Defining a Field Guide, Game Ranger and a Tracker with NJ MORE Field Guide College
A Field Guide – Knowing the lay of the land is just one part of this career. It is a career based on knowledge mixed with respecting the natural environment around an individual.
How long does it take to qualify to become a field guide and is it correct to say nature guide? Nature or safari guide is also correct. It takes at least 55 days to obtain a level 1 qualification on a course – but this is only the legal starting point for this career.
Can anyone become a field guide? Yes, as long as you have a passion for the outdoors, speak English and love dealing with people. Guides work very hard – which is key to the profession.
What can an individual do with a field guide qualification and which regions is the qualification relevant to? In terms of the FGASA an individual can work in Game Reserves and lodges in Southern Africa. The FGASA qualification is also valid in Dubai, US or the UK. It is also a great qualification to have in addition to a degree or qualification in nature conservation. Many lodge managers have been guides before.
What is difference between a field guide and game ranger? A Field Guide takes people out on safari and acts as the “interpreter” between nature and guests. He/she often works closely with a tracker in order to locate the animals. A game ranger is involved in park management, i.e. fencing or game captures.
How does one become a tracker? There is a level 1, 2, 3 qualification which includes track and sign ID as well as trailing a wild animal. Eventually you become a senior tracker after an extra assessment. Only after many years of practice you can be nominated by peers to become a master tracker. These trackers are amazing! Currently there are only 3 master trackers worldwide, all South Africans.
What is a Dangerous Game qualification and does it only cover land-based animals, because a Great White Shark is quite dangerous?! VPDA – viewing dangerous game – is a must if you want to become a Trails Guide and take guests on a walking safari. You have to prove that you can approach and retreat a sighting in a safe way. FGSA also offers a marine guiding qualification – that is where you can learn about sharks.
Find out more: