Visit South Africa, a Rainbow Nation that combines sophisticated modern culture with an ancient landscape that is simply breathtaking. South Africa has evolved over thousands of years to become the biologically and culturally diverse nation that it is today. The country welcomes millions of visitors a year attracted by its wide, sandy beaches, foaming surf, cosmopolitan cities, world famous national parks and game reserves and of course its monumental and dramatic natural landscapes including Table Mountain.
Rolling hills, extensive grasslands, lush savannah woodlands and historical frontier architecture will greet you at this exclusive game reserve. The unspoiled bushveld and crystal clear blue skies combine to offer a magnificent setting for you to explore and track the Big Five wildlife and to discover the intriguing history of this African paradise.
Gain your FGASA accredited qualification
Discover the Rainbow Nation
Make lifelong friends
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
14 FGASA modules
Game capture (in season)
Eradication of invasive plant species
Before you go
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt
Food (5 days/week)
Local orientation and project training
FGASA accredited field guide training
Registration costs and examination fees
In-country emergency support
24-hour international HQ back-up
What Next? Apply Now!
WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
You will be working within the reserve five days a week from Monday to Friday. The game reserve is home to all of Africa's Big Five animals (the lion, the African Elephant, the Cape Buffalo, the leopard and the rhinoceros) as well as many others, and you may get to help out with the reserve's animal rehabilitation work. The reserve has been successful in breeding Bengal Tigers with a new cub born in the reserve! Other work may include checking up on the lions and their cubs or feeding and cleaning the elephants in the on-site elephant sanctuary.
During your stay, you will follow a fully accredited FGASA field guide training course, led by qualified and experienced assessors. The FGASA field guide course is an entry-level qualification, involving a theoretical and a practical component. Your successful completion of this course will qualify you for a FGASA Level 1 certificate and First Aid Certificate.
The course objective is to train and qualify highly competent and skilled nature guides in all aspects of field guiding and to provide an experience for all participants to develop a greater appreciation of our natural environment and be able to effectively communicate that knowledge.
Your work will be hugely varied and may include such tasks as vegetation rehabilitation and the eradication of invasive plant species – invaluable for maintaining the local flora and fauna. Fence patrolling also needs to be carried out to check for wear and tear and to ensure the safety of the animals. Those joining in the month of February may get to assist with the annual game capture programme. Remember though, you are also here to study!
Within the reserve you can visit the historic English frontier town of Sidbury, noted for its contribution to the development of agriculture in South Africa and home to the oldest cricket grounds in the country. Here you will find a post office and a modern convenience store.
Excursions to Port Elizabeth, South Africa's second oldest city, are arranged every other weekend. Here you can enjoy sunbathing, surfing and swimming at the beautiful blue flag beaches such as George's and Humewood beach. In the evenings you can explore the exciting bars, clubs and restaurants of this vibrant city.
What Next? Apply Now!
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I ARRIVE?
You will fly into Port Elizabeth airport which is a short flight from Cape Town international airport. Please ensure you arrive before 4pm on the project start date. From here, depending on what time you arrive, you will be collected by one of the project staff who will escort you on a tour of Port Elizabeth to help you acclimatise and to give you an idea of the leisure activities available for you to enjoy on your weekend excursions. You will then be transported to the project location, 85 km from Port Elizabeth.
WHERE WILL I BE STAYING?
The project operates within an exclusive game reserve of 6,000 hectares. You will be living in one of two newly built, clean and comfortable, single sex, 16 bed dormitories. The reserve offers a fantastic array of leisure facilities including a swimming pool, TV, tennis court, barbecue, and kitchen area and internet access. There is mobile phone coverage in the area and you will be able to purchase a pay-as-you-go SIM for a small price in the shops, which you can then top up and use as much as you like.
WHAT WILL I BE EATING?
You will enjoy a delicious combination of African and Asian food cooked by the skilled local catering staff. You may also enjoy authentic South African braais in the evening whilst discussing the day's events with friends whilst listening to the night sounds made by the countless birds and animals nearby. Please note that food will not be included at weekends when you are not taking part on the course.
What Next? Apply Now!
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If you have the inclination and the energy to pack in even more, there are loads of extra activities to try on your free weekends or after your trip. About an hour's drive south west of Port Elizabeth is the surf village of J-Bay, one of the hottest surf spots on the planet and definitely not to be missed. If culture is more your thing then perhaps you might like to visit Grahamstown, Africa's festival capital, where the national Arts Festival takes place with over 50,000 people flocking to the city for a feast of arts, crafts and sheer entertainment with more than 500 shows from opera, cabaret, drama and jazz to stand-up comics and folk music. Check the festival dates to make sure they coincide with your itinerary. There are also many hiking trails which you could join along the Garden Route or perhaps you might like to plan a trip to see Table Mountain, visit Cape Town or experience the world famous Kruger National Park.