Safari Guide Training Courses

Walking amongst Cape buffalo in the African bush

Ever dreamt of cruising African savannas, spotting lions in the golden sunlight, or witnessing a herd of elephants gracefully moving through the wilderness?

If so, becoming a safari guide might just be your calling.

Sure, experiencing Africa’s wild beauty on vacation is unforgettable, but what if you could make it your everyday adventure?

That’s where a safari guide training course comes in — it’s your ticket to transforming those dreams into reality.

Envision yourself under the vast African sky, armed with a deep understanding of the wild, deciphering animal tracks like a pro, and guiding enthusiastic explorers to the heart of untamed nature.

Sounds like your dream job? Then, carry on reading to see how you can take the first step towards turning a passion into a fulfilling career, all while enjoying a normal bush holiday.

Tip: Check out these safari quotes to inspire you on your journey.

What to Expect on Safari Guide Courses

Observing African elephants on foot in a dry riverbed

The good thing about a safari ranger course is that the choices you have are as diverse as the African savannas you dream of exploring.

There are career courses made for enthusiasts who want to be nature guides as a profession.

Then, there are courses aimed at nature lovers who are considering being nature guides as a job or just love the thrill of being in the bush.

There are also online courses for people who can’t quite make it to the ground yet.

If you’ve got a busy schedule and a burning passion for nature, join one of the snappy courses, as short as six days, tailored for folks like you. These are quick, intense, and perfect for squeezing in between your busy lifestyle.

Now, if you’re thinking, “I’m ready to immerse myself fully”,  — the good news is that there are year-long courses waiting for dedicated souls like you.

During this year, you get a year’s worth of expert instructions, diving into everything from wilderness medicine to mastering the art of animal tracking, handling firearms, and even becoming a birding expert.

The training duration might differ, but the excitement? That stays constant. You’ll receive hands-on training in the heart of African savannas and reserves in South Africa, Kenya, and Botswana.

After all the adventure and learning, you walk away with more than just memories, with certifications from big guns in the wildlife guide industry — FGASA and CATHSSETA.

During your training, you’ll be in remote wilderness areas — just the way you like it, right? — and living in unfenced bush camps close to all things nature.

Benefits of Completing a Safari Guide Training Course

Students scanning the horizon for animals along the river

The benefits of completing any training for being a safari guide in Africa are endless.

The main advantage of some courses is that you leave with a tangible certificate that proves you can hang in the wild.

Completing a career course will mean you graduate with FGASA and CATHSSETA-accredited certifications. These generally allow you to conduct game drives with a newfound appreciation for nature as a pro safari guide.

The great thing is, a powerful piece of paper isn’t where the benefits end.

At the top of the other perks list is the incredible amount of knowledge you’ll gain from any course you join. These will bestow upon you the sixth sense that a professional African ranger has for finding elusive wild creatures.

Every rustle of leaves could lead to an incredible discovery when equipped with the teachings of the course.

Other benefits will include the time spent in the wild, learning how to drive a 4×4 for game drive purposes, learning about the creatures that roam the wild, and more.

Requirements for the Safari Guide Training Course

Field instructor teaching about the African bush

Now, you obviously may feel completely ready to sign up for some of the best wildlife training South Africa, Kenya, and Botswana have to offer.

Wait, hold onto your wild horses; you need to meet a few requirements before you can journey into nature.

Career courses

For career courses, you can join learning expeditions that take as little as 28 days or as long as an entire year. Most of these have a similar set of requirements.

You’ll need to be 18 years or older, plus you have to be able to communicate effectively in spoken and written English.

Students also need to be capable of walking at least 2 km daily without struggle, have a driver’s licence (preferably manual), and have a current first aid certificate or be willing to obtain it.

Courses like the 35-day practical field guide have an additional requirement for the prior completion of a FGASA Field Guide theory component. Luckily, you’ll get help in completing this.

For the shortest six-day course, you have to be 18 years and older and able to walk 12 km daily while carrying your backpack and supplies.

A driver’s licence and a current first aid certificate are also necessary, although you can obtain the latter later.

Wildlife enthusiast course requirements

An African leopard emerges in front of the dirt road

Likewise, the wildlife enthusiast courses have similar requirements regardless of length.

Generally, students will need to be at least 16 years old and be capable of walking for at least 2 km daily. They’d also need to be able to communicate effectively in spoken and written English.

However, some courses do allow people as young as 12 years old when accompanied by a guardian or parent.

Some are more strict with the requirements, like the 7-day wilderness photography course. These require students to be at least 18 years old and in possession of a driver’s licence and first aid certificate, as well as being able to walk up to 12 km per day.

Online courses

The online courses require just a stable internet connection, participants to be 18 years and older, and a basic understanding of English.

Some don’t even have age restrictions for budding African field guides.

Sign Up for a Safari Guide Training Course

Safari guide trainees and leopard tortoise

If you’re ready to start your journey towards being a master of the savanna or need to learn more, just sign up below, and you’ll be well on your way.