Duration & Fees
Please note: The currency conversion is an estimate based on today's exchange rates and is to be used as a guide only. All payments to Amanzi Travel have to be made in Pounds Sterling (GBP)
2 Oct 2017 - 16 Sep 2018
4 Jan 2018- 16 Dec 2018
31 Jan 2018- 23 Dec 2018
2 Aug 2018 - 14 Jul 2019
3 Sep 2018 - 18 Aug 2019
1 Oct 2018 - 15 Sep 2019
30% of course fee is required as a deposit at time of booking – the balance is due 12 weeks before departure
- Instructors and training
- Game drives, walks and activities as above
- Other organized group activities (e.g. sleep-outs)
- All FGASA registration, examination and moderation fees and books
- SASSETA Competency Certification
- Wilderness Medicine Course
- 3 x sets of uniforms (shirts and shorts)
- Course T-shirt, fleece, cap and beanie
- Pick up at Emerald Backpackers Guesthouse, Kempton Park, Johannesburg on the first day the course starts
- Drop off at Emerald Backpackers Guesthouse, Kempton Park, Johannesburg on the last day the course ends
- Transfers between the camps as indicated
- Tea, coffee and cordials
- Entry to Kruger Park (for Makuleke Courses)
- Botswana border crossing
What's not included
- International and domestic flights
- Transfers to and from OR Tambo International Airport to Emerald Backpackers Guesthouse or other overnight accommodation (although accommodation near airport often provide this free service- please check with your accommodation).
- Travel insurance to cover your project (to include cover for repatriation)
- Tourist Visas
- Beverages beers, ciders, bottled water
- Transfers to and from the camps for weeks off – these will depend on where you wish to spend your time off. We can help arrange any necessary transfers for you.
- Any accommodation during weeks off
- Transfers to and from 5-month lodge placement
This one year course offers the ultimate training experience in Field Guiding available. Students will live and work in the African bush and be exposed to diverse ecological and geological terrains, landscapes, wildlife species and much more at wilderness camps in remote places such as the Makuleke Concession (Kruger), Karongwe Reserve, Selati Reserve and Mashatu Reserve in Botswana. These unfenced camps provide a constantly stimulating environment in which to learn, supported by highly qualified and experienced instructors, each with their own unique way of training and guiding that will enhance the overall training experience.
Training will be divided into two distinct parts. For the first four - five months the course concentrates on theoretical and practical training with the highly qualified instructors, which which students will complete various separate certificate courses. Following this is a lodge placement period of between five and six months, which makes up the second half of the course. Placements will be at lodges where students will work with experienced guides and lodge managers, who will mentor the students and develop their newly-acquired skills. At the end of the course students will not only be qualified but will have also gained substantial working and practical experience.
The camps offer a huge variety of ecology, geology, wildlife and climate giving students all the experience needed to equip them for a successful guiding career.
The course aims to equip students with the knowledge and practical skills that will form the bedrock of a successful and inspiring career. This however is only a small part of what the course has to offer; it is only by becoming truly immersed in the bush that a person can develop that feeling of being at home in the wild bush that is the trademark of all great guides.
