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Level 1 Marine and Coastal Guiding Course

Course Overview

What do you really know about barnacles and crayfish? Have you ever heard of zoanthids and do you know what cone shells eat? What uses do algae have and how are mangroves adapted to deal with their salty environments? Can you identify the relevant species of shark by looking at a beached tooth alone, or the type of whale by the type of blow it makes when exhaling? A Bhejane Marine Guide should be able to tell you all of these things.

The Marine and Coastal Guiding qualification offers prospective guides the opportunity to learn more about guiding in the diverse marine and coastal environments of Maputaland’s Marine Reserves.

The coastline of the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park is the practical venue for this course, and offers an absolutely breathtaking diversity of habitats for students to learn about. Practical training includes snorkelling, kayaking, diving, rocky shore, sandy shore and dune interpretation as well as guiding in the coastal forests of northern KwaZulu Natal. Bhejane Marine guides have amazing opportunties to work at Beach Lodges and Reserves along South Africia, Mozambique and Madagascar.

Bhejane offers you the option of completing this specialist short course as a stand alone or as a combination course together with the FGASA Apprentice Field Guide Short Course. It is important to note that if you are completing this programme in order to qualify and register as a legal nature guide, you are required to complete both modules – this means you must do the combined course. If you do the Marine short course only, you will qualify in full with both Bhejane and FGASA, but you will not yet be able to register as a legal nature guide. The Marine Programme is regarded as a specialist module and assumes that you already know some of the fundamental theory taught in the Apprentice Field Guide qualification. If you wish to qualify as a legal guide but do not wish to complete the full combined course, please contact us for advise on the options available to complete the required modules for legal registration.

Duration Course Fees Course Dates
8 weeks (Full Time) R73 700 15 Apr – 7 Jun 2024
14 Oct – 6 Dec 2024
18 Weeks if done in Combination with NQF 2 Field Guide (Nature & Marine Combined Course) R134 000 5 Feb - 7 Jun 2024
5 Aug – 6 Dec 2024
24 Weeks if done in Combination with NQF 2 Field Guide and Apprentice Trails Guide (Nature, Marine, Trails Combined Course R195 000 5 Feb – 9 Aug 2024

Included in the Course Fee

  • Meals and Accommodation
  • Uniforms
  • FGASA and RAID registration and assessment
  • Dive Gear
  • Course Manuals

Excluded in the Course Fee

  • Meals on weekends and off days
  • Equipment such as binoculars, masks and snorkels, fins etc.
  • Prescribed Books


Subject to successful completion of all assessments.

  • Bhejane Marine and Coastal Guiding
  • FGASA Level 1 Marine Guide
  • Wilderness Marine First Aid
  • RAID Open or Advanced Open Water

Admission Requirements

  • Minimum age of 18
  • An ecceptable level of English Literacy
  • Must be able to swim 100m unaided
  • Acceptable level of mental and physical fitness