Working for Wilderness
Ready to make an impact? Join the world’s leading conservation and hospitality company that’s hell-bent on protecting the world’s most iconic wild destinations. We pride ourselves in our warm and nurturing work culture. And believe in investing in the growth of all our wilderness staff, through training and mentorship programmes. Have a look at our vacancies and get in touch.
WORKING AT WILDERNESS
Our core values
We are Wilderness. We are ethical, humble, inclusive and respectful; wholeheartedly committed to delivering warm, authentic hospitality; all for our collective purpose: to expand the world’s wilderness, together. Our values are a reflection of the unique Wilderness culture we’ve all helped to build.
Passionate about hospitality
We are dedicated to offering authentic service and delivering the warmest hospitality with passion and great pride as we share our incredible wild places with all who visit us - whether we are welcoming guests, working alongside colleagues or collaborating with partners, communities or governments.
We exist to expand the world’s wilderness. Everything we do underpins this purpose – from selling journeys, hosting guests and building camps to supporting communities and protecting wildlife. We are always on the lookout for new ways to increase and improve our positive impact. It's this deep commitment to making a difference that fuels everything we do.
This isn’t just a job, it’s our life’s work. Every day we set out to earn and retain the trust that has been built over four decades, on a foundation of honesty, transparency, integrity and respect - for our environment and everyone we interact with, while always seeking the truth and the best for our collective.
From humble beginnings in 1983 – just two passionate safari guides in Botswana, one vehicle and a few rustic tents – we have grown to become Africa’s leading conservation and hospitality company, with over 3,000 dedicated employees, and more than 60 camps in 8 countries. Four decades later, our pioneering spirit continues to steer, guide and inspire all who work here.
Passionate about Hospitality
Let’s plan your next journey
When we say we’re there every step of the way, we mean it, literally. From planning the perfect circuit, to private inter-camp transfers on Wilderness Air, and easing you through Customs. We’re with you on the ground, at your side, 24-7, from start to finish. Ready to take the road less travelled? Contact our Travel Designers to plan an unforgettable journey.
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Safari Guide jobs in South Africa
Safari guide - luxury lodge - limpopo.
- Waterberg, Limpopo
- R7,000-10,000 per month
Field Guide (FGASA Level 1) - Private Lodge - Limpopo
- Hoedspruit, Limpopo
- R6,000-8,000 per month
Guide - Luxury Lodge - Western Cape
- Bonnievale, Western Cape
- R7,000 per month
Field Guide - Luxury Lodge - Zululand
- Zululand, KwaZulu-Natal
- R14,000 per month
Field Guides - Waterberg, Limpopo
Field guide - luxury lodge - graff-reinet.
- Graaff-Reinet, Eastern Cape
Junior Field Guide | Hluhluwe | Luxury Lodge
- Hluhluwe, KwaZulu-Natal
- Lephalale, Limpopo
Guide - Luxury Lodge - Limpopo
Trails guide - luxury lodge - karoo, eastern cape.
- Eastern Cape
NQF 4 - Trails Guide, Sabi-Sands - Mpumalanga
Guide - luxury lodge.
- South Africa
Field Guide - 5* Game Lodge - Grahamstown
- Grahamstown, Eastern Cape
- R11,500 per month
Field Guide - Addo, Eastern Cape
- Addo, Eastern Cape
- R6,000-10,000 per month
Junior Guide - Luxury Lodge - Waterberg
- R6,000 per month
Field Guide - Hoedspruit
Cw 411428 - couple-field guide/front of house, lodge anchor.
- R16,000-20,000 per month
- Field Guide
Assistant Head Guide - Luxury Lodge - Kruger National Park
- R15,000-18,000 per month
Field Guide - Luxury Lodge - Simangaliso Wetlands
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Careers in wildlife industries
Wildlife jobs in Southern Africa, including positions working with animals and as game rangers, field guides, trails guides, ecologists, nature conservationists, are in high demand. If you want to promote and protect wildlife and habitats, then you’re well-suited for a career in this industry.
Many conservation jobs involve working indirectly with animals, such as field guide and trails guide roles. If you want to work directly with animals, you might want to work at a wildlife rehabilitation centre, at an animal shelter, or in the field as a veterinarian. Whatever your ambition, Bushwise career courses, short courses and online courses prepare participants to enter these industries as world-class candidates.
We’re a top-rated FGASA field guide training provider in the safari industry and have extremely high graduate success rates. We are also unique in the industry by offering an employment guarantee , so you can look confidently towards a career in the industry.
After you graduate from a Bushwise course, you could be a field guide or safari guide , trails guide , game ranger , park ranger , game warden , conservationist or work directly with animals . There is often confusion between some of these jobs, as many of them overlap. There are some important distinctions, which we’ve discussed on each linked career page.
Field guides are ambassadors of the natural world, serving as the first point of contact between tourists and wild spaces by sharing their nature knowledge with guests on guided experiences. A field guide job is right for you if you’re passionate about wildlife, you love learning about the natural world, and you’re comfortable hosting and interacting with all kinds of people.
A trail guide is different from a safari guide by their ability to guide guests on foot in areas with dangerous game but they may also be on horseback or bicycle. Trail guides interact with guests, just like safari guides, but require additional training and certification. If you enjoy walking in nature, observing wildlife and hosting guests, then a trails guide job might be right for you.
Game rangers are actively involved in conservation and game management. They work throughout a reserve to ensure rules are enforced, animals are protected and habitats are secure. Similar to field rangers, they are the “boots on the ground” of conservation. This is a highly demanding and specialised job, and responsibilities will differ slightly depending on where the game ranger is based.
We provide insight into jobs you might find abroad after completing a Bushwise course, for example park ranger jobs, wildlife guide jobs and tour guide jobs to name a few. There is a common thread that runs through these roles and field guiding: a foundational interest in nature, an appreciation for conservation and wildlife, and knowledge of the way ecosystems work.
International students and careers
We know that Bushwise students bring with them a diversity of backgrounds, experiences and goals for the future. Not everyone will go straight into a traditional field guide role after graduation. Some will of course, but for the others there are endless options available.
