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Safari Guide Course - 28 Day

Game Reserves in South Africa, Botswana and Kenya
from £2,745 (28 days)

Ref: AA009

This 28 day short course will give participants a real insight into the daily life of a South African guide, with sleep outs and night drives, and the chance to experience the African Bush and its wildlife in a unique and in-depth way.  An ideal opportunity for anyone passionate about nature and looking for a bush holiday whilst also learning about the landscape and wildlife of Africa.

Who can join: 16 years and over
Accommodation: Thatched/tented huts
Transfer time: dependant on camp
Pick up Point: Transfer not included
Meals: Meals included
Volunteer numbers: approx 20

Duration & Fees

Prices valid from the 01 Jan 2017 until the 31 Dec 2017

28 days£2,745

Prices valid from the 01 Jan 2018 until the 31 Dec 2018

28 days£3,125

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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)

Start Dates

2017 Start Dates:

1 Sep - 28 Sep (Mashatu)

2018 Start Dates:

5 Jun - 2 Jul (Karongwe)
2 Sep - 29 Sep (Mashatu)

Payment

30% of course fee is required as a deposit at time of booking – the balance is due 12 weeks before departure

What's Included

  • Instruction and Training
  • Accommodation and meals
  • Lectures, game drives and walks
  • Tea, coffee and cordials
  • Game Walks
  • Open vehicle game drives
  • Sleep outs/additional activities

What's not included

  • International and domestic flights
  • Transfers/transport to and from the camp, before and after the course
  • Travel insurance to cover the period of the course (to include cover for repatriation)
  • Tourist visas
  • Any accommodation before and after the course
  • Beverages (beer, ciders, bottled water)
  • Personal items, clothes, travel goods etc
  • Spending money – for drinks etc
  • Kruger National Park Entrance Fee (only applicable if course is at Makuleke Camp)
  • Border crossing fee (only applicable if course is at Mashatu Camp)

This 28 day Safari Guide training course is aimed at those wishing to experience a bush holiday in South Africa, whilst also learning about the environment they are in.  The course was first developed in 1993 and was the first of its kind in the safari industry and it is for those that are passionate about nature and who would like a more in-depth experience and understanding of it.  The knowledge gained on the course will take safaris and bush holidays to the next level and give them a whole new meaning.

If you are not aiming for a career as a Field Guide but, would like to learn more about the Africa Bush and Wildlife for your own personal growth. The knowledge you gain on this course, will take your safaris and bush holidays to the next level and give them a whole new meaning!

Twenty-eight days of living and learning in nature at our wilderness camps provides you with the practical and theoretical knowledge of the natural environment. Upon completion of the course, you will be capable of conducting game drives and interpreting the natural environment around you.

Thge safari guide course consists of walks; one or two-daily lectures in our bush classrooms; game drives, as well as sleep-outs in the bush. Every minute of the day and night on this course is a learning experience, being constantly exposed to the bush. Our highly experienced instructors provide unique access to their vast knowledge and insight, making every lecture an inspiring experience.

Subjects Covered in the Course

  • Ecology
  • Geology
  • Climate and Weather
  • Cultural and Medicinal Uses of Plants
  • Animal Tracks and Tracking
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Bird Identification and Behaviour
  • Navigation Skills and Situational Awareness
  • Off-road and Sensitive 4x4 Driving Skills
  • Creating Photographic Opportunities
  • Correct Binocular Use

Typical Daily Itinerary

A typical daily programme at the camp follows a routine of rising early, usually before sunrise, enjoying hot coffee while you listen to the bush waking up and then leaving the camp for an outing into the wilderness.

The outings are extremely flexible and determined by the unpredictability of what is found during the outing in combination with the subjects that have to be covered.  The outing could be a game drive following up on the roar of a lion heard during the night or a walk learning about the plant species occurring in the area.  It could be a walk following fresh elephant tracks, learning how to track the animal and finding it or it could be a game drive to a waterhole where animals come to drink.
  
Students return to camp in the late morning for a hearty brunch which is followed by a lecture on the subject of the day.  Study and rest time is then followed by afternoon tea and another outing into the wilderness until sunset, if walking, or until well after dark if doing a game drive.

Afternoon outings could include night drives looking for nocturnal animals such as owls, bushbabies and leopards or it could be a walk looking for and learning how to identify interesting birds.  It could be time spent studying the night skies or it could be a time for learners to test their 4x4 driving skills.

It is then back to the camp for dinner, stories around the campfire, discussing the day’s experiences and wondering about tomorrow’s adventures.

The emphasis is on practical day-to-day experiences in the bush.  The daily outings are flexible and may focus on specific subjects such as animal tracks and tracking, birds, plant identification or animal behaviour, or may involve game viewing and learning about the ecosystem in general.

