The Field Guides Association of South Africa apprentice trails guide is basically a person who learns a job, and he is in the training period to become a trails guide. During the training period, he learns how to act as a second rifle, and after some time, he learns how to act as the first rifle. The online trails guide course is a stepping stone in the way of getting an FGASA trails guide qualification, and without this qualification, one is not allowed to conduct a trial or even walk in areas of danger.
It is the dream of millions of people to see the iconic animals of Africa on foot. So in order to accomplish this dream safely, they have to follow the experienced trails guide. The trail guides need to complete the difficult course of training before starting to get the required experience to do this. So if you are also one of those who want to become a trail guide, then you have to get the required qualification.
Here we have listed requirements and steps that one should follow in order to acquire the necessary qualification and experience so that he can lead people safely.
Before entering into the trails guide course, you need to complete the minimum qualification first. You need to get the entry-level qualification which is basically the FGASA apprentice field guide qualification. It was also known by the name field guide NQF4 or FGASA level 1 field guide. Aside from this entry-level qualification, any higher-level qualification is also acceptable.
Trails guide course:
Once you complete the entry-level qualification, you are now allowed to enrol in the trail guide course. This course basically includes both theoretical and practical parts. The theoretical parts include two tests, which are:
· View potentially dangerous animals (VPDA)
· Advanced Rifle Handling test (ARH)
After passing both these tests, then there is a tough, practical test that you need to pass. It should be remembered that in Africa, nobody is permitted to handle a firearm without having a SASSETA rifle competency course. A person who passes this course will be allowed to handle a firearm. Plus, a person who wants to become a guide and lead people into a safari needs to have a valid first-aid certificate as well.
Complete 50 hours on a foot trail:
After passing the theoretical and practical tests of the trail guide course, now you have to log a minimum of fifty hours on a foot trail. It is led by two professionals or two trail guides. This combination of guides is acceptable. Additionally, these bush walks are preferred to conduct in the areas of free-roaming danger that can possibly occur. The possible dangerous game that can occur in such areas is regarded as rhinos, lions, elephants, leopards, and hippos.
Mentored, coached, and assessed:
After all this, the next step is to mentor, coach, and assess the candidate for at least 10 hours. The mentor assesses the suitability of the applicant in order to make sure that the applicant is able to enter the program or not. The things that are checked includes:
· Briefing and de-briefing of 1st and 2nd rifle
· Roles of the 1st and 2nd Rifle
· Exercises of dry fire rifle by using both rifles
· Situational awareness
· Carrying the rifle
· Tracker level 1 certificate
If the mentor approves the candidate, it will be recorded in the logbook, and then it will be signed off by the FGASA office. After this, the status of the applicant is updated, and it is recorded as an apprentice trails guide. Once you get approval, you will be then allowed to start your first level of trails guide.
After this, the candidate has to log a minimum of 20 encounters with the second rifle on hikes which is also led by a mentor. In this way, you will be able to get the online trails guide course and will be able to become a trails guide.