BHEJANE NATURE TRAINING

Bhejane Nature Training is owned and run by Dylan and Christa Panos and a passionate team of academic, field and camp staff.

Recognizing the need for accredited nature guide training providers in Northern KwaZulu Natal, Bhejane Nature Training was started in 2009 by Dylan and Christa. uBhejane is the Zulu name for the African Black Rhino, a flagship species for northern KwaZulu Natal.

Bhejane Nature Training is the first training provider to launch a comprehensive career programme for guides, and our 3 year Advanced Nature Guiding and Wildlife Conservation programme, can be recognised as the most comprehensive training programme of its kind for nature guides. This programme focuses on both terrestrial and marine environments and prepares students for various possible career paths in the wildlife tourism and conservation industries.

We aim to provide students with a training and education environment that promotes internal growth and development beyond career goals. Our students are encouraged to become goal driven individuals with a strong character and proud work ethic.

HOW TO GET THERE

GPS Co-ordinates

  • -27.905172
  • 32.355482

Closest main airport

  • Richards Bay Airport
  • King Shaka International Airport – Durban

Closest major city

  • Durban – 3 hours drive
  • Richards Bay – 1.5 hours
  • Hluhluwe – 30 minutes

COURSES OFFERED

Advanced Nature Guide and Wildlife Conservation Course

Course Overview

While there are various conservation and tourism diploma courses available, there is no comprehensive diploma course available for students that are serious about a career as a professional nature guide. Many guides complete short courses,only to spend two fleeting years in an industry for which they are not adequately prepared in order to sufficiently grow and promote themselves. In addition, school leavers may find that after completing a shorter course, they are not yet able to start working as they have to wait to turn 21 to register as a guide. By completing this 3 year programme, you are guaranteed to enter the job market as an exceptionally qualified guide with current and relevant experience and a level of competence that far exceeds that of other entry level guides.

The programme provides the more practical, yet serious career student with a well structured academic and practical programme, that includes the full range of knowledge and skills required by guides to succeed in the dynamic wildlife tourism and conservation industries.

The Bhejane Nature Guiding and Wildlife Conservation 3 Year programme, is the only one of its kind in the industry, and has been developed to most accurately meet the demands of the Wildlife Tourism Industry for the employment of Professional Guides, Conservation Research and Field Assistants, and conservation entrepreneurs.

This unique programme ensures a qualification that will adequately prepare the student for a career in Guiding and Conservation with a focus on developing the knowledge and skills needed to be a versatile and knowledgeable guide, that can fill responsible positions above those of entry level guides. It is also the only programme of its kind that prepares the student to work in both terrestrial and marine ecosystems.

Duration

3 Years (2 Years Theory and Practical Training & 1 Year industry placement)

Course Fees 2018

  • Year 1 = R 195 500
  • Year 2 = R 145 000
  • Year 3 = R 8 500

Please note that International Students pay an additional levy of 5% on the course fee for each year.

2018/2019 Course dates

Courses start 22 Jan 2018, 1 Oct 2018, and 21 January 2019

Included in the Course Fee

  • Meals and Accommodation
  • Uniform
  • Professional Body registrations and membership
  • Dive Gear, Rifle Hire and Ammunition
  • Course Manuals

Excluded in the Course Fee

  • Meals on off days and weekends
  • Personal Equipment (Binoculars etc)
  • Field reference Books

Certification

Subject to successful completion of all modules and chosen electives.

  • Bhejane Nature Guiding and Wildlife Conservation Certificate
  • Wilderness and Marine First Aid and Fire Fighting Level 1 – 3
  • Level 1 Nature Guide
  • PADI Open Water, Advanced and Rescue Diver (Elective)
  • Level 1 Marine and Coastal Guide
  • PFTC Rifle Handling
  • Advanced Rifle Handling
  • Snorkeling Specialist Qualification (Elective)
  • Birding Specialist (Elective)
  • Boat Based Whale Watching Permit (Elective)
  • Back-up Trails Guiding
  • Skipper’s Licence (Elective)

Admission Requirements

  • Matric or Equivalent Qualification
  • Study Visa (if international)
  • Good level of mental and physical fitness
  • Minimum age of 18
  • Driver’s Licence
  • Must be able to swim 100m unaided.
  • Acceptance may be subject to an admission interview
Professional Nature Guide Course

Course Overview

The 1 Year Professional Nature Guide Course prepares students for active participation in the Wildlife Tourism industry, by developing competent guides, with well formulated career paths in the various specialist guiding fields. This includes a good knowledge of the environment, communication and interpretative skill, entrepreneurial skill and most importantly, a positive and enthusiastic attitude.

