Become a wildlife expert at NJ More Field Guide College

Posted on 18 July 2019

South Africa is famous for its diverse safari experiences. While the sightings and surroundings are incredible, the field guides and trackers are crucial to help us get the best experience from being in the bush.

Run by husband-and-wife team Philip and Arin Wessels, the NJ More Field Guide College trains aspirant field guides or those wishing to expand their knowledge and respect of the bushveld.

The College:

Located in the Marataba Game Reserve, the Guide College offers Field Guide Association of Southern Africa (FGASA) accredited training. The college accepts two intakes of students each year, one in January and one in July, with approximately 16-18 students per intake.

The college is inclusive and supportive of aspiring field guides, with previous students aged between 18 and 56 years old, a testament to those wanting to pursue their dreams no matter what their age.

Students are required to complete an exam as well as hours on foot.

There are two courses offered: a professional course and a career course. Both are six months long and run in conjunction with one another. Each course gives students the opportunity to achieve the FGASA Apprentice Field Guide certificate (NQF2).

The career course however is only available to South African students over the age of 21. ‘The aim of this course is to educate and train aspiring field guides who can then be filtered into the More Lodges when they complete their training,’ says Gawie Grobler, Group Safari Manager.

Students looking to pursue the career course need a professional driver’s licence before they start their training. This is so students can legally transport people in a game vehicle. South African law stipulates only those 21 years and older can apply for this permit.

FGASA minimum pass rate is 75%, however with the career course the pass rate is raised to 85% and over. This ensures that those graduating with this qualification have met the highest standard of education.

A FGASA qualification is recognised across Africa, in the USA, UK, and UAE.

The accommodation:

The student diggs consist of spacious tents that sleep two. Each tent is electrified, has an en-suite bathroom, cupboards and a deck perfect for studying and relaxing.

The College has a homely feeling with all the amenities to match. From a swimming pool, to a leisure room equipped with games, a library and computer, and a long dining table that helps foster friendships between the students. There is also Wi-Fi and cellphone reception in the main camp area.

Meals are a balance of hearty and healthy with students’ nutrition seen as of the utmost importance in order to sustain them throughout the day.

Student accommodation

The purpose:

‘The purpose of the College is to train guides in accordance with the high standards of the More Group,’ says Grobler. Students who qualify from this institution are equipped with an extremely diverse skill-set and a wealth of knowledge on South Africa’s landscapes, wildlife and flora. The purpose is also to create field guides with exceptional manners, respect and etiquette. ‘The level of professionalism that NJ More Field Guide College produces has resulted in an increased demand in students,’ Grobler says. The culture of the College is extremely supportive, which is evident in the practice of placing graduates into the Group’s lodges, to complete their internship and lay the foundation for their careers.

‘It is a life-changing experience to attend this training facility,’ concludes Grobler.

The College is one of South Africa’s finest training facilities, from well-qualified trainers with extensive experience in the industry, to the chefs who work tirelessly to sustain the students, to the high standard of education, all in a safe, friendly and supportive environment. Graduates of the NJ More Field Guide College are of the highest quality, exuding professionalism and an unmatched understanding of the natural world.


For more information, visit


Image source: Supplied

yoast-primary - 1004431
tcat - Travel news
tcat_slug - travel-news
tcat2 - Travel news
tcat2_slug - travel-news
tcat_final -