WPCS 2.1.3
WPCS 2.1.3

Apprentice Trails Guide Course

"Bush walks in big game country"

Price $4300 USD (See price tab)
Course Type
Botswana, South Africa
28 Nights
Makuleke Concession Pafuri, Timbavati & Klaserie Nature Reserves

Whether you are a career guide working towards a qualification or attending for self-satisfaction and learning, this course is for you!

Explore the wilderness of the majestic Makuleke concession in the famed Kruger National Park or Mashatu Reserve in the (Northern Tuli – Botswana) on foot, on a 28 day FGASA Trails Guide course. The majority of time will be spent enjoying bush walks in big game country. The course is conducted in a different, wilder area and thus provides a truly authentic field guide experience. Your wildlife knowledge, situational awareness and environmental appreciation will increase exponentially while on this course, whether you are a career guide working towards a qualification or attending for self-satisfaction and learning.

The 24 000 ha Makuleke concession hosts 75% of the Greater Kruger National Park’s biodiversity, which makes walking in this area very special and rewarding.

Our Mashatu wilderness camp is located in the Land of Giants. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty with majestic rocks, diverse vegetation, abundant wildlife, a profusion of birds and rich archaeological heritage.

general information

Why do the course?

The aim of this course is to develop and practice skills and gain knowledge to attain the FGASA Trails Guide Back-up qualification. At the same time develop and enhance skills and knowledge learnt on the FGASA Field Guide course. Your environmental and situational awareness will increase exponentially.

It is also open to anyone who wants experience or opportunities of walking in a wilderness area and improving personal skills. Skills gained on this course can be used anywhere. The course content is the same for everyone, regardless of existing qualifications.

However if a FGASA Back-up qualification is what you are after, you will have to attain the full FGASA Field Guide qualification before coming on the course.

about the school

Operating for 24 years, EcoTraining is the pioneer and leader in safari guide and wildlife training in Africa. EcoTraining is widely recognised by the safari industry for its credibility and standard of excellence in nature guide training. We offer accredited career courses, gap year and sabbatical programmes, nature programmes, high school and university study abroad programmes, custom courses and on-site professional guide training at safari lodges. All courses are run directly from EcoTraining’s unfenced bush camps in prime wilderness areas across South Africa, Botswana, Kenya and Zimbabwe. To date EcoTraining has trained over 11 000 people from 33 different countries around the world.

course content

Some theoretical and practical subjects covered on the course:

  • Introduction to Trails Guiding
  • Navigation and Orientation
  • Situational Awareness
  • Animal Behavior
  • Animal Tracks and Tracking
  • Bird Identification and Behavior
  • Dangerous Game Knowledge & Behavior
  • Walking in Dangerous Game Country
  • Approaching Dangerous Game on Foot
  • Rifle Handling for Dangerous Game
  • Weapons Handling, Safety and Ballistics
  • Possible 2 day navigational hike and sleep-out

start dates

15 September 2022 - 12 October 2022


The sleeping arrangements at all our camps consist of two people sharing per tent. Single requests are required to pay double-rates. Women and men do not share tents unless booked as a couple.


  • Early morning wake-up (tea, coffee, biscuits, fresh fruit and cereal)
  • Brunch after activity (cooked breakfast and fruit salad)
  • Afternoon tea (light lunch/ sandwiches)
  • Dinner (balanced, warm plated meal with meat, vegetables and salad)

The Trails Guide course takes place in one of the following camps (depends on start date): Makuleke, Mashatu or Selati.


Departure from Johannesburg (1st day of course)
All EcoTraining scheduled BushBus transfers will depart from the Emerald Guesthouse on the first day of a course. The departure time is strictly 7am from the Emerald Guesthouse
Emerald Backpackers/ Guesthouse: (19 Halifax Rd, Kemptonpark)

Participants flying into Johannesburg (international and domestic) are advised to arrive the day before and overnight at Emerald
Backpackers/Guesthouse to ensure all passengers are on time for departure and the bus leaves as scheduled.
The guesthouse is within close proximity to OR Tambo International Airport and if supplied with your flight details, will collect you at no additional charge. They offer a range of accommodation options, to suit your individual requirements and budget. As the Bush Bus departs early morning from Emerald, overnighting at the guesthouse will help simplify your departure.

Please book directly with Emerald Backpackers/Guesthouse on info@emeraldguesthouse.ne


EcoTraining Back-up Trails Guide/ ARH Certificate and FGASA Back-up Trails Guide/ ARH Qualification

If you want to attain the FGASA Trails Guide back-up qualification as well as the Advanced Rifle Handling (ARH) qualification presented on this course, you must:

  • Have a full FGASA Field Guide Level 1 qualification (inclusive of a First Aid qualification)
  • Have an accredited PFTC (Professional Firearm Trainers Council) (was SASSETA) accredited Rifle Proficiency certificate before you arrive on course (www.pftc.co.za ). If you need further information on PFTC, please ask for our full PFTC information document.
  • Have paid all your FGASA fees (current membership fees and exam fee)
  • Be prepared to undergo the FGASA ARH qualification. Please note we offer limited training as part of the course, hence any rifle training you can do beforehand, will go a long way in giving you confidence with a rifle


2022 Rate per person [28 days] / ZAR 66 250

2021 Rate per person [28 days] / ZAR 62 490

*Please note that the official price for this course is in ZAR as above. Any other currency price for this tour is merely indicative. The ZAR price will be converted to your preferred currency using the exchange rate on the date of invoice.

Rate includes:

Accommodation (sharing)
Full meals
Instructors and Training
FGASA registration, exam fees and workbooks
Bush walks
Open vehicle drives and specialist trainer/s.

Rate excludes:

Transfers/transport to and from the camp, before and after the course
Any accommodation before and after the course
Beverages (beer, ciders, bottled water)
Kruger National Park entrance fee (only applicable if the course is at the Kruger Makuleke camp)
First Aid course
FGASA certificate (postage)

Ecotraining Walking
Ecotraining walking encounter
Ecotraining Shooting
Ecotraining Scenery
Ecotraining Instructor interaction
Ecotraining bush walk students water
Trails Guide Ecotraining

Do you want to do a course?

Just drop us a message and we help you to find the right course for you!

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