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 Post subject: Becoming a ranger
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:50 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Ruimsig, Gauteng
Hi all.
Can someone please assist me.I want to become a field ranger and then become head field guide or ranger.I basically want to go to the highest point possible in that line of work.I want to become 1 of the best at what I do.

Can someone tell me what is the highest point possible?
Where do I need to go study?
How long do I need to study?
What can I expect to earn?(salary)

Any info on the steps to become a ranger or head field guide?and what are the job description?

Maybe someone in that line of work can assist me.

Thanks :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Becoming a ranger
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:15 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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What do you want to do? Do you want to be a guide, ie take people on game drives and walks or do you want to be involved with the practical aspects of running a reserve, ie do game counting, anti-poaching, game capture, fix boreholes and pipelines etc? Or do you want to conduct research, i.e on elephants, insects, bats etc.

To become a guide you need to become a registered guide. FGASA is one way - ww.fgasa.org.za

To become a ranger/nature conservator you will have to go study nature conservation which will take at least 3 years. This can be done at what is now called a University of Technology - UNISA (www.unisa.ac.za) and all the old technikons offer this.

To conduct research you will have to do a Bacheslor of Science in Botany and/or Zoology (3 years) and then follow this up with at least an Honours degree (1 year) in a direction of specialisation. Speak to any university for more info.

Be warned, work in the ranger/conservator/research fields ios very scarce. There are more positions available in Field guiding.

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 Post subject: Re: Becoming a ranger
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:25 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Well taking people on game drives and walks will probably be best.Maybe should start there and then take it further??? :hmz:

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 Post subject: Re: Becoming a ranger
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:53 pm 
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Distinguished Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:28 am
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Location: Pretoria, RSA
Senyetse is correct. It really depends on what you want to achieve.

To become a guide you only need guiding qualifications. A relative short course could qualify you as a guide, but to build the knowledge and experience base is a lifetime calling. Basic guiding is good, but it is also very hard work and do not offer too much in the line of promotion, nor a good salary. So, the most guides last three or four years in that career and then move on to other things.

If you are really serious about becoming a ranger and going higher up, you need the proper academic background. (i.e. TUT) To become a first rifle on the trails, you need to have achieved a diploma in nature conservation. From trails guide you can then move on to ranger, and then higher up in management positions within SANParks.

Do take in to account that there are many different opportunities within SANParks. There are scientific services, which need scientists, veterinary services, which needs vets, etc.

So, what you wanna do?

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 Post subject: Re: Becoming a ranger
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:03 pm 
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B5S has asked the question that I have been pondering over a long time.
For a long time now I have had the idea to become a trailguide. I shall follow this discution closely.


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 Post subject: Re: Becoming a ranger
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:07 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Ruimsig, Gauteng
I dont know what there is to do?I want to be able to make a living of the salary.So it should be in the long run cant go do something for 3-4years!Does anyone have a list of possible jobs?(Field guide ranger type)
I am clueless? :huh:

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 Post subject: Re: Becoming a ranger
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 11:01 pm 
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Distinguished Virtual Ranger
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Location: Pretoria, RSA
If you are in it for the long run I suggest you start by getting a proper academic background. You will never be sorry for that, no matter what you do.

For nature conservation careers such as a game ranger, guide, or trailsguide, a basic diploma in either Nature Conservation or Game ranch management at an institution such as i.e. Tshwane University of Technology, will stand you in good stead. While you do this, ensure that you get your guiding qualifications. This diploma can be converted in to a degree through further studies.

There are some websites such as lodgestaff.co.za which advertise possible positions.
Another good source of information regarding guiding is the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA). Look at fgasa.org.za


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Want to know more about the SANParks Honorary Rangers? Visit www.sanparkshr.org


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 Post subject: Re: Becoming a ranger
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 11:04 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Thanks Imberbe
Im busy studying now but I would like to become involved in guiding or something! :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Becoming a ranger
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 11:13 pm 
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Location: Pretoria, RSA
Then I suggest that you have a look at the FGASA website.

You need FGASA 1 or an equivalent qualification, to register with DEAT (Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism - or new name?) as a guide. You will also need a first aid qualification and a PDP (Professional drivers permit).

Then you can do basic guiding in vehicles.

To do walks in dangerous game areas, you will need the FGASA Trailsguide qualification. This includes the approach of dangerous game, and weapons handling. There is also a system of mentoring and practical evaluations, which you need to work through to qualify.

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Imberbe = Combretum imberbe = Leadwood = Hardekool = The spirit of the Wildernis!

Want to know more about the SANParks Honorary Rangers? Visit www.sanparkshr.org


One positive deed is worth more than a thousand critical words.


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 Post subject: Re: Becoming a ranger
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 11:24 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:29 pm
Posts: 544
Location: Okavango
Hey big5spotter...the thing that counts so much in your favour is your keen interest in the relative subjects (have also seen many of your posts). My theory (by no means original) is that if you are passionate about something, you will achieve it.
I have always been interested in this field as well. As it stands for me. Got my matric, then undergrad, then hons all in zoology.
This got me working as a ranger/field guide at the best (add a touch of bias) reserve in the Sabi Sands. I had 2 years of being paid to show guests big5 and everything in between-what a pleasure.
When I applied for the job I didnt have to be registered with FGASA, DEAT, THETA etc but now I have am am hoping to be a guide in the Western Cape area. Sad to leave the bushveld but I am sure I will be back.
I never had the best marks, just the passion...and this is one way of many to get in the fieldguide business or something similar.
Good luck - it takes a bit of time sometimes but its well worth it!
:thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Becoming a ranger
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:26 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Ruimsig, Gauteng
Thanks Imberbe and o-dog!

I think that I should finish my degree first just to have a back up plan,but I really want to get into guiding and walking.I will start observing the guides and the and someone has granted me the opportunity to spend a day with a head game ranger,hopefully he pulls through and maybe that will give me a better and clearer perspective of what is to come!

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 Post subject: Re: Becoming a ranger
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:30 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 7:05 pm
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Location: Looking for Bats...
To sum it up...

Get an Academic Degree behind your name and then go and do your guiding courses....

FGASA is the best way to go for guiding!! When i have completed school i am going to study, get a degree and then do my FGASA.

There are 3 Levels of FGASA guiding courses. as Imberbe has said you need your level one FGASA, First aid qualification and i driver permit.

This can only give you leway for doing guiding in a vehicle.

If i where you ( I am going to do this when i am older)

Study zoology, Then Do my FGASA Level 1, 2 and 3. Aswell as a Trails guide qualification and a Local Bird guide qualification.

And from here i will probaley further my studies 8)


I am 14 and this is what i want to do...i have thought long and hard about it :D

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 Post subject: Re: Becoming a ranger
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:20 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Randburg, SA
Look like you have it all very well planned batmad :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Becoming a ranger
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:32 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Looking for Bats...
Yip! :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Becoming a ranger
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:33 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 7:10 pm
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Location: Ruimsig, Gauteng
Ok well that is my plan as well my dad said I should 1ste get a degree behind my name and then go do guiding.

Well I am in my final year doing Bcom logistics management but I am going to take extra course next year but thinking of doing my FGASA with it.

Thats why I asked the question as to get more info!So thanks everyone!

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