Our incredible trainers: Meet the Bushwise team!
Updated: Sep 26
When you want to be the best field guide you can be, you want to train with the best trainers out there. Experts in the industry who not only know their stuff, but know how to transfer their knowledge to you. Instructors who genuinely care about your growth as a field guide.
But excellent trainers are more than just educators. They’re also students themselves, keenly interested in the natural world, ambassadors of nature. They’re always asking questions, searching for answers and sharing stories. Because when you work in this industry, you never stop learning.
At Bushwise we prioritise staff development. That’s why all of our trainers continue to get additional qualifications and certificates while working for us. And many of our trainers stick around for years and years, a testament to their passion for teaching the next generation of field guides. In this post we’re sharing their successes, qualifications, experiences and interesting updates.
Role: Head Trainer
Years in the industry: 10
Qualifications: Professional Field Guide, Professional Trails Guide, FGASA Trails Mentor, Professional Track & Sign, Trailing 3, Tracker 3, Regional bird guide
Currently pursuing: FGASA Assessor by the end of the year
Quote: “As a field guide, it’s important to have academic knowledge of animals, but it’s equally important to observe and interpret what’s happening with the animals you’re viewing. There are so many facts written about animals in books that contradict what you will sometimes witness out in the field.”
Role: Head Trainer
Years in the industry: 13
Qualifications: Professional Field Guide, Professional Trails Guide, FGASA Trails Mentor, Professional Track & Sign, Tracker 3, Range Officer, SKS Birding, SKS Astronomy theory
Currently pursuing: SKS Astronomy, FGASA Assessor
Quote: “Field guides are the ambassadors of the natural world, we’re there to give guests a great experience, show them the wonders of Africa’s wildlife and natural beauty… It is the responsibility of the field guide allocated to the guests to give them the absolute best experience possible and to make sure that they have the time of their lives. ”
Years in the industry: 16
Qualifications: Professional Field Guide, Professional Trails Guide, FGASA Assessor, Trails Guide Mentor, SKS Birding (Savannah), Trailing 3, Track & Sign 3, Tracker 3, Specialist Track and Sign
Currently pursuing: Additional trailing qualifications
Quote: “I joined Bushwise for greater experience and to meet other nature enthusiasts. What I enjoy most about Bushwise is I get to continue developing myself while sharing these experiences with students from around the world – students here in the field learning from different people.”
Years in the industry: 12
Qualifications: Professional Field Guide theory, FGASA NQF4, Track & Sign 3, Trailing 3, Tracker 3
Currently pursuing: Professional Field Guide practical assessment, Professional Trails Guide, Regional Birding Qualification, Trails Guide Mentor
Quote: “One thing I find challenging, but also extremely satisfying, is that even we trainers will never know everything. The opportunity to constantly learn and experience new things in the bush is always a plus. Our students learn to always be open and take in as much as they can within the time that they spend with us.”
Years in the industry: 7
Qualifications: FGASA NQF4, Lead Trails, Track & Sign 3, Trailing 1, Tracker 1
Currently pursuing: Professional Field Guide, Regional Birding
Interesting fact: Sophie worked as a pangolin project coordinator for Rhino Revolution.
Quote: “One of my favourite things about nature is that we are constantly learning. To find a career where you are seeing or experiencing something new on a daily basis is pretty special. When you find yourself doing the same thing in your working hours as in your free time, you know you have cracked the code.”
Years in the industry: 8
Qualifications: FGASA NQF4, Lead Trails, Track & Sign 2, Trailing 2, Tracker 2, Regional birding qualification
Currently pursuing: Professional Field Guide, SKS birding and dangerous game, FGASA Mentor and Assessor
Quote: “The best thing about training is that I get to be part of the development of students who also have a passion for nature. To watch students grow over time and see them as changed individuals for the better, with a different outlook on life and the natural world, has been most rewarding for me.”
Keen to meet the team in person?
We believe that our team is only as strong as our trainers, support staff, and people on the ground running our courses. There are no alphas in this organisation – we are a social pack working together to make field guide training a reality.
We hope you enjoyed getting to know each of our current trainers a bit more, and we look forward to seeing you on a course, soon!