If you wish to experience an African Bush holiday while learning about the wildlife and environment, this might be perfect for you. During the 28 day Safari Guide training course you get under the skin of the African jungle, and really find out what it’s like to live in the South African bush surrounded by all the wild animals nature. You will be living in an unfenced camp in a huge National Park. 100% pure adventure and one unforgettable month.

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This is pure Africa in its rawest form, and a well-known  28 day  Safari Guide training course  aimed at those wishing to experience a bush holiday in South Africa, whilst also learning about the environment they are in it is for those that are passionate about nature, who would like a more in-depth experience and understanding of it. The knowledge you gain on this course, will take your safaris and bush holidays to the next level and give them a whole new meaning.

This is not people aiming to become a professional field guide, (something that can be done on our one-year course) but it is perfect if you have a month and you want to devote it to doing something completely different, and learning all about the skills needed to survive in the African bush, learning about the ecosystems, wildlife and unique and exciting African environment.

28 days of living and learning in nature at our wilderness camps provides you with the practical and theoretical knowledge of the natural environment. Upon completion of the course, you will be capable of conducting game drives and interpreting the natural environment around you. Our Field Guide training course consists of walks; one or two-daily lectures in our bush classrooms; game drives, as well as sleep-outs in the bush. Every minute of the day and night on this course is a learning experience, being constantly exposed to the bush. Our highly experienced instructors provide unique access to their vast knowledge and insight, making every lecture an inspiring experience.

Highlights of this course Include:

  • Gaining a deep understanding of the African Eco system
  • Living in a the great Kruger Game Reserve
  • Countless animal encounters
  • Experience the wild nature of Africa

Photos

 

Daily itinerary

A typical daily programme at the camp follows a routine of rising early, usually before sunrise, enjoying hot coffee while you listen to the bush waking up and then leaving the camp for an outing into the wilderness. The outings are extremely flexible and determined by the unpredictability of what is found during the outing in combination with the subjects that have to be covered. The outing could be a game drive following up on the roar of a lion heard during the night or a walk, learning about the plant species occurring in the area. It could be a walk following fresh elephant tracks, learning how to track the animal and finding it or it could be a game drive to a waterhole where animals come to drink. Learners return to camp in the late morning for a hearty brunch which is followed by a lecture on the subject of the day.

Study and rest time is then followed by afternoon tea and another outing into the wilderness until  sunset, if walking, or until well after dark if doing a game drive. Afternoon outings could include night drives looking for nocturnal animals such as owls, bush babies and leopards or it could be a walk looking for and learning how to identify interesting birds. It could be time spent studying the night skies or it could be a time for learners to test their 4×4 driving skills. It is then back to the camp for dinner, stories around the campfire, discussing the day´s experiences and  wondering about tomorrow´s adventures. The emphasis is on practical day-to-day experiences in the bush. The daily outings are flexible and may focus on specific subjects such as animal tracks and tracking, birds, plant identification or animal behaviour, or may involve game viewing and learning about the ecosystem in general.

Welcome and Introduction
The game drive vehicle
Ecotourism and Guiding
Spotlighting
Field guiding as a profession
Basic 4×4 driving
Attributes, skills and duties of a field guide
Planning of game drives and walks
Bush navigation and orientation
Radio procedures
Ecology
Reptiles
Geology
Amphibians
Soils
Sensitivity
Weather
Anticipating animal behaviour
Plant communities
Career opportunities
Plant identification and uses
Identification and ecology of invertebrates
Grasses
Bush habitat management principles
Presentation skills
Creating photographic opportunities for guests
Animal tracks and tracking
Communication and facilitation skills
Bird identification and behaviour
Dealing with guests
Animal behaviour
Sustainable development and the wise use of natural resources
Approaching dangerous game
Ecotourism and local communities
Setting up a bush camp
Taxonomy
Sleep out in the bush
Working in the industry
Bush skills and survival
Testing and evaluations
Dangerous game / Basic rifle handling
Using binoculars

At the end of this course, you will be awarded a participation certificate.

Camp Locations

The course is run in 3 different locations you can choose which location  you prefer based on availability and start dates. Check dates tab on this programne page or email us your preferred start date.

Karongwe Camp is on the banks of the Karongwe River (mostly a dry river bed) in the 9 000 hectare (22 239 acre) Karongwe Game Reserve, which is to the south-west of the Kruger National Park. Through Karongwe Game Reserve flow three rivers which are tributaries of the Olifants River, carving their way through the bedrock and dividing the reserve. The vegetation of the reserve falls within the Savannah Biome of southern Africa with distinct vegetation zones being represented mixed Lowveld and Mopane bushveld along with grass savannah, riverine vegetation and rocky outcrops.

Karongwe has the following habitats: undulating hills and valleys and broad-leafed woodland. We are allowed traversing over most of the reserve, except for one small section in the northern part of the reserve. This is not a restriction at all as it´s quite a small section of the reserve.

Temperatures at the camp: Our summers are warm to hot, with temperatures ranging from mid 20 °C (68 °F) on the cooler cloud-covered rainy days, to the high 30 °C (86 °F) on average days. Occasional hot day´s temperatures exceed 40 °C (104 °F). Winters are usually dry, with the average morning temperature of 6 °C (43 °F), with occasional cooler morning temperatures, and warmer mornings when there is cloud cover. Afternoon temperatures average in the mid 20s °C (68 °F), with ranges of 18 °C (65 °F) to 32 °C (89 °F) expected. Occasional winter showers prevail, but are unusual. Rain in the summer takes the form of heavy thunder-showers, or frontal rainfall over a longer period of time.

Animals found in the Karongwe Game Reserve: Karongwe is a good place for viewing leopard, lion and cheetah as well as elephant and white rhino. As the camp itself is unfenced, we often have four-legged guests in the camp. Hyena makes nightly patrols of the camp and elephant, cheetah and lion have also made appearances in camp on occasion. There is abundant wildlife with over 60 different mammal species including lion, leopard, elephant, white rhino and cheetah.

The Camp

Accommodation: The camp consists of 10 walk-in style Meru tents, with twin beds (students share tents) where we provide the bedding, shared ablution facilities and a central communal area. We can accommodate a maximum of 20 students. We do have mosquito nets in camp. There are viewing decks in the central area of the camp, and many students choose to make the viewing decks their “bedroom” for part of or for the full duration of the course. The camp itself is unfenced.

The central communal area: This area is made up of 4 tall thatch-roofed open-sided decks which forms a square that encloses an open campfire area. One of the deck structures serves as the open air dining area, lecture room and study area. Two decks remain open to welcome the adventurous who want to spend their nights as close to nature as possible, while the last deck is home to Rob, your head instructor.

Electricity: There is no electricity at the camp paraffin lamps are used for all lighting and a generator is used to charge camera batteries and cell phones for emergency use. Studying at night with paraffin lanterns can at times be challenging so a headlamp for this purpose is recommended as well as an extra battery operated lamp if you wish to study in your tent at night. The kitchen is equipped with gas fridges for storage of all perishable food items, thus unfortunately there´s no space for personal items (drinks, water or other) of students.

The generator is for camp use so will thus not be switched on for the sole purpose of charging learner cameras or other equipment. Learners are allowed to utilise it when it is running for camp purposes and need to understand that it is used at own risk.

  • Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages (beers & ciders) are sold from the camp and can only be paid for with cash. There are no credit/debit card or cheque facilities. Cordial fruit juices, tea and coffee is provided.
  • Water: Fresh, drinkable water is available from the taps.
  • Laundry: A laundry service is provided by the camp cleaning person and costs R25 per week for 2011.
  • Game viewing vehicles: The game viewing vehicles are open Land Rover TDI´s

The Concession

Our Mashatu Camp is located in the land of Giants in the Tuli reserve of Botswana bordering South Africa. Tuli forms a key part of the proposed Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty with majestic rocks, diverse vegetation, abundant wildlife, a profusion of birds and a rich archaeological heritage.

The Northern Tuli Game Reserve, on the confluence of the Limpopo and the Shashe rivers, in the easternmost corner of Botswana, is the collective name for several privately-owned game reserves including the Mashatu, Ntani and Tuli Game Reserves, covering all the land north of the Limpopo River.

