Back Up / Apprentice

Trails Guiding

Back Up Trails Guide

Our two week back up Trails Guide course aims to prepare students who have already completed their FGASA Level 1 Nature Guide Qualification working towards Apprentice Trails Guide. Our approach has a strong practical focus on trails guiding and our specific mix of wilderness “soft skills” and “hard skills” ….skills which have been entrenched into our own Wilderness Trails guides for generations. 

"Over the past sixty years, the Wilderness Leadership School has nurtured and developed some of the most skilled trails guides on the continent. Our backup trails guide course aims to share some of these skills and knowledge with students who intend on advancing their guiding careers as trails guides. Our course focuses on preparing students to be apprentice back up trails guides but goes beyond this in developing a range of "hard skills" which are critical for safety and "soft skills" which are critical for facilitating a meaningful Wilderness and Trail Experience. Much of our time is spent on trail in the iMfolozi Wilderness Area, an incredible experience in its own right, learning from some of the most experienced trails guides in Africa!

Course Outline & Modules

The course includes a largely practical component, time on trail logging encounters with dangerous animals.

Course modules covered include:

  • Wilderness Facilitation, soft skills
  • Wilderness Facilitation, hard skills
  • Tracking - theory and practical skills
  • Survival and Bush Skills
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Log 100-200 hours trail time and dangerous game encounters (as observer) 
Minimum Requirements

Students Should have:

  • Previously attained either the FGASA Field Guide (NQF2), Advanced Field Guide (NQF4), or the FGASA Specialist Field Guide qualification.
  • Be physically and mentally fit and healthy
  • Hold a valid first aid certificate
  • No criminal records
Our Facilities

The Wilderness Leadership School Headquarters and training facility is located next to the Coedmore Castle inside the 625 acre Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve. An area steeped in history and amazing biodiversity, including 23 km of trails, over 250 species of birds, various mammals and home to a wide variety of endemic and near endemic fauna and flora.

Residential students are accommodated at our training facility (a registered heritage site) in shared double rooms with communal bathrooms and communal kitchen area. Our training room is fully equipped with a library, plenty of recreational space, WiFi and you get to wake up each morning in one of the most magical places!

On practical training sessions in the iMfolozi Wilderness Area, you sleep under the stars and are trained in the context of our typical Wilderness Trail Experience.

Dates & Costs

Course costs includes:

  • Accommodation and meals (when not in the field) at the Wilderness Leadership School on a sharing basis (two people per room, communal ablutions)
  • Wilderness trail practicals in iMfolozi Game Reserve, including transport and meals and equipment
  • Field assessment training in the field and assessments 
  • Subject matter specialist lectures and day outings, including transport for practical outings
  • Ongoing access to trainers and our alumni platforms post training.

Cost per student (6 weeks)

  • ZAR 21 000 per student (full time residential)
  • ZAR 27 000 per student (International students) 


15 May - 3 June 2019

Wilderness Leadership School Trust

90 Coedmore Ave
Yellowwood Park, Durban
South Africa
+ 27 (0) 31 462 8642 / +27 (0) 832 255960

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