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Bushwise Mahlahla campus





Welcome to your new home for the next six months. Our Mahlahla campus, the original Bushwise campus, is located on the border of the Greater Makalali Private Game Reserve, about 60 km from Hoedspruit in the Limpopo province. The South African bushveld is known for its rich biodiversity and will offer you every challenge and opportunity to excel as an apprentice field guide. Makalali is home to the Big Five, as well as general game animals, hundreds of bird species, and much more. Wild dogs and cheetahs are also seen on this unique property. The campus itself is just across the road from the Greater Makalali Game Reserve and held within an electrified fence, so you’re safe to explore and even exercise while living here. Accommodation, classroom and kitchen facilities are a short walk apart – you might even see a sable, honey badger, or duiker as you make your way to class! But being immersed in nature doesn’t mean you’re completely out of contact with the outside world. The campus is equipped with WiFi and electricity so you can keep in touch with family and friends, and supplement your studies with additional research. Our unique location means we can offer our students direct access to the natural environment and train in an outdoor classroom that emulates their work places in parks and reserves throughout southern Africa. We are also surrounded by other land-use types, such as community-owned agricultural land and community trust areas, bringing even more diversity to our on-site training opportunities. On weeks off, you could make a visit to the Greater Makalali Game Reserve with family and friends. Or, you’re just an hour or two away from the Kruger National Park, Blyde River Canyon, Magoebaskloof Forest, Dullstroom, and much more. At nearly two million hectares, Kruger National Park is the largest reserve in South Africa and an incredible resource for budding field guide students!

Campus tour

Join us on a virtual tour of our Mahlahla campus in the heart of the bushveld. This could be your new home away from home.


Accommodation on the Bushwise Mahlahla campus is within an eight-hectare, fenced lodge-style campus.

It’s safe from predators, so you are free to go for a walk or run anywhere on campus. We have a large variety of bird species that are regular visitors to the campus dam, as well as secretive species such as honey badgers and civet that are seen almost every night. We also have the occasional visit from porcupines and leopards.

In these surroundings, you can sharpen your practical skills by going on bushwalks, spending time birding, and encountering the animals that roam the campus.

Students will share a chalet (known as a rondavel) that accommodates two students. A weekly laundry service is provided for uniforms and bedding, free of charge, and students also have full access to the campus facilities for personal use.

The chalets, dining area, and laundry facilities are all clustered together. But it’s just a short walk around the dam to get to the classroom. The classroom is only partly enclosed, so you’ll remain immersed in the bush during training. It’s topped off with a thatched roof and light shading on two sides. And for the hot summer months, there’s a swimming pool next to the classroom.

Available on the Mahlahla Campus

Shared rondavel (with fan)

Communal bathroom


Juice, tea and coffee (available 24/7)

Swimming pool

Gardening in the Bushwise garden

Laundry services (to a reasonable extent)

Braai and social area

Game vehicles

Library of field guiding texts

Bushwise classroom

Access to Bushwise trainers and staff

Emergency support from Bushwise staff

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