There’s no better way to get involved in animal conservation work, than to take the proverbial buffalo by the horns and complete the Level One Game Ranger training course. Based at a game reserve in the Eastern Cape of South Africa this course requires no prior experience, but after six weeks of invaluable experience, you will have taken the first step to a career in animal conservation work.
The Big 5 Private Game Reserves
The Game Ranger training courses are run at big 5 game reserves; these are the reserves that are home to each of Africa’s 5 most impressive animals – leopards, lions, buffalos, elephants and rhinoceros. During the six week course, you will have the chance to get up close and personal with each of these magnificent animals. However there is much more to the course than simply spotting the local wildlife.
Learning the Basics
A large part of the Level One Game Ranger training course involves picking up the basic knowledge that is so essential in animal conservation work. This begins with a good understanding of weather and climate, and how it can affect the wildlife within the reserve, and stretches as far as learning about the geology of the area, and even basic elements of astronomy. Other subjects will include ecology, categorisation of animals and wildlife, and even botany. The incorporation of all these elements into the Level One qualification ensures a good understanding of the knowledge required to become a game ranger, and provides you with a wonderful grounding for a future in wildlife conservation.
Into the Field
In order to make sure you don’t get too bogged down in all the theory, there are plenty of trips out into the field. Part of the training course involves creating your own guided nature experience, but before you can do this you will be taken out on various occasions by an experienced field guide who will tell you all you need to know about wildlife conservation. On these trips you are likely not only to spot the big 5, but to see a whole array of reptiles, fish, birds and amphibians. You will experience the wildlife you are learning to protect firsthand, whilst learning all there is to know about field guiding as a profession.
Back at the Ranch
As well as getting clued up on the work of game rangers and field guides, you will also learn how animal conservation work within the reserve is managed, and some of the history surrounding the park. On completion of the course you will have acquired a basic understanding of conservation management, and a thorough knowledge of the history behind the humans that once inhabited the lands within the reserve and the effect they had on the wildlife. All this knowledge will be tested with both a practical and theoretical examination at the end of the six weeks.
Letting your Hair Down
The Level One Game Ranger training course may sound like hard graft, but there’s plenty of fun to be had at the same time. With various aspects of hospitality management incorporated into the course, you will learn about the guests coming to the reserve, as well as the four-legged, and often furry residents. What better way to learn how the guests are catered for, than to sample the food and wine for yourself? Wine tasting is just one of the enjoyable aspects of hospitality management covered on the course.
If you are interested in a future in animal conservation work, the Level One Game Ranger training course is the best way to get started. Teaching you all the basics and giving you the opportunity to interact with some amazing flora, fauna and animals, it is the perfect start to a career in wildlife conservation.