Temperatures at the camp: Mashatu camp can reach up to 40 degrees Celsius in summer time, while going down to temperatures of 8 degrees during wintertime. Temperatures remain quite high during day time in Botswana, never really going below 22 degrees, while reaching 39 degrees regularly in summertime.

The climate over most of Southern Africa is temperate. Hot, dry conditions are usually encountered in the Tuli region. Heavy summer thunderstorms of short duration in the late afternoon and evening may be experienced. Rainfall occurs mostly during the summer months (October – March).

Animals found in the Mashatu Reserve:

Beside elephant, lion, cheetah, leopard and hyena, general game such as giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, eland and a variety of antelope, and nocturnal species like springhares, bat eared fox, civet cat, genet cat, honey badger and mongoose, are prevalent throughout the reserve. The bird life is prolific with Mashatu Game Reserve recording over 366 different species. The 4-wheel drive safari vehicles enable the student to leave the road and provide guests with up close game viewing and fantastic photographic opportunities. Night drives, with the aid of powerful spotlights bring the bush to life.

The Camp

Accommodation: The camp consists of 10 simple dome tents, each with 2 mattresses with pillows (2 learners per tent). There are shared bathroom facilities and a central communal area overlooking the dry river bed. Learners bring their own bedding. There are no mosquito nets at Mashatu.

Electricity: There is no electricity at the camp paraffin lamps are used for all lighting and a generator is used to charge batteries. Studying at night with paraffin lanterns can at times be challenging so a headlamp for this purpose is recommended as well as an extra battery operated lamp if you wish to study in your tent at night.

The generator is for camp use so will thus not be switched on for the sole purpose of charging learner cameras or other equipment. Learners are allowed to utilise it when it is running for camp purposes and need to understand that it is used at own risk.

  • Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages (beers & ciders): These are sold from the camp and can only be paid for with cash. There are no credit/debit card or cheque facilities. Cordial fruit juices, tea and coffee are provided.
  • Water: Fresh, drinkable water is available from the taps.
  • Laundry: A laundry service is provided by the camp cleaning person and costs R25 per week for 2011.
  • Game viewing vehicles: The game viewing vehicle is an open Land Cruiser

The Location

Our Selati Camp is situated on the banks of the Selati River in the 33 000 hectare (81545 acres) Selati Game Reserve to the west of the Kruger National Park.

Selati Game Reserve is a large undeveloped reserve with diverse topography and biodiversity. We are very fortunate to traverse over this vast area of wilderness during our courses. In the east there are large granite koppies (hills), where Black eagles and Klipspringers can be found. The dominant vegetation types are Combretum and Mopane woodland. This habitat is well suited to the large elephant and giraffe population found there. The reserve is dissected by the Selati River which dries up in winter into large rocky pools of water. These pools are good places to view concentrations of birds and animals such as Nyala and Rhino. There is a lot of space to conduct walks and get a true sense of wilderness. Special species occurring here include Sable Antelope and Eland. We are also able to visit the Sable breeding programme run by the management of the reserve.

Temperatures at the camp

Summer temperatures average from about 35-37 °C (97 °F) during the day, dropping to mid 20 °C (68 °F) at night. Winter temperatures drops to about 4 °C at night (our lowest was 1.5 °C (34.7 °F) here and averages between 18 -25 °C (64 – 77 °F) during the day. Occasional winter showers prevail, but are unusual. Rain in the summer takes the form of heavy thunder-showers, or frontal rainfall over a longer period of time.

Animals found in the Selati Game Reserve

A wide range of animals lives here, including lions, elephants, rhinoceros and leopard. Plains game such as eland, sable antelope, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, waterbuck, kudu, impala, baboons and monkeys can also be seen. Selati is a good place for viewing lion, white rhino and elephant. General game is plentiful and you might even get to see the large herd of eland, as well as the rare sable antelope.

The Camp

Accommodation: The camp consists of 10 simple dome tents, each with 2 mattresses with pillows (2 learners per tent). There are shared bathroom facilities and a central communal area overlooking the Selati River. Learners bring their own bedding. There are no mosquito nets at Selati

The central communal area: This area consists of a thatch-roofed open sided deck where all meals, lectures and studying takes place. A clearing for evening camp fires creates an idyllic setting for social and leisure time.