Students could graduate with:
- FGASA Field Guide Level 1 (theory and practical)
- FGASA Trails Guide Back Up (theory and practical)
- Firearm Proficiency Certificate (with a SASSETA accredited provider)
- Advanced Rifle Handling (FGASA accreditation)
- Animal Tracks and Tracking (FGASA accreditation)
- Basic Birding
- Advanced Birding
- Wilderness Medicine - Level 1 and 2
- Navigation and Orientation
- Lodge Placement Programme
Example Course Structure
|27 Sep Transfer from Emerald Backpackers to Nelspruit
|27 - 29 Sep
||FGASA Registration Level 1 and Trails Guide
Firearm Competency and Registration & Training accredited by SASSETA
Accommodation in Nelspruit - 2 Nights at Old Vic Travellers Inn
|29 Sep - Transfer to Karongwe
|29 Sep - 28 Oct
||FGASA Field Guide Level 1 Section 1
|28 Oct - Transfer to Mashatu
|28 Oct - 22 Nov
||FGASA Field Guide Level 1 Section 2
|22 Nov - 28 Nov
||FGASA Level 1 Examination and Assessments
|28 Nov - 4 Dec - Time Off - Students make their own travel arrangements
|4 Dec - 9 Dec
||Wilderness Medicine Levels 1 & 2
|9 Dec - 15 Dec
|15 Dec - 21 Dec
||Animal Tracks and Tracking
|21 Dec - 7 Jan - Time Off - Students make their own travel arrangements
|7 Jan - 13 Jan
||Navigation and Orientation
|13 Jan - 19 Jan
||EcoTraining Rifle Handling and Safety Training and FGASA Advanced Rifle Handling Assessment
|19 Jan - 15 Feb
||EcoTraining Trails Guide and FGASA Trails Guide Back-Up Exam and Assessment
|15 Feb - 21 Feb - Time Off - Students make their own travel arrangements
|21 Feb - 18 Aug
||Students make their own travel arrangements to and from lodge placement
|18 Aug - Students make their own travel arrangements
|18 Aug - 24 Aug
|24 Aug - 28 Aug
||Consolidation and Final Evaluation
|28 Aug - 30 Aug
||Graduation - each student is allowed 2 guests for the Ceremony at an additional cost for the guests
|30 Aug - Bus Bus Transfer to Emerald Backpackers or Johannesburg Airport
- The Introduction to Guiding in the Natural Environment
- Basic Bush and Survival Skills
- Basic Ecology
- Basic Taxonomy
- Animal Behaviour
- Tracks and Tracking
- Approaching Dangerous Game Animals
- Off Road and 4x4 Driving
- Night Drives
Lodge Experience - approximately 5 months
The course provider will assist in placing participants in lodges in South Africa for the five month period. During this duties will vary but may include the following:
- General Guiding Duties (logged toward FGASA level 2 practical assessment)
- Assisting in the bar, stock taking and serving drinks
- Assist with meeting guests at meeting point/airport, carrying luggage
- Reception duties
- Food and beverage duties
Please be aware that:
- Chances of achieving a lodge placement are greatly improved be passing FGASA 1 as a minimum
- The course provider reserves the right to refrain from placing a learner at a lodge for the work experience should the learner not meet the minimum qualifying standards, or the code of conduct based on reasonable and professional behaviour at the camps and lodges during the attachment
- It is important that participants have a valid driver's license when you attend the course as this makes up a large component of the course. Should a participant not be in possession of a Professional Drivers Permit, the course provider will endeavour to place the learner at a lodge where driving is not required.
- During the lodge experience the participants are the responsibility of the lodge and are expected to adhere to the lodge's management and policies.
The aim of the course is to give the students that attend it everything they need to further their own interests and development, be that en route to a professional guiding career or purely to learn more about the bush that inspires them. The courses aim to foster not only the knowledge and skills essential to allowing the students to become excellent guides but also to show them something of the philosophy and approach that is an integral part of our interaction with the magnificent bush environment. The course aims to give the student a new outlook on the environment and perhaps even life. It is recognised that by inspiring the students that attend the course, they can go on to pass on their enthusiasm and attitudes to those they meet after returning home or to careers in the guiding industry.
Certification and Accreditation
This course is provided by EcoTraining, a FGASA registered training provider. EcoTraining is also accredited by CATHSSETA (Tourism and Hospitality and Sport Education Training Authority) for the Field Guide Leel 1 qualification, thereby meeting the required standard. FGASA and CATHSSETA are the two bodies primarily responsible for regulating standars within the guide training industry in South Africa.
For the One Year Professional Field Guide Course, EcoTraining will register students jwith FGASA and CATHSSETA. Students need not arange this themselves before coming on the course.
