Two field guide students sitting in the South African savannah, observing the sunset

Your trip at a glance


  • Receive the entry level quali­fi­ca­tion for field guiding within 55 days
  • Experi­ence the spectac­ular wilder­ness of South African KwaZulu-Natal
  • Enjoy daily game drives and walks
  • Witness South Africa’s fasci­nating wildlife
  • Learn from highly experi­enced guides
  • Acquire essential field guide knowledge
  • Receive an official FGASA certifi­cate at the end of the course


Group of students on a game walk in Southern Africa
Apprentice Field Guide in South Africa: Image of a lion head
Field guide students on a game walk in South Africa, standing in a small river
Field Guide students on a game walk in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Apprentice Field Guide course in South Africa: Leopard in a tree
Two Apprentice Field Guide students observing wildlife in the distance
Field Guide training in Africa: Herd of impalas in Southern Africa
Field Guide course in South Africa: group of students on a game drive at sunrise
Outside area of the lodge in KwaZulu-Natal, accommodation for field guide students in South Africa

Apprentice Field Guide in South Africa

Enjoy a 55-day field guide training amidst the breathtaking wilderness of KwaZulu-Natal and obtain the official FGASA Apprentice Field Guide qualification, the entry level qualification for field guiding in big game areas.

Field Guide course in South Africa: team photo of students and instructors

Arrival and orien­ta­tion in South Africa

You should book a flight to Richards Bay Airport which arrives on the day the course starts. Before your departure to South Africa, we help you organise a transfer service that will pick you up from the airport and take you to your base. Here you can settle in, get to know your team and learn more about the upcoming course and important safety rules.

Apprentice Field Guide course in Africa: herd of elephants in South Africa

Activ­i­ties during the guide course

To give you an idea of a field guide’s daily routine, the course follows a certain structure. Keep in mind that activities are dependent on weather, seasonal changes and other circumstances that cannot be influenced. The aim is to give students a balance of theoretical units and practical training.

Field Guide students on a game walk in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

In the early morning hours, your team and your experienced safari guide trainer head out into the bush to explore the local flora and fauna. These practical sessions are typically game drives or bush walks and focus on certain modules like botany, mammals or tracking. You will furthermore be trained in birding, wildlife photography and driving a 4x4 vehicle. After your morning excursion, you walk or drive back to your base to have lunch and get some rest.

Field Guide course in South Africa: group of students on a game drive at sunrise

In the afternoon, you will either go on another bush excursion or join a theoretical classroom lecture. Theoretical modules that are covered reach from geology, astronomy, weather and climate to ecology, taxology and animal behaviour to safari guiding, guest interaction and conservation management. In the evening, you and your group come together to enjoy a delicious meal and reflect on the day’s activities.

Field guide course in South Africa: close-up of a zebra head

Students will regularly get tested on the modules they have discussed recently. There will also be a mock exam to prepare participants for the final FGASA theory exam. You will be given enough self-study time and even full study days before the exam to get prepared. At the end of the course you will need to pass several theoretical and practical assessments in order to receive
• the FGASA Apprentice Field Guide (formerly Field Guide Level 1),
• the Wilderness First Aid,
• NQF Level 2.

Lodge in KwaZulu-Natal, accommodation for Field Guide studenten in South Africa

Accom­mo­da­tion as a guide student

During your 55-day guide adventure, you will spend half of the training course in a lodge and in a bush camp. The lodge is located within a non-malaria private conservancy covering an area of 30,000 ha. You will share one of the 24 newly renovated rooms which all have access to their own bathroom. In the lodge you can relax in the cosy lounge, have a drink at the bar and enjoy your meals in the beautiful inside and outside dining area.

Field Guide course in Southern Africa: campfire during a Wilderness Sleep-out in South Africa

The bush camp is located under a canopy along a dry riverbed in Bayala Private Game Reserve. Here you will share a dome canvas tent with another participant and use communal bathroom facilities with a simple bucket shower and small ablution. Your tent is equipped with a camping mattress and a pillow. You will need to bring a sleeping bag, though. In the bush camp you will also find a classroom as well as a dining area under trees and canvas. In both lodge and camp, you will receive three meals per day including water, tea and coffee.

Two field guide students sitting in the South African savannah, observing the sunset

Leisure time during your guide training

In general, you will have free time after lunch and in the evening after dinner. You can take a nap, use the time for some extra study or simply spend time with the other participants. When staying in the lodge, you can also jump into the swimming pool. The evenings will usually be spent around the campfire before going to sleep.

Learn what others say about their Natucate adventure.

Review Field Guide Level 1 Africa – Antonia

“When the elephant herd had passed, Alan, our last instructor, said “you cannot describe that experience in words, so let’s not””

Read more
Review Field Guide Level 1 South Africa – Niklas

“I had the expectation of having an extraordinary experience. This expectation was fulfilled, if not exceeded.”

Read more
Review Field Guide Level 1 South Africa – Mel

“Thank you for everything! It was a great time!”

Read more
  • reiseorte-suedafrika-kwazulu-natal-buffalo-herde-natucate
    1. KwaZulu-Natal

    KwaZulu-Natal is a province in the northeast of South Africa. From the megacity of Durban, situated on the Indian Ocean, to the picturesque Drakensberg Mountains – KwaZulu-Natal is home to many of South Africa's most fascinating sights. Last but not least, there are countless national parks and protected areas in KwaZulu-Natal, all of which are characterized by a diverse flora, a species-rich fauna and varied landscapes.

    During your stay in KwaZulu-Natal, you will get a fascinating insight to the wilderness and wildlife of beautiful South Africa.

    Learn more

Background of the Appren­tice Field Guide course

Our 55-day Apprentice Field Guide course will give you the chance to obtain the entry level qualification for field guiding and therefore marks the foundation of further career focus courses. Even if you do not belong to those who plan on taking the first steps towards working in the safari business – in any case, the course will be a beneficial time-out in nature, an unforgettable adventure for those who have a passion for nature and wildlife and are looking for personal development.

Theoretical and practical learning units such as game walks and drives teach course students the knowledge and know-how a field guide must have. They become familiar with the secrets of the African flora and fauna, are able to track and observe wild animals in their natural habitat, learn about conservation issues and an ecofriendly lifestyle and interact with international guest groups. Nature is your classroom – and learning in this awe-inspiring environment is a life-long adventure.


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