Courses » Bush Survival

What is it about? This very popular, fun-filled week (5 days) is spent learning about our natural environment and how to use it, not only to survive but also to stay healthy. We also include a cultural heritage element.

Where? Mostly on Craig Doone, with visits to neighbouring reserve.

How long? Five days. It starts on a Monday morning and ends on a Friday afternoon. 

And the cost? South African citizens pay R3000 per person. International visitors pay R3500 per person. The fee includes all meals, reserve entrance fees, transport, tuition, and course materials. 

Who should attend? All ages (minors might wish to be accompanied by a parent or friend). This is not a hard-core survival course, but you should be reasonably fit. A two-day wilderness trail will require you to hike about 7km each day.

What should I bring? A rucksack (65 litre capacity), compass (not essential), two water bottles, roll mat and sleeping bag (these two items can be hired on site), torch, penknife. A pair of binoculars will greatly enrich your learning experience. See also the kit list we give here.

Some topics and activities the course will cover?

  • Nature walks in the nature reserve
  • Orientation and overview of bush survival skills
  • How to find food in the bush, including how to snare an ungulate (hoofed animal) or small animal  
  • Other survival tasks: building a shelter, safety and security in the bush, carrying an injured person, how to make distress signals
  • Water, water, water – how to find it, collecting water by funnel, and making a solar plant still
  • Alien plant control and management (including tree felling)
  • Medicinal, water, and food plants
  • Living without water all day – sunrise to sunset!
  • Basic map-reading; taking bearings and grid reference points, walking on a compass, orientation without a compass, how to use a GPS, basic astronomy, and orientation at night
  • Health, security, and safety in the bush, and how to avoid dangerous animals
  • Avoiding and treating snake bites and scorpion stings
  • Overnight wilderness trail in the bush

All topics are discussed in the classroom, and then followed by field exercises where you will practise ‘life’ or bush survival skills.

Dr. W.T. Vos
Mobile: +27 (0)84 313 3817  E-mail: