Breaking News
Home » Your Classroom in the Wilderness

Your Classroom in the Wilderness

Welcome to your classroom…

Feel Africa’s pulse on our ‘learn from experience’ nature guiding course in the Okavango delta, as we affordably bring the classroom to the wilderness for you in Africa’s last true Eden.

“What we learn from pleasure we never forget.” Charles Alfred Mercier (1816-1894), American poet and novelist.

Guide-Training-Sleep-out

Testimonial

“It was outstanding it was beyond my imagination I had some images of what it was going to be like but it just over classed on many levels. I must say the chasing the lion in the evening was good and I think the climax which is not an exciting climax but just the openness of the fields here are just amazing kilometers of sight. You can have so things but in terms of how this has been set up and the level of pragmatism and flexibility throughout the day just tops. It’s far beyond how I’ve ever been on any holiday.”
Berry, Holland.

 I WANT TO JOIN THIS NATURE GUIDES COURSE

A unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience awaits you in the unforgettable Okavango wilderness when you become a FGASA or BQA-registered field guide through our value-for-money nature guiding courses.

Imagine approaching Big Five game on foot and observing them at close quarters. Tracking buffalo herds from island to island. Motorboating or canoe-paddling through wild delta channels. Navigating deep water crossings and heavy sand by 4×4. Swapping campfire stories under the African stars.

We do all this and more on our FGASA or BQA field guide training that caters not just for experienced and aspiring nature/safari/field guides, but also ‘adventure tourists’ seeking a unique, life-changing bush experience in a remote African wilderness that’s teeming with wildlife.

Who we are

The first private guide training school registered in Botswana to provide both Field Guide Association of Southern Africa (FGASA) and Botswana Qualification Authority (BQA)-certified guide training, Okavango Guiding School (OGS) caters for anyone who’s deeply curious about nature and seeking a deeper primal understanding of our natural world, through their interactions with nature in a pristine African setting.

Prepare for an adrenalin rush!

If you’re the type of personality with a deep need to get in touch with your vital signs, we have a pulsating adventure experience designed with just you in mind! But be warned: it has none of that round-the-clock pampering associated with a typical African safari! It’s more for active nature-lovers who know exactly what they want—the rolled-up-sleeves kind of guy or gal who’re willing to forgo the trappings of comfort for a high-adrenaline African adventure.

Who are our typical students?

  • People looking to reconnect with themselves, who are searching for a back-to-basics bush skills experience that will help them recharge, renew, and reboot
  • Seasoned safari goers who now seek a deeper, more holistic, African wilderness experience
  • School- and/or university-leavers who are looking for a life-changing gap-year experience
  • People with a spirit of adventure who are looking beyond a typical back-packing experience
  • Aspiring guides
  • Experienced guides wishing to further enrich their knowledge and skills

Why join our guide training course?

There is only one Okavango Delta. It’s rare to find a true wilderness…and the Okavango may soon be one of the last of its kind.

In contrast to larger, more corporate guiding schools which operate in typical savannah habitat generic to southern and east Africa, we’re a small, intimate family-run business operating in a unique, spectacular location that’s a World Heritage Site.

One of the largest undisturbed ecosystems left on Earth, our Kwapa Camp is situated in a pristine wilderness that stretches unfenced from northern Botswana into southern Angola and Zambia.

Complete a nature-guiding course* in just 28 days!

Our pre-course preparation allows our students to do a full FGASA Level 1 course in just 28 days! And for students seeking to do the course for personal enrichment rather than pursuing a formal guiding qualification, they’ll receive an Okavango Guiding School (OGS) certificate.

*Full FGASA Level 1

Incredible value for money

Our clients are often taken by surprise when they realise just how incredibly affordable our nature guiding courses are. In fact, there is no comparative experience in any private concession area in the Okavango that can be accessed for under $1,000 pp/d whereas we charge less than a quarter of that.

However, far from being a cheap substitute for an expensive safari, as a learning experience, you’ll have to roll up your sleeves and stretch yourself hard to earn your stripes!

