It is with great sadness that we as FGASA announce the passing of one of our most respected and accomplished members, Johan Fourie.
Johan had a long and successful career with SANParks, first as a Trails Ranger and with time progressing into environmental education and social ecology, finally moving on to wildlife management. Throughout this phase of his career, Johan helped to train and upskill many SANParks wildlife management and conservation staff. In 2000, Johan resigned from SANParks and became the Managing Director of The Nature Guide College for 15 years, where he imparted his knowledge, skills and mentorship to the new generations of field guides entering the industry.
Johan’s extensive list of qualifications gave him the necessary skills to patiently, kindly and expertly assist budding young guides in their careers. Johan earned a National Nature Guide Dangerous Animal Areas Level 4 (now CATHSSETA VPDA NQF4), in conjunction with this he earned his FGASA SKS (DG) Trails Guide qualification, FGASA Professional Field Guide qualification, and earned his FGASA Mentor and Assessor status, along with the esteemed title of CyberTracker Track & Sign specialist and evaluator.
Johan was a member of the first ever formal FGASA Committee who met for the first time in August 1991. His invaluable contributions helped establish the resolute foundations of FGASA and provided a framework for the organisation to build upon. Without his contributions, FGASA would not be where it is today.
Johan touched so many throughout his career leaving lasting positive impacts on people’s lives, actively helping them to achieve their dreams and career goals.
Johan Fourie mentoring Andrew Kearney
“Many of us will go through our lives meeting hundreds, if not thousands, of people. Every so often, there are individuals who leave a lasting impact, no matter how brief the interaction or meeting. Oom Johan was one of those people. Whether you met him once or frequently over the years, he was always eager to share his knowledge and passion for the bush. Many guides from across the country will recount stories of the time they trained with Oom Johan or underwent a tracking assessment with him. I say, ‘Thank you, Oom Johan,’ for helping shape the landscape we see today within the guiding industry. Thank you for your time. Goodbye, Oom Johan, and Godspeed!” – Andrew Kearney, FGASA Scout
“For those who knew Oom Johan and who were trained and mentored by him, would know he was a legend in every facet of guiding and conservation. Warm-hearted and who always had time to share knowledge and give good guidance. That’s why he was my mentor right the way through the old FGASA level 3 (now Professional Field Guide) and Trails. The industry has lost an amazing man who will always be remembered.” – Richard Pearse, FGASA Regional Representative, Eastern Cape and FGASA Executive Committee Member.
“It’s not only a loss for a family but also a loss for conservation, guiding and to so many other communities to whom Johan contributed. Johan’s reach goes far greater than we will ever be able to perceive. For me he was a trainer, a mentor and someone who was always willing to listen and to advise on life and work. He taught us valuable lessons in both guiding and life skills and provided us with a foundation to be kind, professional and do the right thing.” – Jean-Pierre Le Roux
“He was a one-of-a-kind man who imparted so much knowledge onto so many. It was a pleasure to have had the chance to learn and train under him and The Nature College.” – Josh Frost
Our most sincere and heart-felt condolences go out to Johan’s family, friends and those who love him. Johan’s legacy lives on in all those lucky enough to have been under his care, guidance and mentorship. His memory will live on in you and in the wild places he cared so deeply for.
Johan, may you rest peacefully in Africa’s ancient landscapes, may your spirit expand across Africa’s great blue skies, and may your legacy be carried as a shining light of inspiration to all those following in your footsteps.
From all of us at FGASA, Rest in Peace.