SASSETA (Sector Education and Training Authority) - Firearm proficiency training will take place on the first two days of the course during orientation. This training is facilitated by a SASSETA accredited training provider and upon successful completion, students wil be awarded with a firearm proficiency certificate.
PDP (Public Drivers Permit) - Most lodges require that students have a PDP at this allows them to transport groups of people in a company vehicle. Please note that students under the age of 21 years and foreigners are not eligible to apply for a South African PDP. In this case, please enrol using your conventional license.
For more information regarding FGASA membership, registration and certification (which are included in the course fee), please contact us for a separate detailed document that you will need. You will need to complete application forms and send these with a JPEG photo to Amanzi Travel as soon as possible after booking your place on the course.
The course takes place in bush camps in South Africa and Botswana that collectively have access to 91,000 hectares of untamed and stunning African bush. Depending on which of the camps your training programme takes place on, there will be opportunities to view and interact with buffalo, elephant, rhino, lion and leopard as well as a huge variety of antelope and bird life. For the one year course paticipants will spend time at a number of the camps below (usually 3 or 4 camps) and your pre-departure pack will detail the dates thtat you are at each of the camps.
The accommodation camps are designed to allow everyone to get up close and personal with the environment. They are authentic game reserve camps and are unfenced allowing the occasional nocturnal visitor. This means the sounds of the bush will literally be right outside the accommodation and provides a perfect opportunity to practice tracking skills through and around the camp each morning.
Below is information on accommodation at all the camps where the courses take place. Please contact Amanzi Travel to confirm dates and camps for your booking.
Karongwe Camp, Hoedspruit Area
Karongwe Camp is on the banks of the Karongwe River (mostly a dry river bed) in the 9 000 hectare Karongwe Game Reserve, which is to the south-west of the Kruger National Park. It has spectacular undulating hills, valleys and broad-leafed woodland.
The camp consists of 10 walk-in style Meru tents, with twin beds, supplied bedding and mosquito nets. There are shared ablution facilities and a central communal area. Twenty students can be accommodated.
There are viewing decks in the central area of the camp, and many students choose to make the viewing decks their “bedroom” for part of or for the full duration of the course. The central communal area is made up of 4 tall thatch-roofed open-sided decks which forms a square that encloses an open campfire area. One of the deck structures serves as the open air dining area, lecture room and study area. Two decks remain open to welcome the adventurous who want to spend their nights as close to nature as possible, while the last deck is home to your head instructor.
Hyena make nightly patrols of the camp and are often seen by participants who choose to make one of the viewing decks their home for the duration of the course. Elephant, cheetah and lion have also made appearances on occasion.
Makuleke Camp, Pafuri, Northern Kruger National Park
The camp is situated in the Makuleke concession between the Limpopo and Luvuvhu Rivers, in the northern sector of Kruger National Park in the Pafuri region, an area spanning 59,305 acres. This is a true wilderness area, steeped in history and situated in the remotest part of Kruger in one of the most biologically diverse areas. Scenery ranges from the beautiful, quietly-flowing Luvuvhu River shaded by Nyala trees and fever tree forests and teeming with hippos and crocodiles; to the awesome Lanner Gorge, palm-fringed wetlands and rocky outcrops with thousand-year-old baobab trees. The Makuleke concession is the ancestral home of the Makuleke people and members of this community are employed at the camp. The concession is not accessible to the ordinary tourist visitng the park.
Accommodation is in safari style walk in tents on wooden decks covered with thatch in the shade of nyala trees. Each unit has a verandah overlooking the surrounding bush and an en-suite bathroom with a flush toilet, shower and basin. Bedding and mosquito nets are provided.
The central communal area consists of a thatch-roofed open sided deck where all meals, lectures and studying takes place. A clearing for evening camp fires creates an idyllic setting for social and leisure time.
The Selati Camp is situated on the banks of the Selati River in the Selati Game Reserve to the west of the Kruger National Park. Selati is a large undeveloped reserve with diverse topography and biodiversity. It is a great place for viewing lion, white rhino and elephant. General game is plentiful and you might even get to see the large herd of eland, as well as the rare sable antelope. The dominant vegetation type is woodland and to the east are large granite koppies (hills) where Black eagles and Klipspringer can be found.
