FGASA African Field Guide Level 1 Course
This FGASA (Field Guide Association of South Africa) accredited course – field Guide Level 1 (NQF2) – is for anyone intending on becoming a Field Guide or following a slightly different career within the South African wildlife and ecotourism world. You will constantly be exposed to the African bush and be submerged into nature for every minute of this 55 day programme.
Training, to facilitate maximum exposure to different areas, wildlife, biodiversity and biomes will be split between two of our wilderness camps. Daily lectures and practical activities in the field will cover a broad spectrum of subjects and topics.
Participants will have the opportunity to get their FGASA Field Guide Level 1 (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.
This course is for school-leavers, career and gap year candidates, a sabbatical, extended educational vacation, interns, volunteers and researchers.
FGASA will only issue a FGASA Field Guide Certificate if you have a valid First Aid Qualification. However, First Aid is generic globally so this can be done either before or after the FGASA course; however, it is preferable if the First Aid Certificate is obtained before arrival
Every morning and afternoon will alternate between game walks and game drives whilst the lectures at mid-day will involve discussion and topical instruction on the game encounters of the day – or other subjects. Students will also be given their own personal study and relaxation time.
Some subjects covered on the course :
• Planning of Game Drives and Walks
• Navigation and Orientation
• Radio Procedures
• Geology and Soil
• Weather and Climate
• Animal Behavior
• Plant Communities
• Career Opportunities
• Plant Identification and Uses
• Identification and Ecology of Invertebrates
The sleeping arrangements at all our camps consist of two people sharing per tent. Single requests are required to pay double-rates. Women and men do not share tents unless booked as a couple.
Early morning wake-up (tea, coffee, biscuits, fresh fruit and cereals)
Brunch after activity (cooked breakfast and fruit salad)
Afternoon tea (light lunch/ sandwiches)
Dinner (balanced, warm plated meal with meat, vegetables and salad)
Age: 18+, driver’s licence, able-bodied, able to walk at least 2km
Karongwe Private Game Reserve lies east of the Drakensberg Mountains in the Province of Limpopo and is an 8 500 ha area of South African bushveld; an untamed garden of eden – pure wilderness. The ‘Big Five’ flourish here, but there are also many other species such as elephant, rhino, buffalo, wild dog, cheetah, two hyena species, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, and many, many antelope along with monkeys and baboons. Birdlife is proficient and the waters contain otters along with the normal hippo and crocodile. Rocky outcrops stand out within the reserve’s undulating terrain.
The Selati Reserve hosts over 50 species of mammals and is known for it’s large numbers of sable antelope. Species biodiversity is enhanced by elephant, black rhino and lion but it also hosts leopard, cheetah and the odd wild dog, amongst many others. Selati has a vibrant bird population due to the varied habitat; there are mopane woodlands and rare cycads in this undulating area. As with most other reserves in the general area there are many species of reptiles from monitor lizards to crocodile and snakes.
Our Vic Falls camp nestles along the Masuwe River a tributary of the great Zambezi River, in this 6000 acre conservancy, pristine wilderness. It is home to the Big 5 but also to the endangered Black Rhino. The savanna is full of wildlife and apart from the big 5 including giraffe, zebra and many of the antelope species, including Sable. There are both teak forests and savannah grasslands drawing hundreds of species of birds to it’s banks.
Our camp near Hoedspruit in South Africa, means that the property falls within the Greater Kruger National Park (GKNP), in total an area of over 2,000,000 ha of wild reserve, unfenced and with free movement of wildlife. It is an ex buffalo hunting farm that was incorporated into GKNP some years back and allowed to rehabilitate. Wild species that were absent for some time have now returned due to the dropping of all game fences.
Although this course forms the foundation for a career in field guiding (and many other wildlife orientated careers), many participants enroll onto this course for a gap year experience or extended bush holiday. Participants older than 18 years, holding a valid driver’s license (manual gearbox experience is preferable) and from all walks of life are invited to attend.
2019 rate per person
4 January – 27 February – Karongwe, Pridelands & Selati
24 February – 19 April – Pridelands, Karongwe & Mashatu
7 April – 31 May – Selati & Karongwe
10 June – 3 August – Selati & Karongwe
10 July – 2 September – Pridelands & Selati
6 October – 29 November Mara Training centre & Borana
11 October – 4 December – Karongwe, Pridelands & Makuleke
- Accommodation (sharing)
- Full meals
- Instructors and Training
- FGASA registration, exam fees and workbooks
- Bush Walks
- Open vehicle drives and specialist trainer/s
What’s not included?
- Transfers/transport to and from the camp, before and after the course
- Any accommodation before and after the course
- Beverages (beer, ciders, bottled water)
- Kruger National Park entrance fee (only applicable if the course is at the Kruger Makuleke camp)
- First Aid Course