South Africa game ranger course

“An extraordinary opportunity to spend two months at one of South Africa’s game reserves learning about becoming a game ranger. Get FGASA level 1 qualification. Staying in shared accommodation. All meals provided. ”


Training and exams for FGASA Grade 1 qualification | Big Five Game Reserve in South Africa | Game counts | Fence patrols | Habitat maintenance | Lions | African elephants | Cape buffalo | Leopard | Rhino |All food included | Swimming pools | Tennis courts | Transfer from Port Elizabeth, an hour from the Reserve.

Description of South Africa game ranger course

Seeing the Big 5 in Africa is a must: but why not go deeper into your love for wildlife by actually living alongside them and training to be a game ranger in South Africa? This 8 week game ranger course opens you up to life in a Big 5 Game Reserve. From game counts to relocation, from fence patrols to vegetation rehabilitation, all of the skills that you develop give you experience of life as a game ranger.

Not only does the course give you an insight into the running of a park, it also sets you up for your FGASA (Field Guide Association of South Africa) Field Guide certificate, recognised across Africa. As part of this course, local rangers will give you insight into astronomy, geology, weather, ecology, animal identification and animal behaviour. Working alongside the local rangers, you can help with the introduction of African mammal species, tagging and relocating animals, as well as educating others about the amazing creatures that you will come into contact with.

At the end of this diverse 8 week programme, living in the heart of a Big 5 reserve, you can take your field guide exams to get your qualification.

The reserve is home to many other species outside of the Big 5 (lions, African elephants, cape buffalo, leopard and rhino). An average day could see you helping with conservation efforts in the reserve with a giraffe standing by. Informal lectures will help you to get to grips with the syllabus and learn a tremendous amount about all animals, the environment and various ecosystems.

The fun doesn't stop at the weekends either. You have the option of getting out of the reserve to explore the local area and sample a bit of city life in Port Elizabeth. Alternatively you are more than welcome to kick back and relax at the reserve, making the most of the swimming pools, tennis courts and excellent leisure facilities.

Accommodation and food
The accommodation is newly built and has a distinctly African feel about it, full of vibrant colours and comfortable seating areas. You will be sharing a room with other participants in the thoughtfully constructed dormitory-style rooms with large lounges and outdoor areas to relax.

We provide you with three delicious meals a day, so you don’t even need to worry about cooking. The food is varied, with an African/ Asian feel to it.

Day-by-day experiences

Monday:Arrival day to Port Elizabeth and transportation to the reserve
Weekdays:Wildlife volunteering, game ranger course, conservation and various other reserve activities
Weekends:These are your own free time, either to relax at the reserve and enjoy its swimming pools and tennis courts, or to head off to Port Elizabeth to enjoy some city life.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: South Africa game ranger course


Our placements are designed to immerse you in a different culture, living and working with local people. There is plenty to gain personally from this trip. But we make sure that local people benefit too, choosing projects that bring tangible improvements to their lives.

The reserve places conservation at the top of its agenda. Through the help of the volunteers, the reserve is made a good place to be for the wildlife within it. Volunteers are taught to care for the animals, to treat them with respect and to make sure that they act appropriately around them at all times.

Care for the environment
All of our participants receive comprehensive pre-departure briefing. This covers topics on how to be culturally sensitive, how to best look after the environment when in the country and how to stay safe as well as up to date information on the political situation. They are also briefed on how to dispose of waste properly and where possible, to avoid using plastic water bottles as these are not easy to dispose of environmentally.

Throughout their time on the game ranger course, participants will be helping to conserve the beautiful environment in which they are in. This ranges from removing alien vegetation (which can be poisonous for the wildlife and destroy habitats) to planting seedlings and digging water holes for the animals.

Our company is an environmentally responsible one that operates recycling and reusing of waste products. We also offset carbon emissions in our office (gas,electricity, business mileage) and encourage all participants to offset their flight emissions via a carbon offset scheme run in conjunction with Tree Aid.

Participants are advised to use hand wash gel that does not require water. We also advise, during our pre departure course, to take care with water. In many of our destinations, water is precious and expensive.

Promoting sustainability
We are aiming to become single-use plastic free on this project. Steps have already been made to replace plastic drinks bottle with glass bottles, providing drinking water from reuseable water drums and initiate a recycling programme for any unavoidable single use plastic.

The reserve is becoming very advanced on water harvesting and recycling, using more solar energy (the aim is to become fully reliant on solar energy) and composting kitchen waste.

The reserve aims to plant 10,000 native tree species each year.


Meeting local needs
The park also plays an important role in protecting the local economy. The ‘big five’ wild animals are a key source of tourist income for South Africa and protection of these species is vital for some rural areas, who rely on responsible tourism to sustain them. Through volunteering at the reserve, you will be helping to meet an important local need. You will also contribute directly to the area’s economy, creating jobs for domestic staff at the reserve and by eating locally-sourced food provided by local cooks.You will not be taking jobs away from local people.The organisation employs as many local staff as it can afford, but relies on volunteers to support them.

Helping local communities
Within the grounds of the reserve is a small community, with a school and several other facilities. Volunteers can help with teaching English at the local schools or buy souvenirs from their hand crafted goods. These local workers receive fair prices for their goods and are helped financially by the reserve.

Travelling with respect
Before joining the project you are briefed fully on the reserve, the customs there and how you can respect the locals here. Volunteers are encouraged to find out more about the history of the location so that they can travel aware.

Popular similar holidays

Endangered wildlife conservation in South Africa

Endangered wildlife conservation in South Africa

Award-winning, Fair Trade certified wildlife conservation

From US $1420 14 days excluding flights

Volunteer with monkeys in South Africa

Volunteer with monkeys in South Africa

Help re-habilitate orphaned monkeys in beautiful rural South Africa

From £847 14 days excluding flights

Family volunteering and safari holiday, South Africa

Family volunteering and safari holiday, South Africa

Take your family on a truly rewarding holiday of a lifetime

From US $679 7 days excluding flights

Volunteer with children & animals in South Africa

Volunteer with children & animals in South Africa

Volunteer with children and wild animals in South Africa

From €550 - €3990 7 days excluding flights

Convert currencies