The camp has ten simple dome tents, each with two mattresses with pillows so two students share each tent. Students need to bring their own bedding for their time at this camp and mosquito nets at not provided There are shared bathroom facilities and a central communal area overlooking the Selati River. The central communal area consists of a thatch-roofed open sided deck where all meals, lectures and studying takes place. A clearing for evening camp fires creates an great place for students leisure time.
Situated in the Tuli Reserve of Botswana bordering South Africa, which is an area of outstanding natural beauty with majestic rocks, diverse vegetation, abundant wildlife, a profusion of birds and a rich archaeological hertitage. The ample plains range from savannah, to riverine forest, marshland and sandstone outcrops amongst giant baobab trees, a wholly preserved and untainted wilderness. Mashatu truly embodies all that defines Africa.
The camp has ten simple dome tents which are each shared by two students. There are mattresses and pillows but students need to bring their own bedding and there are no mosquito nets at the camp. There are shared bathroom facilities and a central communal area overlooking the dry river bed ideal for evening campfires and socialising.
General – All Camps
All camps have sleeping arrangements for 2 people sharing. Single occupancy requires double payment. Sharing is on a single sex basis unless booked as a couple.
There is no electricity at any of the camps (with the exception of Victoria Falls Camp) - paraffin and solar lamps are used for all lighting and a generator is available for camp use and students can use it when it is running to charge camera batteries and cell phones for emergency use. Studying at night with parrafin lanterns can be challenging so a headlight is recommended as well as a battery operated lamp. The kitchens are equipped with gas fridges for storage of all perishable food items.
Fresh, drinkable water is available from the taps (borehold at Victoria Falls) and bottled water is available for sale. Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages are sold at the camps and must be paid for in cash.
A hand washing laundry service is provided at a nominal weekly fee at all camps.
|Early morning wake-up:
||Tea, coffee, biscuits and fresh fruit
|Brunch after activity:
||Cooked breakfast, cereals and fruit
||A balanced, warm plated meal (eg Meat, vegetables, salad)
Botswana - Book Your Experience of a Lifetime
Why visit Botswana?
Botswana is a land of dramatic contrasts, from the crystal clear waters of the Okavango Delta, to the large elephant herds in the Chobe National Park, the abundant birdlife in Moremi Game Reserve and the vast savannah of the Kalahari desert, which covers over 70% of the country. It is no wonder that Botswana has become one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
Surrounded by the sands of the Kalahari Desert is the magical oasis of the Okavango Delta, the world’s largest inland delta, formed by ancient seismic shifting of the earth's surface. Wide grassy floodplains are host to a magnificent array of wild animals. Within this lacework of channels, game viewing and bird watching is frequently guided from mokoro (dugout canoes) or more commonly, environmentally-friendly fibreglass replicas. In these slender flat-bottomed craft, visitors are propelled by expert polers.
Chobe National Park, approximately 62 miles due west of Victoria Falls, is abundant with wildlife all year round, and features the beautiful Chobe River on its northern boundary. Throughout the area numerous clay-bottomed pans hold water during the short rainy season. During the rainy season, from November, one can witness the zebra migration from the north-western area of Linyanti heading south through the Savute plains to the salt pans around Makgadikgadi, where the foals are born. The herds then return to Linyanti between February and April.
The Kalahari Game Reserve is one of the most remote and unspoiled parts of Africa. At certain times of the year, usually during the summer rains, the northern section of the Park is one of the prime game viewing areas of Botswana, not to mention the breathtaking landscapes that await discovery.
Highlights of Botswana
- Seventeen percent of Botswana is comprised of pristine national reserves, featuring some of Africa's most beautiful subtropical wilderness, generally teeming with wildlife.
