• 14 Days from
    $3253 p/p in USD
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    Departures
    Year Round
TRAVEL PARTNER

Okavango Guiding School

  • Botswana
Destinations

Destinations

Botswana,

Tour Type

Tour Type

Guided, Small Group

Safari Standard

Safari Standard

Camping

Tour Overview

This course gives international travellers an amazing chance to train alongside African safari guides. This course has a strong emphasis on the practical skills of guiding as well as the full syllabus used by Southern African guides. The focus of the course is taking the classroom to the wilderness. While there are informative lectures the majority of the training happens out in nature on foot, in a 4-wheel drive vehicle and depending on water levels, by boat and mokoro (dug-out canoe). The course is modular so you may join the course for 2 or 4 weeks. The course is also referred to as the Field Guide Course by FGASA.

General Information

  • Safari types:
    Educational Safari
  • You will visit:
    Okavango Delta, Maun
  • Activities:
    Game Drive, Walking Safari, Mokoro Safari, Boat Cruise
  • Getting around:
    Transfer Vehicle
  • Start/end:
    Start/end in Maun

Accommodation

Kwapa Camp has nine 3 x 4 meru-style tents with a short passage to an enlarged en-suite bathroom with bucket shower and short drop toilet. Each tent is furnished with two camp beds, sheets, pillows, duvet and towels. A battery-operated LED light is provided in the tents. There is a wash basin and relaxing chairs on the covered verandah. Accommodation is on a shared basis with the option of 15% surcharge for single occupation.

Activities

  • Game walks – including approaching big game on foot
  • Game drives
  • Navigation and tracking
  • Wilderness sleep outs
  • Stargazing/astronomy
  • Theory lectures with power point presentations
  • Mokoro (dugout canoe) excursions – depending on water levels
  • Motor boating – depending on water levels

Student goals and qualifications

No prior experience is required for this course. It is important to be clear when making your booking what your course goal is.

  • Enrichment only: this is not a cheap safari! Many students attend this course for personal enrichment and have a fantastic time but keep in mind our goal and focus is on the learning and development of skills. You will be training alongside people who wish to become top guides in the industry. To keep with the integrity of this being a structured course, all students are obliged to write the daily revision tests and a final theory exam. All students will also receive an Okavango Guiding School certificate on completion of the course.
  • Qualifications: Students can choose to do one of the below, or both:
  • FGASA Field Guide (Level 1): This is the Field Guide Association of Southern Africa and is the national guiding qualification used in South Africa. It is also the most widely recognised qualification in Africa. Please note: that to qualify for FGASA level 1 you must complete the pre-course workbooks and prepare the required lecture material before attending the course. The onus is on the student to contact FGASA directly and arrange for registration and the postal of their books to achieve this. It is advisable to do this at your earliest convenience as the postage of study material and pre-course workbooks takes some time. In order to qualify for the FGASA certificate you must also do the full 28 days of training but this does not have to be done in one session and can be done over time. You will write your FGASA Level 1 theory exam at Kwapa Camp in the last few days of the course. Your practical assessment will be done over the 4 weeks – as you progress, you will be marked competent in the required areas, with your final assessment being conducted in the final days of the course. Please also note that you may not enroll for the FGASA Trails Guide Course until you have successfully completed this Field Guide course.
  • BQA Level 2&3: This is the Botswana Qualification Authority (BQA) exam which is the national guiding qualification for Botswana. Students write their theory exam at Kwapa Camp in the last few days of the course. Your practical assessment will be done over 2 or 4 weeks – as you progress, you will be marked competent in the required areas, with your final assessment being conducted in the final days of your course. BQA differs also in that you are not required to do the full 28 days and can do 14 days instead. Furthermore, BQA will allow you to do the Trails Guide Course before successfully completing this Nature Guide Course. Please note: that for an expat to be issued with a guiding license in Botswana, one needs a valid work and residence permit, to show a minimum of 5 years guiding experience outside of Botswana and BQA Level 3 Nature Guide qualification (local and enrichment students qualify with Level 2).

