When you visit any of the Thornybush Lodges, feel free to ask your guide about the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA).

All our guides are qualified members of the association and Thornybush is a proud Corporate Member of FGASA.

FGASA Promotes a standard of excellence through:

  • The development of guiding skills and the progressive levels of professional qualifications.
  • The tourist guide qualifications in the national qualifications framework (NQF).
  • Encouraging a professional ethical code of conduct.
  • Providing a set of professional guiding principles.
  • Quality assurance of guides, trackers, trainers and assessors.
  • Validating the endorsement of guide and tracker training institutions.
  • A training syllabus and an evaluation system that promotes the development of guides in the National Qualifications Framework.
  • Promoting the training of guides through the endorsement of training providers who conform to the FGASA and National training standards. FGASA’s philosophy is one of promoting the guide and tracker on the ground in terms of skills development, recognition of existing skills and creation of job opportunities within the tourism industry.

No matter which of our wonderful lodges you visit, your guide will have at least two of the qualifications listed below

Field Guiding Certificates through FGASA

  • Field Guide (NQF2)
  • Advanced Field Guide (NQF4)
  • Specialist Field Guide
  • Dangerous Game Qualifications

Back-up Trails Guide

  • Trails Guide
  • Professional Trails Guide
  • Professional SKS (Specialist Knowledge and Skills) Dangerous Game

The higher qualifications take many years of experience and study to achieve and we actively encourage our guides to improve their skills and qualifications through study and practice.

The passion for study and guiding is not limited to our guiding staff.

Jessica Parker, daughter of Safari Operations and Regional Managers, Grant and Melanie Parker, is nine years old and has joined FGASA. Jessica has completed several the Junior FGASA certificate programmes.

No stress, no exams … just fun learning about nature. Certificates are obtained by completing workbooks while consulting reference material. Jessica spends time in the bush with her dad on both walks and game drives and is interested in all aspects of biology and bushcraft.

The Junior categories have been divided into two age groups 8-12 years Pangolin and 13-17 Wild Dog. This provides young nature enthusiasts, like Jessica, with the opportunity to learn more about the environment and to prepare for a possible future in guiding or conservation.

More information about FGASA and the Junior FGASA programme can be found on their website.

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