IMPORTANT NOTE FOR PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS:
Unfortunately, due to the lockdowns and certain international travel restrictions still in place, we will not be running our January 2021 FGASA programme. We are however exploring options to run this course from April 2021-July 2021. We will update information on this page as soon as our plans are finalised.
This three month intensive course is the ideal start for anyone looking to start a career as a nature guide. The program is also well suited to gap year students wanting a taste of life in Africa and nature enthusiasts who want the knowledge and skills of a "game ranger"
We do not just want to train nature guides, we want to train exceptional guides, guides with unparalleled understanding of our planet and her ecosystems, guides that can interpret the magic of a butterfly opening its wings with as much enthusiasm as the magnificence of a herd of elephants crossing a river, guides who can use their time with tourists to spread the conservation message, guides who can become future conservation leaders, guides who can open people's eyes to the power of mother nature and wilderness. But this course is also so much more, it's an opportunity for personal growth, for learning new skills and and an experience of a lifetime.
This course is ideally suited to anyone wishing to enter the lodge or guiding business at a professional level and can be completed part time or full time. The FGASA Level I (NQF II) Guide Training Course Includes:
Upon completing this course successfully, you will be allowed to work as a registered guide in most nature reserves around Southern Africa with a recognized high standard of training and field experience. (Please note that you will need to be 21 years or older to get a public driving permit)
Modules which we cover include: (Several of these are in additional to the minimal FGASA requirements)
Our practical training includes a range of short day outings (for theoretical modules) but also includes a range compulsory longer field outings (for part time and full time students) - this is the really fun, valuable and exciting stuff. Our practical training offers experiences that few people will ever get to have. Including sleeping under the stars in the wilderness, doing night watch duty around the campfire and getting in touch with nature on trail in the same special way Dr. Ian Player designed it over 60 years ago.
These practicals include:
Students must be available for the specified dates for trails and practical training (for non residential / part time students).
Students Should Be:
Our practical training is the core of the experience and where as a trainee guide, you get to put your theory into practice.
Our practical training includes:
An initial week training in Tembe Game Reserve in northern Zululand. This is a basic introduction to the skills and knowledge you will have to gain over the coming months
Leave No Trace Wilderness Trail: For many a highlight of the course is a five day Wilderness Trail, on foot, sleeping under the stars in the iMfolozi Wilderness Area. This is a magical experience and where you will learn valuable tracking skills, animal behaviour and the principles of “leave no trace”
Midway through the course students head back up to Tembe for an intensive two week practical field training session. This is where it “all starts to come together” and an amazing time in the bush in one of South Africa’s most remote game reserves.
Just prior to your final assessments, you will head back up to Tembe for another two weeks of practical training and assessment preparation. This period also includes your final on site practical assessment by an independent assessor.
Besides these periods in the bush, each day during theory training includes morning walks in Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve and outings to a variety of locations for specific subject matter training.
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 Tembe Game Reserve, you are accommodated in our exclusive-use bush camp where facilities are basic but comfortable.
All residential students get involved in day to days tasks of meal preparations and cleaning up.
During theoretical training, each day typically starts out with a guided walk aimed at improving ID skills, especially around the “little things” such as birds, insects and plants.
The training also includes ample free time for self study, working on your workbooks and a range of nearby activities to explore during your free time or off weekends.
A major part of this course is also drilling down to who you are as an individual, what is important to you, where do you see yourself? Answering these questions, will inevitably lead to a better understanding of what fields in the ecotourism and environmental industry suit you best and careers options that align to what is important to you and where you can make the most impact.
Learn More About
Course costs includes:
Cost per student
20 January 2020 - 18 April 2020 (Applications closed)
7 September 2020 - 5 December 2020
18 January 2021 - 15 April 2021
90 Coedmore Ave
Yellowwood Park, Durban
+ 27 (0) 31 462 8642 / +27 (0) 832 255960