For every four-week course we conduct, we sponsor one local guide

To preserve our unique habitat for future generations, we give something back to local communities by sponsoring one deserving local guide for every four-week course we run for international students. Last year we donated more than R500 000 in training to local communities who are ultimately the custodians of one of Africa’s last remaining true wilderness areas.

Our Value. Delivered.

  • Through our pre-course study programme, we offer the FGASA Nature Guide course in just 28 days!
  • We’re situated in a World Heritage Site throbbing with birdlife and Big 5 game
  • Our trainers are some of the most qualified guides in the industry
  • We offer both FGASA and BQA qualifications
  • We sponsor one local guide for every four-week course we conduct

“What I hear, I forget. What I see, I remember. What I do, I understand.” Confucius (551 BC – 478 BC), Chinese philosopher

 I WANT TO JOIN THIS NATURE GUIDES COURSE

Paradise has a name. The Okavango Delta.

Formed where the Okavango River reaches a tectonic trough in the Kalahari basin, the Okavango Delta is a labyrinth of lagoons, lakes and hidden channels covering an area of over 10 563 square miles. Trapped in the arid Kalahari sands, it’s a magnet for the teeming wildlife that depends on its life-nourishing waters.

Rising in the highlands of central Angola, the Okavango River flows about 1 600 km southeast across the Caprivi Strip to form the Okavango basin in the Kalahari. Described as “the river which never finds the sea”, the river disappears into a maze of lagoons, channels, and islands to form its signature fan shape in north-western Botswana.

Sometimes belittled as a mere ‘swamp’, the Okavango is anything but. Moving, mysterious and placid, from a wide and winding channel on its journey from Angola, it spreads through tiny, almost imperceptible channels that creep away behind a wall of papyrus reed, into an ever expanding network of increasingly smaller passages. These link a succession of lagoons, islands and islets of various sizes, open grasslands and flooded plains in a mosaic of land and water.

Although the overall drainage pattern in the Delta is complex, there’s an underlying simplicity in the leisurely yet regular pulse of water that flows down each year from the Angolan highlands.

During dry periods it covers at least 6 000 square miles, but in wetter years, with a heavy annual flood, the Okavango’s floodwaters can spread over 8 500 square miles of the Kalahari’s sands. Deep water occurs in only a few channels, while vast areas of reed beds are covered by just a few inches of water.

In the lush indigenous forests of the delta and its islands, and along the floodplains spawned by this intoxicating blend of sand and water, more than 400 species of birds flourish. A natural refuge and waterhole for the larger animals of the Kalahari, on the mainland and among its islands, lions, elephants, hyenas, wild dog, buffalo, hippo and crocodiles congregate with a teeming variety of antelope and other smaller animals—warthog, mongoose, spotted genets, monkeys, bush babies and tree squirrels.

Its scale and sheer magnificence helped the Okavango Delta secure a listing as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, which were officially declared on February 11 2013 in Arusha, Tanzania and on June 22 2014, the world’s largest inland delta was officially inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Testimonial

“Super, great camaraderie, great group for people thrown together from Holland and Kiwi Land and the fellows here been fantastic. Most precious memory to me is Mike Reid for his ability to be able to transport us into the world of Botswana, his world, the technical detailing from the biothermes, right up to the stars everything in between the trees, the birds, animals, it’s what I’m here for. This has been a wonderful experience really.”
Bruce, New Zealand

 I WANT TO JOIN THIS NATURE GUIDES COURSE

Wild Wheels 4×4

WILD WHEELS 4X4

You learned it with us, now go and experience Africa on your terms

Letaka Safaris

LETAKA SAFARIS

How about a gentle end to your course, with a fully catered mobile safari or river safari

Luxury Lodges

LUXURY LODGES

Would you like to package your training course with some of Botswana’s luxury lodges?

Bush Skills Course

Guiding skills-w1000-h1000

Too long and intense for you? How about our 1 week Bush Skills Course.

