Online course

African Nature and Wildlife

This course was created in partnership with
Course Information

Course information

Student rating 10/10

Next start date

Weekly on Mondays

Enrollment closes


Course frequency

Every week


Time committment

- hours



Optional extra

GVI Program Abroad



Book before September 2023 and receive a £100 scholarship

*Flexible payment options available

This course was created in partnership with

Course introduction

Join the African Nature and Wildlife online course. The course is run by Bushwise, GVI’s sister company and the top-rated training provider of Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA) certifications. More than 90% of those who graduate from a Bushwise professional field guiding program, get a job.

However, unlike other FGASA courses of its kind, this course features a social, multimedia online learning experience led by experts with over 50 years of experience in the field. Each module is taught by one of our experienced professional field guides and qualified trainers. You’ll have the option to ask experts questions and discuss topics with other participants from around the world. In addition, the course includes a masterclass lecture series delivered by directors of conservation organisations, leading researchers and other experts that are designed to give you in-depth local insight into a diverse range of topics in African nature and wildlife conservation.

If you’d like to continue your journey towards becoming a field guide, join our FGASA Field Guiding online course, after successfully completing the African Nature and Wildlife course. You’ll then be able to write your Apprentice Field Guide theory exam, towards an NQF2 qualification. This will enable you to enrol for the practical element to qualify as an Apprentice NQF2 Field Guide (Level 1).

Is this course for you?

The African Nature and Wildlife online courses is for anyone who’s interested in Southern African nature or wildlife and would like to become an expert on the subject. Anyone ages 16 and above is welcome to join for this online course.

Skills you’ll acquire

After completing this course you’ll be able to:

Earn your certification

Certification signature

Once you’ve successfully completed your course, you’ll receive a digital certificate of completion from Bushwise. The certificate will state that you have passed the African Nature and Wildlife online course. This certificate will enable you to take your next step in becoming a field guide – the Bushwise FGASA Field Guiding online course.

The course begins with an introduction to Southern African geology. You’ll learn how different types of rock and soil found in Southern Africa support specific plants and animals. Move on to learning about how the Southern Africa climate and weather patterns are shaped by a range of factors. Then, find out how to identify key features of the Southern African sky and how they change from season to season, in the astronomy module.

Move on to learning about ecology, finding out how biological and non-biological organisations interact to shape Southern African ecosystems. Then discover the definition of a biome, a community of organisms adapted to a specific environment and sharing similar characteristics. Learn how to identify the biomes that can be found in Southern Africa.

Then you’ll start learning about specific species. To get you started, you’ll first learn how species are named in the scientific community, in the taxonomy module. Afterwards, study botany basics. Learn how to identify Southern African plant species and their traditional uses. Find out how to identify arthropods next. These creatures include insects, arachnids, such as spiders, myriapods, such as millipedes and centipedes, and crustaceans, such as crabs. Finally complete modules on how to identify fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals commonly found throughout Southern Africa. Finish off your study of the Southern African animal kingdom with a module on ethology, the study of animal behaviour.

In the final two modules, you’ll learn how conservation activities in Southern Africa are managed and about the history of human habitation in the Southern African areas.

Throughout the course, you’ll have the opportunities to attend masterclasses on a range of more in-depth topics such as elephant, pangolin, snake, vulture conservation and research, anti-poaching initiatives, trailing animals on safari walks, bird photography, African folklore and relevant operational strategies used in the management of nature and wildlife reserves.

Course curriculum

Module 1: Geology

Module 2: Weather and climate

Module 3: Astronomy

Module 4: Ecology

Module 5: Biomes

Module 6: Taxonomy

Module 7: Plants

Module 8: Arthropods

Module 9: Fish

Module 10: Amphibians

Module 11: Reptiles

Module 12: Birds

Module 13: Mammals

Module 14: Ethology

Module 15: Conservation management

Module 16: Historical human habitation

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