Guide Course Southern Africa: Trails Guide
Do you fancy taking time-out from your normal routine? Are you dreaming about a great adventure in Africa? Then the Trails Guide course is tailor-made for you. You will spend 28 memorable days either in the biodiversity of Makuleke, South Africa or Mashatu, Botswana, learning how vital safety is in the heart of the bush. Opt for nature training in a special place which provides the best conditions for an Apprentice Trails Guide course, thanks to the virtually unspoilt environment. Experienced instructors will educate you about the wonders of the African wilderness and help you to improve your Field Guide skills day by day.
Your EcoTraining Adventure – Why book with Natucate
As long-term partners of EcoTraining, we have a trusting relationship with the team on site and visit the camps ourselves each year. When booking your EcoTraining adventure with Natucate, you will benefit from expert advice, comprehensive travel preparation, 24/7 support and German travel law advantages. When booking with Natucate, you won’t have any extra costs.
On our EcoTraining info page you can learn more about why to book your game ranger course with Natucate.
- Live and learn for 28 days surrounded by Southern Africa’s wild nature
- Meet people from all over the world
- Acquire essential ranger knowledge, instructed by experienced course leaders
- Discover the unique flora and fauna on daily excursions into the wild
- Receive an official FGASA Apprentice Trails Guide certification after course completion
Plan your trip
Included in the programme fee
- Placement in the programme
- Assistance with travel arrangements
- Assistance with selecting travel insurance
- Assistance with booking flights
- Risk coverage certificate
Daniel, your travel agent for Southern Africa
You would like to learn more about this trip? Don't hesitate to contact me! Our service doesn't end with your departure: I answer all of your questions and support you before, during and after your stay abroad.
Note: The price stated above is an approximate value. Due to sharp fluctuations in the exchange rate of the South African Rand, the final price for this trip will be calculated at the time of enquiry based on the latest exchange rate.
Apprentice Trails Guide in Southern Africa
As a student in our Trails Guide course, you wander breathtaking wilderness paths in Southern Africa, get to know the local animal and plant life and acquire the most important behavioural strategies a ranger needs to know.
Arrival and orientation in Southern Africa
You need to book a flight to the International Airport of Johannesburg and spend your first night in the city, before being picked up and brought to the course. You will be brought back to Johannesburg at the end of your course before continuing your travels or returning home.
Activities during the Trails Guide course in Africa
This course will give you an insight into the art of following tracks and teach you how to guide people on foot through the natural environment. You and your team will set off on tours with an experienced ranger as the sun goes up and just before sunset to research the environment. Even the smallest detail in the natural environment can provide an insight into the secrets of the African natural landscape. The midday is used for the theory elements of the course.
You will be provided with fundamental information about the various animal and plant species and wildlife behaviour.
When it comes to the African bush, survival often depends on being able to assess and evaluate situations quickly.
If you have already finished the Apprentice Field Guide (formerly Field Guide Level 1), you can apply your theoretical and practical knowledge in this course in order to be certified as FGASA Apprentice Trails Guide (NQF2) at the end.
In addition to the teaching units and excursions, your schedule will also involve learning how to handle a gun.
Accommodation during the FGASA Trails Guide course
Your accommodation for the duration of the Trails Guide course in Southern Africa will be in either stilt houses (Makuleke) or two-man tents (Mashatu, Pridelands, Pongola, 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.
You will receive three to four meals per day. The camps are 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. The camps use solar lamps and satellite telephones for emergencies, as mobile reception is generally quite poor.
Leisure time as a Trails Guide student
The Trails Guide course is worthwhile right from the very start. You will soon get to know the other participants in the camp, with whom you will be spending the next four weeks in these fascinating surroundings. You can make good use of your spare time together. For example, getting to grips with the topic of the day, while leaning against the cool surface of a shady rock. Or you can do an explanatory trip in the area together with other adventurers. From theory to practice: do the 28-day Trails Guide course and learn what life-changing in the African bush feels like.
Arrival in Southern Africa
Typical day during your Trails Guide adventure
Rifle training on a shooting range
Assessments during the Trails Guide course
Last day in the Trails Guide course and departure
“It was amazing. I have made zero, zero (and zero is little) negative experiences.”
