What does a field guide do?
A field guide walks or drives safari lodge guests in the game reserve and interprets all elements of nature and wildlife surrounding them. They educate the guests about the large and microscopic elements of the ecosystems, all the while, instilling in them a deeper appreciation of nature and conservation ethics. The role of a field guide is unique and very diverse. It involves them being a guide, teacher, friend, game warden, doctor, storyteller and sometimes even a cook for guests. Each day in the wilderness is filled with new surprises and experiences.
The work of a field guide includes:
- living in remote areas for extended periods of time
- learning social and leadership skills in order to deal with clients appropriately
- working as a team including assisting game rangers
- practical skills such as driving a 4x4 vehicle and photography
- ensuring the safety of the guests while on game drives.
WHAT QUALIFICATIONS DO I NEED?
To become a field guide you have to qualify with a Nature Site Guide (NQF2) and/or Field Guides Association of South Africa (FGASA) Apprentice Field Guide qualification. You can, however, further your career through self-study and logging practical hours while working as a field guide in the industry. You have to adhere to certain requirements before being able to get a higher qualification through FGASA.