The course has been structured to include the national skills programmes as required by the South African Tourism Act, to be recognized and registered as a legal nature guide. These skills programmes are trained using the syllabus of the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa.

In addition to these skills programmes, we have added components and Practical Guiding Skills that address areas of essential knowledge that is not included in the skills programmes above. This includes various topics such as the Guiding Career Path, Areas of Specialization, General Knowledge for Guides, coping skills for working in lodge and other guiding environments, research and reference skills, correct use of equipment, guest etiquette, discussing controversial conservation topics with guests, vehicle skills and various life skills such as self confidence, leadership and communication.

We focus not only on the mainstream field guiding skills needed for guiding at upmarket lodges on Big 5 reserves, but also introduce you to new emerging niche eco-tourism markets such as Birding, Butterflying and Marine Guiding. Eco-tourists are by definition well educated and always looking for new and authentic experiences. While there are many guides available for the traditional Big 5 guided experience, there is a growing demand for guides with some specialised knowledge that can guide tourists “off the beaten track”. We will give you the competitive advantage by providing you with training that can be used to later specialise in your chosen field of interest.

This programme is also a good introduction to our more comprehensive 3 year programme.

Duration

7 Months of training followed by practical

Course Fees 2018

  • All Modules = R 158 000
  • PNG Excluding Marine Module = R 130 000

2018 Course dates

  • 5 Feb – 21 Sept 2018
  • 7 May – 14 December 2018
  • 1 October 2018 – 31 May 2019

Included in the Course Fee

  • Meals and Accommodation
  • Professional membership and registrations (FGASA, PADI)
  • All FGASA Study Manuals
  • All gear and equipment used for Dive Training and Firearm Training

Excluded in the Course Fee

  • Meals over weekends and semester breaks
  • Personal equipment such as Binoculars
  • Prescribed reference books
  • Snorkelling equipment and ammunition for re-assessments

Certification

Subject to successful completion of all assessments.

  • Bhejane Nature Training Professional Nature Guide Certificate
  • Level 1 Nature Guide
  • Level 1 Marine Guide
  • PADI Open or Advanced Open Water Diver
  • Bhejane Research and Monitoring Assistant Certificate
  • FGASA Back-up Trails Guide
  • FGASA Basic and Advanced Rifle Handling
  • Wilderness and Marine First Aid
  • Birding Specialist (Elective)
  • Boat Based Whale Watching Permit (subject to conditions)
  • Sharklife SA Shark Dive Guiding Certificate (Optional Extra, requires additional course time)

Admission Requirements

  • Minimum age of 18
  • Must be fluent in English
  • Must be able to swim unaided for 100m
  • Good level of physical and mental fitness
  • Drivers licence not required by highly recommended
  • Admission may be subject to an inter
Level 1 Nature Guide

Course Overview

The Level 1 Nature Guide Qualification is the most sought after qualification required by the guiding industry for employment. The FGASA Level 1 Course also contains the CATHSSETA Nature Site Guide qualification, which is the minimum requirement for guides to register as legal tourist guides in South Africa.

Beyond Southern Africa’s borders, the higher standard of the FGASA qualification also enjoys recognition in many other countries on and off the African Continent. While we recommend the longer 1 year or 3 year courses for school leavers, the 10 week course is ideal for older students that have already got some relevant life and work experience.

The course is also ideal for Nature Conservation, Reserve Management , Zoology or Tourism Graduates that want to increase their employability.

Bhejane now also offer a new Combined Marine and Nature Guiding Course during which both the Nature Guide Level 1 and Marine Level 1 qualifications are trained. Contact us for more information about this course.

