Game Ranger Course - South Africa

A unique blend of wildlife biology and ecology, this 8-week course gives you the theoretical and practical training needed to become a qualified Field Guide.  Run at a renowned Big Five Game Reserve covering some 6,000 hectares, deepen your knowledge and understanding of the natural world and cover topics such as geology, astronomy, weather and climate, and basic ecology.

On successful completion of the course, you will obtain your FGASA Apprentice Field Guide qualification, an ideal foundation for aspiring game rangers and conservationists, as well as those looking for an insight into Field Guiding and to gain a deeper understanding of wildlife and the African bush.  

Perfect for: Outdoor Courses & Wildlife Conservation


  • Live and learn on a world-famous Big Five Game Reserve
  • Complete your FGASA Apprentice Field Guide (NQF2) certification
  • Gain hands-on wildlife research and conservation management training
  • Optional weekend excursions to Port Elizabeth

This 8 week course is fully accredited by FGASA (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa) and equips you with theoretical and practical training to become a qualified field guide. 

Weeks 1 – 2: Big 5 Wildlife & Conservation Experience

The course steadily builds up on your learning, and therefore the first few weeks are focused mainly on volunteering in order to give you exposure to wildlife and a chance to learn and understand the basics. Working alongside experienced local rangers, activities you can look forward to include tracking, monitoring, landscaping, game counts and patrols. During your second week you will begin some introductory course training.

Weeks 3 – 7: Game Ranger Training 

This wide ranging syllabus will include classroom lectures, field lectures and some self-study, and is conducted alongside your ongoing practical training. Your training is comprised of a number of exciting modules including: 

  • Mammals
  • Reptiles
  • Animal behaviour
  • Conservation Management
  • Weather & climate
  • Fauna and flora
  • Guest interaction
  • And many more

Week 8: Assessments and Exams

During your final week, there will be some self-study and revision time before your theory examination and practical assessment, and upon successful completion you will be awarded your FGASA Apprentice Field Guide Qualification certificate!

Weekend Excursions:

Weekends are free time. Either relax and un-wind at the Reserve, enjoying the park and its close-knit community, or head out on a weekend excursion to Port Elizabeth. Transport and shared hostel accommodation for weekend excursions are included in your fees.

8-weeks: £4500

For available start dates check out the 'Dates & Availability' section below - you may need to scroll right to view the prices and book on! You can secure your place on your chosen adventure with a deposit of either £300 or 10% of the trip price, whichever is higher. The remainder is paid leading up to the trip departing.

What's included:

  • Pre-departure support 
  • Airport pick-up & return transfer
  • Accommodation
  • Meals while at the Reserve
  • Practical bush training and theoretical training
  • Learning and study materials
  • First Aid Level 1 course
  • FGASA Exam Registration & Fee
  • Game Reserve T-shirt & Cap 
  • 24/7 emergency back up 
  • Financial failure protection

What is not included:

  • Flights to/from Port Elizabeth
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa & Vaccinations
  • Spending money 
  • Optional excursions/activities

Who is this program for?

This course is perfect for aspiring field guides and conservationists, or those on an extended break looking for insight into Field Guiding and to gain a deeper understanding of wildlife and the African bush. The minimum age to participate is 18 and you must also have your doctor sign our medical form confirming you are medically fit to participate. A reasonable level of fitness is required to participate, and if you plan to take part in any water based activities you must be able to swim.

Where will I be staying?

You will be staying in comfortable shared dormitories at the onsite volunteer accommodation. Dorms sleep a number of participants together, with 2-bed partitioned areas for privacy. Sleeping areas are single sex, with shared entertainment room and dining areas for all.

What is the food like?

You are provided with 3 full meals a day whilst on this training course. Western menus feature heavily for lunch and dinner with as much variety as possible, ranging from burgers, chicken and chips, vegetarian dishes, potato casserole etc. You definitely won't go hungry!

Who will be supervising me?

The course is run by professional local staff all with years of experience in the safari guiding industry. Together, the team conveys a well-rounded understanding of the environment, wildlife, field guiding, and safari hospitality.

How much spending money do I need?

We recommend a budget of 50 USD / 45 Euro / 40 GBP (per week) to cover adfood and activities for a weekend excursion into Port Elizabeth. While on Reserve, you won’t need spending money as your food etc. is included.

Exceeded my expectations!

Overall, I absolutely loved every moment of my time in South Africa. The reserve was such a fantastic place to stay, and all the staff were amazing. The leader of the course is such a friendly and well informed man, he made learning about the wildlife so interesting and engaging. It completely exceeded my expectations! There was an excellent split between ‘classroom learning’ and more practical learning out on game drives and with guests. One of my favourite moments was going on a sunset drive on one of the weekends. The light on the plains was breathtaking and really made me so grateful for being able to experience such a beautiful moment.


I loved the course!

I loved the course! It is a unique experience and I learned a lot more than expected. The overall experience exceeded my expectations. The rooms and facilities are very comfortable and it was really nice that the group we had the course with was very small. The ranger that gives the course and the other rangers on site have a lot of knowledge. I did not expect there to be so many volunteers but I did enjoy meeting so many new people. So yes I would definitely recommend it to others, mainly if you have a high interest in learning everything about the nature.


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Or call us on 1-917-305-5404

  • South Africa
  • Duration: 8 weeks
  • Departures: March, May, July, September

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