“Makuleke lets you walk around like a child with wide eyes and open jaw.”
After taking part in the Field Guide Level 1 our wilderness student Matthias also completed the Trails Guide course in South Africa – and sent us some amazing wildlife shots we'd like to share with you of course:
“Walking is a lot of fun and makes you fit while you are in beautiful nature.”
1. Camp Selati
Camp Selati is located west of the world-famous Kruger National Park. Situated directly on the banks of the Selati River, it is a wonderful observation point for numerous wild animals that cool off from the South African heat in the water of the river.
By participating in an advanced training course in the wilderness of the Selati Game Reserve, you are choosing one of the most interesting regions on the African continent. 33,000 hectares offer plenty of space for a species-rich fauna and flora which you can immerse yourself into during daily game drives and bush walks.
2. Camp Makuleke
Camp Makuleke is located in the Pafuri region in the northern part of South Africa's Kruger National Park. A multitude of fascinating wild animals can be observed in this area and impressive areas can be admired.
If you opt for nature-oriented further education with a stay in Makuleke, you will gain insights into the breathtaking nature of Kruger National Park including its "Big Five": African elephant, black rhino, African buffalo, lion and leopard. Hikes and game drives in open off-road vehicles enable you to experience a superb diversity of flora and fauna – a true enrichment.
3. Camp Karongwe
The South African camp Karongwe is situated at the mostly dried out riverbed of the Karongwe River, in the middle of an area of about 9000 hectares, which will impress you by its biodiversity as well as by its picturesque landscapes.
Nearby you can find the breathtaking Kruger National Park, well-known as one of the largest protected areas in South Africa. Immerse yourself into the spectacular natural landscapes during daily game drives and bush walks, experience the biodiversity of the Karongwe Game Reserve up close and expand your knowledge of the region’s unique flora and fauna under the guidance of experienced field guides.
4. Camp Pridelands
Camp Pridelands is located in South Africa's Limpopo province and has been part of the world-famous Kruger National Park since September 2017. In Pridelands a wealth of fascinating wildlife observations can be made – from representatives of the Big Five to hyenas to the rare African wild dog.
As part of your educational nature adventure, you and your team will set off into the wilderness every day under the guidance of an experienced guide to acquire valuable knowledge about the flora and fauna of the region and to learn more about nature and species conservation as well as current measures and initiatives to preserve biodiversity.
5. Camp Pongola
Camp Pongola is nestled into the wilderness of Pongola Game Reserve in the north-east of South Africa, near the Swaziland border. Endless green expanses and a diverse animal world are characteristic of the region. Four of the Big Five are at home at Pongola – elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino – as well as hippos, crocodiles, hyaenas, giraffes, wildebeest, zebras, warthogs, twelve antelope species and more than 350 bird species.
Every day, you and your team will set out into the beautiful Pongola wilderness to learn more about the unique flora and fauna and to acquire more in-depth knowledge about guiding as well as nature and species conservation.
6. Camp Mashatu
The breathtaking Camp Mashatu is located in the Mashatu Game Reserve, part of the Northern Tuli Game Reserve in Botswana – one of the most beautiful areas in the country. The unique flora and fauna of the region promises countless unforgettable nature experiences.
As part of your advanced training adventure with Natucate, you will complete an intensive and enriching nature training course that will bring you closer to the magnificent flora and fauna of this special area every day. In particular, the Limpopo, one of Botswana's largest rivers near the Mashatu Game Reserve, has a major influence on the vegetation and occurrence of native wildlife.
Background of the Apprentice Trails Guide training
No matter if you already are a qualified field guide or simply a true nature enthusiast, eager to acquire new knowledge and to experience a real outdoor adventure: When joining this training course, you gain profound knowledge about nature and wilderness, increase your situational awareness and learn about the meaning of the environment that surrounds you.
After acquiring the practical skills and essential theory knowledge you have the chance to obtain the official FGASA Apprentice Trails Guide qualification. But even when your intention to join is not qualification-driven, you will benefit from taking part in the course for the rest of your life: Roaming the African bush day by day, exploring the wilderness with all of your senses, and learning in and from nature is, without any doubt, an incomparable once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Spend an unparalleled year amidst Africa's wild nature and get trained as a Professional Field Guide