Field Guide Training

FGASA Trails Guide Course

The Trails Guide Course is aimed at equipping the learner with the necessary skills and knowledge to conduct a guided walk in potentially dangerous animal areas and is specifically designed towards obtaining the Trails Guide qualification of FGASA (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa). Please note that only candidates with a FGASA Level I qualification qualify to do the course. The course consists of two parts, i.e. Advanced Rifle Training and Dealing with Potentially Dangerous Animals. It also includes coaching and assessment on Viewing and Approaching Dangerous Animals and practical rifle handling and assessment.

To be practically assessed for View Potentially Dangerous Animals, the candidate should have previous experience of operating in big game areas and the required number of encounters entered in their FGASA logbooks.

Those who do not qualify for the practical assessment in Viewing Dangerous Game can still obtain the necessary experience by participating in the coaching sessions and write the FGASA examination.

The Advanced Rifle Handling part of the courses is intended to ensure that a guide is able to safely maintain, handle, shoot and secure a rifle according to laid down rules, procedures and legal requirements, and use a rifle effectively (speedily, accurately and appropriately) when situations require it.The View Potentially Dangerous Animals-part of the course in the guiding context, include lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo, rhinoceros (black and white) and hippopotamus.

It deals with the following aspects:

  • Identification, physical attributes and behavioural knowledge of dangerous species.
  • Tracking and field craft (spoor & sign identification, interpretation and tracking)
  • Legal aspects of guiding in dangerous game Areas (rules and procedures)
  • Guided walks with guests in dangerous game areas (with and without a tracker or back-up)
  • Approaching and withdrawing from dangerous game
  • Firearm safety (safe handling of weapons)
  • First Aid procedures and requirements.

The course is conducted at Combretum Park and Pilanesberg Game Reserve. In Pilanesberg, course attendees will be staying at Potokwane Camp inside the park when the practical part on view potentially dangerous game is done. The coaching and practical assessment on dangerous game will take place in the wilderness area.