Professional Field Guide Course (FGASA Level, Trails Guide, specialised modules and the Lodge Placement Programme)
This comprehensive and unique ONE YEAR course has been designed to supply the safari industry with high calibre FGASA and THETA qualified professional Field Guides. This course is 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.
Comprising this ONE YEAR course is approximately 6 months of theoretical and practical training with our highly qualified instructors in which you will complete various separate certificate courses which should get you well prepared for the lodge placement period of actual lodge work and nature guiding at lodges with guests which makes up the second half of your course. We will place you at these lodges so that you can work with experienced guides to learn from them and to learn on the job so that at the end of the year’s course, you are not only qualified but also experienced. By this time you will be a prime candidate and should be snapped up immediately by a lodge for a guiding job.
This lodge attachment component will give you the practical experience and enable you to apply the theory you learnt in the training at our camps. It also enables you to build up your 'guiding days' towards the one year of experience that is required by FGASA to be assessed for your FGASA Level 2 field guiding exams.
What qualifications could you graduate with?
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
A few of the subjects covered on this course:
• The Introduction to Guiding in the Natural Environment
• Creating a Guided Nature Experience.
• Basic Bush and Survival Skills.
• Basic Ecology
• Basic Taxonomy
• Animal Behaviour
• Transfrontier Parks and Biosphere Reserves
• Historical Human Habitation
In addition to these subjects, EcoTraining believes we shouldn't do any course without also doing the following modules from our own training manual:
• Introduction to Eco Tourism
• Planning of Game Drives and Walks
• Dealing with Guests
• Tracks and Tracking.
• Approaching Dangerous Game Animals
• The Game Drive Vehicle
• Off-Road and 4x4 Driving
• Night Drives
As part of your year training, EcoTraining will place you at a lodge in Southern Africa for a period of approximately 6 months. During your lodge placement you will be expected to carry out a wide variety of duties which may or may not include the following:
• General Guiding Duties (can logged towards FGASA level 2 practical assessment)
• Assisting in the bar, serving drinks, undertaking stock takes
• Assist with meeting guest/s at meeting point/airport, carrying their luggage
• Reception duties
• Food & Beverage duties
Why choose EcoTraining's One Year Course?
• You will live and walk amidst 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
Certification and Accreditation of course
EcoTraining is a FGASA endorsed training provider who is accredited by THETA. This means our courses adhere to 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. For this course only, we will assist you by registering you for FGASA, THETA and eventually DEAT. Additional info on website
SASSETA – (Sector Education and Training Authority) - Due to the legal and professional requirements of being a Field Guide, there are certain steps that any student wishing to do firearms training is required to do. Additional info on website
PDP – Public Drivers Permit – most lodges require that students have a PDP as this allows them to transport groups of people in a company vehicle. For this, students need to be 21 years or older. Additional info on website
DEAT – Department of Education and Tourism. We will assist with registering you for FGASA and once you have your Level 1, FGASA will automatically register you with THETA. We will assist with your DEAT registration if you are 21 years or older.
Cost: We have chosen not to put our rates here as they vary for each camp. Please contact us for course rate
Venue: Kruger Park Makuleke, Karongwe Game Reserve, Selati Game Reserve and Mashatu Game Reserve
Download pdf info!
If this is your dream or passion, allow us to help you fulfil that dream. After all, there is no time like the present. Contact us.