Nature Guide Course (FGASA Level 1/ BQA Level 2)

Course synopsis:

Theory-based, with a strong emphasis not only on the practical skills of guiding but also the full syllabus used by Southern African guides to qualify for the theory exam, our nature guide training blends informative lectures with field experience—on foot, boat, mokoro, or in a 4WD vehicle. The course is modular, enabling you to join the course for two or four weeks, but many choose to do the full four weeks over time due to leave constraints.

Activities:

What will you learn and experience?

Our diverse activities will expose you to all facets of wilderness guiding:

  • Practical, hands-on experience of navigation in the African wilderness, including bush survival and tracking skills, and bird and mammal identification
  • Mokoro dug-out canoeing and poling expeditions (seasonal, water levels permitting)
  • Wilderness walks and sleep-outs
  • Motor boating excursions (seasonal, water levels permitting)
  • 4×4 vehicle game driving skills
  • Game walk safaris
  • Rifle handling and target practice
  • Stargazing and astronomy
  • Theory lectures and PowerPoint presentations from qualified and knowledgeable trainers on diverse topics ranging from local geology, ecology, and hydrology, to astronomy and weather/climate

Course length:

14 or 28 days

Access:

Maun Airport

Mahube Bus Service Johannesburg to Maun

Accommodation

Your tent is a 3×3 metre high-wall wilderness style tent with a 2×3 metre en-suite shower and bush toilet and a similar sized veranda. Each tent is equipped with a wash basin and furnished with a camp bed, small bedside table and veranda easy chair. Sheets, pillows, towels, duvet and a LED bedside light are provided.

Qualifications:

No prior experience is required.

OGS Certificate:

This is for students seeking to do the course for personal enrichment rather than pursuing a formal qualification to become a guide. Upon course completion, they will receive an Okavango Guiding School certificate for participation in the course.

However, for those seeking it, there are two formal qualifications available:

BQA-Level 2

This is the Botswana Training Authority exam which is the national guiding qualification for Botswana.

FGASA-Level 1

This is the Field Guide Association of Southern Africa exam and the national guiding qualification used in South Africa. However, to enter FGASA level 1, you must complete our pre-course workbooks and prepare the required lecture material. In addition, to qualify for the FGASA certificate you must do the full 28 days of training but this does not have to be done in one session, but rather when your leave permits.

Cost:


14 days – USD 3,253 p/p
28 days – USD 6,506 p/p

Payment:

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

Minimum and maximum numbers:

The course runs from as few as one student to a maximum of eight (plus a local citizen trainee)

What your course fee includes:

  • Tented accommodation
  • All meals at Kwapa Camp
  • Drinking water, tea and coffee
  • All training and activities
  • A single scheduled transfer from Maun to Kwapa Camp and return per student

What your course fee excludes:

  • Unscheduled transfers to/from Kwapa Camp
  • Travel insurance
  • All flights
  • Personal effects, including toiletries
  • Staff gratuities
  • Drinks other than those mentioned above can be purchased in Maun before departure
  • All ammunition
  • FGASA/ BQA registration and exam fees

Sponsorship:

As part of our social responsibility program, Okavango Guiding School sponsors one citizen trainee to join every course we conduct (that has four or more students). This highly successful initiative benefits not only the candidate being sponsored, but also our international trainees who gain an in-depth insight into local Batswana culture. Holistic guiding goes beyond the African wildlife experience and in this context, understanding the local culture enriches the training experience and adds another dimension to it.

Join our epic African safari guiding adventure and escape…

 

 I WANT TO JOIN THIS NATURE GUIDES COURSE

Wild Wheels 4×4

WILD WHEELS 4X4

You learned it with us, now go and experience Africa on your terms

Letaka Safaris

LETAKA SAFARIS

How about a gentle end to your course, with a fully catered mobile safari or river safari

Luxury Lodges

LUXURY LODGES

Would you like to package your training course with some of Botswana’s luxury lodges?

Bush Skills Course

Guiding skills-w1000-h1000

Too long and intense for you? How about our 1 week Bush Skills Course.