Some students join Bushwise as a “ gap year ” alternative. If you’ve just graduated, a Bushwise field guide course can also be a way to gain valuable skills and knowledge that transfer to a job back home. In the USA, for example, there are world-class national parks that are always looking for top-brass talent to join their teams. Positions might include park rangers, tour guides, naturalists, wildlife guides and more.
You may also join to learn more about wildlife and further your knowledge as lifelong nature enthusiasts. If you’re coming to a Bushwise course from abroad, you might wonder: what career paths are available for me ? Many international Bushwise alumni are working in South Africa, throughout Africa and further abroad in field guide, nature guide, park ranger and other related jobs. Career options for you are endless; we’ve compiled a list of some of the possibilities here .
from the UK, joined Bushwise in 2010. After finishing she went back to the UK and worked for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds .
finished with Bushwise in 2011 and went home to Australia to work in bush regeneration in wild habitats.
who is from Switzerland, joined Bushwise in 2011. She volunteered at a reserve in Botswana and then worked as conservation manager in Nepal.
from the UK ran his own photography company and managed a wildlife concession in Botswana after Bushwise in 2013.
is from the UK. After Bushwise, she worked on a research project with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) .
graduated from Bushwise in 2013 and went back to Australia to work on wildlife documentaries and at a travel company back home.
returned to the UK in 2016 to finish his degree in Environmental Management, and went on to manage a lodge in Botswana.
joined Bushwise from the UK in 2017, afterwards he went on to conduct elephant research in Malawi.
graduated in 2018 and returned to the USA to work in wildlife rescue.
Bushwise international alumni working abroad
When you think of working with animals as a career option, what kinds of jobs come to mind? You might initially think of zoos, veterinary clinics, farms or animal shelters. These are some of the more commonly known and popular jobs involving animals, but the list is much larger than this! On this page, we discuss ways to turn your passion for animals into a career.
Based in some of the most places in the world, park rangers contribute to the conservation and protection of natural resources. There are many variations within the role of park ranger, depending on where the job is based. On this page we dive into the different kinds of park rangers, their roles and responsibilities, and how you can start a career as a park ranger.
The ordinary, jobs.
Jobs in South Africa
The smart way to search for a job, safari guide jobs 2023.
Searching for " Safari Guide " job / career / vacancy in South Africa? CareerDP.com is here to assist you in your search. We wish you good luck in finding your new dream job!
NQF 4 - Trails Guide, Sabi-Sands - Mpumalanga
Job Description: Provide an entertaining and educational safari experience for guests while meeting and exceeding their expectations. Drivers license with valid PDP.
Full Trails/Field Guide - Luxury Lodge - Kruger National Park
Job Description: Experience: Proven experience as a Trails/Field Guide in a luxury safari lodge setting. Guest Engagement: Provide insightful and engaging information about the…
Guide - Luxury Lodge - Limpopo
Job Description: Minimum of 3 years' experience as a field guide in a similar luxury safari environment. Sharing in-depth knowledge about the reserve's ecosystem, wildlife…
Assistant Head Guide - Luxury Lodge - Kruger National Park
Job Description: We are seeking a passionate and experienced individual to assist the Head Guide in overseeing, training, and ensuring exceptional guest experiences through…
Lead Trails Guide
Job Description: Work Schedule:* 6 weeks on, 2 weeks off. As a Lead Trails Guide, you will be responsible for guiding guests on walking safaris in the morning and leading game…
Safari Guide - Luxury Lodge - Limpopo
Job Description: Experience: Preferably at least 1 year of work experience, but recent graduates will be considered if they demonstrate high potential and trainability (NB!).
Guide - Luxury Lodge - Western Cape
Job Description: Monitoring and interpreting animal behavior, providing insightful commentary during safari excursions. Previous experience in a similar role within a luxury…
Field Guide - 5* Game Lodge - Grahamstown,
Job Description: Assist with safari related activities. Min 2 years experience as a field guide in a big five area, in a 5* environment (non-negotiable).
Job Description: FGASA Level 1 or Higher. Full Trails or close to. Driver’s License and PRDP. Transfers to 3rd party activities. Check ins, outs and Airstrip transfers.
Job Description: Maintenance: Assist with the maintenance and care of safari vehicles and equipment. Guest Engagement: Interact with guests, answer questions, and share your…
Sales Manager - luxury safari destinations
Job Description: Passionate about Africa travel and excited to visit and sell remote safari camps. You should be a hungry and focused person who knows how to drive performance…
Junior Field Guide | Hluhluwe | Luxury Lodge
Job Description: Skills and Experience required from the Junior Guide. Previous experience as Junior Field Guide will be advantageous. Valid driver’s license with PDP.
Field Guide - Luxury Lodge - Simangaliso Wetlands
Job Description: Daily duties would include, game drives for guests, hosting some guest meals and maintenance around the lodge camp.
Field Guide - Luxury Lodge - Graff-Reinet
Job Description: Level 1 FGASA (NQF Level 2) certification. Up-to-date paid FGASA membership. Experience in a 5-star lodge (preferred). Valid PDP (Professional Driving Permit).
Job Description: Proven experience in lodge or hospitality management, preferably in a safari or wilderness setting. Train, and supervise lodge staff, including guides, chefs,…
Junior Guide - Luxury Lodge - Waterberg
Job Description: Level 1 FGASA (NQF Level 2). Must be an up-to-date paid up FGASA member. 5-star lodge experience would be a bonus.
Tour Leader (CEO) - South Africa
Job Description: The main responsibility of a G Adventures CEO is to help them to explore their particular areas of interest and to make sure all travellers have a fun and safe…
CW 411428 - Couple-Field Guide/Front of House, Lodge Anchor
Job Description: Assisting in other area such as housekeeping, F&B, hosting guests. Minimum Level 1 (NQF 2) qualification & PDP. Possession of a valid First Aid certification.
Job Description: Minimum of 3 years' experience as a field guide in a similar luxury safari environment. Delivering an unparalleled safari experience, combining luxury…
Social Media Coordinator - Luxury Lodge - Greater Kruger
Job Description: Engage with guests and guides to curate diverse content. Engage with guides to boost the lodge's online presence.
