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. Other work may include checking up on the lions and their cubs or feeding and cleaning the elephants in the onsite 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 effectively to 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.
In addition to the FGASA training you will also receive training in advanced rifle handling, hospitality management, 4x4 driving and the principles involved in being an ethical safari guide. Throughout the duration of this six month internship you will be continually learning from the professionals around you and developing your own skills, preparing you for a career within safari guiding.
Within the reserve you can visit an historic English frontier town, noted for its contribution to the development of agriculture in South Africa and home to the oldest cricket grounds in the country, where 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.