FGASA Apprentice Field Guide Course

Welcome to the world’s first multi-destination Field Guide Training Course, covering more than 2000-km over 60 days.

The first mobile field guide training program of its kind, Pathfinders takes you on a journey, not only through education & learning in the African wilderness, but through multiple iconic wildlife destinations. You’ll be guided every step of the way by some of Africa’s most passionate and highly qualified field guide trainers.

Over the 60-day course, you will cover a wide range of terrains and wildlife-rich habitats, learning how to identify species, track and interpret behavioural patterns, apply conservation techniques and learn the basics on how to survive, guide & protect in the African bush.

Zimbabwe remains Africa’s original great natural wilderness and through your time on the course, you will visit and study in some of Africa’s finest game reserves. Here, we combine classroom study with practical training, applying hands-on techniques and gaining first-hand experience guiding with a wide range of wildlife species, including Africa’s famous Big Five; lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino.

This broad range of experience is what sets Pathfinders’ guides apart from the rest. Upon graduation, our guides have already applied their skills in a range of environments with different wildlife, vegetation, terrains and challenges, making them more attractive to prospective employers.

Successful graduation will earn you a FGASA NQF2 Apprentice Field Guide qualification – an essential tool for starting or furthering your exciting career in the African bush.

The course itself is structured to give you a balance of theoretical and practical know-how, and while your time with us is structured, you can be assured that no two days are the same! If you are prepared to work hard – this experience will change your life forever.

You’ll be able to enjoy the variety of action-packed activities at your fingertips such as bungee jumping, micro-lighting and white water rafting or travel in your free time.

Topics covered on your course:

FGASA NQF2 Field Guide Modules:

  • Guiding in the Natural Environment
  • Geology
  • Weather and Climate
  • Astronomy
  • Ecology
  • Biomes of Southern Africa
  • Taxonomy
  • Plants (trees and grasses)
  • Arthropods
  • Fish
  • Amphibians
  • Reptiles
  • Birds
  • Mammals
  • Animal Behavior
  • Conservation Management

Pathfinders Custom Modules:

  • 4×4 Driving Skills
  • Wildlife Photography Skills
  • Survival in the Bush
  • Understanding Tourism

What could a typical day in the bush look like for a trainee?

At about 5:30 or 6:00 am, you’ll have a quick breakfast, grab a cup of coffee and head out to the bush for a morning of practical lessons or lectures focused on the week’s module, which may be anything from mammals to 4X4 driving skills. When the midday heat kicks in, you’ll have some free time to relax, study or rest before the afternoon training session. You’ll return to base from your busy day to enjoy dinner and some downtime sitting around the fire sharing the day’s experiences. 

Included in your Course Fee:

  • Shared tented accommodation *upgrades available
  • All meals
  • FGASA Textbooks
  • Park fees
  • Airport transfers on arrival and departure
  • All conservation fees
  • Transport between training locations
  • Training Costs


  • Flights and associated taxes
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Outdoor gear
  • Visas
  • Additional food and drinks
  • Reference books outside of those provided
  • Personal travel and excursions
  • Purchase of curios and items of a personal nature

Upcoming Course Dates:


  • Friday 1 May 2020
  • Wednesday 1 July 2020
  • Thursday 1 October 2020

Course Fee: 

  • USD 4,950

* Zimbabwean Residents: please enquire for local rates


Post-Course Internships: 

Following successful graduation of the NQF2 Field Guide course, there is an opportunity to join an internship at one of our partner organisations in Zimbabwe, gaining valuable experience and putting into practice the skills and knowledge learnt throughout the 60-day course.


  • 1-month internship
  • 2-month internship

It is important to note that this internship will be at an extra cost and that the internship allocation will be determined by the Pathfinders head trainer based on your performance throughout the course. Board and lodging will be covered as part of this additional fee. 

Please indicate if this is something you would be interested in at the time of booking! 

Contact Pathfinders Africa

Let us know how to get back to you.

How can we help?

Feel free to ask a question or simply leave a comment.

At Pathfinders, we sponsor one local guide for every 10 participants we have on our NQF2 Field Guide Course.

* Train in multiple unique destinations

* Fully-immersive 60-day course

* Learn from expert guides and trainers

* Incredible free time activities available

* FGASA Endorsed Training

Let’s start planning your trip

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