Start your professional guiding career with Grootbos Private Nature Reserve

The Grootbos Professional Guide Academy

Embark on a life-changing experience in the quest to become a nature, marine and fynbos professional guide. Learn more about our unique accredited guiding course.

The Grootbos Professional Guide Academy

Follow your dream to become a nature guide.

Our academy provides students with a life-changing opportunity to become Nature Guides in the coastal-marine and fynbos environments.

This one-of-a-kind academy provides all-inclusive training to foster exceptional, knowledgeable guides. Our team of expert trainers will lead students through a path of personal growth, inspire a passion and deeper connection to nature while giving them the foundational skills to become a member of the next generation of professional guides! 

The Grootbos Professional Guide Programme

As a world leader in progressive and sustainable tourism, Grootbos is dedicated to developing and training the next generation of nature guides.

Endorsed by FGASA, one of the leading guiding institutions in South Africa, our 3-month training programme provides students with a unique opportunity to learn essential guiding skills in a region that is rich with biodiversity and culture while also gaining experience in a 5-star luxury lodge environment. 

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve

Grootbos is a 5-star, multi-award-winning, luxury lodge situated in the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom. Offering unparalleled luxury and transformative experiences that will bring guests closer to nature while fostering a true connection to harmonious living.

As a devoted custodian of the Cape Floral Kingdom, Grootbos goes beyond simply conserving this pristine wilderness. We are constantly researching, innovating and pioneering new conservation and sustainability initiatives, while also cultivating social transformation in surrounding communities.

A natural Haven for Nature Guides

3500-hectares of pristine wilderness
An area of rich cultural history
A botanists dream with 907 plant species (7 new to science)
Ancient milkwood forests
Home to the Marine Big 5
Unique coastal birding hotspot


My time at the Grootbos Professional Guiding Academy was one of the best experiences of my life. The small number of students attending the course made it extremely interactive, specialised and the perfect learning environment to allow for individual growth and development.


Grant Hine is a wealth of information. He was a guide in more ways than one. He taught us the ins and outs of being a nature guide, but also guided us in strengthening our personal relationship with the nature around us. As a bunch of amateur nature-enthusiasts, we genuinely saw each other grow and mature as guides in the time we spent together with Grant. 

Course Information

The Grootbos Professional Guide Academy offers up to eight students per course a chance to embark on a life-changing 3-month programme to become professional nature guides.

On successful completion of the 3-month course, students will possess the following qualifications:

  • FGASA Field Guide NQF2
  • CATHSSETA Nature Site Guide (NQF2)
  • FGASA Marine Guide (Level 1)
  • Fynbos Regional Birding Guide
  • Fynbos Biome Guide Certificate
  • Forest Bathing Nature Therapy Certificate

Course Prerequisites:

  • Have a valid matric certificate or equivalent
  • Fit and able to walk for at least 5 km
  • Be in the possession of a valid driver’s license (manual gear shift)
  • The learner must be able to communicate effectively in English
  • A tertiary degree or diploma is an advantage
  • Western Cape residents are preferred

The full 3-month course will cost R 30,000. Costs are inclusive of board and lodging, uniform and study materials.

Next Course:
The academy will welcome students in February 2024.

Additional Information



Accommodation is shared with two students per room in a five-bedroomed farmhouse on-site. The house includes a fully equipped kitchen, communal lounge and dining area and three bathrooms.

All rooms in the farmhouse are non-smoking. Wifi will be available with limited cell reception. No pets are allowed on the Reserve.

Each student will be issued with uniforms which they will be responsible for and required to wear for the duration of their 3-month course.

Grootbos will supply ingredients for all meals throughout their time on site, which students will prepare themselves daily.

Start your Guiding Career with Grootbos Professional Guide Academy

A Pristine Natural Environment

The 3500-hectare Grootbos reserve is situated in the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom and is home to over 900 species of fynbos, three ancient milkwood forests and an incredible variety of bird and animal life. Students will have the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in this pristine natural haven while at the same gain experience in the operations of an award-winning luxury lodge. 

Learn from the Best in the Industry

Grootbos is a world leader in progressive luxury tourism and has a team of highly experienced conservationists, guide trainers, nature guides and lodge employees that will mentor and train students to become professional nature guides. 

Gain Additional Hospitality and Guiding Experience

In addition to becoming an accredited FGASA guide, students at the Grootbos Professional Guide Academy will also broaden their knowledge, skills and experience in the hospitality and lodge environment. 

The Grootbos Professional Guide Academy offers you the opportunity to follow your passion, learn from the best and be part of a leading conservation and sustainability brand. 

A Message from Guide Training Manager Grant Hine

The Grootbos Professional Guide Academy not only provides knowledge and guiding skills but instils a philosophy of nature connection, developing a better understanding of one's own true nature to provide others with a life-changing experience for a more peaceful and healthy existence within the broader ecosystem”. Grant Hine

Meet the Course Facilitator

A professional guide-trainer, experienced nature guide and leading conservationist who has worked with Grootbos for many years, Grant has accomplished exceptional status in the eco-tourism industry. Students will benefit from being taught by one of the best in the industry. 

Grant Hine

The Field Guides Association of South Africa (FGASA) was run by Grant Hine for 17 years. He has been involved in the nature guiding industry for over 30 years during this time he has written several guiding learner manuals.

Grant oversees the FGASA guide training and assessments in the Overberg region. He works with a new approach to re-connecting people with nature. This includes nature therapy, forest bathing, zen safaris, nature-based life coaching, reiki, meditation and mindfulness training.


Get in touch for further information

Contact Details



General: +27 (0)82 *** Show number


Postal Address

PO Box 148, Gansbaai, South Africa, 7220

Grootbos Foundation and global recognition

Grootbos is a world leader in sustainable tourism and has been awarded some of the highest international accolades possible, making us one of only a handful of lodges to achieve this.

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At Grootbos we celebrate and conserve the natural beauty of South Africa. Become immersed in the natural world with our unique experiences and indulge in unparalleled luxury at our breathtaking lodges and villas.

We welcome South Africans and invite you to experience Grootbos with our special offer.

What's new at Grootbos - New Garden Lodge and Florilegium

The last year has been a busy one at Grootbos. We rebuilt our beloved Garden Lodge entirely and re-opened it in April 2022. We also officially launched the Grootbos Florilegium - Africa's first contemporary florilegium - which is a collection of botanical illustrations created by local and international artists, depicting the charismatic plants found on our reserve and the surrounding regions.

Click below to learn more about these exciting developments.

See New Garden Lodge See Florilegium