Field Guide Course South Africa 4 Weeks or 1 Year

Train In The Kruger & Discover The Real Africa!

“Nothing gets the blood pumping more than approaching a full grown African Lion on foot.”

Xtreme South Africa Experience (7)If you want to experience the real Africa, discovering Africa’s wild places, living out among the wild animals of South Africa’s largest game reserve area then this field guide course is for you. If you are short on time you can opt for 28 day course. However if you want the ultimate sabbatical experience you can even unroll on a one-year course. This includes six months training on game reserves with a six month work placement (unpaid).

One year spent training to be a professional field guide, gets you right in the heart of the African bush and nothing gets you closer to all the wild animals of Africa. As well as the possibility of gaining a professional accreditation (looks amazing on your CV) you will genuinely have the time of your life training in a completely unique environment surrounded by the wild animals in the African bush.

The cost of the course is not cheap, however it is a one-year course all-inclusive (excluding flights) and is a genuinely life changing voyage of self-discovery in an African environment. If one year course is too long or the cost is too high you can also enroll in our 28 day safari guide programme.

Field Guide Course South Africa 4 Weeks or 1 Year: Trip Highlights

You will live and walk midst the spectacular wildlife of the African bush for one year – for the first half of the year you will live and learn at our camps and for the remainder of the year you will work at a Safari Lodge as a trainee.

  • Training at all 4 of our camps presents a constantly stimulating environment to learn in you will be exposed to diverse ecological and geological terrains; landscapes; wildlife species; climates and more.
  • Our instructors, having many years of guide training experience and time in the bush, each possess different ways of training and guiding and this will enhance your overall training experience.
  • For parts of the course you will train in our Kruger Camp in the Makuleke concession which is a highlight for all our students. The Makuleke concession is not accessible to ordinary tourist visiting the park. 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.


  • FGASA Field Guide Level 1
  • SASSETA Competency Certificate –  Rifle Proficiency
  • FGASA Advanced Rifle Handling
  • FGASA Trails Guide Back-up
  • Basic and Advanced Birding
  • Tracking (Level 1, 2 or 3)
  • Wilderness Medicine (Level 1 and 2)
  • Navigation and Orientation
  • Guiding experience logged towards FGASA Level 2 practical assessment


The course is open to all, people taking the course do not all wish to work in the industry, some of our customers undertake the course to get a good understanding of the bush and to experience more than your typical Safari holiday, others are gap year travellers wanting to get the most out of their South Africa gap year.

  • Gap Year Takers
  • Career breakers
  • Wild life conservation holiday enthusiasts
  • People with a career in Wildlife and nature

Field Guide Course South Africa 4 Weeks or 1 Year Photos


Transfer from Emerald Backpackers to Nelspruit: time in Nelspruit, 3 days
  • FGASA Registration – Level 1
  • FGASA Registration – Trails Guide
  • SASSETA Firearm Competency Registration & Training
  • Course Questionnaire
  • DEAT registration
  • Accommodation in Nelspruit 2 Nights at Old Vic Travellers Inn
Transfer to Selati: time in Selati, 30 days


  • FGASA Field Guide Level 1 training, telemetry and 4WD no exams
Transfer to Karongwe: time in Karongwe, 57 days
  • FGASA Field Guide Level 1 additional training, 25 days
  • Basic Birding course – 7 days
OFF TIME 6 days: (make own travel arrangements)

(Please note off time travel & accommodation needs to be budgeted for and arranged by yourself. Please consider this in your financial planning.)

  • Animal Tracks and Tracking Course – 7 days
  • Navigation and Orientation – 7 days
  • Wilderness Medicine level One and Two  – 4 days
  • Karongwe, FGASA Level 1 Exam and Assessments – 7 days
OFF TIME 6 days : (make own travel arrangements)

(Please note off time travel & accommodation needs to be budgeted for and arranged by yourself. Please consider this in your financial planning.)

Transfer to Mashatu: time in Mashutu, 7 Days
  • Rifle Handling and Safety training
Transfer to Makuleke: time in Mayu Makuleke, 49 days
  • Trails Guide course (FGASA exam and assessment) and Advanced Rifle Handling – 28 days
OFF TIME 6 days: (make own travel arrangements)

(Please note off time travel & accommodation needs to be budgeted for and arranged by yourself. Please consider this in your financial planning.)