Junior Field Guide
Field guide - addo, eastern cape.
Job Description: FGASA Level 1/ 2 (NQF 2/ NQF 4). Own Car, Driver’s License and Pr-DP. Involvement in Junior Conservationists program. Make sure vehicle is always clean.
Field Guide 5* Game Lodge
Job Description: A field guide will be required to guide guests, on foot and by vehicle, providing a holistic safari experience, as well as actively assist the Safari Management…
Trails Guide - Luxury Lodge - Karoo, Eastern Cape
Job Description: Lead guided walking safaris, providing guests with an immersive and educational experience in the natural beauty of the Karoo.
NQF 2 or 4, with Trails - Addo
Job Description: FGASA Level 1 (NQF 2/ NQF 4). Own Car, Driver’s License and Pr-DP. Involvement in Junior Conservationists program. Make sure vehicle is always clean.
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- Safari guide
Safari guide: how to become a field guide
The definitive guide to a safari guide.
In this definitive guide to the job of Safari Guide, I explain what a safari guide does, what makes a good one and most importantly, how you can train to become one.
I draw on my own story of giving up my job in London and heading to South Africa to train and become a qualified safari guide. This guide features examples, links to providers and videos to bring the subject to life.
If there are any words that don’t make sense or you don’t understand please check the Safari Glossary (coming soon).
Safari guide contents
What is a field guide, what is fgasa, what is a game ranger, what is a ranger, the safari guide in detail, my journey to becoming a safari guide, how to choose a safari guide course, ecotraining, do you need a visa, packing for your course, safari guide courses: frequently asked questions, what is a safari guide.
A safari guide is the person who leads the guest experience when on a safari. They interpret animal behaviour and will talk about other natural elements that they and their guests see, hear, smell, taste and feel.
The safari guide is a custodian of the natural environment and acts as a link between nature and the guest.
Here’s a video to explain what it is like to have your office in the middle of the African wild surrounded by all your favourite animals. Here’s a closer look at what it takes to become a safari guide.
A safari guide is also known as a field guide, in fact the association that overseas the guiding industry and awards the qualifications to become a professional guide are known as the FGASA, the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa.
FGASA, the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa , is the association that sets the standard for the level of professionalism in the guiding industry in the form of:
- A standard outcomes-based syllabus
- A code of ethics and a set of guiding principles
- An assessment system based on high standards of competence
- An effective training course endorsement system
- A valid recognised first-aid certificate requirement
A game ranger manages the game reserve or national park. They ensure that the conservation area has biological integrity so that it works as an ecosystem.
As well as conservation management, they are responsible for many things including road maintenance, anti-poaching, erosion control, water supply, fire management, population control, alien plant management and research.
For further information check out the official website of the Game Rangers Association of Africa .
Back in 2012 I went to South Africa to spend two weeks volunteering on a couple of reserves where I undertook a range of game ranger tasks including wildlife monitoring and fire management. Here’s a blog I wrote at the time describing my experience with Enkosini .
Rangers are referred to as being on the front line of conservation. They are responsible for protecting the designated area where they work. This may be a private game reserve or national park. They are charged with protecting wildlife and natural resources.
Rangers are known for their anti-poaching role, particularly in the protection of rhino, elephant and gorilla. They also undertake anti-snare patrols to combat subsistence poaching.
Here’s a blog post which I wrote just before heading out to South Africa for my training. It explains the underlying cause of the surge in rhino poaching which went from 13 in 2007 to 1,004 in 2013. Here’s another blog article detailing the latest figures on rhino poaching .
Criminal gangs backed by wealthy foreign investors are making poaching big business in Africa. British soldiers are hoping to tackle the issue by helping rangers trying to save elephants and rhinos in Malawi. Radio 1 Newsbeat reporter James Waterhouse travelled to the country to join bush patrols as they look to stop a practice which has long threatened many species across the continent. Source: Radio 1 Newsbeat
What types of safari guide are there?
All safari guides do fundamentally the same thing, they lead the guest experience by interpreting the natural environment. However, guiding can be broken up by modes of transport. A typical guided experience will be vehicle based.
You also have guides who specialise in walking safaris , these are trails guides. Additionally you may have guides who lead canoe safaris and horse back safaris.
What makes a good safari guide?
A good safari guide is passionate about nature, engaging and inspirational to their guests. They are respectful of the environment and will make its protection their priority. They know the facts but will not just regurgitate them with no context, instead they apply them to the situation to explain animal behaviour.
They are prepared, will keep you safe and manage expectations to avoid disappointment. They bring all aspects of the ecosystem to life so in the absence of the Big-5 your safari will be an incredible experience.
Twenty years ago when I left school there was no internet and therefore only a limited opportunity to find out about doing a safari guide course as a gap year.
But now school leavers or career breakers have no excuse. There are a plethora of suppliers out there that can be found through a simple Google or a select few can be found here .
Throughout my yearlong experience of training as a guide and then working as one I kept an account, if you want to get a truie understanding of everything involved please take a look at Safari School .
What I learnt by becoming a safari guide
On returning from Africa I wrote a number of blogs about my experience, this is probably my favourite as it provides an overview in the 15 things I learnt while becoming a safari guide .
How to become a safari guide
To become a safari guide / field guide you will need to undertake a course and take the assessments accredited by CATHSSETA . A list of suppliers that are also accredited by FGASA can be found on their website . As well as qualifying as a guide you will need a valid first aid certificate to practice.
I’ve detailed a few training providers within this article including the provider that I trained through.
Based on my experience and preference here are a few things to look out for when choosing your course:
The curriculum for each level one field guiding course is the same wherever you go or at least it should be as it will be built around the FGASA syllabus.
There will be a series of lectures and field activities. My recommendation would be that while lectures are important you can’t underestimate the power of getting out into the bush. So opt for the ones that major on the practical such as drives and walks.
Good placement opportunities
Some safari guide courses offer a whole year. This isn’t a full year of lectures and practicals in the field. Instead the second half is spent on placement as a qualified guide.
This can be just as fun if not more so. If you’re looking at trying to forge a career out of guiding then ask some direct questions as to what can come of your placement.
