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Introductory Field Guide Course

Come and train on a 60 day introduction to Field guiding courses in an African Wildlife hotspot, while gaining skills to forward your wildlife career!

 

Introductory Field Guide Course


Experience the ultimate African wildlife adventure while gaining qualifications and transferable skills in the African bush to improve your chance in gaining your dream career in the wildlife industry.

After the 60 day Introductory Field Guide course students will be a Level I Field Guide through the Field Guide Association of Southern Africa. During these 60 days there will be in-depth training to prepare the student for a Track and Sign and a Trailing assessment following the Cybertracker standards. Another part of the course is a First Aid course through Emergency Solutions

Life on the Course


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A typical day during the course is as follow:

  • 05.30 coffee and biscuits
  • 06.00 – Game Drive / Walk
  • 10.30 – Brunch
  • 12.00 – any of (but not limited to) the following

1.      Weekly exams 

2.      Self-study

3.      Workbook time 

4.      Track and sign preparation

5.      Rest period

  • 15.00 – Game Drive / Walk
  • 18.30 – Dinner
  • 19.30 – Level I PowerPoint presentations

 

 The Course


A 60 day FGASA training course and exams to achieve the Introduction to Field Guiding and gain practical transferable skills and FGASA Level 1 theory and much more (see below)

 

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Want to test the waters in the career of Field guiding? Trying to get a foot in the door or just looking for an awesome African experience… then this is perfect for you. Live and train in one of South Africa’s best known wildlife areas while on the Introductory Field Guiding course. Get a taste for what it would be like to be a field guide and get exposed to local wildlife while learning all about Southern African fauna and flora, sleeping out under the stars, trying your hand at driving 4 x 4 vehicles, learning to interpret tracks and signs of animals and having wildlife viewing beyond your expectations! All this and at the same time increasing your chances for employment within the wildlife conservation industry by adding relevant qualification, skills and experiences to your CV. This life-changing experience will be an awesome adventure and the stepping stone you need to increase your knowledge, broaden your horizons and assist you in choosing the career of your dreams!

 

Topics covered on the course

The 60 day course covers the following topics in line with the FGASA level 1 curriculum. Additional topics are also added to broaden your knowledge and skills in line with guiding and other wildlife careers. These are the topics, qualifications and skills we offer on this course:

  • Introduction to guiding in the natural environment
  • Ecology
  • Birds
  • Geology
  • Astronomy
  • Weather & climate
  • Botany – Trees & Grasses
  • Mammals
  • Animal behaviour
  • Survival & Navigation
  • Bush first aid skills
  • Introduction to Tracks and signs
  • Level 1 First Aid certification
  • Basic mechanics/trouble shooting

All necessary facilities will be supplied for quality training and for a great experience. Accommodation will be rustic, basic and shared dome tents, in a pristine wildlife area.

In short the student is given the opportunity to achieve the following seven certificates:

·         Nature Guide Training Field Guide level I certificate

·         FGASA Level I certificate

·         NQF Level 2

·         Emergency Solutions First Aid level I certificate

·         Track and Sign CyberTracker certificate

·         Trailing level 1 CyberTracker certificate

·         FGASA Tracker certificate (Students request this themselves)

 

Free Time


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Because the course is only 60 days there is not a lot of space for free time. However we will go to town every second week for an afternoon. The other alternating week the students will have a sleep in morning. There are not any days completely free. Before their FGASA Level I exam the students will have two full days to study.

Bear in mind there is an additional cost associated with pickups or drop-offs. Here are some of the highlights to be enjoyed in the area:

  • Blyde River Canyon – boat trips, kloofing, whitewater rafting, paintball, hot air ballooning and camping to name just but a few!
  • Kruger National Park – Orpen and Phalaborwa Gates are 1.3 hours’ drive from the campus. Daytrips/overnight camping available.
  • Moholoholo Rehab Centre – endangered species rehabilitation
  • Panorama Route – Bourke’s Luck potholes, God’s Window and waterfalls are just some of what you can see, easily completed in a day
  • Giant Baobab/Upside Down Restaurant – get up close with huge baobab trees, and don’t forget to try the great pancakes!
  • Debengeni Falls, Tzaneen – stunning waterfall, picnic area and hiking trails

 Further Travel Opportunities: South Africa has such a wealth of fantastic opportunities for further travel either before or after the course. Possibilities include the spectacular Drakensberg Mountains, the beauty of the Kalahari Desert, historic Zululand, the vibrancy of Cape Town, the fantastic Garden Route along the Southern Coast, the world-renowned National Parks of Kruger and Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, and many more highlights that will leave you wanting more of this amazing country.

 

Program Details


The course is run by a well-known organisation Nature Guide Training in partnership with Bushwise. The academic curriculum is accredited by Field Guide Association of Southern Africa – FGASA, the ‘South Africa Qualifications Board’; and the ‘Hospitality, Education and Sports Training Authority’. Upon completion of the 60 day course, you will be awarded a qualification and you could have achieved your FGASA level 1 theory and added a host of other skills to include on your CV, whilst still enjoying an unforgettable wildlife experience.

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Wildlife Career aspect of the course


Wanting to see if guiding is the career you are looking for? Then this shorter course would be an excellent alternative, rather than launching into a long term committed course. Although we recommend the FGASA Professional Field Guide Course if you are committed to a guiding career, this short course still offers the high quality that the organisation is renowned for and offers you the opportunity to gain foundation knowledge and skills.

 

 

 

Dates and Costs


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South African Citizens*
2017  R58,500.00 (excl. VAT)
 2018 R62,500.00 (excl. VAT)

 

International Citizens*
2017  GBP £3,660.00 / USD $4,680.00 / EUR €4,350.00
 2018 GBP £3,900.00 / USD $5,000.00 / EUR €4,630.00

 * Prices may vary, please CONTACT us for up to date price information.Course Start Dates

20 January 2017 60 days
01 April 2017 60 days
02 September 2017 60 days
2018 dates to be confirmed


Personal costs
– So you can budget, you can expect to spend approx. R750/ GBP40 / USD 65 per month depending on your personal habits. During weeks off you are welcome to stay at the campus, and just cover your own food costs. You will need to budget extra if you plan to travel in these breaks.

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Included in the course

  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Game drives/walks
  • Professional trainers
  • First Aid Course
  • Track and Sign assessment
  • Trailing assessment
  • Your own copy of the Bushveld – including the Kruger Lowveld by Lee Gutteridge. We use this as a text book for our course.
  • Use of the camp libraryIt excludes the following:

Excluded from the course

  • FGASA costs (registration, level 1 manuals and workbook, exam fee, moderation fee) – once booked we will advise you how to register & order these)
  • Entrance to Balule of R150 (if you travel with your own car)
  • Snacks and drinks
  • Any other books you feel you may need

Testimonials


Dr Kate Evans

Founder & Director of Elephants for Africa


“Bushwise enables you to learn the skills you cannot learn out of a textbook, in a professional and safe environment.”

Liz Spencer from the UK


“Thanks to the knowledge, experience, patience and dedication of all the Bushwise staff there couldn’t be a better way to start your career in guiding.  It is literally the best thing I have ever done in my life!”

Bushwise is accredited by Field Guides Association of Southern Africa