Duration

10 Weeks

Course Fees 2018

  • R 55 000

Course dates

  • 5 Feb – 13 Apr 2018
  • 7 May – 13 July 2018
  • 1 Oct – 7 December 2018

Combined Course Fees

  • R 68 000

Combined Course dates

  • 5 Feb – 28 Apr 2018
  • 7 May – 28 July 2018
  • 1 Oct – 21 December 2018

Included in the Course Fee

  • Meals and Accommodation
  • Uniforms
  • FGASA training and assessment
  • First aid Training
  • Course Manuals

Excluded in the Course Fee

  • Meals on weekends and off days
  • Personal equipment (Binoculars etc)
  • Field Reference and Prescribed Books

Certification

Subject to successful completion of all modules.

  • Bhejane Level 1 Nature Guide
  • FGASA Level 1
  • Wilderness First Aid Level 1

Admission Requirements

  • Minimum age of 18
  • Good level of personal and mental fitness
  • Must be fluent in English
  • Driver’s licence recommended
Level 1 Marine and Coastal Guiding Course

Course Overview

What do you really know about barnacles and crayfish? Have you ever heard of zoanthids and do you know what cone shells eat? What uses do algae have and how are mangroves adapted to deal with their salty environments? Can you identify the relevant species of shark by looking at a beached tooth alone, or the type of whale by the type of blow it makes when exhaling? A Bhejane Marine Guide should be able to tell you all of these things.

The Marine and Coastal Guiding qualification offers prospective guides the opportunity to learn more about guiding in the diverse marine and coastal environments of Maputaland’s Marine Reserves.

The coastline of the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park is the practical venue for this course, and offers an absolutely breathtaking diversity of habitats for students to learn about. Practical training includes snorkelling, kayaking, diving, rocky shore, sandy shore and dune interpretation as well as guiding in the coastal forests of northern KwaZulu Natal. Bhejane Marine guides have amazing opportunties to work at Beach Lodges and Reserves along South Africia, Mozambique and Madagascar. We have developed a close association with reputable PADI Dive Training Centre, Coral Divers in Sodwana Bay, as well as the conservation organization Sharklife SA. Students have the opportunity to complete a Sharklife SA Shark Diving/Guiding Programme while doing their Marine Guiding Qualifications at Bhejane.

Bhejane now also offer a new Combined Marine and Nature Guiding Course during which both the Nature Guide Level 1 and Marine Level 1 qualifications are trained. Contact us for more information about this course

Duration

  • 6 Weeks

Course Fees 2018

  • R35 000

Course dates

  • 23 April – 1 June
  • 13 Aug – 14 September
  • 5 November – 14 December

Included in the Course Fee

  • Meals and Accommodation
  • Uniforms
  • FGASA and PADI registration and assessment
  • Dive Gear
  • Course Manuals

Excluded in the Course Fee

  • Meals on weekends and off days
  • Equipment such as binoculars, masks and snorkels, fins etc.
  • Prescribed Books

Certification

Subject to successful completion of all assessments.

  • Bhejane Marine and Coastal Guiding
  • FGASA Level 1 Marine Guide
  • Wilderness Marine First Aid
  • PADI Open or Advanced Open Water
  • Boat Based Whale watching Permit (elective)
  • Sharklife SA Shark Dive Guiding Certificate (Optional Extra, requires additional course time)

Admission Requirements

  • Minimum age of 18
  • An acceptable level of English Literacy
  • Must be able to swim 100m unaided
  • Must have a FGASA Level 1 to register for the 7 week course.
  • Acceptable level of mental and physical fitness
Dangerous Game Trails Guide Course

Course Overview

To ensure long term employability, the Trails Guide qualification is the next logical step after completing your FGASA Level 1 training.

The Trails Guide course includes advanced practical guiding skills that relate to navigation and orientation, guiding ethics, preventing and dealing with emergencies on trail, planning and conducting a guided trails experience , tracking skills and animal behaviour ,Basic and Advanced Rifle handling and approaching dangerous game on foot.

Qualified trails guides are very sought after in the industry , making this an essential qualification to give you a competitive advantage.

Bhejane offers Back-up Trails Guide courses for students with no experience, as well as shorter experience courses for qualified guides that are working towards their full trails qualifications.

Duration

  • 6 – 7 Weeks
  • Courses may be extended with up to 1 week to ensure adequate assessment time.

