By Reon Janse van Rensburg
Most career choices are made with the concrete jungle in mind. However, getting stuck in a city’s traffic jams is not everyone’s cup of tea. For some people the starry sky, to be outside in the bush or in nature, and even to ensure that nature is preserved for future generations, is of greater importance.
One of the options to make this a reality is to become a field guide. There are many institutions specialising in field guide training that have been approved by the Field Guide Association of Southern Africa (FGASA).
For the people who are serious about the industry and want to enter it as a fully-fledged field guide, they should delve deeper than merely the surface. By showing the right passion and commitment during your training, you could ensure the that the right doors will open for you.
With this field of study, you rarely spend time in the classroom because your classroom is nature, and everything you need to learn is there!
If the one-year course is completed successfully, prospective students can walk away with the following qualifications:
- FGASA Level One Field Guide or an FGASA Trails Guide
- Advanced Rifle Handling, Tracking (Level One, Two or Three)
- Wilderness First Aid (Level One and Two)
The most enjoyable part or the profession may differ from person to person, but it will appeal to people who derive great pleasure from nature and who like to study it and be involved in conservation.
It is also important to remember that people do not choose this type of occupation to earn exorbitant salaries; they choose it because they have a real passion for it. Also, it is not one long holiday – you actually have to work while other people are on holiday. Do you like to sleep late? Don’t even consider this job!
Working as a field guide is for people who do not want be trapped in a city of concrete and among the noise of cars and people, but who prefer the silent gravel roads of nature reserves such as the Kruger and others across the world.