Electricity: There is no electricity at the camp paraffin lamps are used for all lighting and a generator is used to charge camera batteries and cell phones for emergency use. Studying at night with paraffin lanterns can at times be challenging so a headlamp for this purpose is recommended as well as an extra battery operated lamp if you wish to study in your tent at night. The kitchen is equipped with gas fridges for storage of all perishable food items, thus unfortunately there´s no space for personal items (drinks, water or other) of students.

The generator is for camp use so will thus not be switched on for the sole purpose of charging learner cameras or other equipment. Learners are allowed to utilise it when it is running for camp purposes and need to understand that it is used at own risk.

  • Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages (beers & ciders): This is sold from the camp and can only be paid for with cash. There are no credit/debit card or cheque facilities. Cordial fruit juices, tea and coffee are provided.
  • Water: Fresh, drinkable water is available from the taps.
  • Laundry: A laundry service is provided by the camp cleaning person and costs R25 per week for 2011.
  • Game viewing vehicles: The game viewing vehicles are open Land Rover TDI´s

 

Trip Frequently Asked Questions

 

Appropriate walking shoes (hiking boots). Thorns go straight through sport shoes!

Photocopies of your ID / Passport (might be needed for car rentals/other uses)

Sandals for around the camp

Khaki (or neutral coloured) clothing for the bush

Warm Jacket and jersey (gloves and scarf as it can get very chilly in the mornings and evenings in winter)

Hat for protecting both the head and neck

Sunscreen

Bath soap and towel

Torch very important (a headlamp is very handy as well as a standing lamp for in the tent)

Extra batteries

Pen / pencil and small notebooks

A4 Notebooks / Notepads

Small field note books

We supply some bedding but please bring sleeping bag and small pillow for sleep outs. (an extra blanket is recommended in winter) (no sleeping bag and pillow needed for short courses)

Raincoat / Poncho

Insect / tic repellent

Water bottles, at least 2 litres. We recommend a camelback, MTB or walking water pouch.

Any small snacks / cigarettes etc you would like as there are no shops in the area!

Any reference / field guide books you may have

Binoculars and a birding book are essential for your birding courses!

Camera

Rucksack / day pack

Any personal medication

CASH (in ZAR Rands only) – sufficient cash for 4 weeks if you intend to purchase from the camp shop. The camps do not have easy access to the closest towns which have ATMs but the ATMs may not always work

Battery operated alarm clock (cellphone/mobile batteries run out and students need alarm clocks to wake up at the allocated times)

The Makuleke Concession

Situated between the Limpopo and the Luvuvhu Rivers in the northern sector of Kruger National Park is the Pafuri region, an area spanning 24,000 hectares (59305 acres). Within the Pafuri area is the Makuleke Concession, the ancestral home of the Makuleke people and the most diverse and scenically attractive area in all of Kruger National Park.

The Makuleke concession is not accessible to the ordinary tourist visiting the park. This area belongs to the Makuleke community. This is quite a historical event for South Africa as the Makuleke people were removed from this area in 1968 and after a lengthy process it was finally re-instated to the community in 1998 after a very long struggle. This area is certainly the wildest and most remote part of the Kruger National Park and offers varied vegetation, great wildlife viewing, the best birding in all of the Kruger National Park and is filled with folklore of the early explorers and ancient civilizations.

Selati Game Reserve

Our Selati Camp is situated on the banks of the Selati River in the 33 000 hectare (81545 acres) Selati Game Reserve to the west of the Kruger National Park. Selati Game Reserve is a large undeveloped reserve with diverse topography and biodiversity. We are very fortunate to traverse over this vast area of wilderness during our courses. In the east there are large granite koppies (hills), where Black eagles and Klipspringers can be found. The dominant vegetation types are Combretum and Mopane woodland. This habitat is well suited to the large elephant and giraffe population found there. The reserve is dissected by the Selati River which dries up in winter into large rocky pools of water. These pools are good places to view concentrations of birds and animals such as Nyala and Rhino. There is a lot of space to conduct walks and get a true sense of wilderness. Special species occurring here include Sable Antelope and Eland. We are also able to visit the Sable breeding programme run by the management of the reserve.

