To take part in this course you must be at least 18 years old and have a good level of English. 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. No specialist knowledge is required – it's far more important for you to be interested in nature, enthusiastic about wildlife and willing to gain new knowledge. You also need to make sure to get travel insurance before departing to Southern Africa.
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.
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. You will be picked up Johannesburg and brought to the camp on the following day. You will visit the African bush twice a day and get a better understanding of the ecosystem. Professionally trained course leaders will share their experience and expertise to show you how to orientate yourself in the wilderness. You will be provided with a solid foundation covering how the ecosystem developed, as well as information about the flora and fauna. You will learn how to recognise plants and how to use them for medical purposes. You will also learn how to identify animals based on their tracks and the noises they make. An experienced ranger will explain the behaviour of animals as you observe them together. You will also be trained how to interact with guests and be given valuable tips which will help you take the best possible photographs. Your training will take place in the heart of the wilderness. The camps are not fenced off, which gives them a unique feeling of being connected to the natural environment. This course is the perfect preparation for training to be a professional field guide. This course will give you a first-hand look at the beauty of the African natural environment and an exciting break from your hectic everyday life, regardless of whether you are looking for a training opportunity, a sabbatical or simply your next adventure. You will be brought back to Johannesburg at the end of your course before continuing your travels or returning home.
As a student, you can have the course credited as work experience and use it in the future. If you plan to do the training as a Professional Field Guide, the course is an ideal preparation for future assignments. And if you are just an adventurer or life-changer who wants to break out of the daily routine and get to know nature in all its magnificence, then this NATUCATE course is just right for you.
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, Karongwe). When staying in Makuleke you will have access to your own bathroom attached to the stilt house. Shared bathrooms are available in Mashatu and Karongwe. 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.
All students in this course 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.
You will also have time off to spend as you please during this course. However, because the course only lasts 28 days, these periods will be limited to individual days or afternoons which you can use to relax or revise. Depending on the camp, you will be able to play volleyball or table tennis, take a look at the library or play cards with your friends. Please feel free to contact us if you require any additional information about the current course.