South African Field Guide Training Experience 

13 November - 14 December 2020

Covid 19 has affected all our tours for 2020. We have this tour still available, but is unlikely to depart. We are preparing departure dates for 2021 with our friends in South Africa, who are eager to provide safe travel. We hope you support this tour when it becomes safe to travel. In the meantime please stay safe. 

Everyone has wanted to travel to Africa at some time in their lives. I believe it's on everyone's bucket list. However, normally an organised tour can cost a fortune. We have the solution that may fit into your budget and allow you a trip of a lifetime.

Are you: 

  • Interested in a 4 week African experience?

Do you want to:

  • Visit wild game reserves?
  • See wild animals including Lion, Elephant, Leopard, Giraffe, Rhinoceros and more?
  • Hang out with professional guides and wildlife leaders
  • Learn about Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, Insects, Amphibians. You know all the animals.

Hands-On Field Guide Training  - 4 Weeks

Tropical Treks, in collaboration with our friends at Ulovane Environmental Training and Savannah Guides Limited are pleased to offer this special opportunity for adventurers to experience wildlife in Southern Africa.

This is your opportunity to participate in hands-on Field Guide training with professional Wildlife Guides with a lifetime of experience, who work across Africa throughout the year and train prospective Wildlife Guides at Ulovane Environmental Training.  In this 4-week course you will discover and learn about the animals of Africa.  You won’t be standing on the edge looking at Africa, you will be immersed in it. 

Our environmental training takes place in South Africa’s Eastern Cape.  We will observe an array of wildlife, including over 200 birds.  Be introduced to the ancient art of tracking animals in the wild; how to identify and interpret tracks, scats, markings, feeding signs and other clues left behind by the animal in that area.

Train with local and international students in engaging field-based activities; on this trip we will find out what is involved in vehicle-based safaris.  Learn about wildlife, guiding in Africa, land management, protected areas and reserves. 

For us, this is not a course – it’s a behind the scenes view of South Africa - a taste of various environmental tour guide courses, in the field.  No pressure, just the immersion.  You won't experience these activities on standard tours. Expect to be wowed. Don’t expect to be pampered. 

Ulovane Field Guide Training Itinerary

    WEEK 1 - Tracks And Signs

    Join the Track and Sign evaluation week of the Trails Guide Course.  The Tracking Skills week focuses on an introduction to the ancient art of tracking animals in the wild.  The week aims at broadening the understanding of the environment and enhancing the interpretive experience of clients on a guided experience by learning how to identify and interpret tracks, scats, markings, feeding signs and other incidental clues left behind by the animals in that area. Animals that will be researched during the week will include mammals, birds, insects, and reptiles. An independent Level 3 Cyber Tracker Assessor will assist in the coaching and assessment of the week.  You will receive a great insight as to what is included in the qualification and life as a Trails Guide in Africa

    WEEK 2 – African Mammals

    Join the FGASA (Field Guide Association of South Africa) Level 1 students during Week 7 of their 10 Week Introductory Guiding Course.  These students will be well on their way in terms of their overall knowledge, understanding and guiding skills and will start refining their driving and guiding skills to prepare for their practical drive assessments with real guests the following week. You have the opportunity to experience all that is involved in the Level 1 Qualification and vehicle-based safaris.  The focus of this week will be African Mammals.

    WEEK 3 –Marine Guiding 

    You will join the first week of the Marine Guiding Course.  The focus will be an overview of many different marine and coastal environments, climate and oceans around South Africa.  You get to join the Marine Guides at the beach campus, located about an hour from Ulovane Campus. Here you are able to gain a greater understanding of different marine and aquatic environments and interact with the Marine Guiding students to sample the life of a Marine Guide.

    WEEK 4 – Game Drives and Birding

    During this week you will be able to join the Field Guides as they begin their final assessment game drives with guests. You get an insight into the assessment process as well as what it takes to become a Field Guide in South Africa. When not on assessment game drives, birding excursions with one of the highly qualified Ulovane Team Birders will be arranged.


    A Personal Journey

    Who can participate?
    Anyone.  Anyone with a sense of adventure and desire to learn about Africa and its incredible wildlife and beautiful people. You will need to be reasonably fit and healthy. 

    Where does the training take place?

    • Ulovane Reserve, Eastern Cape, South Africa
    • Much of the practical side of the course takes place in Amakhala Game Reserve.
    • A range of nearby reserves and habitats are also used.
    • The closest city and airport are at Port Elizabeth.

    What are the requirements?