Only after you’ve been away and spent time in the pristine wilderness and then returned to civilisation do you understand how disruptive a phone and an internet signal can be.
I would urge you to opt for a camp with no signal. Even if you don’t want to spend all day checking Facebook, email and chatting on your phone others in your camp may wish to do so.
If needed the camp probably has a sat phone or a two way radio so there will always be the opportunity for incoming and outgoing messages.
There may also be phone runs so you can get signal to upload emails, blog posts and download messages from home. The latter is great because it’s not a rushed two liner status update, instead it is a considered letter like in the olden days full of news and something to look forward to.
Feeding the mind
I enjoy cooking and at times I can be quite good at it. However, most professional safari guide courses are full on so you don’t want to be spending time locked in the kitchen when you could be studying or simply recovering from a hard day in the office .
I would thoroughly recommend a course that doesn’t require its students to do the cooking. That being said taking it in turn to braai is good fun. But as soon as someone has a pop at your technique, usually a South African, hand them the tongs and sit back.
Fence or no fence
The bush is your classroom so living in an unfenced camp means that you are gaining knowledge 24/7 for six weeks at a time.
And believe me there is a lot that you learn as you hold your breath whilst an elephant gently brushes your tent whilst feeding.
Even walking back through the night after a few beers at the camp fire can bring plenty of lessons – the colour of a nyala’s eyes in comparison to a leopard’s.
If you can, opt for an unfenced camp. But be careful, follow the advise and stick to the rules.
Choosing a safari guide course: The podcast
In this episode of Safari Stories, Jomi and Hadley of Trunks and Tracks talk about the safari guiding courses they did as well as some of the many courses available today. If you want to spend more time in the bush, immerse yourself into nature, learn from the best or simply take a break from city living, this podcast is a must listen.
Safari Stories podcast – Safari guide courses
Safari Stories podcast by Jomi and Hadley of Trunks and Tracks discuss the safari guide courses which they did to become qualified guides.
Why become a safari guide?
Your office will be the African wild outdoors, your meetings will consist of encounters with animals of all size and shape. Your job description is one of many valuable roles! A guide, teacher, friend, game warden, doctor, storyteller and sometimes even a cook for your guests, each day is never quite the same. Find out more in the short blog, why become a safari guide?
There are a number of suppliers that offer safari guiding courses, enrol in one to make safari guiding a career or an educational and unique gap year / career break experience.
The courses provide a nature-based educational adventure for school leavers and those of any age seeking new perspectives in life.
© Ulrica Vilen-Letts
EcoTraining positions itself as the pioneer and leader in safari guide and wildlife training in Africa. They have the history to back this up as several practising safari guides established EcoTraining in 1993.
I can personally recommend EcoTraining as they were the provider of the course that I took. Here’s a short blog entry on, A day in the life at EcoTraining .
As well as their flagship professional safari guide course , they run a range of courses , gap year and sabbatical programmes, nature programmes, high school and university study abroad programmes, and custom courses.
Where will you do it?
All courses are run directly from EcoTraining’s unfenced bush camps in prime wilderness areas across South Africa, Botswana, Kenya and Zimbabwe.
In real wilderness areas teeming with wildlife. When sleeping you hear the snap of branches under the elephants weight, hyenas whoop in the distance, the “sawing” contact call of a leopard and nightjars calling close by.
The first four to five months of theoretical and practical training (bush walks and game drives) will take place at four unfenced tented bush camps in Africa’s magical wilderness areas, including the Makuleke camp in the pristine and untouched northern Kruger Park.
The following five to six months will be at a lodge where you will work with experienced guides and lodge managers, mentoring you and developing your newly acquired skills.
Over the course of the year you will be exposed to diverse ecological and geological terrains, landscapes, wildlife species and so much more.
© Jomi Krobb
What you will learn
- Introduction to guiding in the natural environment
- Basic bush and survival skills
- Wilderness medicine
- Geology and basic ecology
- Basic taxonomy
- Mammals and animal behaviour
- Interrelationships of all species
- Reptiles and fish
- Animal tracks and tracking
- Approaching dangerous animals
- Rifle handling
- Basic vehicle mechanics and maintenance
- Conservation and communities
- Guest communication and interaction
- and much more… email [email protected] for the full details.
You could graduate with
- FGASA Field Guide Level 1 (theory and practical)
- FGASA Trails Guide Back Up (theory and practical)
- Firearm Proficiency Certificate (with a SASSETA accredited provider)
- Advanced Rifle Handling (FGASA accreditation)
- Animal Tracks and Tracking (FGASA accreditation)
- Basic Birding
- Advanced Birding
- Wilderness Medicine: Level 1 & 2
- Navigation and Orientation
- Lodge Placement Programme
To find out more do check out the professional safari guide course , review the full range of courses or get in touch via [email protected]
NJ MORE Field Guide College is based at Marataba South Africa, within the ‘Marakele’ National Park. They are a FGASA endorsed training institute.
In all they have six courses to choose from, providing upskilling, career training and adventures of a lifetime. The trainers at NJ More are highly-qualified, respected industry experts and the college has an excellent pass rate.
Established by MORE Lodges & Hotels, they produce professional guides of an exceptional calibre. They offer students from around the world the opportunity to undertake internships with some being given the opportunity to begin their career at one of MORE’s five-star safari lodges.
I’ve not visited Marataba myself but my fellow back-up at EcoTraining worked there for a while and spoke very highly of them and the reserve.
Here’s a blog he wrote for Fascinating Africa on his first experiences as a newly qualified guide at Marataba .
I’ve also had dealings with the Marataba office and have found them to be incredibly professional and friendly.
Do check out their 6 & 12 month courses detailed in our courses section. Or email [email protected] to find out more.
Founded in 2006 Bushwise are sister company of GVI . They are a leading training provider with students routinely graduating the FGASA exams with the highest marks and are considered some of the best trained guides in the safari and tourism industry.
Located in the Greater Makalali Private Game Reserve, a spectacular 26,000 hectares big five wilderness reserve in the Limpopo province adjacent to Kruger National Park.
The Bushwise campus is a fully-fenced eight-hectare campus with many mod cons.
Bushwise offers extra qualifications to improve employability, with unique skills such as child and vulnerable adult protection policies.
23 week and 50 week professional field guide training courses allow students to achieve the FGASA Level 1 professional field guiding qualification with an optional 6 month work placement in a well respected safari lodge in South Africa.
I’ve not trained or guided with Bushwise but I have spent time on the Greater Makalali Private Game Reserve as part of a volunteer programme. The reserve itself is rich in biodiversity with plenty of opportunities to experience the big 5.
Take a look at their FGASA accredited 23 and 50 week professional training offer. Or email [email protected] to find out more.
For the year long professional safari guide course I required a student visa which required the following submission:
- an eight-page form,
- two passport photos,
- proof of sufficient funds to cover my study,
- a letter of acceptance from the place of learning,
- police check certificate,
- chest x-ray report,
- medical certificate,
- proof of medical cover,
- my passport,
- a processing fee and
- a deposit of £600 to make sure I left the country at the end of my stay.
Once awarded the visa by the South African High Commission, I was permitted to proceed on a one-way ticket.
Technology can play an important part on the course, here’s my guide to what technology I took . I wrote this just as I finished so I’ve not included what I found superfluous.
A 13 minute video from EcoTraining covering off the most frequently asked questions about Safari Guide courses.
- Get involved
Here are a select few courses , check them out for yourself. If you have a question please email us on [email protected]
- Press & media
- Blog for us
- Fascinating facts
- Reptiles & amphibians
- [email protected]
Putting the people into conservation, experiences | courses and training natucate africa posted 6 months ago natucate.
Immerse yourself into Africa’s wilderness and let nature do the teaching! This course is suitable for anyone who wants to observe animals up close and personal and understand their habitat. Within 28 days, you are taught the basics of African nature not only in theory but also in practice – either in South Africa, Botswana or Kenya’s world-famous Masai Mara.
The natural landscape of South Africa, Botswana and Kenya forms the spectacular backdrop for this unique learning experience. The four-week safari guide course provides basic information about the African wilderness and gives you an opportunity to take part in small projects. At the end of your course you’ll receive a certificate.
Depending on your start date, your course will take you to either Kenya or South Africa/Botswana. In the camps that you will be based at experienced guides will wait for you and teach you about the ecological, geographical and meteorological characteristics of the region. The practical part of your training will take you to the wilderness twice a day. You will travel on foot or use off-road vehicles, learning how to orientate yourself and navigate in the wild. You will be given an insight into the art of tracking, enabling you to follow animals as they move through the bush. Your instructor will explain the behaviour of the animals that you see and the role that they play in the ecosystem. This course is the perfect preparation for the training to be a professional field guide.
As a safari guide student you will be either accommodated in two-man tents (Karongwe, Selati, Mashatu), in stilt houses (Makuleke) or in a wilderness chalet (Mara). When staying in Makuleke you will have access to your own bathroom attached to the house. In Karongwe, Selati, Mashatu, Selati and Mara there are shared bathrooms. In all camps you will find a large lounge for spending evenings with the group, eating together and training. The camps are not open to tourists. As the camps are not fenced in, you can experience an extraordinary connection to the natural environment and may witness animal encounters right in front of your tent.
Each day, you will be offered an early mid-morning snack, a satisfying brunch, a light lunch and a warm dinner. Fruit juice is provided at mealtimes, and tap water, coffee and tea are available the whole day. As the camp is not connected to electricity, generators are used.
“When I started the course, my goal was to simply be in nature and watch various animals – “back to the roots” so to speak. These expectations were more than exceeded.” (Lisa, 29 years)
NATUCATE is a German agency, specialized in voluntary work, field guide training, nature-oriented educational courses and internships with a focus on nature and species conservation as well as animal protection. Moreover, we create and organize individual sabbaticals; commitment for nature conservation and personal development being in the centre. Sustainable and responsible traveling, so-called ecotourism, as well as nature and adventure travel are further areas of expertise.
Our projects, courses and tours, fulfilling high sustainability standards, enable people – from graduates to best agers – to make an active contribution to protecting and conserving endangered species and ecosystems and, at the same time, to broaden their personal horizon.
Dates, Service, Cost
- Placement in the programme
- Assistance with travel arrangements
- Assistance with selecting travel insurance
- Assistance with booking flights
- Pre-departure information pack
- Risk coverage certificate
- Accommodation during the programme
- Meals during the programme
- Drinking water, coffee, tea
- Game drives
- Transfer between different locations
- English-speaking support by long-term experienced staff
- 24/7 support throughout the programme
- 28 days (South Africa/Botswana): 4.400 EUR
- 28 days (Kenya): 7.800 EUR
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Work in Africa - Safari Jobs
Work with us: paid safari jobs now available.
If you have fallen in love with Africa and want to find a job so you can stay longer, there are plenty of opportunities. Africa is not lacking in unskilled labour, so most jobs that are open to foreigners usually require a skill or a university degree. Working in a developing country is also fun and rewarding. Whilst in Africa, working as a volunteer is a great way to be a responsible tourist and make a positive contribution to the local communities. If you volunteer in Africa it’s also an ideal opportunity to fully immerse yourself in African culture and get to know the continent on a far more intimate level. In order to volunteer in Africa the vast majority of projects don’t require volunteers to have any specific skills or qualifications – simply plenty of energy and enthusiasm.
