Antares | Training Course
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Training Courses
For more information about the specific courses on offer please read below

this is what you can expect

Antares will offer a choice of two options in 2019. The signature course will be an NQF2 and Back-up Trails Guide course spread over 6 months. A shorter 60-day course offering the basic NQF2 material only will also be available. Descriptions of both these options can be found below. Please make sure you read carefully what is included on each course to avoid disappointment later.

6-month NQF2 and Back-up Trails Guide Course


This course combines the NQF2 (former level 1) course with the theory aspect of the back-up Trails Guide qualification included.

Antares has restructured their course programme completely to be able to cater for what the lodge industry is requiring from newly trained guides. The shift in recent years by the industry requesting a high quality trained guide with a minimum level of NQF2 qualification including the ability to conduct guided walks has become very evident. No longer are the lodges interested in employing a student who has just completed a shorter NQF2 (level 1) course with limited practical experience, they want more. With this in mind we have designed a course that hopes to fulfill these requirements and more.

The 6-month course will offer the student the opportunity to complete the necessary NQF2 qualification and follow this up with a variety of other certified components including the back-up Trails Guide qualification. There will be ample opportunity to develop and improve the practical skills required to become a successful guide and for those that are willing there will be an opportunity to complete a 6-month placement at a variety of lodges in the Lowveld. A highlight of the course will include a 3-night/4-day mentorship trail with one of South Africa’s most respected Trails Guide.

The course will be run over five 4-week semesters with a week’s break in between. The students will be free to travel during this week or to stay on site at the campus although they will need to be self-reliant for the week. There are a number of options available for them to do and more details can be found under the free-time page.

The FGASA policies are clear regarding who can write the Trails Guide assessments and although we will offer training to all students, only those that have been declared competent for the NQF2 will be allowed to write the TG theory exam or undergo any practical assessments.

Part of the practical assessment for the Trails Guide is the Advanced Rifle Handling component. All students will be required to have their SASSETA competency certificate in place for the use of a rifle for business purposes. For those students that do not have this certificate already, Antares will make provision during the course to have this completed locally with an accredited provider.

  • Over and above the usual guide training subjects required to complete the two levels of competency a number of exciting and rewarding options are included.
  • These Include:

    •  A 4×4 driving skills course conducted over 4 days by Nostophobic Adventures. This is a FGASA-endorsed course and offers an NQF3 qualification after successful completion.
    • Wilderness level 1&2 First Aid conducted by the Smart Solution. Andrew has been conducting our first aid training components for more than 11 years and provides a professional and passionate course.
    • A photographic course with Villiers Steyn. This course will help you to understand how to maximise the use of your DSLR, frame photos for the best effect and how to offer assistance to your guests by positioning them in the best spot to get that award winning photo on their safari. Antares recommends that students should bring a DSLR camera on the course but if this is not available, a camera can be made available for training purposes.
    • Track and Sign. Conducted by one of the leading tracker trainers in the industry, Lee Gutteridge will show you how to interpret even the smallest signs in the bush and be able to impart this knowledge and experience through to your guests.
    • Reptile Handling. Johan Marais has been curator at a number of collections in the region and over the past 40 years has become one of the leading herpetologists in the country. Johan offers a FGASA-endorsed course and students will leave this course with a great deal of confidence and the skills to ensure that their guests will be safe.
    • Birding Specialist course. A week long intensive section only on birds will give the students the knowledge and skills for them to achieve their Savanna Specialist Birding certificate. Bird-watching is a rapidly growing division with the tourism sector and it is important the guides are educated sufficiently to be able to provide the required level of service. We will be joined for at least one day by a leading South African ornithologist who will help you improve your identification skills of those LBJ’s and others.
    • Hosting and marketing skills. Students will experience a range of products from visiting Amarula lapa to attending a wine tasting course with Safari Wines. Here they will learn about various products that they can promote to lodge guests, and learn how to serve and pair wines according to the menu. They will be given guidance on how to meet and greet their guests on arrival at a lodge and they will also be given guidance on how best to develop their own marketing skills and how to prepare themselves for life in the industry.
    • A 4 day mentorship trail by one of the best Trails guides in the industry will be a highlight. Conducted either in the Timbavati Reserve or the Kruger National Park, this experience will certainly bring out the best in aspiring trails guide candidates.

60-day NQF2 Field Guide Course


This course covers the basic NQF2 (former level 1) components and is designed for those who can’t afford the time or money to attend the more advanced programme.

Antares realises that there will be students out there that can’t afford the time or extra expense of attending a longer, more advanced course and offers this as an alternative.


The course will cover only the basic NQF2 syllabus and although this is all that is required to obtain a legal guiding qualification it will limit the students options of finding employment afterwards.


By comparison to the longer course, only a level 1 first aid section is included and no other add-on certificates are provided for.

This course will also be suitable for students from overseas that may struggle to obtain the required visas to attend the longer course.