Location and Environment

The training programmes take place in bush camps in the untamed and stunning African bush. Students will have the opportunity to view and interact with elephant, rhino, lion, cheetah and leopard as well as a huge variety of antelope and bird life.

The accommodation camps are designed to allow students to get up close and personal with their environment. The camps are of uncluttered and authentic game reserve style, and as it is completely unfenced there are occasional nocturnal visitors, especially hyena - hence the sounds of the bush are literally right outside the accommodation!   It also provides a perfect opportunity to practice tracking skills through and around the camp each morning.

Summers in this part of Africa are warm with temperatures ranging from the mid 20's C on cloudy days to the high 30's C on clear days. Occasionally peak temperatures can exceed 40 C.  Rain in the summer tends to be either heavy with short-lived thunder storms or more gentle frontal rain over a longer period.  The winters tend to be dry and mild but with occasional winter showers.

Extra Information

Getting There

Students should arrange to fly into Johannesburg (OR Tambo) Airport.  From here onward transfer can be made either by road or air to the various camps.  

A bushbus service to the camps can be booked through Amanzi Travel and full details and costs will be in your pre-departure pack. 

For details on the transfers to the different camps please contact Amanzi Travel 

Please note that Amanzi travel can arrange international and domestic flights. Amanzi Travel holds an ATOL licence and we can arrange any flight requirements that you have upon request.

A perfect way to explore more of Africa

Before heading straight back home, why not take an Overland Journey through Africa to explore more of the wonderful sights and experiences that this beautiful continent has to offer.  You can take a trip that starts and finishes in the same city (eg Windhoek to Windhoek) or you can use it as an opportunity to get your from one city to another (eg Cape Town to Nairobi).

“This has got to be the best way to see Africa in a short period of time ... brilliant. The guides were fantastic, the campsites great, and the food excellent. The overland trip was excellent - really well run”
Southern Sun 21 days, Cape Town to Victoria Falls - Jennie and Stuart, Sweden, aged 32 and 34.

“I didn’t know I could become such close friends with people in just a week. The trip attracts a great group of people who are so easy to get along with. My group ranged from 20 to 70 and we all sat down with a drink, played cards together and just gathered around the campfire.  It was an experience of a lifetime and I will definitely recommend this to my friends and family”
Tanzanian Game Parks and Zanzibar, 10 Days and Masai Mara Safari, 3 Days - Sara, Canada/Malaysia, aged 20.

 From 3 days to 56 days, take a look at the exciting Overland Trips here.

Support and Orientation

Support and advice is available from Amanzi Travel office staff and project/trip leaders. Upon booking, you will receive a comprehensive pre-departure pack that provides all the details you will need to prepare for your trip to Africa.  This document includes information on accommodation, staff, visas, optional activities, packing checklist and medical advice and if you have any questions that are not answered in the pack we are always on hand to help and advise. We will do all we can to ensure that you are well prepared and looking forward to your trip to Africa. You will also receive an in country orientation on arrival.

A 24 hours a day, 7 days a week emergency contact number is provided for everyone who travels with us.

Amanzi Travel holds an ATOL licence (9401) and is able to arrange your flights on request giving you financial protection for your flight and trip costs. We also offer advice on personal travel insurance for your trip.

Game Reserves in South Africa, Botswana and Kenya, Safari Guide Course - 28 DayGame Reserves in South Africa, Botswana and Kenya, Safari Guide Course - 28 DayGame Reserves in South Africa, Botswana and Kenya, Safari Guide Course - 28 DayGame Reserves in South Africa, Botswana and Kenya, Safari Guide Course - 28 DayGame Reserves in South Africa, Botswana and Kenya, Safari Guide Course - 28 DayGame Reserves in South Africa, Botswana and Kenya, Safari Guide Course - 28 DayThe 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, 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. 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.

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, 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. Members of the Makuleke community are employed at the camp.

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.

Selati Camp

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 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.

Participants share twin walk in style tents. 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 a great place for student leisure time.

Mashatu Camp

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. 

Participants share twin tents. 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.

Lewa Camp

The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is a private reserve in north-east Kenya near Mount Kenya National Park, Samburu and the Aberdares. The number of visitors to Lewa has been greatly restricted, giving you the opportunity to experience Africa at its wildest. Lewa is malaria-free and is situated at 4,500 to 6,500 feet (1,400-2,000 metres) above sea level.The Lewa Downs within the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is a 16,000 hectare ranch that has been the home of the Craig family since 1924. They manage the Lewa Safari Camp and Wilderness Trails lodge. In addition, Ngwesi Lodge, as part of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, is a community run tourism project that has won world acclaim. Only three other operators on Lewa Wildlife Conservancy offer safaris and only the lodge visitors may enter the reserve. So, when you visit Lewa Conservancy, you will be far from the crowded safari trails and can enjoy the vastness of this beautiful region in tranquillity.

