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Fancy a career as an African field guide?! Try BUNAC!

Dedicated animal lovers with a sense of adventure can now hone their skills on an exciting, fast-paced and hands-on BUNAC course designed to train them for a successful career as a field guide in the African safari lodge industry.

The six-month Safari Field Guide Course is based at the spectacular 26,000-hectare Makalali Game Reserve in Limpopo, South Africa — a big-five wilderness reserve that’s home to elephants, lion, rhino, leopard, cheetah and hippo.

A maximum of 21 UK and international participants will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live and work in the bush alongside highly experienced instructors, with plenty of opportunities to get up close to the wildlife. They will also gain a number of key qualifications and bush skills including 4 x 4 driving, conservation, reserve-management, geology and animal behaviour.

The course offers a packed and varied timetable with an equal balance of theory and practice. After rising each morning at 5.30 for a game activity, walk, drive or lecture, the students attend a further lecture or game activity in the afternoon. A weekly exam keeps participants on their toes.

Alongside the hard work, every day includes breakfast, brunch, three hours of free time and an evening meal round the campfire where the day’s adventures can be discussed. During each course, students are given a week off so that they can explore some of the unforgettable sights in the region such as the Kruger National Park, the Drakensberg Mountains and the Blyde River Canyon.

Prices start from £7,950, including accommodation, all meals, flight-booking service, airport transfer, 24-hour emergency phone, books, all necessary equipment and uniform. Before they leave for South Africa, participants receive one-to-one orientation, support and expert advice.

Official qualifications on successful completion of the course include FGASA (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa) national certificate (Level 1, practical and theory); FGASA Advanced Rifle Handling Certificate and THETA (The Hospitality, Sports, Education and Training Authority) National Qualification (Level 2) in Nature Guiding.

The first courses run from July 8th 2014, January 7th 2015 and July 8th 2015.

For further information, visit the BUNAC website or telephone 020 7870 9570.