Both titles are given to a guide between nature and their guests. They are a warming and friendly person, able to give their clients an educational and enjoyable experience in the environment.

A Nature Site Guide is a person that interprets the natural wealth of a site to international or local guests, with aims to educate and informs them of the different aspects of that particular site. 

South Africa has countless tourism destinations due to its wonderfully diverse natural heritage and vastly contrasting landscapes and habitats.

This course focuses on the wonders of iSimangaliso’s wetland park area which encompasses several game parks, Sodwana Bay’s amazing reefs and further north the nesting grounds of the Leatherback and Loggerhead Turtles.

Qualified nature field site guides are generally very well informed about the natural elements of the site, including the geology and climate, and have a great volume of information about the animals and plant life that inhabit it. 

A Nature Site Guide can operate in one specific area or qualify to work in numerous sites in a given area.  A site can be a particular game reserve, national park, conservation park etc.  A Nature Site Guide can also qualify as a specialised guide in an area that conducts tours such as open vehicle trails, snorkel trails, hiking trails, birding tours or botanical tours and so on.

They are sometimes referred to as ‘nature guides’ (as opposed to ‘culture guides’ or ‘adventure guides’) and are also often erroneously referred to as ‘game rangers’, especially by foreign tourists.

A Game Ranger is a person that acts as a custodian of land and the inhabiting wildlife. They are responsible for the management, wellbeing of animals and upkeep of the natural environment. They rarely, if at all, liaise with guests.

We suggest that you undertake formal studies in the Natural Sciences (BSc. Biology/Zoology) or a National Diploma in Nature Conservation. Please note that many employers require that you also possess an NQF level 2 qualification in addition to this, as it means that you will be able to manage the game farm, its animals, as well as the guests who visit the property

FGASA is an accredited provider with the Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport, Sector Education Training Authority (CATHSSETA). CATHSSETA accredits training providers and registers qualified assessors and moderators operating within the CATHSSETA scope. As Timm Blue is an accredited provider of CATHSSETA, you will legally be able to register with NDT within your chosen province and start your career as a guide.

No, because you are trained to SAQA standards under CATHSETTA. Therefore you in effect hold the same qualification as a FGASA level 1 guide.

  • You need to complete a training course which will award the successful applicant with a Field Guide qualification. This is the entry level qualification required for entry into the workplace.
  • Assuming that you have successfully completed your Field Guide qualification, you will be required to obtain a Professional Driving Permit (PDP) in order to transport clients legally on South African national roads.
    • To obtain this, you first have to get a doctor to sign a medical certificate (form MC). Then you go to the nearest Vehicle Licensing Department and hand in your documents (form PD1), pay and have an eye test and fingerprints taken.
  • The last step of the process is to register as a Nature Guide with your provincial Tourist Authority (the National Department of Tourism (NDT – formerly DEAT).

No you have to have South African Citizenship.

SAPS says yes you do or you need to at least show proof that you have applied for this before you can work as a guide using the lodge’s rifle.

As a matter of interest they don’t issue those white cards any more – all you have to do now is go to a Firearms Control Point police station (the ones authorised to handle firearm matters and have a Firearms Control Officer), show your ID and the SAPS will print out a sheet of paper while you wait. Please note that this is included in Timm Blue’s Rifle Competency Course.

Yes! Timm Blue is accredited with CATHSSETA – the Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Education and Training Authority, it is the Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) established under the Skills Development Act (No 97 of 1998 (the skills act) for the Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Economic Sector. http://www.cathsseta.org.za/index.php/about-us/.

ABSA bank seems to be the most helpful with a study loan.

Here at Timm Blue, we have created a more in-depth training programme than in comparison to the standard FGASA level 1. With this achievement, we are able to accredit straight to CATHSSETA. 

We provide more practical classes and extensive content in our course to help you to become a confident field guide. 

Our VPDA course includes all the hours that you need to log under our guidance to ensure that you are 100% capable, and comfortable, of conducting walking tours in dangerous game areas.  To help you get your career started, we have work placements for students with top lodges and reserves, as well as leading scientific institutes.

We can arrange these amazing opportunities and unique experiences with the chance to work with real conservationists, scientists and researchers or act as a tourist guide in the best reserves in KZN.

Our newly designed and produced Marine and Coastal Guide course was written by Judy Mann, who is a leading conservation strategist at SAAMBR, ORI and Ushaka Marine World.

We are very grateful to have Judy contribute to the course, as who better to educate us on making a difference and ocean conservation.  This comprehensive course will enable guides to educate their guests on the problems impacting our oceans and how we can all do a little something to help contribute to ocean conservation and awareness.

As a scuba diving lodge we are equipped with comfortable accommodation, a restaurant and classroom/lecture room perfect for students lectures and class time.  We are surrounded by game reserves and have the added benefits of iSimangaliso’s Wetland Park with lakes, estuaries and swamp forests. As well as coastal dunes, rocky and sandy shorelines, there is the home of the Black Rhino along with Loggerhead and Leatherback Turtle nesting grounds. We are in an area abundant with diverse marine life and coral reefs, providing us with constant inspiration, and there is no better place to learn!


Visit us

Please feel free to come visit

Sodwana Bay

Call us

For course rates to begin the application process or for any questions, queries or concerns

+27 (0) 83 381 9246

Contact us

Email us