Participants stay in 
Old style fly camp - walk in style Meru tents, each with two stretchers and bedding is provided (two learners per tent). There are shared bathroom facilities. Please bring a sleeping bag for sleep outs.

General – All Camps

All four of the 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 – paraffin lamps are used for all lighting and a generator is used to charge camera batteries and cell phones. The kitchen is equipped with gas fridges for storage of all perishable food items.

Fresh, drinkable water is available from the taps.
Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages are sold at the camp
A laundry service is provided by the camp and is included in the course fee.

Meals
 

Early morning wake-up: Tea, coffee, biscuits and fresh fruit
Brunch after activity:  Cooked breakfast, cereals and fruit
Afternoon tea:  Light snacks
Dinner:  A balanced, warm plated meal ( e.g. meat, vegetables, salad)

Click here to view the full interactive mapSouth 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.

Climate

For Johannesburg:

Seasons Max Min
Summer (September - April) 25 °C 10 °C
Winter (May - August) 19 °C 4 °C
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.

Key Facts

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

Safari Guide Course - 28 Day

I had a wonderful time here. Lovely surrounding, fantastic instructors, good accommodation. It feels a great deal like home now to me. Four weeks flew by and I wish I could stay for another 4 weeks!

Marjan, Holland (Safari Guide Course - 28 Day)

Safari Guide Course - 28 Day

One of my best African experiences

Ian, UK (Safari Guide Course - 28 Day)

Safari Guide Course - 28 Day

Both Bruce and Albie are incredible instructors.  I loved just going for the afternoon drives to relax and just see what we can find.  I can’t believe my time here is over.  Time flies when you are having fun.  I leant so much from the instructors and also my fellow students.  This camp is well organised as people work together to keep it going.  I will miss this place dearly and hope now is not the last time I will be here.  Thank you for everything. 

Melissa, USA (Safari Guide Course - 28 Day)

Safari Guide Course - 28 Day

Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary: My five weeks in Namibia wildlife sanctuary took place too quickly! It was like a dream. So many animals to take care. I loved taking care of the two babies zebras. We had to give them their bottles every two hours during the day. Having spent so much time with them, it is rewarding to see them grow up healthy. There were also the baboons to take for a walk. What a pleasure to receive a grooming of the dominant female ! There was also a baby baboon who had to sleep every night with one of the volunteers! Feeding carvivores (lions, cheetahs, leopards, wild dogs and caracals) is very rewarding. Knowing that Namibia wildlife sanctuary tries to release the animals is more significant. I advise all animal lovers to participate in a project like this!

Overland Tour: I discovered a new way of travel and I loved it. The other travelers and the staff were friendly. Sleeping in a tent is a great experience that I recommend. The food was very good and varied.

Safari Guide Course: this course allowed me to better know the flora and fauna of the region (I was at around 1 hour of Kruger park, in Karongwe). The feeling of being lost in the middle of nowhere is amazing. Sleeping in a tent and waking up to the sounds of lions or jackals is fabulous, and then in the morning to discover the footprints left during the night by the animals is unbelievable. In the morning we did a walk through the reserve and the afternoon we did a game drive, so we could learn a maximum.

Thank you for a great trip

Harmony, Switzerland, aged 23 (Safari Guide Course - 28 Day, Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary)

Safari Guide Course - 28 Day

A month I shall always remember - it enhanced my love of the bush and stoked an interest in it.

Ben, UK, aged 27 (Safari Guide Course - 28 Day, FGASA Level 1 Field Guide Course - 55 Days)

Safari Guide Course - 28 Day

I wanted to write and let you know just how wonderful the course is. Jason and I had a really amazing month and believe that the course is extremely valuable for our future in the industry. We had no idea when applying for the course just how intensive it is, but the knowledge that we gained was not only interesting but will be applicable in our everyday life... The instructors were fantastic and amazed me everyday with his enthusiasm and knowledge of the bush. It takes special people to do the same thing over and over but with such passion. We really cannot thank them enough. I now look at the bush with a new perspective!!!  We made some wonderful friends, who I know we will keep in touch with, and we had an amazing month

Michaela and Jason, aged 20 and 21 (Safari Guide Course - 28 Day, FGASA Level 1 Field Guide Course - 55 Days)

Safari Guide Course - 28 Day

A profound experience that taught me to see nature instead of only looking at it. I now have a better understanding of all interacting parts that form an ecosystem and how they are connected. An exciting new world has opened up!

Jaap 2008 (Safari Guide Course - 28 Day, FGASA Level 1 Field Guide Course - 55 Days)

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