EcoTraining Field Guide (FGASA & CATHSSETA)

FGASA Apprentice Field Guide / Nature Site Guide (NQF 2)

Every minute of your 55 days on this course will be a learning experience, as you are constantly exposed to the bush. It covers a broad spectrum of subjects, using a mix of formal lectures as well as time out in the field.

“I completed the FGASA Level 1 course at Nakavango camp last week. Had a fantastic time and learned a great deal. Mark Gunn is an absolutely fantastic teacher. Incredible knowledge and very fluent way of teaching. Couldn’t have had a better person there for us. This course has opened my eyes to a whole new world of possibilities and knowledge to continue exploring.”

Daan Hendricks — February 2015


Although this course forms the foundation for a career in field guiding (and many other wildlife-orientated careers), many participants sign up for this course for a gap year experience or extended bush holiday.

The course offers a solid base of knowledge and practical skills for careers across the world in the environmental and wildlife sectors.  Forest or park rangers in America would be able to apply the universal principals of ecology, ecosystems, animal behaviour; astronomy, guest interaction; conservation principals and more, as would wildlife and park rangers in Germany or Britain.

For a gap year, you would walk away with a unique wealth of knowledge that will remain with you for life. Every time you enter a natural environment anywhere in the world, you will understand its fascinating web of life, be able to identify species and feel that much more connected to nature.  Add to that the wonderful friendships and bonds made by living with like-minded people from South Africa and all over the world, sharing a close-knit camp and experiencing the adrenaline and peace that comes with the wild.

FGASA-Field-Guide-Level-1 -NQF-2-EcoTraining-Notes


  • Planning of game drives and walks
  • Navigation and orientation
  • Radio procedures
  • Ecology
  • Reptiles
  • Geology and soil
  • Amphibians
  • Fish
  • Mammals
  • Weather and climate
  • Anticipating animal behaviour
  • Plant communities
  • Career opportunities
  • Plant identification and uses
  • Identification and ecology of invertebrates
FGASA-Field-Guide-Level-1 -NQF-2-EcoTraining-Group

Course Length

55 days


    Age: 18+
  • driver's licence
  • able-bodied
  • able to walk at least 2km
  • first aid course – preferably to be done before coming on course, but it can be done after the course at any accredited institution in any country.
  • First aid is generic worldwide. FGASA will only issue your FGASA Level 1 certificate if you have a valid first aid qualification!

Who Is This For?

  • career and gap year candidates
  • a sabbatical
  • extended educational vacation
  • interns
  • volunteers
  • researchers

Our winning formula

This course not only offers excellent value for money, but also opportunity. You will be exposed to a variety of natural working conditions because of EcoTraining’s vast network.


FGASA_Logo2015_Final_nobinos_smFGASA (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa) – EcoTraining is a FGASA-endorsed training provider that is accredited by CATHSSETA. We will assist you by registering you with FGASA. FGASA will automatically register you with CATHSSETA.

Course dates

04 January – 27 February 2020 (Karongwe, Pridelands & Selati)

24 February – 18 April 2020 (Makuleke, Karongwe & Botswana)

13 March – 06 May 2020 (Pridelands & Selati)

09 April – 02 June 2020 (Karongwe & Selati)

06 May – 27 June 2020 (Karongwe & Selati)

10 July – 02 September 2020 (Selati, Pridelands & Karongwe)

06 October – 29 November 2020 (Mara Training centre)

10 October – 03 December 2020 (Pridelands & Selati)


Participants will have the opportunity to attempt their EcoTraining Field Guide Certificate and FGASA Apprentice Field Guide (NQF2) qualification, by successfully completing a theoretical and practical assessment. These assessments will be conducted by our instructors (who are accredited FGASA assessors) at our camps, during the course.


If you would like to prepare for your time in the bush on an EcoTraining course, Wildlife Campus is an established, reputable and accredited online and offline distance learning provider, and has been offering wildlife-related, natural science and ecotourism courses since 1999. Visit its website for the online course as a pre-study option.