Search

Why it is a good time to become a Nature Guide

WHAT IS A SAFARI GUIDE?

A safari guide walks or drives safari lodge guests in the game reserve and interprets all elements of nature and wildlife surrounding them. They educate the guests about the large and microscopic elements of the ecosystems, all the while, instilling in them a deeper appreciation of nature and conservation ethics. A role of a safari guide is unique and very diverse. It involves them being a guide, teacher, friend, game warden, doctor, storyteller and sometimes even a cook for guests! Each day in the wilderness is filled with new surprises and experiences.

Game drive during Chinese EQ at Makuleke

WHY DO A WILDLIFE COURSE?

EcoTraining combines the experience of a safari and environmental education into one package. By enrolling for the one-year Professional Field Guide course, students receive the footing and experience they need to follow many other aspirational environmental careers should they choose not to pursue field guiding. This course unlike any other in its calibre is fully immersive in that, students live and learn from remote and prime wilderness areas in well-known reserves, giving students the feeling that they are an extension of nature. The number of enrolments on each safari guide course is kept to a minimal of 18 to 20 per group, ensuring that personal consideration is given to each student to ensure that their full potential is achieved.

Student looking over Lanner Gorge

If this is not enough, what about our compassion and consideration towards our planet? People need to become aware that the planet is under stress and that we as the human race need to learn how to live within the means of what nature can sustain. By sharing nature’s processes, its ecosystems and the importance of wilderness, EcoTraining seeks to equip people with the skills necessary to effect positive change in the world.

Rhino dehorning - conservation

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE COURSE?

Upon completion of a professional Nature guide course, one is qualified to take guests out on safari game drives and guided wilderness walks, encountering big game on foot.  During the safari guides’ career, he or she usually works towards gaining enough lodge experience, working towards becoming a head guide. From there, the opportunities branch in different directions such as becoming a camp or game lodge manager, guide co-ordinator and so on. For those qualified safari guides who prefer the alternative usually seek out ‘sought after’ opportunities such as working as a specialist guide (birding, photography, plants) and as a freelance guide to safari operators that employ the use of highly specialised and experienced guides. This work can be lucrative and these top guides get to this point by making a name for themselves in the local and international safari tourism industry.

Since safari guides have the privilege of spending up to 8 hours each day in the natural wilderness environment being exposed to a number of observations and encounters daily. Depending on how they choose to approach their guiding career, many become experts in a number of fields because of the continual exposure to these observations and encounters.

Many interesting sights and observations are made by safari guides that not even top researchers have been able to make. These observations can lead to other developments in one’s career that may not necessarily be related to guiding. Examples of this include filming, writing, photography, art and consulting.

With the rise of so many developments in conservation and specialised fields in field guiding, there is no better time than the present to get involved and be at the forefront of the industry. To find out more about the Professional Field Guide course, click here.

About the Author:
Annemi Zaaiman

Annemi Zaaiman

Explore more

student sitting in the game viewer
Blog

The first 24 hours on an EcoTraining Practical Course

There’s one for aspiring professional Field Guides, taking an entire year. There’s one specifically for birding enthusiasts, taking just seven days. And there’s an extensive range of other ones in between. EcoTraining’s practical courses and experiences can cater to many different needs, but they all guarantee one thing: intense quality time immersed in nature! EcoTraining graduate Wim tells the story of his 35-day Practical Field Guide course, which took him first to Karongwe and then to Pridelands.

Read more
group of students on a birding course
Blog

Popular Birding Book Takes Flight

The newly revised Second Edition of Robert’s Birds of Greater Kruger book was released! It is a fresh and new edition, from the introduction to new chapters, habitat descriptions, checklists, distribution maps, illustrations, and photographs—and it only took three hard years to revise.

Read more
group photo of field guide students
Blog

Globalization in the Wild

My dad’s experience at EcoTraining was genuinely remarkable. It was an incredible example of how people from different backgrounds and cultures can come together to learn and appreciate nature. The diverse group of companions he met at the camp, including those from Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, UAE, and Reunion, made the experience even more enriching. He learned from instructors from various countries, explored the African wilderness, and encountered awe-inspiring birds. It was a unique opportunity to witness globalization in the wild.

Read more

Start your wildlife career

Want to become a field or nature guide? Explore our immersive courses and training programmes for professional safari guides and guardians of nature, taught and led by experts in the industry.

EcoTraining offers career and accredited courses, wildlife enthusiast courses, gap year programmes and customised group travel courses.

Join our nature-loving community.