MORE Field Guide College is set to open a new campus in the Greater Kruger National Park region, the result of a collaboration between MORE Family Collection, MORE Field Guide College, the More Community Foundation, and the Timbavati Foundation.
The new campus will expand the capacity of the well-established campus at Marataba, a privately managed section of the Marakele National Park. Students will be able to learn at both, providing them with an enriching experience across the two locations, while allowing for more students to be accommodated and to graduate.
CEO of MORE Family Collection, Robert More says, “Field guides are the educators of the safari landscape, getting guests to understand how important it is to protect and preserve these delicate eco-systems. Through this we all stand a better chance of conserving this landscape and in turn reducing climate change”. He explains that the Waterberg Campus also supports historically disadvantaged students from surrounding communities and these efforts can now be increased due to the second campus.
“This is part of our commitment to addressing unemployment and building of skills in South Africa. These students become ambassadors for wildlife within their communities encouraging a conservation approach and the next group of future field guides,” he says.
More Community Foundation and the Timbavati Foundation are both focused on community sustainability and education programmes and the synergy with the MORE Family Collection is clear. “The Timbavavati Foundation is excited about the opening of a new chapter with the MORE Family Collection,” says Charles de Villiers, Timbavati Foundation chairman.
“The futures of young men and women are dependent on quality education and training, and this is where our partnership with the MORE Field Guide College will assist in growing them from strength to strength. We look forward to a long working relationship.”
Warden of Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, Edwin Pierce adds: “This partnership will open doors for so many young and aspiring field guides and ensure that the passion for conservation and environmental education is instilled in future generations.”
A college of excellence
“Our college is bringing excellent guides into the industry,” says More. Established by MORE Family Collection in 2014, the college is a Field Guide Association of Southern Africa (FGASA)-endorsed training institute, and the accredited courses are widely recognised across Africa, as well as the USA, UK and UAE.
Students from around the world have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be trained in an African game reserve by highly qualified trainers and respected industry experts. With their extensive knowledge and a passion for guiding, they are dedicated to nurturing the next generation of top-calibre field guides and this is reflected in the excellent pass rate.
There are six certified courses to choose from, all offering invaluable experience in the field. It is the full-length career course that also offers students a six-month internship at a top safari lodge and the related FGASA-certified qualification, that puts them on track to a successful guiding career.
“FGASA is proud to endorse the new MORE Field Guide College,” says Michelle du Plessis, FGASA managing director. “It is a privilege to support the MORE group in their endeavours to train passionate, dedicated guides, who share their vision to inspire guests from around the world to love and enjoy the bush. A second campus will make a significant impact in tackling FGASA’s strategy to transform the organisation and guiding sector.”
Inspired by the late Nick John More, the MORE Field Guide College fulfils his wish to continue mentoring new generations of nature ambassadors, dedicated to protecting wildlife and the environment and sharing their knowledge of Africa.