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Bush Skills – New Course!!

Course synopsis:

Is this the course for you? Our wildlife and ecology course is ideal for those who want to learn the practical aspects of being a guide and to learn some of the key and most interesting facts regarding the wildlife and ecology of the Okavango. We focus on covering all the practical aspects of nature guiding. This includes conducting game drives, boat excursions, mokoro (dug-out canoe) expeditions, walking safaris, bush sleep-outs and weapon handling. During this we learn the skills of tracking, bush survival, bird and mammal identification and much more.

Course length:

7 days / 6 nights

Dates and course code:

2016: Tuesday to Tuesday
04-Jun-16 to 10-Jun-16 (1606 KWP BS – A)
11-Jun-16 to 17-Jun-16 (1606 KWP BS – B)
18-Jun-16 to 24-Jun-16 (1606 KWP BS – C)
25-Jun-16 to 01-Jul-16 (1606 KWP BS – D)
02-Jul-16 to 08-Jul-16 (1607 KWP BS – A)
09-Jul-16 to 15-Jul-16 (1607 KWP BS – B)
16-Jul-16 to 22-Jul-16 (1607 KWP BS – GE) GERMAN DEPARTURE
23-Jul-16 to 29-Jul-16 (1607 KWP BS – D)
30-Jul-16 to 05-Aug-16 (1608 KWP BS – FR) FRENCH DEPARTURE
06-Aug-16 to 12-Aug-15 (1608 KWP BS – B)
13-Aug-16 to 19-Aug-16 (1608 KWP BS – C)
20-Aug-16 to 26-Aug-16 (1608 KWP BS – D)
27-Aug-16 to 02-Sep-16 (1609 KWP BS – A)
03-Sep-16 to 09-Sep-16 (1609 KWP BS – B)
10-Sep-16 to 16-Sep-16 (1609 KWP BS – C)
17-Sep-16 to 23-Sep-16 (1609 KWP BS – D)

Access:

Maun Airport
Mahube Bus Service Johannesburg to Maun

Accommodation:

Your tent is a 3×3 meter high-wall wilderness style tent with a 2×3 meter en-suite shower and bush toilet and a similar sized verandah. Each tent is furnished with a camp bed, sheets, pillows, duvet and towels. An LED bedside light is provided on a small bed side table. There is a wash basin with a relaxing chair on the verandah.

Activities:

  • theory lectures and power point presentations from qualified and knowledgeable trainers
  • game walks – including approaching big game on foot
  • mokoro (dug-out canoe), poling skills – depending on water levels
  • motor boating – depending on water levels
  • navigation
  • students conduct 4×4 vehicle game drives
  • stargazing & astronomy
  • wilderness sleep outs

Qualifications:

No prior experience is required.
OGS Certificate: This is for students wanting to do the course for personal enrichment rather than pursuing a formal qualification to become a guide. They will receive an Okavango Guiding School certificate for participation in the course.

Your typical week at Kwapa camp:

First day – We depart for Kwapa camp from Bon Arrivé which is opposite Maun International Airport at 14h00, (we then give the students time to purchase their drinks) this is approximately a 2 hour road transfer.
The remainder of this day consists primarily of orientation and familiarization of the camp and course procedures that we will be following during the ensuing week.
Meals – dinner

Daily activities: Every morning we wake-up early and have breakfast and head out into the wilderness. The route we take and the transport we used is based on the movement of the wildlife and the specific targets for the day.
Wilderness excursions are done on foot, by vehicle, by boat and dug-out canoe. We return to camp by late morning for a short lecture on one of our topics. Our lecture topics include “wildlife and ecology of the Okavango”, “hydrology of the Okavango”, “fascinating birds”, “mammal behavior”, “African conservation issues” and more.
A hearty lunch is served in camp followed by time for shower, siesta and personal study time.
Tea is served in the mid-afternoon and followed by an afternoon excursion.
During the week at Kwapa you will do a sleep-out where we load the bare minimum and head out by boat or mokoro to a remote island and set up a sleep-out fly-camp where we sleep under the stars for the night. We return to camp before lunch the following day.
Meals – breakfast, lunch & dinner

What will I learn?
How to pole a mokoro (dug-out canoe). These canoes are the traditional means of transport in the Okavango and moving noiselessly from island to island allow us great opportunities for finding wildlife.
Driving a 4 wheel drive. The Okavango offers some challenges when it comes to driving around. Deep water crossings and heavy sand are only some of the challenges.
Conducting a wilderness excursion on a motor boat. The Okavango Delta is a myriad of channels, lagoons and islands and in high water the most efficient way to move around is by aluminium-hull motor boat.
Weapons handling and shot placement on potentially dangerous game. This is an essential skill for guides operating on foot with a rifle and a great skill to learn.
The ancient art of tracking. While many think the art of tracking is akin to voodoo it is nothing more than the power of observation and deduction.
Navigating in the African wilderness. While much of the African bush looks exactly the same there are many tricks to determine direction in the wilderness and find your way back home.
Essential survival skills. A basic introduction of what you can eat in the wilderness, how to attain safe water and how to make fire.
Day 7: After morning activity we will return to Maun in time for International departure flights.
Meals – breakfast

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

Your course includes:

  • tented accommodation
  • all meals at Kwapa Camp
  • drinking water, tea and coffee
  • all training and activities
  • scheduled transfer from Maun to Kwapa Camp and return to Maun (1 transfer in and out per student)

Your course fee excludes:

  • unscheduled transfers to/from Kwapa Camp
  • travel Insurance
  • all flights
  • items of personal nature, including toiletries
  • staff gratuities
  • drinks other than those mentioned above – these can be purchased in Maun before leaving for Kwapa Camp
  • FGASA/ BQA registration and exam fees

Cost:

7 days – USD 1650 per person

Payment:

20% Deposit to confirm booking. Balance due 6 weeks prior to departure. Payment can be made by bank transfer or credit card (card payments carry 5% service charge). Please see our booking conditions for more information.

Minimum and maximum numbers:

The course will run from as few as just 1 student to a maximum of 8

Download Bush Skills Course Outline

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