35-day Practical Field Guide Course

Become a qualified field guide in just 35 days. EcoTraining offers the best field guide training in Africa. Our experienced professionals will teach you everything you need to know about ecology, animal behaviour, and more.


Practical training

Do you have a love for the outdoors and want to make a career out of it?

The course, which takes place in Kenya or South Africa, covers the exact modules that were covered in the online field guide theory section but in a hands-on, practical manner. Upon completion of the course, guides will be able to conduct game drives for guests.

Participants in this course can go on all kinds of activities, from drives to walks, where they learn how to guide and drive a 4×4 vehicle and about the wonders of the African bush. When you are not out on an activity, you receive lectures from qualified instructors or have study time or downtime. Your knowledge also gets tested through weekly practical field observation tests.

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What to expect from the 35-day Practical Field Guide Course

Gain practical skills and knowledge

This course not only teaches you the exact same modules as the Online Field Guide Course but also prepares you for practical assessments in a wide range of subjects. From identifying and talking about trees, grass, and flowers to spore identification and using the Southern Cross to give directions, our specialist instructors will equip you with a wide range of skills and knowledge.

Immerse yourself in nature

During this course, you will spend 35 days immersed in nature with EcoTraining, learning through hands-on experiences in the African wilderness. As an entry-level qualification for field guiding, this course provides you with the opportunity to conduct game drives for guests in a limited geographical area. With extensive training in vehicle-based guiding in non-dangerous and dangerous game areas, you will gain valuable experience and skills to become a qualified guide.

Learn how to guide and drive a 4x4 vehicle

In addition to learning about ecology and animal behaviour, you will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities, such as drives and walks, as well as learn how to guide and drive a 4×4 vehicle while experiencing the wonders of the African bush. And when you’re not out on an activity, you can receive lectures from qualified instructors, study or have downtime.

At the end of this course, you will not only have gained valuable skills and knowledge but also have immersed yourself in the beauty and diversity of the African wilderness.

Where the course takes place

The 35-day Practical Field Guide Course is held at one or two of our EcoTraining Camps in Southern Africa.

The benefits of taking the 35-day Practical Field Guide Course

Not only will you gain valuable experience and knowledge about ecology and animal behaviour but you will also receive a qualification that will open the door to a career in field guiding. This course will equip you with the skills needed to become a confident and competent guide, leading safaris through the African bush and sharing your passion for nature with others. You will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the wilderness, learning through hands-on experiences and applying your knowledge in the African bush for the duration of your course. With EcoTraining, you can turn your dream of guiding in the African bush into a reality.

Certification & accreditation

EcoTraining is an FGASA-endorsed training provider accredited by CATHSSETA.

By completing a theoretical and practical assessment, participants can attempt their EcoTraining Field Guide Certificate and FGASA Nature Site Guide (NQF2) qualification. Our instructors (accredited FGASA assessors) will conduct these assessments at our camps during the course.

What you can expect to graduate with

Entry level requirements

What to pack

We’ve put together a useful packing list for you so you know what you need to bring with you on this course. What kind of clothing, gear, bedding, toiletries and shoes you’ll need to be comfortable and make the most of your time in the African bush. No need to guess or overpack.

We’re here to guide you every step of the way.

Course dates

06 October – 09 November 2023 (Pridelands)
02 November – 06 December 2023 (Mara Training Centre)
02 April – 06 May 2024 (Karongwe & Pridelands)
06 October – 09 November 2024 (Pridelands)

FAQ about the 35-day Professional Field Guide Course

A field guide links the natural and cultural surroundings with the guests, taking on an educational role. Guides, as the name suggests, guide guests through nature, whether by vehicle, canoe, horseback, or on foot. It is a guide’s job to explain some of the remarkable secrets hidden within the natural environment and to act as a link between the guests and nature. A field guide course teaches students how to conduct a game drive in dangerous and non-dangerous wildlife areas.

EcoTraining offers an 8-week online course in the form of live, interactive lectures from experienced instructors. This course forms the first step towards your full FGASA Nature Site Guide e-qualification and covers modules such as ecology, geology, astrology, animal behaviour and much more. To enrol in this practical course, you must complete the theory section of the Field Guide qualification.

This course offers excellent value for money and opportunity. Live and learn in one of our unfenced camps for endless hands-on educational opportunities in untouched wilderness areas of southern Africa or Kenya.

Have more questions? Check out our general FAQ page or get in touch for more information.


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From the field on the 35-day Practical Field Guide Course