Do you want to pursue a career in wildlife guiding or simply enrich your knowledge?
Africa Nature Training (ANT) provides a choice of exciting courses which offer nature enthusiasts, students who would like to become professional field guides and professional field guides the opportunity to enrich their knowledge and gain recognised qualifications.
ANT is an established South African company dedicated to conservation and environmental education, based at Intibane Research & Training Centre on Thanda’s 14 000 hectare Big Five reserve, where it offers a range of outstanding courses.
• FGASA-accredited Field Guide Course
• Nature Enthusiast Course
• Savanna Bird Course
• Trails Guide Course
• Advanced Rifle Handling Course
• Distance Learning
Flagship Field Guide Programme
ANT’s flagship, eight-week Field Guide programme is a quality, FGASA-accredited field guide course for individuals over the age of 18 wishing to pursue a career in field guiding. It is also a wonderful course for all those who would simply like to increase their wildlife and environmental knowledge. FGASA, or the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa, is the regulatory body that sets and maintains the standards within the field guiding industry of Southern Africa. The syllabus is aligned with two unit standards of South Africa’s National Qualifications Framework (NQF) TG/NATSITEGD/2/0040 Nature Site Guide National Skills Programme.
What are the entry requirements for this course?
Students must be 18 years of age or older, and instruction is in English, therefore you need to understand and speak the language. Ideally, you should have a valid driver’s licence. However, if you do not yet have a driver’s licence, one of the other students will drive the vehicle following your directions for the purpose of your assessment drive. Game drives are in a Land Rover game-viewing vehicle, driven by the students, under the watchful eye of ANT instructors. Please note that without a valid driver’s licence you cannot complete the TETA 4x4 certificate, as possession of a valid licence is a prerequisite to participate in this training.
What do I have to do to obtain the Field Guide qualification?
Students who wish to obtain the Field Guide qualification are required to successfully complete the workbook (theory and practical sections), pass the theory examination, complete and pass a valid First Aid level 1 course and be found competent in terms of field skills during a practical assessment. These steps – and more - are all included in our course.
What does the Field Guide qualification permit me to do?
It allows you to take paying guests on game drives in dangerous game or Big Five areas. It also allows you to take guests on walks and drives in non-dangerous game areas. After successfully completing the Field Guide Qualification, students who wish to lead walks in dangerous game or Big Five areas are required to complete a Trails Guide Course, which we also offer.
Where is the course held?
For the first week, you work from home on an assignment that we set for you. For the next seven weeks you will live at the Intibane Research & Training Centre.
What does the course entail?
Each course has been specifically designed to ensure that maximum learning takes place whilst having a huge amount of fun! During the first week of the course, we expect you to do some research from home and complete an assignment on reptiles, amphibians, arthropods and savanna flagship species. Over the seven weeks, the training includes hands-on learning in the field, with a twice-daily educational activity – usually morning walks and afternoon drives. Participants will attend a daily lecture, covering topics in the syllabus, and you will complete a workbook as you progress.
You will spend time getting familiar with the game viewer vehicle, doing an accredited 4x4 driving course over three days and a level 1 First Aid course over two days. You will also spend time learning the basic rifle-handling skills required for guides who drive guests in dangerous game or Big Five areas. You will spend time doing a tracking course and have an opportunity to get involved in ongoing research and habitat management projects on the reserve.
Who is responsible for our training?
Lorraine Doyle is the founder of ANT and the principal trainer. She is a perfectionist by nature and this is reflected in all that she does. She has an Honours Degree in Nursing, a professional Field Guide qualification, a Trails Guide qualification, a Level 2 Tracking qualification and she is also a registered Savanna Biome Specialist Guide. Lorraine is a FGASA and CATHSSETA-registered assessor.
Gary Lyon is an accomplished ANT graduate with many years of guiding experience in Southern Africa. He has also led Outward Bound Expeditions in the United States. He has an Advanced Field Guide Qualification, a Back-up Trails Guide qualification and a Level 3 Tracking qualification.
Students are accommodated at the Intibane Research & Training Centre on Thanda Safari. Safari-style accommodation is provided in small thatched chalets, each with an en-suite bathroom (double occupancy). Intibane’s facilities include a restaurant, cash bar, swimming pool and braai (BBQ) area. Wifi is available. Situated in the reserve, you can view wildlife from your deck. Our chef offers delicious, freshly cooked meals and dietary requirements can be accommodated.