Experiencing a unique African bush training experience living in a 4/5 star African lodge for 6 months in the heart of a spectacular game reserve; learning to track animals through the bush; getting acquainted with big game and all the main predators, including lion, cheetah, leopard, elephant and rhino; living and working alongside FGASA qualified South African Guides getting constant learning and inspiration; having the chance to sleep out in the bush under the spectacular African stars and wake up to a beautiful sunrise. Location
The courses are run from two campuses in the Limpopo province, in the north-eastern region of South Africa. Both are located in areas famous for their big game and dramatic scenery of beautiful African bush, and have the mysterious Drakensberg Mountains as a stunning backdrop. Students spend 23 weeks having practical and academic training on campus, and then spend the final 23 weeks doing work experience at one of a number of lodges located in the Lowveld of South Africa. Field Conditions
The two campuses are located in the Lowveld, approx 500km northeast of Johannesburg. The areas that the course traverses for practical training are areas of true big game territories, to show you the African bush at its best. The reserves are home to predators such as lions, leopards and cheetahs, as well as beautiful elephants, rhinos and hippos.
Accommodation at either campus is comfortable, in an idyllic bush setting. The rooms are shared and students have access to all basic facilities, a social area and swimming pool and lecture facilities. All meals are provided during course times and there are laundry facilities available. Uniforms and linen are washed and ironed for you weekly. The campus also has electricity. Project Life
Typically the day will start early at around 5.30 - 6am. You will usually grab a cup of tea before heading out into the bush for a morning of practical training laden with reference books of the African bush and a pair of good binoculars. Each week you will be focusing on a different module such as birds, mammals, 4 X 4 skills etc.
On your practical sessions in the bush, either a walk or a drive, you will concentrate on these modules and put all the theory you have learnt in the classroom into practice in the field. For example, you might have collected some specimens that morning which you will bring back to the classroom for identification before the afternoon practical.
At the end of each week all the students are tested on that weeks module before moving onto the next one. However, learning of each topic is continuous as while you are out in the bush nature is all around you so you cannot help but increase your knowledge and skills as the weeks progress.
Bushwise follows the curriculum of FGASA and we use the manuals as a reference tool as you will be taught by experienced guides and instructors. NOTE
Volunteers must be at least 18 years to participate on six-month duration, between 21 and 39 years for 1 year course. Volunteers also must hold a manual drivers license valid for 1 year from the start of the course. What's Included
Pre-departure support and discounted services
24-hour emergency phone
Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
Long term experienced staff
Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
All necessary project training by experienced staff
All necessary project equipment and materials
24-hour in-country support
Transfer from Oliver Tambo International airport
Limited internet access at no extra cost
All compulsory books
2 x sets of uniforms
Other activities, such as sleep outs, Kruger trips, etc.
Bushwise T-shirt, fleece jacket, cap and beanie
FGASA (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa) national certificate - Level 1 - practical and theory
FGASA Advanced Rifle Handling Certificate
SASSETA (Rifle handling, proficiency, maintaining of fire arms and shooting)
THETA (The Hospitality, Sports, Education and Training Authority) National Qualification (Level 2) in Nature Guiding
National First Aid Certificate
Dangerous game experience
Ethical guiding principles
6 months work experience and testimonial from a 4-5 star lodge or a research program if included What's Not Included
Medical and travel insurance
Additional drinks and gratuities
Extra local excursions
International and domestic airport taxes
Professional drivers permit
Transport costs to placement
Laundry, food and transport during weeks off
Recommended reference books