Africa Travel Jobs Available Apply in Confidence
These vacancies are available directly from AfriChoice Group and are available for immediate occupation. AfriChoice Group is an equal opportunity employer and committed to provide a working and social environment in which the rights and dignity of all its members are respected, and which is free from discrimination, prejudice, intimidation and all forms of place of work harassment. This Policy means that all employees of AfriChoice Group have the right to work in an environment free from discrimination, prejudice and all forms of harassment. The following are the positions available:
Senior Travel Consultants - Safaris
· Location: Nairobi Based
· Reference: ACK071130-002B
· Country: Kenya
· Employer Type: Tour Operator and DMC
· Salary: Negotiable
- An advanced diploma from a recognized training institution
- Minimum of 5 years travel consultant experience
- Be able to navigate websites quickly and find required information
- Have an excellent knowledge of African geography, especially East Africa
- Proficiency in MS Word, Excel and Outlook (Webdesign will be a real plus)
- Strong numerical ability for calculating costs
- Have the necessary writing & sales skills to close a sale via phone / internet
- Have a good telephone manner and strong communication skills
- Be able to work under pressure, sometimes for long
- Possess excellent organisational skills and be able to multi-task
- Have the ability to work well as part of a team
Senior Marketing Executives - Safaris
· Reference: ACK071210-008A
· No. of Positions: 2 (Two)
· Country: Kenya (with Possibility of Being Based Abroad)
Candidates are required to have the following traits:
- Ability to work closely with other departments in Tour Company setup
- Good people skills and must be very bold and outgoing
- Good communication and interpersonal skills
- Ability to work under pressure within strict deadlines
- Ability to manage own time and staff and to plan activities
- Ability to work with limited resources
- Prepared to travel long distance (largely abroad) to attend travel trade fairs
- A degree from a recognized university
- True marketing & sales training and experience
- Tourism marketing – internal, local, regional and international
- Computer skills – graphics programmes a definite advantage
- Website maintenance experience is a real plus
- Basic budgeting and budget management
- Strategic marketing planning
- Corporate Identity and Branding knowledge
- Brochure & promotional material co-ordination
- Travel and Hospitality Advertising experience
- Client relations management
Car Hire Sales & Marketing Executive
· Reference: ACK080131-005E
· No. of Positions: 1 (One)
· Country: Kenya (Specifically Nairobi Resident)
· Employer Type: AfriChoice, Car Hire Division
· Salary: Attractive
AfriChoice! Car Hire is one of the most successful vehicle rental companies in Kenya today!!! We aim to be the No. 1 in vehicle rental in Kenya by sales volume. We supply current year car models and have a reputation for providing a quality car rental service. Learn More...>
Work Environment / Job Description
Due to our continued expansion, we are looking for friendly, outgoing and motivated individuals to work as Corporate Sales Support Executive in our busy Nairobi-based Head Office. You will be part of a friendly team that is striving to offer the highest levels of customer service. The role is a full time sales support role which will include administrating of daily sales functions as well as collation of various reports. The candidate will also be involved in assisting with marketing campaigns for generating new business leads and company awareness. The role will also involves dealing with customers both face to face and on the telephone with some administration work involved. We are looking for a professional solution based sales person, a go-getter and new business winner.
Main Skills / Requirements
MUST have a degree from a recognized university (Preferably marketing-related)
Show a natural ability and desire to want to develop their sales involvement as a core function over a 6 -12 month period
Possess strong computer literacy and be able to manage and operate windows applications such as word, excel and PowerPoint and be able to create adhoc reports as required.
Make sales through 'cold call' telephone techniques as well as managing and closing business leads that come into the department via telephone enquiries
To demonstrate their sales and administrative experience during the interview process
The role would suit someone who is target driven, motivated, able to think laterally from a marketing and sales perspective and who enjoys a challenging yet team driven company environment in a young, dynamic and succesfull company.
Minor Office Roles will include:
Liaising with corporate customers over vehicle orders
Ordering vehicles with suppliers
Managing corporate customers contracts and vehicle schedules
Managing vehicle deliveries and collections
Providing support to the department including the Group Marketing Director
Answering calls to customers and answering general enquiries
Financial accounting knowledge will be a real plus
Salary & Renumeration Package
Other: Volunteer and Social Work in Africa
If you volunteer in Africa with wildlife you can get close to an incredible range of animals – from lions in Kenya’s Masai Mara game reserve to Mountain Gorillas in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable Forest! The other main Africa volunteer option is to help care for disadvantaged people and there are also many opportunities – from helping to care for AIDS orphans to teaching in schools. There are also many active conservation projects within which you may actively participate. If you are looking for work in Africa, whether it be Voluntary, Travel, Hotel & Hospitality, Tourism, Game Wardens or Rangers, Conservation and so on, then we suggest you make contact with us and we may just connect you with your dream job.
For those looking for volunteer work in Africa there are plenty of opportunities available. Volunteer work / programs give you is a unique opportunity to make a real difference in the world. Most of the volunteer jobs require the participant to pay program fees as well as travel costs. Most short-term volunteer jobs will not pay. You are usually expected to pay the organization a fee which would cover your flights, accommodation and food. Volunteering means something different to almost every organization you come across. Some agencies will cover your flight and cost of living while you are working and some are true "volunteer" projects and expect you to cover all costs for the privilege of the experience. If you are looking for a more meaningful way to spend a few months in Africa than simply traveling around, volunteering is a wonderful way to spend your time. Most jobs that last less than a year or so are going to be the ones you have to pay for. Jobs that require a commitment of more than a year will often offer a basic stipend to cover some of your costs.
Conservation Africa is a British based organization that offers conservation volunteer projects throughout Southern Africa. As well as offering many opportunities to get involved with major wildlife reserves in Southern Africa, there's also a compelling 2 week game ranger course.
Ecovolunteer.org offers volunteer opportunities in Cameroon to work with elephants, in Zimbabwe to work with wild dogs and Swaziland to work with rhinos. You pay for flights and program fees.
The Earthwatch Institute offers expeditions all over Africa to help scientists and conservationists with their research. You can help survey the coastal ecology of the Seychelles; work with cheetahs and their race against extinction in Namibia; Find out how the Samburu people of Kenya traditionally use plants as medicine; and much more.
Volunteer Africa : A volunteer organization combining many years of experience with 21st Century technology VolunteerAfrica is now recruiting and supporting volunteers through internet based resources. 132 volunteers are participating in our 2007 programme from all over the world including Denmark, Brazil, Mexico, Ireland, Canada, US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Hong Kong. Volunteers come from all walks of life and ages.
I-to-I , is a UK based volunteer organization that offers excellent volunteer travel opportunities to Africa. I-to-I is globally recognised responsible / volunteer travel organisation, placing over 6,000 volunteers travelles on projects to assist in the development of overseas local communities all over the world. They provide fulfilling and life-changing travel experiences to anyone with a desire to get out there and make a difference for the better. However, volunteer organizations try and cut down on costs as much as possible. Many people who choose to volunteer can often raise funds in their own communities to help cover the costs of the trip.