Karongwe Game Reserve

Karongwe Camp is on the banks of the Karongwe River (mostly a dry river bed) in the 9 000 hectare (22 239 acre) Karongwe Game Reserve, which is to the south-west of the Kruger National Park. Through Karongwe Game Reserve flow three rivers which are tributaries of the Olifants River, carving their way through the bedrock and dividing the reserve. The vegetation of the reserve falls within the Savannah Biome of southern Africa with distinct vegetation zones being represented mixed Lowveld and Mopane bushveld along with grass savannah, riverine vegetation and rocky outcrops.

Karongwe has the following habitats: undulating hills and valleys and broad-leafed woodland. We are allowed traversing over most of the reserve, except for one small section in the northern part of the reserve. This is not a restriction at all as it´s quite a small section of the reserve.

Mashatu Game Reserve

Our Mashatu Camp is located in the land of Giants in the Tuli reserve of Botswana bordering South Africa. Tuli forms a key part of the proposed Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty with majestic rocks, diverse vegetation, abundant wildlife, a profusion of birds and a rich archaeological heritage and spans over 25 000 hectares.

The Northern Tuli Game Reserve, on the confluence of the Limpopo and the Shashe rivers, in the easternmost corner of Botswana, is the collective name for several privately-owned game reserves including the Mashatu, Ntani and Tuli Game Reserves, covering all the land north of the Limpopo River.

We have longstanding relationships with a few universities in both the United Kingdom and the United States. These universities have recognised the training we offer and will issue their learners with credits for attending specific courses with us.

If this is relevant to your enquiry, the specifics of our course will need to be forwarded to the relevant university. They will be able to advise on whether or not they will recognise any of training courses for credits and if these credits can be transferred between institutions.

Duration Option Price  
28 (Days)GBP 2999Book Now
12 (Month)One Year OptionGBP 15150Book Now
Book 16 or more weeks up front to secure these deals.
Duration Option Price
28 (Days)GBP 2999 GBP 2849 (Early Bird)
Enquire here
12 (Month)One Year OptionGBP 15150 GBP 14847 (Early Bird)
Enquire here

Book today with a deposit and travel after 04 - Apr - 2018 to lock in the early bird price. "Hurry only limited early bird spots available !"

Terms: £200 GBP deposit required on booking. Full payment 12 weeks prior to trip start.

Included

  • Qualified & Experienced Instructors
  • Lectures
  • Game drives, open vehicle drives and specialist trainers
  • Walks
  • Accommodation (shared)
  • Meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Tea, coffee and cordials
  • Further details on request or registration

Excluded

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Transfers to and from the camp
  • Accommodation before and after the camp
  • Kruger National Park entrance fee (only applicable if the course is at the Kruger Makuleke camp)

Dates

2017

06 May – 02 June (Karongwe)
01 September – 28 September (Mashatu)

2018

05 June – 02 July
02 September – 29 September

 

“This was an amazing experience, so thank you for all your help getting me to Africa. Living in the reserve was something I will never forget and I am really blown away by the whole thing.”
James Mclean
“I heard about this mystical bush place: and every time anyone spoke about it, they got a misty eyed, far-away look in their eyes now I know why:

Around a ´get to know each other fire´ we were greeted by two male lions booming their hello, a 100 metres from camp:  Imagine a place where you walk under baobabs and into fever tree forests, through mopani and onto floodplains. Nyala, impala, kudu, eland, zebra, buffalo and elephant around, not to mention racket-tailed rollers, grey-headed parrots and lemon-breasted canaries to make every birder´s heart jump

To top it all, you can draw on the experience of the best instructors in the industry: To all of them, we owe a ´termite mound´ of gratitude.  

Kevin Holroyd
““The beauty of the course is the extended time one spends out there, nothing is rushed and every day one learns something new, building a quite awesome knowledge base. The experience is total and is built of a complicated set of components, animals, birds, trees, plants, insects, soil, water, weather, stars. Sights, sounds, smells, magic… The bush does funny things to your head. It has got inside mine:”
Nick Baker
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