expectations

R150,000-350,000 per year (Basic salary + tips)

Award

FGASA Nature Site Guide

Recognition

Recognised as industry standard for guiding in South Africa

Selective admissions?

No

Exclusive

       benefits at Bushwise

Career guarantee

An industry exclusive

100% employment rate

Your dream career is in sight

Recruitment services

Networking & job opportunities

Where every day is wildlife day

Save up to £1000 on Bushwise courses.

Bushwise

Professional Field Guide Course

The industry’s most comprehensive professional field guide course, set in South Africa’s Big Five territory. Earn your Bushwise and CATHSSETA Nature Site Guide (NQF2) qualification or go further and qualify as an exclusive IFGA Guide.

DURATIONS: 23 or 50 WEEKS

NEXT START DATE: 8 JUL 2024

FORMAT: ON-CAMPUS

ACCREDITATION: IFGA & CATHSSETA

AGE: 18+