- A land of awesome contrasts - from the vast plains of the Kalahari Desert to the crystal clear waters of the world's largest inland delta, the Okavango Delta.
- Game viewing by mokoro (dugout canoe) in the Delta is unforgettable.
- Sunshine totals are high all year round, although winter is still the sunniest period.
- Chobe National Park is home to the mighty Chobe River and what is arguably the world's largest concentration of elephants.
- View Botswana’s annual zebra migration in the Linyanti and Savute areas.
- Moremi Game Reserve is renowned for its superb birdlife.
- The game-filled Central Kalahari Game Reserve, at 54,600 km2, is Botswana's largest reserve.
|Seasons ||Max ||Min
|Summer/wet (October -April)
|Winter/dry ( May - September)
|Rainfall: November - March
Botswana is semi-arid, due to the short rain season. It experiences extremes in both temperature and weather.
In the winter (late May through September), days are normally clear, warm and sunny, and nights are cool to cold, with average temperatures of around 14 °C. The whole country is windy and dusty during the dry season. Wildlife never wanders far from water sources, so sightings are more predictable than in the wetter summer season. This is also the time of school holidays, so some areas can be busy, especially between mid-July and mid-September.
In summer (October to April), Botswana has hot summers with average temperatures around 26 °C. Wildlife can be harder to spot and rains can render sandy roads impassable. This is also the time of the highest humidity and the most stifling heat, where daytime temperatures of over 40°C are common, so the magnificent afternoon showers can be a welcome relief.
The main rains fall between December and March, but often just in the form of brief thundershowers that last an hour or two before the sun re-emerges. The sunlight after an African storm is incredibly intense and superb for wildlife photography. The summer rains also bring spectacular migrant birds to Botswana.
Population – 2 million
Capital - Gaborone
Currency –pula (BWP)
Official Language(s) – English and Setswana
Time difference – GMT +2 hours
Telephone – country code 267, international access code 00
South Africa - Help Local Communities Get Started
Why visit South Africa?
Every country in the world displays some diversity, but South Africa, stretching from the hippos in the Limpopo River to the penguins waddling on the Cape, takes some beating. There’s the deserted Kalahari, Namakwa’s springtime symphony of wildflowers, iconic Table Mountain and Cape Point, Africa’s biggest game reserve - Kruger National Park - boasting the most mammal species of any game reserve, and the magnificent peaks and plunging valleys of the escarpment of Drakensberg.
Cape Town is widely described as one of the world's most beautiful cities. Some of its more famous landmarks include Table Mountain, Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for decades), Cape Point, Chapman’s Peak, Kirstenbosch Gardens and the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. A combination of historical coastal charm and urbane sophistication, Cape Town has some of the finest beaches and is also the gateway to the lush Cape Winelands, famous for world-renowned wines. From here, it is an easy journey to the Whale Route, where Southern Right whales can be seen (June - November) and humpback whales, Bryde's whales, Minke whales and bottlenose dolpins can be viewed year round.
The Garden Route is renowned for its beaches, indigenous forests, nature reserves, lakes, mountain ranges, adventure opportunities and hiking trails. Plettenberg Bay is a relaxed beach paradise with spectacular walks and hikes where one can watch dolphins and whales on eco-marine cruises. With some of the world's finest beaches, the Eastern Cape's untouched and pristine coastline also has a rich social, cultural and political history. Port Elizabeth is the gateway to the Eastern Cape, and the perfect complement to the Garden Route. Cape St Francis is situated on the Indian Ocean coastline, in and around Africa's largest man made web of canals and waterways, and is renowned for its long, sandy beaches, surfing, rock fishing and tranquil lifestyle.
Kruger National Park is the flagship of South Africa's game reserves, offering an unrivalled wildlife experience over two million-hectares. Private concessions operating within and alongside Kruger National Park feature luxurious, exclusive game lodges with many exciting safari activities. Some of these lodges are unfenced, allowing for the free movement of wildlife. Madikwe Game Reserve, in the North West province, is one of South Africa's largest private Big Five game reserves and features numerous lodges and camps. The Waterberg area in the northwest is also malaria-free and is aptly named for its strong streams that flow even in dry seasons, making for excellent game viewing. Both reserves are great for those seeking an accessible malaria-free wilderness experience.
