To participate in this course you must be at least 18 years old and have a good knowledge of English. It is very important for you to be interested in nature, enthusiastic about wildlife and willing to gain new knowledge. We will also require a certificate of vaccination and a doctor's certificate confirming that you are healthy and fit enough to take part in the course. You also need to participate in a Skype interview as part of the application process. Before departing to Southern Africa you need to make sure to get travel insurance.
We recommend that you apply early as experience has shown that your chance of obtaining a place in the project is better if you do so. Please feel free to get in touch with us if you have further questions.
Everyone interested in the courses Professional Field Guide, Field Guide Level 1, Safari Guide and Trails Guide should be aware that these courses aim at educating the participants. The courses have a set content and deal with a variety of topics that are introduced in English. A number of theoretical and practical examinations as well as presentations in English are part of the learning experience and can be challenging for non-native speakers.
Please note that the courses are not simply safari excursions but require effort. But if you are interested and also willing to learn something completely new, the challenges and tasks will be manageable for you. You should not get discouraged – feel free to contact us so we can discuss the detailed learning plan and explain the general procedure of the courses to you.
You will arrive in Johannesburg one day before the course begins, from where you will be picked up and brought to the first camp. The course is divided into two units – you will spend six months on the theoretical and practical aspects of training to be a ranger, and a further six months applying your new skills on an internship in a lodge.
We realise that some of the people on our projects in Southern Africa want to see as many animals as possible in their natural environment. However, this is dependent on a number of factors. Please note that NATUCATE makes no guarantee that you will see a variety of animals, in particular the big five, as nature doesn’t always give us what we want. To make such a guarantee would be unprofessional and against our corporate philosophy.
Your accommodation for the duration of the Professional Field Guide course in Southern Africa will be in either stilt houses (Makuleke) or two-man tents (Mashatu, Selati, Karongwe). When staying in Makuleke you will have access to your own bathroom attached to the stilt house. Shared bathrooms are available in the other camps. All camps have a large common room for training, eating together and spending evenings with the group. The camps are not fenced in, and tourists have no access to the site. This gives you a special connection to the natural environment and allows you to enjoy the remoteness of your location.
You will be provided with an early morning snack, a hearty brunch, a light midday meal and a hot meal in the evening. Tea, coffee and tap water are available throughout the day, and fruit juice is also provided at mealtimes. The camp is not connected to the electricity grid, but gets the power that it needs from generators. This means that you will have some ability to charge electronic devices when the generators are up and running. A laundry service is also available in return for a small fee. The camps use solar lamps and satellite telephones for emergencies, as mobile reception is generally quite poor.
Everybody interested in Wilderness Experience Courses should be able to adjust to entirely unfamiliar standards of living in their future host country. Therefore, we would like to point out the importance of being flexible and adaptable regarding the accommodation and sanitary facilities provided by the project. Those are very basic and – depending on the project – cannot be compared to European standards. The equipment and furnishings are limited to a minimum; air conditioning is not available. Depending on your host country occasional power blackouts or water outages are quite common. Please contact us if you have further questions about your accommodation. We are pleased to provide you with comprehensive information since we would like you to feel entirely prepared for your time abroad.
The year spent training to be a ranger will include time to relax and spend how you please. You could use these free days to relax, see the surrounding area with friends or visit the city nearby. The course is made up of a number of modules, each of which finish with theory tests and practical tests. You will have a certain number of free days after each module. You will also have some days off when you change to new accommodation. You could spend this time with friends. Please feel free to ask what kind of free time you will have on the next course. You will frequently have between one and two weeks free. Sometimes it will be a few days while you change location.