Sponsorship

Okavango Guiding School sponsors one citizen trainee to join every course we conduct (that has 4 or more students), as part of our social responsibility program. This highly successful initiative is beneficial, not only to the candidate being sponsored, but also to the international trainees who gain an in-depth insight into the culture of Botswana. Holistic guiding goes beyond the wildlife of Africa and understanding the culture adds a different dimension to the training experience.

RATES – PER PERSON USD 

14 Days: From USD 3,253 per person

28 Days: From USD 6,506 per person

15% single supplement applies

African residents may enquire for African rates

Minimum/maximum numbers

The course will run with just 1 student up to a maximum of 8 (plus the citizen trainee)

What's Included

  • Shared tented accommodation (single supplement is 15%)
  • All meals at Kwapa Training Camp
  • Safe drinking water, tea and coffee
  • All training and activities
  • Scheduled transfer from Maun to Kwapa Camp return (1 transfer in and out per student)

What's Excluded

  • Unscheduled transfers to/from Kwapa Camp
  • Travel insurance and all flights
  • Items of personal nature, including toiletries
  • Staff gratuities (optional)
  • Drinks other than those mentioned above – these can be purchased in Maun before leaving for Kwapa camp
  • FGASA/ BQA registration and exam fees

Disclaimer

  • This itinerary is owned and delivered by ‘Okavango Guiding School
  • All prices are ‘From’ and may vary at the time of booking
  • Display price is usually based on two people sharing
  • Okavango Guiding School‘ reserves the right to change the content and price of the itinerary
  • All itineraries are subject to availability

Day by Day Overview

The Okavango Guiding School trainer meets all students at the PPCC Indian restaurant across the road from Maun Airport at 14h00. This allows students to arrive on international flights on the first day of the course (these flights usually land at around 13h15). The students are then taken to purchase their drinks before embarking on the 2 hour road transfer to Kwapa Camp. Arriving at Kwapa Camp in the late afternoon, the rest of this first day consists primarily of orientation and familiarization of the assessment process to be used for this course.

Please note that if any students arrive after 14h30 they will have to find accommodation in Maun and pay the U$70.00 fee for an unscheduled transfer to Kwapa Camp the following day. 

  • Meals: dinner

The camp, located on the banks of the Kwapa River in the Okavango Delta, operates on a “duty-guide” system. Each day there are two duty-guides who will assist with wake-up calls and preparation of breakfast. One duty-guide will guide the morning activity whilst the other will guide the afternoon activity. Each activity will be approximately 3 hours. After returning from morning activity at around 10h00, there is a coffee and tea break. The Trainer will then take the duty-guide through the activity he/she has just conducted and allow this student to comment on his/her own strengths and weaknesses using the assessment document as an outline.

Following this the group will discuss these points offering constructive criticism and observation. Finally, the facilitator will fill in on points he feels could have been handled differently. At each meal, duty-guides are encouraged to host the group using acceptable hosting techniques such as leading conversation throughout the meal, making sure drinks are served and “guests” all have what they require before beginning to eat.

  • 11h00 – 12h00: Lecture
  • 12h00 – 13h00: Lunch
  • 13h00 – 14h00: Shower and rest period
  • 14h00 – 15h00: Presentation by candidates (topic to be discussed with facilitator). Discussion on the content and technique of the presentation
  • 15h00 – 18h00: Afternoon activity/training session
  • 18h30 – 19h30: Review of afternoon activity/training session
  • 19h30 – 20h30: Dinner and daily activities finish
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

After your morning activity and breakfast we will return to Maun in plenty of time for those guests that have international flights.

  • Meals: breakfast

Please note – the above is just a broad outline so it can and will change depending on the guests needs and external factors. On some days, it has been known not to be followed at all!

Nature Guide Course
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