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South Africa Safari Field Guide 6 Month Internship

  • In Brief
  • The Project
  • What to Expect
  • Reviews
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How To Apply

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FGASA Qualification

Get your Field Guide level 1 qualification and learn all you need to know to track and monitor animals.

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Find out more about South Africa

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Help to conserve some of Africa’s most precious and fascinating wildlife in the spectacular surroundings of this exclusive game reserveon our South Africa Safari Field Guide Internship. Known as the Rainbow Nation, South Africa is blessed with some of the most dramatic scenery and charismatic wildlife on earth. The country welcomes millions of visitors a year attracted by its wide, sandy beaches, foaming surf, cosmopolitan cities, world famous national parks and game reserves and of course its monumental and dramatic natural landscapes including Cape Town’s Table Mountain.

Learn how to survive in the South African wilderness by working with highly trained field staff and participating on bushwalks and game drives to spot elephants, zebra and countless other animals. You’ll learn how to track and identify species whilst participating in a range of wilderness activities that will give you a fantastic insight into the world of a safari field guide. After a hard day of work, you can enjoy an evening spent listening to the dulcet sounds of bell frogs whilst relaxing around the camp fire.




  • Gain your FGASA accredited qualification
  • Get acquainted with Africa’s Big Five
  • Make unforgettable memories and lifelong friends


  • Minimum age of 18 years
Airport Pickup Emergency Ground Transport Hotel Meals Terrestrial Qualification Wildlife CV Wildlife Encounter Free Time Breakfast Family
Location South Africa
Activities South Africa Safari Field Guide Internship
14 FGASA modules
Off road vehicle training
First aid training
Rifle handling
Hospitality Management training
Ethical safari guide training
Animal rehabilitation work
Fence patrols
Games capture (in season)
Eradication of invasive plant species
Transport Airport pick-up and transfer to the project site
Accommodation Purpose-built dormitories


Before you go

Pre-departure support
Dedicated personal travel adviser
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Equipment advice
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt

In-country Food (5 days/week)
Airport pick-up
In-country transfers
Local orientation and project training 
FGASA accredited field guide training
Course materials
Registration costs and examination fees
In-country emergency support
24-hour international HQ back-up


You will be working within the reserve five days a week from Monday to Friday. The game reserve is home to all of Africa’s Big Five animals (the lion, the African elephant, the cape buffalo, the leopard and the rhinoceros) as well as many others, and you may get to help out with the reserve’s animal rehabilitation work. Other work may include checking up on the lions and their cubs or feeding and cleaning the elephants in the onsite elephant sanctuary.

During your stay you will follow a fully accredited FGASA field guide training course led by qualified and experienced assessors. The FGASA field guide course is an entry level qualification involving a theoretical and a practical component. Your successful completion of this course will qualify you for a FGASA Level 1 certificate and First Aid Certificate.

The course objective is to train and qualify highly competent and skilled nature guides in all aspects of field guiding and to provide an experience for all participants to develop a greater appreciation of our natural environment and be able effectively to communicate that knowledge.

Your work will be hugely varied and may include such tasks as vegetation rehabilitation and the eradication of invasive plant species – invaluable for maintaining the local flora and fauna. Fence patrolling also needs to be carried out to check for wear and tear and to ensure the safety of the animals. Those joining in the month of February may get to assist with the annual game capture programme.

In addition to the FGASA training you will also receive training in advanced rifle handling, hospitality management, 4x4 driving and the principles involved in being an ethical safari guide. Throughout the duration of this six month internship you will be continually learning from the professionals around you and developing your own skills, preparing you for a career within safari guiding.

Within the reserve you can visit an historic English frontier town, noted for its contribution to the development of agriculture in South Africa and home to the oldest cricket grounds in the country, where you will find a post office and a modern convenience store.

Excursions to Port Elizabeth, South Africa’s second oldest city, are arranged every other weekend. Here you can enjoy sunbathing, surfing and swimming at the beautiful blue flag beaches such as George’s and Humewood beach. In the evenings you can explore the exciting bars, clubs and restaurants of this vibrant city.


You will fly into Port Elizabeth airport which is a short flight from Cape Town international airport. Please ensure you arrive before 4pm on the project start date. From here, depending on what time you arrive, you will be collected by one of the project staff who will escort you on a tour of Port Elizabeth to help you acclimatise and to give you an idea of the leisure activities available for you to enjoy on your weekend excursions. You will then be transported to the project location, 85km from Port Elizabeth.


The project operates within an exclusive game reserve of 6,000 hectares. You will be living in one of two newly built, clean and comfortable, single sex, 16 bed dormitories. The reserve offers a fantastic array of leisure facilities including a swimming pool, TV, tennis court, barbecue and kitchen area and internet access. There is mobile phone coverage in the area and you will be able to purchase a pay as you go SIM for a small price in the shops, which you can then top up and use as much as you like.


You will enjoy a delicious combination of African and Asian food cooked by the skilled local catering staff. You may also enjoy authentic South African braais (BBQ’s) in the evening whilst discussing the day's events with friends whilst listening to the night sounds made by the countless birds and animals nearby. Please note that food will not be included at weekends when you are not taking part on the course.

It had always been a childhood dream of mine to visit a reserve in South Africa, but I could...

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If you have the inclination and the energy to pack in even more, there are loads of extra activities to try on your free weekends or after your trip. About an hour's drive south west of Port Elizabeth is the surf village of J-Bay, one of the hottest surf spots on the planet and definitely not to be missed.

If culture is more your thing then perhaps you might like to visit Grahamstown, Africa's festival capital, where the national Arts Festival takes place with over 50,000 people flocking to the city for a feast of arts, crafts and sheer entertainment and more than 500 shows on offer from opera, cabaret, drama and jazz to stand up comedy and folk music. Check the festival dates to make sure they coincide with your itinerary.

There are also many hiking trails which you could join along the Garden Route or perhaps you might like to plan a trip to see Table Mountain, visit Cape Town or experience the world famous Kruger National Park.


6 months US$ 11,745


2020 start dates:

20th January

23rd March

1st June

3rd August

5th October 

This project is available throughout the Christmas period


6 months. Longer placements may be possible, please speak to one of our travel advisors.



Before you go

  • Pre-departure support
  • Dedicated personal travel adviser
  • Travel & medical advice & documentation
  • Equipment advice
  • Discounted medical kit
  • Free Frontier t-shirt


  • Food (5 days/week)
  • Accommodation
  • Airport pick-up
  • In-country transfers
  • Local orientation and project training
  • FGASA accredited field guide training
  • Course materials
  • Registration costs and examination fees
  • In-country emergency support
  • 24-hour international HQ back-up


Nearest airport(s): Port Elizabeth (PLZ)



Flights are not included in our project costs. However, Frontier have partnered with an experienced and professional team of travel experts to help our volunteers find the best flight deals for their trips with Frontier. This travel specialist operates in the tailor-made, long haul multi-stop travel market, arranging complex airfares and transfers for independent travellers. They provide expertise, security and a vast product range along with a Travel Butler service which is a single point of contact and support whilst you are overseas.

We recommend that you obtain a quote using the following contact details rather than book online, as our partner will offer you the most competitive fares. To receive your quote or to seek any advice for your flights, please contact Frontier’s dedicated team of travel experts on 0800 082 9994 (or +44 800 082 9994 outside the UK) or email frontier@statravel.com .


For fast, efficient and up-to-date visa advice please contact our recommended visa consultancy partner:

Depending on your destination country and your country of origin, you might require a visa. Please see the appropriate country consular website for details or contact our affiliate visa consultancy service. Please note that your visa will usually start on the date that you enter the destination country regardless of when it was issued. Please check with the relevant embassy or high commission. If you are purchasing your visa or paying entry/exit fees in-country you will probably need to pay in US Dollars. If you have any questions please consult the relevant embassy or high commission. Please check the visa information regularly, as changes often happen without warning.


You'll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the project. You won't be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you're covered for the whole duration of your trip – from the day you leave the UK to the day you return. It's also best to get your travel insurance at the same time as paying the deposit for your project. Depending on your policy, this will cover you for any unexpected cancellations.

Your insurance should include the following:

  • Medical cover, including medical emergencies and medical evacuations (up to USD$3,000,000 / GBP£2,000,000);
  • Personal liability (up to USD$1,500,000 / GBP£1,000,000);
  • Cancellation and curtailment of your trip (up to the value of your project contribution).

If you are going to be scuba diving you should get coverage for scuba diving up to 30m, including hyperbaric therapy treatment (unlimited). You should consider obtaining insurance to cover you for any additional activities which you plan to do during, before, or after your Frontier project. We recommend that you obtain cover for your baggage and personal effects.

Frontier Partner Projects and Frontier group projects are run in partnership with in-country NGOs, small community based organisations, local research institutes, academic organisations and conservation agencies. Project descriptions and information are supplied directly by our partners or field staff and are accurate at time of publishing.

We aim to keep information up to date and accurate, however, the nature of our projects and in particular the fact that they are constantly evolving and developing in response to changing needs means that project activities, travel schedules, tour itineraries and daily timetables can change overnight and without notice.

To apply for this project, or to register your interest, just click on the orange "Apply Now!" button at the top of the menu. Fill out and submit a short application form and then one of our advisers will give you a call back to answer any questions and to progress your application if you wish to continue.

There is no obligation when making an application, and you do not need to pay anything at this point.