Course Fees 2018

  • 2018 course = R 45 000
  • Encounters, ARH Assessment and Experience – charged per day – please enquire.

Course dates

  • 18 February – 31 March
  • 18 June – 27 July
  • 30 July – 8 September
  • 10 September – 19 October

Included in the Course Fee

  • Meals and Accommodation
  • Uniforms (only for students completing the full course)
  • FGASA assessment
  • Rifle Hire and Ammunition

Excluded in the Course Fee

  • Personal Equipment
  • Ammunition for re-assessment
  • Prescribed reference books
  • Meals on off days

Certification

  • Bhejane Trails Guiding
  • FGASA Trails back-up Trails Guide
  • Cybertracker Track and Sign (Full course only)
  • PFTC Rifle Proficiency
  • FGASA Advanced Rifle Handling

Admission Requirements

  • Full FGASA Level 1
  • Good level of mental and physical fitness
Field Ranger and Monitoring Assistant Course

Duration

  • 4 Weeks

Course Fees 2018

  • R 22 500

Course dates

  • 8 Jan – 2 Feb 2018
  • 30 April – 25 May
  • 24 Sept – 19 Oct
  • 3 – 28 Sept
  • 4 – 8 Feb 2019

Included in the Course Fee

  • Meals and Accommodation
  • 2 x T-shirts
  • Study Manual

Excluded in the Course Fee

  • Personal Equipment
  • Field Reference Books
  • Meals on off days

Certification

  • Bhejane Field Ranger and Monitoring Assistant Attendance Certificate

Admission Requirements

  • Level 1 Nature Guide (Beneficial but not essential)
  • Good level of mental and physical fitness
Specialist Short Courses

Bhejane in association with a variety of specialist training providers, offer a range of specialist courses for guides to improve their knowledge and skills, and to add to their qualifications. Courses are not always scheduled in advance, but rather run on demand. Please enquire to get dates on any upcoming courses. Specialist skills and Short Courses include:

  • PFTC Firearm Competency Training
  • FGASA Advanced Rifle Handling Training and Assessment
  • Wilderness First Aid Level 1-3
  • PADI Open Water, Advanced Open Water or Rescue Diver
  • Regional Birding Specialist Course
  • Butterfly Specialist Courses
  • Cybertracker Track and Sign, and Trailing

GENERAL

Venues

Training takes place at the following venues:

  • Bhejane Nature Training is situated in northern KwaZulu Natal and conduct training courses across a diverse range of habitats in Zululand and along the Maputaland Coast. We are based in an area that is recognized as a global biodiversity hot- spot and contains some of the oldest conservation areas in the whole of Africa. The diversity of the area is the result of varied habitats and biomes coming together in rich tapestry of landscapes.
Student Accommodation

Bhejane Base Camp  accommodates students in Safari Tents with shared living areas. Living areas comprise of ablution facilities and study areas, as well as a student kitchen where you can prepare meals over weekends and off days.

Your course prospectus will contain more detailed information about the facilities at camp.

During practical field trips we make use of a variety of camps where accommodation varies between huts, dorms or tents. While all meals are prepared for you at the Base Camp, students all assist with meal preparation while we are travelling.

What Students should bring
  • Walking boots
  • Trainers
  • Sandals/comfortable shoes
  •  Khaki/natural coloured socks
  •  Long sleeve trousers and shirt
  •  Belt
  •  Fleece and/or warm jumpers, hat and gloves
  •  Sun Hat
  •  Sun Glasses
  •  Medical Kit
  •  Towels
  • Waterproofs/windproof Poncho
  • Binoculars
  •  Torch/Flashlight – or head torch
  • A day-pack/rucksack
  •  Bedding for sleep outs. Bring a sleeping bag
  •  Sun Cream
  • Insect Repellent
  • Swimming Costume
  • Water bottle
  • Camera,
  • Stationery Bring pens, pencils, pocket sized notepads and A4 notebook, which are essential for taking notes during class and on practicals.  All other learning materials will be supplied.
  • Laptop
  •  Any reference / field guide books you may have.

ADDRESS & CONTACT DETAILS

Telephone: +27 (0) 71 446 4264

Email: info@bhejanenaturetraining.com

Website: www.bhejanenaturetraining.com