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.
“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.”
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 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 USD 50 000 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
“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
Nature Guide Course (FGASA Level 1/ BQA Level 2)
This nature guide course is a wonderful mix of gaining a deep theoretical insight to the ecology of this fascinating wilderness and learning the skills of guiding 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.
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
14 or 28 days
Mahube Bus Service Johannesburg to Maun
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.
No prior experience is required.
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:
This is the Botswana Training Authority exam which is the national guiding qualification for Botswana.
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.
14 days – USD 3,253 p/p
28 days – USD 6,506 p/p
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
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…
Wild Wheels 4×4
You learned it with us, now go and experience Africa on your terms
How about a gentle end to your course, with a fully catered mobile safari or river safari
Would you like to package your training course with some of Botswana’s luxury lodges?
Bush Skills Course
Too long and intense for you? How about our 1 week Bush Skills Course.