Trails Guide Mentorship

Are you looking for a course where experience counts? Join Siyafunda in collaboration with The Nature College on the Greater Makalali Nature Reserve.

Siyafunda offers guides the opportunity to join our field ranger team to gain hours and encounters with potentially dangerous game. The Greater Makalali Nature Reserve is home to Africa’s big 5, hippopotamus and other potentially dangerous game. 

You will be mentored by our professional team of guides and field rangers. Our guides are highly qualified and experienced lead trails guides with Cyber Tracker tracking qualifications. They will be sharing their knowledge and experiences with you from their own unique perspectives and guiding styles.  

At Siyafunda we respect individuals, but we adhere to the following leadership values. To be a back up or lead trails guide, you must be a leader.

Trails Guide Leadership Values:

  • Self-Improvement.

  • Integrity.

  • Idealism.

  • Courage.

  • Honesty.

  • Unselfishness.

  • Self-Discipline.

  • Self-Respect.

  • Wisdom.

  • Confidence.

  • Humility.

We want to offer flexible timetables to fit into your own personal requirements. We fully understand that many guides are working full-time and will only be able to attend the mentorship during their off time. For this reason we offer our students the option to select from a 1 week mentorship, to as many days as required per individual need.

The Nature College will provide the mentorship outline, qualification syllabus, workbooks and your study material. The course covers all the theory relating to the prescribed syllabus for the Trails Guide, and learners will be assessed on the SAQA Unit Standards 335797 (View Potentially Dangerous Animals). We aim to ensure that most of your time is spent in the bush on foot. This will be done under mentorship as an observer, as back-up guide and as lead guide, also including sleeping out under the stars.

Siyafunda will also supplement this with our own experiences in a presentation, campfire stories (see blog) and by walking you through simulations of encounters. An audio test would also be given, to test your ability to recognise alarm calls and other sounds relating to animal encounters.

Your internship will be for 6 months. We will mentor you through the FGASA apprentice guide modules. 

1. Creating a guided nature experience
2. Geology
3. Weather and Climate
4. Astronomy
5. Ecology
6. The Biomes
7. Taxonomy
8. Plants and Grasses
9. Arthropods

10. Fish

11. Amphibians

12. Reptiles

13. Birds

14. Mammals

15. Animal behaviour

16. Conservation management

17. Historical human habitation

Course out-line

Your Camp

Your Internship tented camp is situated next to Siyafunda Main Camp, giving you access to our library and living closely with our field rangers. Living in our tented camp will allow you to immerse yourself in the bush and experience the wildlife intimately. Each tent has a single bed and there is a central deck under a Weeping Boer Bean Tree where you can find a quite space to study.

You will also be helping out at our other camps so expect to be staying at them during your stay. 


Siyafunda Internship & Main Camp have:

- electricity and hot running water (solar panels: on overcast days it can sometimes run out)

- Internet / WIFI at the base: 

- Reasonable cell reception at camp. You can easily buy a south-African SIM card (MTN is best) at the airport or in Hoedspruit.

- Comfortable lounge area: library with books and magazines, TV, DVD players,

- Swimming Pool, volleyball,

- Braai / BBQ area

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