Nature Guiding as a professional career, has evolved steadily over the last two decades, and today is a much sought after career.
The national qualifications that are available for nature guiding are set at relatively low levels when compared to Conservation or Tourism programmes, in order to be accessible to more potential students. The working environment, in which these skills are delivered however, is one that requires guides to be confident, knowledgeable, responsible and well educated leaders. A guide working at a prestigious 5 star Game Lodge has got an enormous amount of responsibility and very high expectations from both his or her employer and paying guests.
The guides that are currently being produced through shorter training programmes, fall short of this requirement and are not viewed as employable by many employers. It is for this reason that many prestigious lodges and reserves put their guides through considerable further internal training programmes to ensure that the right skills and values are transferred before allowing them to start working. There is a clear gap between the requirements of the industry and the ability of current programmes to produce suitably qualified, mature and responsible nature guides and it is this gap that we hope to bridge with this new industry orientated programme.
The Bhejane Nature Training Advanced Nature Guiding and Wildlife Conservation programme is a unique and comprehensive 3 year programme that is the first of a new generation of industry orientated learning programmes. This programme combines the intimately related fields of Professional Nature Guiding, Conservation/Wildlife Management, Monitoring and Research, and Tourism and Hospitality. This enables the student to get a quality academic qualification whilst at the same time living and training in the bush as opposed to attending a short informal bush course with little value, or a lengthy academic programme that still leaves them unemployable. Many Nature Conservation graduates are aware of the difficulty in finding employment without also having FGASA guiding qualifications, and this often leads to further time and expense on getting all the necessary qualifications to become employable.
Bhejane is in the unique position of being able to offer a 3 year programme that will ensure that the student can now do all of this in one place, gain valuable practical experience and qualify for an industry placement at the same time.
In addition to the benefits stated above, this is the only programme of its kind that prepares the student to work in both terrestrial and marine protected areas.
The college base camp is situated in Northern Zululand and borders the Isimangaliso Wetlands Park. Widely recognised as an area of unrivalled biodiversity, this offers the opportunity to live, study and work in one of the most diverse natural environments in Southern Africa.
The programme is suitable for anyone that is interested in working in Wildlife Tourism and Conservation, either as a Professional Nature Guide, Wildlife Monitor, Research Assistant, Conservation Volunteer Coordinator, Wildlife Manager, or Marine Guide, will benefit from this course. The course caters specifically for students that want more than just an entry level guiding qualification, and is looking for a more practical training approach than what is available through traditional academic qualifications.
Bhejane Nature Training is a fully endorsed FGASA Training Provider. (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa)
Join us today, to become a part of the Zululand Conservation Legacy . . .