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.
£4050 excluding flights
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8 Weeks
Tailor made
More info
Price includes game ranger programme (FGASA registration and fees), exams, course materials and course training.
Accommodation, airport collection, transfers to and from Port Elizabeth and 3 delicious meals a day at the reserve are included.
Make enquiry

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 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.

The course
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) Apprentic 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
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.

You are provided 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.


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.

Price information

£4050 excluding flights
Convert currency:
Price includes game ranger programme (FGASA registration and fees), exams, course materials and course training.
Accommodation, airport collection, transfers to and from Port Elizabeth and 3 delicious meals a day at the reserve are included.
Make enquiry

Departure information

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

Travel guides

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Holiday information

US pricing:
The currency converter above works on todays exchange rate. We do take bookings in USD but the price is set at a rate confirmed months in advance and is typically above the current exchange rate. Please enquire for details.
We cater for both vegetarians and vegans.


Accessible overview:
There are challenges associated with volunteer travel, and these can make accessible travel difficult. However, we are very keen to chat with travellers with specific needs to see if we can make a trip possible.

Responsible Travel

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.


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.

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

The reserve
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.

Protecting the world
We are passionate about encouraging our travellers to be kind to the environment as they travel. Each participant receives advice about how to care for the environment whilst they are away. This includes water usage, how to avoid single use plastic, and electricity usage.

We insist that all participants bring their own water bottles when they travel with us, and clean free water is always available. We have even created a water bottle that can be purchased before departure and encourage people to use it at all stages of their journey including at the airport, on flights and whilst on their project. We are striving for all of our projects to be free of single use plastic.


Meeting local needs
The reserve 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.

Helping local communities
Within the grounds of the reserve is a small community, with a school and several other facilities. Participants can 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.

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