Join AfriChoice Safaris Affiliate Program
At AfriChoice! we are willing to discover more opportunities to expand our business. One of the reasons behind our success is that we are not averse to exploit the unexplored avenues. Forging strategic partnership with diverse businesses, from travel related businesses to non-travel related businesses is the area in which we are very interested. This has been possible as a result of our innovative marketing techniques, comprehensive tour packages and efficient customer support services. After forming an alliance with us, you, the partner will take advantage of AfriChoice! quality product lines, rich database and novel travel ideas, among a host of other benefits. Learn More..>
AfriChoice! Travel Distribution network is organized through Value Added Resellers (VARs). This is our safaris reseller agents affiliate program that is easy to join. You will be responsible for distribution of AfriChoice! Travel Products to end-users or you can build your own network of resellers. We at AfriChoice! Group are aware of the importance of these relationships and that's why we are putting all of our efforts in developing the superior services and products for our exisiting and new partners. Please contact us for more information and how to join and grow your African Safaris business. Learn More..>
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- Fax: +254.20.264.1603
- CELL - After Office Hours: +254.722.705.175
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Hello AfriChoice! "The trip to Africa was fantastic - thank you so much for all your help and advice. The whole trip was really perfect." - Paul Kitching, Surrey, United Kingdom. More..>
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Passport Sense: Make sure you have a signed, valid passport, and a visa, if required, and fill in the emergency information page of your passport. Leave copies of your itinerary, passport data page and visas with family or friends, so you can be contacted in case of an emergency. More Tips Here..>
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Seasonal Jobs Abroad
Safari Guide Jobs
Looking for an incredible job which is different to the traditional career options? Become a safari guide! There are jobs in Africa, Asia and all over the world with local and international travel operators. You will get to lead tourists on trips to incredible national parks and wildlife hotspots providing them with the holiday of a lifetime.
Best Places to Work as a Safari Guide
These are some of the most popular destinations to get a job abroad as a safari guide:
• South Africa • Botswana • Kenya • Namibia • Tanzania • Uganda • Zimbabwe • India • Sri Lanka
Safari Tour Guide Recruiters
Become an accredited Field Guide with GVI and forward your conservation career when you spend 23 weeks training in the iconic South African lowveld; one of the best wildlife locations in the country. You will gain skills and qualifications applicable to many conservation careers and there’s an optional placement to give you the opportunity to gain experience and secure the best possible start to your career.
How much do safari guides make? Salaries vary depending on the recruiter and destination. Annual salaries can be as high as $70,000 and as low as $13,000. The average salary is between $220,000 and $45,000.
What does it take to be a safari guide? This is a job like no other, even compared to working as a tour guide . You will need to be outgoing, friendly, hace excellent people skills and have an adventurous spirit. You’ll need to receive formal training and get qualified to become a safari guide, lots of companies offer courses where you will learn more about the industry and how to become a successful guide.
What is it like to work as a safari tour guide? This job really is unique and is certainly for the more adventurous type of person. You’ll be working in spectacular locations seeing exotic animals in their natural habitat. Some climates can be extremely hot, and the working hours can be long. You will also need to take on lots of responsibilities. It is certainly more exciting than working a normal 9-5 office job!
Are there any age limits to work as a safari guide in Africa? Most companies hire people of all ages, so whether you are just beginning your working life, or are keen for a career change there are options for everyone.
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African safari guide salary – South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya & more
I recently received an email raising the following question: Is there any standard salary for an African safari guide ?
I’m not an expert on the topic nor am I a safari guide , but I have done a little research and will try to answer this question.
In Tanzania , the safari guide’s salary ranges anywhere from 10,000 TSH (Tanzanian Shillings – 5 USD) to 40 USD per day. It is a similar situation in Kenya .
Below is my version of the story, and I’ve tried to include some of the key variables to take into account when looking at the standard salary for safari guides.
How much do safari guides make in Africa ?
How much do safari tour guides earn in South Africa ?
So, let’s get to it. Here is everything you need to know about the average safari guide salary in Africa.
Standard of Living & Cost of Living
With the majority of African people living with barely a dollar a day (or even less), salaries are often aligned to the local economy.
Practically speaking, if you apply for a job in Tanzania versus South Africa, the difference in paycheck can be quite drastic. $1000 a month is a very good salary, anywhere in Africa.
Take the average salary in Kenya in USD for instance, it is not unusual to find game rangers making as little as $50-60 a month.
This is just the reality of the economic disparity in Africa. Even if someone has safari guide training, Tanzania will always have less money for salaries compared to say, South Africa.
In terms of a game ranger salary, South Africa offers you the chance to have the highest. The country recently introduced a minimum wage of ZAR 20 per hour , which is around $10 per day .
That’s still not very much when you consider the minimum wage in Western Europe is more like $10 per hour.
How Much Money Are You Worth?
Salaries for all professions always vary. So the real question is: how much do you think you’re worth ?
Are you worth $1000 per month, $2000 per month maybe? What’s the minimum amount of money you’d be ready to work for?
Or, in other words, how much work would you be happy to put into the job for the amount of money you’d like to receive?
Remember that you fix the rules, as long as they feel real to you (and ultimately to the potential employer).
Many game rangers and guides come from small, rural communities where $50-60 a month could go a long way.
Their job usually includes food , accommodation , and possibly tips . So while the standard salary for a safari guide doesn’t sound particularly high, it could be worth a lot to the guide.
Before you consider a job as a safari guide, do you know what it takes ?
These skills are highly regarded when a potential employer is skimming through your CV:
- How qualified are you as a safari guide?
- Do you know your birds and animals ?
- Can you even compare cheetah vs leopard ?
- Do you have interesting stories to tell your guests?
- How about your sense of humor ?
- How good is your English ?
Other aspects that may boost your overall value to safari employers:
- Decent driving skills (very obvious you might say, but you’d be surprised as to how many so-called safari guides can successfully utilize the 4 wheel-drive option).
- Good mechanical skills (Imagine this: you break down on safari right in the middle of a pride of hungry lions).
