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This 28-day FGASA-accredited Trails Guide course offers an excellent opportunity for those planning or developing a career in field guiding and many other wildlife-orientated careers and is a natural next step after completing the Field Guide Level 1 Course. However is open to anyone who wants the exciting opportunity to walk in authentic wilderness areas, gain a true appreciation of the environment and its wildlife and improve and develop their own personal skills.
Absorb the skills and gain a solid understanding of planning and conducting bush walks in big game country. You will spend the majority of your learning time on foot, enabling you to develop as an experienced Field Guide. With an emphasis on safety and sensitivity to the wildlife, the course includes navigation and orientation, tracking, situational awareness and walking in dangerous game country, anticipating dangerous animal behavior and weapon handling.
Our Director at Naturally Africa Volunteers has considerable experience as a Field Guide, starting with FGASA Level 1 training and qualification and continuing on to complete advanced trails guide training and qualifications. It is this passion that has enabled us to partner with one of Africa’s best guide and wildlife training providers to offer some of the best field guide courses and wildlife experiences available.
Whether you already have a career as a guide, you are planning a career in the industry, or you would like to participate for your own enjoyment and knowledge, the skills obtained during the course can be used anywhere and the course content is the same for everyone, regardless of existing qualifications.
However, if a FGASA Back-up Trails Guide qualification is what you are after, you will have to attain a full FGASA Level 1 before coming on the course.Whether you already have a career as a guide, you are planning a career in the industry, or you would like to participate for your own enjoyment and knowledge, the skills obtained during the course can be used anywhere and the course content is the same for everyone, regardless of existing qualifications.
However, if a FGASA Back-up Trails Guide qualification is what you are after, you will have to attain a full FGASA Level 1 before coming on the course.
This 28-day course is based in the Makuleke Concession in the renowned Kruger National Park, or Mashatu in the Northern Tuli Reserve of Botswana. The camps are both based in stunning wilderness areas which involve private conservation and sustainability initiatives and community based employment.
Makuleke – Northern Kruger National Park, South Africa
Home of the Makuleke people, this area is certainly the most diverse and remote area of Kruger National Park and offers fantastic wildlife viewing and the best birding in all of the park.
Mashatu Game Reserve, Botswana
In the easternmost corner of Botswana, the Mashatu Game Reserve is part of the Northern Tuli Game Reserve. Located where the Limpopo and the Shashe Rivers meet, Mashatu is an area of outstanding natural beauty, diverse vegetation and abundant wildlife.
On this FGASA endorsed Trails Guide course, participants will have the opportunity to gain the FGASA Back-up Trails Guide qualification by successfully completing a theoretical and practical assessment. Assessments are conducted by our accredited FGASA assessors at our camps and we are accredited by CATHSSETA.
If you are attending this course in order to obtain this qualification, you will have need to have already qualified with a full FGASA Level 1 beforehand. Firearm proficiency is also required for practical walking, holding a rifle and to partake in the Advanced Rifle Handling activity.
These qualifications are not necessary if you simply love to spend time on foot in the African wilderness and intend to take part for your own personal experience and enjoyment, however, you will be unable to receive the FGASA Back-up Trails Guide qualification.
Shared accommodation at the unfenced camps is simple but comfortable offering you total immersion in the wild!
Makuleke Concession, Kruger National Park, South Africa
The camp consists of nine comfortable thatched, tented rooms, with two students accommodated in each. The camps are raised on wooden decks and shaded by the large nyala trees. Rooms all have an en-suite bathroom with a toilet, shower and hot running water.
Mashatu Game Reserve, Botswana
The camp consists of 10 simple dome tents, each with two mattresses with pillows (two learners per tent). There are shared bathroom facilities, and a central communal area overlooking the river bed.
Please bring along a sleeping bag and any additional blankets and pillows should you require them as they are not always provided at the camps.
To embark on this Trails Guide course, you need to be over 18 years of age and be able-bodied (i.e. able to walk at least 2km).
There are no qualification pre-requisites for this course, however, if you are participating in order to obtain the FGASA Back-up Trails Guide qualification, you will have to attain a full FGASA Level 1 beforehand. Firearm proficiency is also required for practical walking, holding a rifle and to partake in the Advanced Rifle Handling activity (again, for a learning experience only, this does not apply).
Below are some of the feedback comments submitted by participants on the Trails Guide Course.
“All the instructors were seriously amazing and have taught the group extremely well. Very professional.”
Tyler Gabrielson, June 2016
“It is difficult to fully express not only how much I learned, but how much fun I have had doing so. Can’t rate highly enough. Superb.”
Terry Black, June 2015
“It was really nice having instructors that are so enthusiastic and passionate and know so much about their field”.
Marc Grove, April 2014
“For us being over 70 years old it was an incredible experience and we see tracks now with different eyes. Thank you again. Hope to see you again”.
Monika and Klaus, July 2014
Course dates and camps
6 March – 2 April 2017 (Makuleke)
10 April – 7 May 2017 (Mashatu)
10 May – 6 June 2017 (Makuleke)
12 June- 9 July 2017 (Makuleke)
7 July – 3 August 2017 (Mashatu)
6 October – 2 November 2017 (Makuleke)
8 November – 5 December 2017 (Makuleke)
Our answers to a few questions you should be asking if you are thinking about volunteering.
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