Dangerous Animals Self Study & Mentorship : Trails Guide Course

Dangerous animals course

The Dangerous Animals Course run by The Nature College has evolved over the last couple of years to give learners a very sound basis from which to gain experience with dangerous animals and to deal safely and effectively with such animals.


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.


The Nature College: a cost of R8900-00(including VAT) includes workbook with assignments, prescribed handbook (Animal Alert – Flee or Flight), written examination, practical assessment and certification. It excludes registration fees with NDT, as well as First Aid Training (these are compulsory elements for legal registration as a Field Guide).  This fee is due with registration.

Siyafunda Mentorship: cost of R400 per day includes accommodation, meals and mentorship at Siyafunda. To be settled directly with Siyafunda.

Registration Requirements:

  • Registration form & proof of payment
  • Copy of ID
  • CATHSSETA NQF 2 or NQF 4 Nature Guiding Qualification Certificate (With minimum of 1 year working experience on a reserve as a guide. Proof of experience to be given in the form of a signed log book or letter from the reserve manager or owner of the property confirming duration of employment and duties as guide)
  • Proof of registration with NDT
  • First Aid Level 1 Certificate
  • PFTC Rifle Competency Certificate
    • 117705 Firearms Control Act
    • 119651 Handle and use a manually operated rifle or carbine
    • 123519 Handle and use a manually operated rifle or carbine for business purposes
  • Advanced Rifle Handling Certificate (If not available at the time of registration, this can be completed during or after training and mentorship. Please take note that this remains a requirement and should be completed before a qualification can be issued)

Contact us for Trails Guide Protocols and registration forms.

**Tailor made courses can be arranged upon request for corporate clients