We are in the business of training field guides and before elaborating any further it is perhaps pertinent to clarify the difference between a field / nature guide and a game ranger.
A field guide is principally concerned with leading and educating paying guests on excursions into the bush.
A game ranger is principally concerned with the management of a wilderness resource and is not involved with guiding in any way.
The job of a field guide
The job of a field guide is often glamorised. It can be an extremely rewarding career and in fact is probably better described as a lifestyle.
It is also incredibly hard work requiring a commitment and dedication to long hours, irregular schedules, tough conditions (often having to work outdoors in rain and extreme cold), potential danger and probably most importantly, solitude and very little social life in (often) isolated and remote locations.
The benefits and positives do however, outweigh the hardships and negatives with the biggest plus being the opportunity to live and work in areas that most people only dream about visiting while experiencing a quality of life that is second to none. As a field guide you get to meet people from all walks of life, you have unparalleled opportunities to view wildlife, to witness spectacular wildlife interactions, and to take awesome photographs on a daily basis. But, probably most importantly, you are in the unique position to educate people about our most precious resource, the natural world around us, and in so doing contribute toward a sustainable future!
Beat About The Bush Field Guide Training
About The Bush Field Guide Training specialises in not only equipping potential candidates / learners with the expertise required to attain the recognized qualifications that will enable entrance into the tourism industry, but more importantly, the skills that will allow them to prosper as a dynamic field guide in a career that is fiercely competitive.
The standard Nature Guide Level 1 (NQF 2) and Trails Guide courses are offered for beginner guides and people wanting to learn more about the natural world while specialist short courses (subject specific) are offered for qualified guides or bush enthusiasts that want to develop their skills to a higher level..
With an emphasis on guiding basics (how to guide rather than how much a guide should know), students are prepared in the most efficient and practical manner possible to attempt and succeed with the FGASA exams.
All courses are conducted in the Greater Kruger Park area of South Africa and long courses follow the FGASA curriculum / syllabus guidelines. Trevor Carnaby is the principle trainer. Well-known in guiding circles, Trevor has written a number of behavioural guides on African Mammals and Birds and is passionate about improving guiding standards. He has been actively training guides for the last 8 years and holds the FGASA SKS (DG) qualification.
All FGASA courses will cater for a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 8 learners while short courses will have a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 8 learners to ensure individual, personalized attention. Practical guiding skills are developed and honed through 4-6 hours spent in the bush each day.
To ensure that we do not become a ‘guide factory’ where standards are compromised to ensure high pass rates and as many qualifications per annum as possible, only a limited number of courses will be conducted per calendar year! Space is therefore limited and should be secured well in advance to avoid disappointment.
FGASA is an accredited Training Provider with CATHSSETA which allows you to get a NQF qualification, this then allows you to register as a legal guide with NDT (DEAT).
We are in the business of producing great guides, not average ones!!
If all of the above sounds enticing, and you envisage living a privileged lifestyle while making a difference by educating people about nature and the environment then perhaps a career in field guiding awaits you!
The Lodge Industry
In the 21st Century, many lodges have the dilemma that they need to maintain and develop the skills of their guiding teams to keep pace with competitors and industry standards, but they either do not have the resources to train these guides from within OR operational, logistical and budgetry constraints prevent them from sending all their guides to attend courses elsewhere.
This is precisely why Beat About The Bush has always specialised in creating a range of short courses designed for the lodge / camp industry. These short courses are designed specifically to enhance the skills set of existing guides, with subjects and modules (course content and duration) tailored to suit the individual needs of lodges. These courses are conducted at the relevant lodges to ensure that the guides are trained within their working environments.