  • Advanced Birding – 7 days
  • Consolidation – 5 days
  • Graduation – 3 days

(Each Student is allowed 2 guests for the Ceremony at an additional cost for the guests which will take place on the last two days of the course )

Final Day: Final Day

Bush Bus Transfer from Makuleke to Emerald Backpackers


Throughout the field guide course you will stay in tents, one camp has more luxury accommodation than another, but always clean running water and comfy beds! However don’t expect all the mod cons, electricity is only run with a generator occasionally so bring a good supply of batteries. the camp is open so animals can wander into the camp especially at night. There is a laundry service too.


28 Days - One Month Option

USD 4599

What's Included?

  • Travel Advice prior to departure
  • Training by experienced field guides and instructors
  • Accommodation for one year
  • Transfers between the camps
  • All Meals
  • Game Drive
  • Walks and other activities like sleep outs etc.
  • Laundry
  • Certificates and registrations
  • SASSETA Competency Certification
  • 3 sets of uniforms
  • Tea and Coffee
  • Entry to Kruger park

75% is the success rate on succeeding the course

What's Excluded?

  • All Flights
  • Extra Drinks (like beers, ciders and bottled water)
  • Costs for visa
  • Travel insurance
  • Accommodation before or after the course

Frequently Asked Questions

  • These courses are not only available to people wishing to enter the industry as field guides, but for anyone who wants to increase their knowledge of the African Bush. So whether you have chosen a professional career linked to wildlife or nature or just finished school and are on a gap year, or if you have possibly taken a career break or are a regular traveller to the bush, this course is for you.

  • With our Field Guide Courses being endorsed by FGASA who have THETA accreditation, this means we meet THETA standards. THETA is the Tourism and Hospitality and Sport Education Training Authority of the South African government. These are the two bodies responsible for regulating standards within the guide training industry in southern Africa.

  • International or Non-South African Learners: If the learners is not taking up Field Guiding for a career which is mostly the case for our international learners, then he or she does not have to complete the FGASA component on the course. The learner however still has the opportunity to write the tests and practical evaluations and obtain a certificate..

  • There are four different camps. There is more information in the “Accommodation” section.

    • Kruger Park Makuleke
    • Karongwe Game Reserve
    • Selati Game Reserve
    • Mashatu Game Reserve

    • Field Guide FGASA Level 1 Theory Exam
    • Field Guide FGASA Level 1 Practical Assessment
    • SASSETA Competency Certificate  Rifle
    • Advanced Rifle Handling
    • FGASA Trails Guide Back-Up
    • Birding with Lawson´s Birding Academy
    • Tracking (Level 1, 2 or 3)
    • Wilderness Medicine (Level 1 and 2) – First Aid

  • Normally you have about 5 to 6 Months lodge placement in your 1 year Field Guide course. The lodge placement starts after the trails guide qualification (after about 5 months of training). You come back to the camps after the lodge placement section to do an advance Birding and revision. You essentially use the lodge placement to work on your level 2 theory knowledge and to sharpen Birding knowledge prior to the advanced course.

  • The revision section enables you to rewrite sections that you may have failed during the year or to enable you to get assessed for sections you didn’t make previously.

  • It´s very difficult to estimate your expenditure during off time as it relates to your activities and travel. You might want to relax as the first free time you have is after 2 months!

    The guys normally go to each others homes or travel together (I noticed this from experience trying to arrange activities for them). They take it easy during these times as our courses are full time, no other time off even during weekends the course runs 24/7 until off times.

    So we don´t think you spend much over these periods, if you travel you tend to travel together (SA students normally use their own vehicles and club together) Or some stay at backpackers at low cost.   Don´t think you need more than R500 per day (about 40 gbp) (meals included, mostly they stay with SA families)!

Field Guide Course South Africa 4 Weeks or 1 Year Trip Dates

Please get in contact to check availability.


1-Year Professional Field Guide:

3 August 2019-14 July 2020
1 September 2019-23 August 2020
1 October 2019-13 September 2020 – Sold Out!

2020 Start Dates:

28-day Trail Guide course (FGASA-accredited):

02 June – 29 June 2020 (Mashatu Camp)
14 July – 10 August 2020 (Makuleke Camp)
06 August – 02 September 2020 (Selati Camp)

1-Year Professional Field Guide:

04 January – 17 December 2020
01 February – 23 December 2020
01 August 2020 – 18 July 2021
01 September 2020 – 15 August 2021
01 October 2020 – 19 September 2021

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Field Guide Course South Africa 4 Weeks or 1 Year
28 Days

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