Trails Guide Course – 28 days

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.

What Next?

If you have made up your mind your application starts here

Interested in volunteering, but have a question then please contact us

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.

Highlights

  • Gain a professional understanding of planning and conducting bush walks
  • Experience life at one of two big-game wilderness camps
  • Develop and practise the skills and knowledge acquired on Level 1 Field Guide Course
  • Peace of mind; this course is provided by a UK registered and bonded company, providing financial protection

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.

Background

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.

Project Details

W

hether 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
Subjects include:

  • Introduction to trails guide course
  • Navigation and orientation
  • Tracks and tracking
  • Walking in dangerous game country
  • Situational awareness
  • Approaching dangerous game on foot
  • Dangerous game knowledge and behaviour
  • Animal behaviour
  • Birding and bird identification
  • Rifle handling for dangerous game
  • Weapon handling, safety and ballistics
  • A possible two-day navigational hike and sleep-out

Locations

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.

Tyler Gabrielson, June 2016
Participant

All the instructors were seriously amazing and have taught the group extremely well. Very professional.

Terry Black, June 2015
Participant

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.

Marc Grove, April 2014
Participant

It was really nice having instructors that are so enthusiastic and passionate and know so much about their field.

Monika and Klaus, July 2014
Participant

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.

Course dates and camps

  1. 6 March – 2 April 2017 (Makuleke)
  2. 10 April – 7 May 2017 (Mashatu)
  3. 10 May – 6 June 2017 (Makuleke)
  4. 12 June- 9 July 2017 (Makuleke)
  5. 7 July – 3 August 2017 (Mashatu)
  6. 6 October – 2 November 2017 (Makuleke)
  7. 8 November – 5 December 2017 (Makuleke)

Simple but comfortable accommodation is provided at our unfenced camps offering you total engagement 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.

Participants need to be over 16 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).

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.

Want to join this programme, but still have some questions?