Field Guide








What is a Field Guide?

In South Africa, FIELD GUIDE and GAME RANGER are sometimes the same job. They do, however, have different job descriptions.

The Field Guide: 

A Field Guide talks and works with guests. They are responsible for providing guided tours, in the parks or game reserves – on foot or in 4×4 vehicles.  On many reserves, the Field Guide assists the Game Ranger.

The Game Ranger:

A Game Ranger is responsible for the management of the game reserve.  They work with ecologists, game reserve and wildlife managers.  They manage animal populations and check for diseases.  They are in charge of road maintenance, fencing, water, erosion control, alien plant control, etc etc.

What does a Field Guide do?

  • helps the game ranger
  • takes guests on walking-tours into the ‘bush’
  • takes guests on safari in a 4×4 vehicle
  • shares interesting facts about the animals with their guests
  • spoor spots and tracks
  • makes sure guests are safe at all times
  • always prepared for a dangerous wild-life encounter

Are you . . . ?

  • passionate about nature and wild animals?
  • a person who can live in remote places?
  • a person with good communication skills?
  • fit and healthy?
  • observant?
  • calm under pressure?
  • a person with an upbeat, positive attitude?
  • willing to do physical, hard work, like mend a fence?

How do I become a Field Guide?

All Field Guides in South Africa must obtain FGASA (Field Guides Association of South Africa) approved certification.  There are many colleges that one can obtain this. 

Check the FGASA website for more details.  Kruger National Park, through Pathfinders, also offers a FGASA-recognised Field Guide.

Minimum requirements:  Be able to read.

School subjects:  No special subjects are required but nature subjects like biology would help you a lot.


  • CLICK HERE to check for a training institution near you to see what they offer.
  • Make sure you understand their entry requirements for each course.
  • To avoid scams, make sure your institution is registered with the Department of Higher Education. 
  • CLICK HERE to check accredited Private Higher Education Institutions. 


OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER: Game Ranger … or … Ecologist

Is becoming a Field Guide the right career choice for me?