Game Ranger Course Dates 2019

Game ranger participants in South Africa pose next to their game vehicleOyster is pleased to offer an 8 week game ranger course in South Africa, designed to give you theoretical and practical training to become a qualified field guide.

The course takes place on a large game reserve, home to Africa’s Big 5 as well as many other species. It introduces you to the life of a game ranger, the animals on the reserve and the background knowledge of wildlife that is key to gaining this recognised qualification.

Departure dates for 2019 are:

21 January 2019

25 March 2019

3 June 2019

5 August 2019

7 October 2019


A lion sleeps in the game reserve in South Africa

The first few weeks of the course focus on the general aspects of working in a game reserve. You will team up with other volunteers to gain exposure to the wildlife and get the chance to learn and understand the basics of life on a reserve. This includes:

– lion tracking and monitoring

– removal of alien vegetation in and around the reserve

– planting of natural species

– helping out with the predator breeding programme

– wilderness trail walks and patrols

– fence patrol

– game counts

– game captures

– game drives

After this participation, you will also receive regular lectures and training in preparation for the examination at the end of the 8 week course. These subjects include:

– elephant sanctuary participation

– geology

– astronomy

– weather and climate

– basic ecology

– taxonomy (wildlife identification)

You can find out more information by visiting our Game Ranger webpage or by contacting Anne on [email protected] or on +44 (0) 1892 770 771

Elephants graze in the Big 5 game reserve

16 Responses to “Game Ranger Course Dates 2019”

  1. Matt Farley

    hi, i am very much interested in this course (game ranger 8 week course) as i am very keen to enter a career in wildlife conservation and welfare. the only question i have is about costs and funding. if i was to enrole on the course around march 2015, what would be a realistic cost of the entire course including flights, extra’s etc.? also is there any funding that i may be able to access to help with costs?
    any assistance would be appreciated

    • Anne Smellie

      Hi Matthew

      Thank you for your message and your interest in getting involved in the game ranger course next year. I am delighted that you are keen to be getting involved in this!

      The programme cost for 8 weeks is £2779. Depending on when you book the flights and where you would be flying from, we usually suggest a budget of between £850 and £1000. All course costs are covered in the price that you pay, along with your food and accommodation on the reserve. Many people do like to make the most of the free transportation to Port Elizabeth and accommodation in Port Elizabeth to enjoy a bit of city life at the weekend. A suggested budget of about £50 per week has been recommended by our volunteers.

      There are certain bursaries that you can access independently or do fundraising yourself too. I would recommend seeing if there are local community bursaries, school bursaries, uni bursaries etc. These can and do exist, however the competition for them is usually very fierce!

      I hope that this helps! It would be great to get you involved in this

      Best wishes


  2. Karen

    This course sounds lovely, and I love animals, I am from London and i an in my 50’s, can I take this course? Is there an age limit to take part in this course? Thanks

    • Jon Arnold

      Hi Karen,
      Thanks very much for your comment and apologies for the delay in responding!
      There is no age limit for this programme so if you are still looking to get involved, we’d welcome an application from you.

      Best wishes

  3. fiona

    what is the age requirement to do this program?

    • Jon Arnold

      Hi Fiona,
      Thanks for your interest in this programme! You need to be a minimum age of 18 on the day you arrive on the programme.

      Best wishes

  4. Amanda

    Hi, I intend to do this course, its just a case of saving up for it! Since I visited africa a couple of years ago I have been trying emigrate there. Do you take on permenant volunteers, kind of working for my bed & food? I was thinking of starting my own campsite as a way to do it but just involves saving up.

    • Harriet Wray

      Hi Amanda,

      Thank you for your message. Unfortunately this is a specific programme that lasts for 8 weeks so it is not possible to be a permanent volunteer. Best of luck in finding something suitable.

      Best wishes

  5. Ella Dunn

    How many people are on the 25th January course and what are the ages of everyone?

    • Harriet Wray

      Hi Ella,

      We currently have 4 people from Oyster signed up to take part in this programme. The participants are aged between 19 and 40 (the majority 19-25). It is worth mentioning that other organisations do send participants from other countries to this programme and that our Big 5 wildlife conservation programme and our veterinary experience programme are on the same reserve so there are always lots of people around.

      Best wishes

  6. Toby Ridehalgh

    Hi, I’m interested in doing this course after I finish university (currently studying Zoology) and I’m interested in looking at possible jobs as a game ranger in Africa. Will this course give me the right qualifications to persue a career in being a Game Ranger? Also, Will not being from South Africa hinder my chances at getting a Job there as a ranger?

    Many Thanks,

    Toby Ridehalgh

  7. Bas Jacobs

    Dear Harriet,After this 8 week program do I receive an official certificate? Looking forward to joining you. Hopefully in October or August Greetings Bas jacobs

  8. Bas Jacobs

    Dear Harriet, Earlier i asked if i would get a certificate, but i already found the answer. Is there also the possibility to do the next stage of the program if there is one?

    • Harriet Wray

      Hi Bas, thanks for your message. We are only able to offer the FGASA Level 1 on this programme I am afraid. Is this something that you already have? Best wishes, Harriet


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