- Bush navigation (and orientation) & survival skills .
- Dangerous game/rifle handling .
- Eyesight and general abilities at animal spotting/animal tracking .
- Communication and facilitation skills .
- First aid knowledge and assistance .
- Great people skills .
- Photographic skills and binocular usage .
Tipping on safari is another aspect of the deal not to be neglected. In some instances, the standard salary is pretty low ($200-500 per month), but safari guides can make a substantial amount of extra cash through tipping.
If you’re a great safari guide with lots of interesting stories and jokes to tell your clients, you can definitely earn a decent wage.
Be charismatic , be yourself , and the rest should follow.
How much gratuity can you expect from your guests?
A better question to ask is rather: Did I really do my best to ensure clients had an enjoyable time?
And did I adapt my objectives to guests’ needs and interests?
If the answer is yes, then you should get rewarded, and rightfully so.
If not, don’t despair: you’ll sure get luckier next time.
It’s important not to lose sight of the goal, because that is when you slip up and give customers a reason not to tip.
Overall Package & Lifestyle
Lastly, think of your wage as an overall package. A lot of safari guide contracts come with other perks that don’t include money.
Do you get just a standard salary alone or do you get a relatively low wage, free accommodation , free food , a wonderful lifestyle , and get to live in and experience beautiful scenery every day, etc.?
While an offer may seem unattractive at first, it could be worth more thanks to the benefits that come with it.
For example, if they pay for living and board then you are already covered on your biggest expenses in life and the salary becomes more substantial.
Safari Tour Guide Salary in South Africa
South Africa is probably one of the best countries to make a living in this industry. It has a high minimum wage (compared to the rest of Africa), and there is a lot of money to be made if you are good at your job.
The average field guide salary in South Africa may be higher than other countries in Africa, especially for guides working at the top-end lodges.
A safari guide salary in South Africa luxurious lodges could be 50 USD per day or even more.
However, just how much does a game ranger earn in South Africa? The average tour guide salary in South Africa is 950 USD per month. That is a lot compared to the average salary in Africa for safari guides.
The Average Game Ranger Salary
Okay, so you may not be that interested in becoming a guide. Even with living among elephants and getting free food, the standard salary for a safari guide can be off-putting if you are used to a European or US salary.
However, it’s worth remembering the standard salary when visiting Africa on safari.
So next time you book that safari trip , make sure that you understand your guide’s position. The guide really makes the experience so I’d encourage you to tip liberally.
About The Author
EcoTraining: the ultimate way to learn about the African bush
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10 thoughts on “african safari guide salary – south africa, tanzania, kenya & more”.
Hi Michael, we want to do a safari trip and have secured a trip with ‘Perfect Wilderness Safari’ in Kenya. They want us to wire them 1/2 the cost up front to their company. My bank believes this could be fraudulent. How do I prove to my bank and myself that Perfect Wilderness is actually a legitimate company in Kenya? Thank you – Cindy
Thanks for your message.
Great question. Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer.
I’m not personally familiar with them, and it’s hard to know “for sure” how legit they are simply by looking at their website.
Here’s a few questions for you though:
– How did you first hear about them?
– Did you speak with them physically/over the phone?
– Do they have strong credentials, good reviews, etc.?
At first glance, it certainly “seems so” looking at feedback via Tripadvisor, Tour Radar and Safari Bookings.
– Does the “About Us” page on their site mention a specific person – preferably the owner of the company?
– How do you feel about them so far? Has communication been positive?
Also, when are you planning to depart?
Upfront deposits are quite common (though 25% is often the norm), with the balance due 60 days prior to commencement of arrangements.
If this company is serious, then perhaps they would be willing to talk to your bank or provide reassurance?
In the end, go with what you feel within.
And don’t hesitate to contact me further via info(at)africafreak.com.
Hopefully this helps.
All the best,
What amount/percentage would be a good gratuity to give the guide? I assume it depends on how many days also.
Thanks for your comment, it’s a great question! 🙂
While there’s no exact answer, a general rule of thumb is to tip your safari guide a minimum of $10 per person (per day). So if there’s five of you on the trip, that’s $50 per day in tipping.
You can tip more, or less, depending on the quality of your overall guiding experience.
In the end, it’s entirely up to you.
Hope this helps,
NB: In some cases a tracker is also involved in the safari, so make sure you include that person as well. $5 per person per day in gratuity is a good starting point.
If anyone has a tour guide job, I am interested. For now I am working at Bush safari.
How much do field guides earn in rands please?
From the available offers online you can probably expect anything from R 4000 up to R 15 000 or more per month (depending on qualification, experience, meals, accommodation, tipping, etc.).
For your information, the current exchange rate is +/- R 10 to the $.
Hope this helps. 🙂
Lol, I would want my guide to be an expert marksman, just in case;)
Safari Guides in South Africa are required by law to have the Field Guides of South Africa (FGASA) qualification. This however does not mean that they get a good salary and most ranches pay them with the idea in mind that the client will tip them.
This is why many guides (rangers) don’t stay very long in the bush as after the glamor wears off, the reality of saving for the future kicks in and they need to move on to a better paid position.
Thanks a million for your valuable feedback, it is highly appreciated! 🙂
For those interested, you can find more info about FGASA here: https://www.fgasa.co.za
Another great option is some of the Ecotraining courses. I took part in one of them (Keer Keer camp, Timbavati), and it was absolutely amazing!
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Safari Guide jobs in South Africa - Nov 2023 update
Home south africa safari guide, senior field / trails guide.
... a Senior Field Trails Guide with 2-5 years ... an entertaining and educational safari experience while meeting and ...
South Africa Apply a day ago
... a five star safari lodge as a guideAll guiding documents valid and ...
South Africa Apply 4 days ago
Junior Field Guide
... (beneficial)Must have Big 5 Safari Game Reserve experience (essential)Excellent ...
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Relief Management Couple
... 2 will be preferredAll Guiding documents (First Aid FGASA ... 3 years experience in a safari lodge-based environment and ...
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Management Couple - Beach and Wildlife Reserve
... Management or similarField Trails guiding would assist applicationProven Safari Game reserve management ...
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