    • Fit and healthy
    • Positive attitude
    • Thirst for learning and adventure
    • A 90-day Visitor’s Visa, issued on arrival in South Africa.
    • Participants are invited to prepare a 30-minute presentation for Ulovane students on a topic of their choice (environmental, tourism, guiding, photography). No pressure!

      What to expect at Ulovane Campus?

      • There are usually two courses running at a time, with each group of 5 - 16 people, so it’s a friendly scene at Ulovane.
      • The campus has social dining, recreation rooms and safe walking areas.
      • Pack extra goodies and be prepared.  Supermarket delivery twice weekly.  BYO alcohol.

      Further Information

      • Port Elizabeth, or The Bay, has a population of 300,000, one of the largest cities in South Africa, is situated in the Eastern Cape Province, 770 km (478 mi) east of Cape Town. The city, often referred to "PE" and nicknamed "The Friendly City" or "The Windy City", stretches for 16 km along Algoa Bay and is one of the major seaports in South Africa


      A.  FARE:

      • AUD$5900 per person, plus return flights from Australia to Port Elizabeth, South Africa
      • Deposit: AUD$1000 non-refundable to secure booking.
      • Balance of fare is due 90-days prior to departure date and is not refundable.
      • There are only 5 seats available
      • NB: Guests are advised to purchase comprehensive travel insurance. See Travel Insurance info below.


      • Trip:  13 November 2020 to 14 December 2020 
      • Tour begins 15 November 2020 at Garden Court Kings Beach Hotel
      • Ulovane Field School commences 15 November 2020 and concludes 13 December 2020
      • Tour concludes 13 December 2020 at Port Elizabeth Airport


      • Flights are not included in price and typically take about 30 to 35 hrs including stopovers. 
      • Flights from Brisbane to Port Elizabeth depart on 13 November 2020 and arrive 14 November 2020. Transfers to our overnight accommodation at Garden Court Kings Beach, Port Elizabeth. 
      • Flights from Port Elizabeth to Brisbane Depart on 13 December 2020 and arrive 14 December 2020.

      For more info:  stevetropicaltreks.comau  or call +61 459 996 171


      • Australian citizens do not require a visa to travel to South Africa
      • A 90-day Visitor’s Visa, issued on arrival in South Africa.
      • Visit  South African High Commission (Canberra)  for complete information.
      • Current passport required with at least 2 months remaining with at least 2 blank pages left


      • All transfers, including arrival and departure airport transfers
      • Pre-tour over-night double/twin room accommodation at Garden Court Kings Beach, Port Elizabeth, So. Africa
      • Ulovane Wildlife Training accommodation in a shared room (2 - 3 people per room), with ensuite bathroom, bed linen, towel, a cupboard, a desk and chair provided. Remember this is a field school, not a luxury resort.
      • All meals
      • Game drives, walks and other field trips
      • Relevant reference books (dependant on your chosen weeks):  Tracks and Signs Field GuideSouthern African Mammals Field Guide, Roberts Birds of Southern Africa
      • Ulovane uniform items:  polo shirt, collared shirt, cap and long sleeve polar fleece
      • All practical and classroom activities and tuition
      • Mobile phone reception at camp (MTN or Vodacom work best) and WiFi (weather permitting).


      1. Cancellations must be submitted in writing to Tropical Treks, signed by the person(s) on the Booking form.
      2. No refund of payments of fares due to cancellations made up to 90 days prior to departure date. Therefore, all Guests are strongly advised to obtain adequate medical cover prior to any tour, to take steps to ensure that all valuables are covered against damage, loss or theft and to obtain travel insurance for loss of luggage, unforeseen delay or cancellation of their trip due to events such as delayed flights, adverse weather conditions or civil unrest.
      3. No refunds for unused meals, accommodations, or other trip features should you decide not to participate fully, or should it be necessary to make changes during the tour. No refunds will be made in case of a cancellation of a private tour by the client. 


      Guests are advised to purchase comprehensive trip cancellation insurance as Tropical Treks shall not refund on the deposit or balance payment if you cancel your participation in the trip.  We do not make travel insurance compulsory, but the Deposit and Balance of Fare payment are strictly non-refundable, so we urge you to purchase travel insurance as unforeseen events (e.g. illness just prior to a tour, or accidents/illnesses at the destination) do occur from time to time.


      Temperatures in November average 15 to 22 C. Bring some warm clothes.

      • Clothing: Comfortable outdoor clothing for cool climate. 
      • Shoes: Comfortable walking shoes, sandals, hat/cap, sunscreen
      • Personal Items: for warm, windy and rainy conditions
      • Camera
      • Binoculars
      • Insect repellent
      • Medications and prescriptions
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