Field Guide Course
Become a Field Guide in 55 Days

Always wanted to be a field guide? This high calibre FGASA endorsed, CATHSSETA accredited course will kick-start your career in eco-training and prepare you to become more confident in navigating the African bush in 55 days.

One of the most underrated elements of a safari holiday, are the guides. Most are great, but some, however, are exceptional. And if you're wanting to develop those key characteristics that will put you into this category, accredited 55-day course will be your first step in the right direction. 

To give you a little background, this course is run by EcoTraining, a FGASA registered and endorsed training provider. It is also accredited with CATHSSETA (Tourism and Hospitality and Sport Education Training Authority). If you’re unsure of these acronyms and what they stand for, FGASA and CATHSSETA are the two important bodies primarily responsible for maintaining the high standards within South Africa’s guide training industry in South Africa.

While this comprehensive 55-day course has been carefully designed to equip you to become a high-calibre, professional field guide, it also welcomes anyone longing to increase their knowledge of the African bush. The syllabus not only covers a broad spectrum of subjects including 4x4 game drive vehicle skills, species identification and tracking to name a few, but it also focuses on building up your character and teaching you to become a true storyteller.

At the end of the day, becoming an exceptional guide is not just about facts regarding animals and plants. Sure the odd fact or figure on a game drive is definitely interesting, but what safari-goers and visitors to Africa are really after is what they cannot experience in a book or online.

That being said, this course not only forms the foundation for a career in field guiding but is also beneficial to many other careers in the wildlife and safari industry — perhaps you see yourself managing a lodge, or running an animal-oriented NGO.  After 55 days, you will have the footing to build up their own personal knowledge and work on the skills needed to succeed, wherever your passion leads you. 

Upon your successful completion of the course,  you can then enrol for the FGASA Apprentice Trail Guide Training Course and specialise in ‘on-foot’ guiding. Ready to get started?


Time on this course is split between at least two remote wilderness camps, maximizing exposure to different areas, wildlife, biomes and biodiversity. The designated camps will depend on the time of year: 

  • Selati Game Reserve, South Africa 
  • Karongwe Game Reserve, South Africa 
  • Makuleke Concession, northern Kruger Park, South Africa
  • Pridelands Conservancy, Greater Kruger Park, South Africa 
  • Pongola Game Reserve, South Africa 
  • Mashatu Game Reserve, Botswana


The sleeping arrangements at all the camps consist of two people sharing per tent. Single requests are required to pay double rates. Women and men do not share tents unless booked as a couple.


  • Early morning wake-up: tea, coffee, biscuits, fresh fruit and cereal
  • Brunch after activity: cooked breakfast and fruit salad
  • Afternoon tea: light lunch/sandwiches
  • Dinner: balanced, warm plated meal with meat, vegetables and salad


Candidates must: 

  • Be fit and able to walk for at least 2km
  • Be over the age of 18 years old
  • Be in possession of a valid driver’s license (preferred manual gear shift) 
  • Have a First Aid Certificate

Getting Qualified

When registering for this course, you will automatically be registered students with FGASA and CATHSSETA. In order to gain your Field Guide Certificate and FGASA Field Guide / NQF 2 qualification, you will need to successfully complete a theoretical and practical assessment during the course. These will be conducted by accredited instructors at the camps.

Course Subjects

  • Planning of game drives and walks
  • Navigation and orientation
  • Radio procedures
  • Ecology
  • Reptiles
  • Geology and soil
  • Amphibians
  • Fish
  • Mammals
  • Weather and climate
  • Anticipating animal behaviour
  • Plant communities
  • Career opportunities
  • Plant identification and uses
  • Identification and ecology of invertebrates

Course Dates

03 January 2024 (Mashatu & Selati)
03 January 2024 (Selati & Mashatu) 
08 February 2024 (Makuleke & Mashatu) 
08 March 2024 (Karongwe & Mashatu) 
17 April 2024 (Karongwe & Pridelands) 
14 May 2024 (Selati & Pridelands) 
10 June 2024 (Mashatu & Karongwe) 
04 July 2024 (Mashatu & Pridelands) 
03 August 2024 (Karongwe & Pridelands) 
11 October 2024 (Selati & Mashatu) 

Trail Guide Training Course

This FGASA endorsed course will develop your skills to attain the FGASA Apprentice Trails Guide status, while at the same time, enhancing sk...more
Kruger National Park - South African Safari