Durban is a sub-tropical city and the gateway to KwaZulu-Natal. It offers a unique mix of Zulu, Indian and colonial cultures. Visit the Anglo-Zulu battlefields, take a fascinating glimpse into Zulu culture, hike in the beautiful Drakensberg Mountains, dive the reefs, marine and coastal reserves of Maputaland, as well as experience Big Five game reserves. The Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve is renowned for saving the white rhino from the brink of extinction, and Phinda Private Game Reserve is well known for its award-winning lodges and conservation initiatives.
Johannesburg meaning "Place of Gold", is South Africa's economic powerhouse. This vibrant and cosmopolitan city is home to many attractions including the Apartheid Museum and Constitution Hill, and also offers shopping from world-class to atmospheric curio markets. Known as the "Jacaranda City", the state capital of Pretoria features beautiful blossoming trees, significant old buildings and fascinating museums, including the Transvaal Museum, home of Mrs Ples, the australopithecine fossil found at the Cradle of Humankind.
Highlights of South Africa
- Breathtaking scenery, quaint coastal villages, cosmopolitan cities, wine routes and exclusive bush lodges.
- Exciting Big Five safaris in unspoilt wilderness areas.
- Malaria-free game viewing and sunshine all year round.
- See Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was held in prison for 27 years.
- Go up Table Mountain by cable car for stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and beautiful Cape Town.
- Whale watching and great white shark cage diving.
- Beautiful, pristine beaches perfect for swimming and sunbathing.
- The Cradle of Humankind: Sterkfontein is one of the world's most productive and important palaeoanthropological sites.
|Seasons ||Max ||Min
|Summer (September - April)
|Winter (May - August)
|Rainfall: October to March, with November to January heaviest
South Africa has typical seasons of weather for the southern hemisphere, with the coldest days in July-August. The Benguela Current, a cold motion that moves from the lower South Atlantic Ocean, causes moderate temperatures on the West Coast. On the central plateau, which includes Free State and Gauteng provinces, the altitude keeps the average temperatures below 30 °C.In winter, also due to altitude, temperatures drop to freezing point, and in some places, even lower. Heavy snows have fallen recently for the first time in decades in Johannesburg. During winter, it is warmest in the coastal regions, especially on the Eastern Indian Ocean coast and Garden Route, where it has year round mild weather with occasional rain. As winter is cooler and drier, it is more suitable for hiking and outdoor pursuits, and is also a good time for game viewing as vegetation is less dense and thirsty animals congregate around rivers and other permanent water sources.
In summer, South Africa experiences the hottest temperatures and this is generally when most rain falls, October – March. However, there is one exception - the Western Cape, which is a winter-rain area that enjoys a Mediterranean climate (average 26°C).
Christmas to mid-January, and Easter are the height of the peak season for visitors.
Autumn (April/May) and Spring (mid-Sept to November) are ideal almost everywhere.
Population – 50 million
Capital – Pretoria (executive), Bloemfontein (judicial), Cape Town (legislative)
Currency – Rand (ZAR)
Official Language(s) – Afrikaans, English (South African English), Southern Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu
Time difference – GMT +2 hours
Telephone – country code 27, international access code 00
The Instructors were brilliant and very passionate and really good at transferring knowledge. I had an amazing time here, wonderful area and learnt so much. Thank you for this time. Everything has been amazing. I am so glad I decided to take a year and do this course.
Kimberly, UK (Professional Field Guide - 1 Year)
Knowledge regarding the wildlife gained was good, studying whilst living out in the bush in the midst of nature was also an unbelievable experience and opportunity.
Gemma Whitehouse is an excellent and personable representative and agent who was always happy to help.
Tim, UK, aged 28 (Professional Field Guide - 1 Year)