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  • Writer's pictureGrant Reed

Upgrading and becoming a Full professional Guide in Botswana

Updated: May 27, 2022


Ok, so you want to become a full professional guide in Botswana. Well, the Botswana Qualification Authority (BQA) Nature Guide Qualification document  is not easy to understand at the outset. So, hopefully we can assist you to better understand how to go about the process.

Requirements to qualify to upgrade

Alright, to upgrade to Full Professional Guide you need a minimum of an Assistant Guides Licence through the original BWTI system or a BQA Level 2. These are your minimum requirements. No longer can a professional guide in Botswana do everything, just because they have a guides license. There are a number of different strands under BQA Level 3. With the new system, you need to be qualified on each specific strand you would like to guide.

BQA Level 3 Strands

And the strands are;

  • Overnight Camping Vehicle Guide

  • Overnight Camping Motor Boat Guide

  • Overnight Camping Mokoro Guide

  • Multi-day Lodge-based Vehicle Guide

  • Multi-day Lodge-based Motor Boat Guide

  • Multi-day Lodge-based Mokoro Guide

  • Overnight Camping

  • Horseback Guide

  • Lead Walking Guide

So, for the purpose simplicity, when upgrading, the Overnight Camping Vehicle Guide is possibly the best place to start. Conversely, the most arduous and expensive to achieve is the Lead Walking Guide. This qualification requires a significant number of assesments as well as mentored walking hours. For more information please check our blog on Qualifying as a Walking Guide

Additional Subjects and Assessment

AGA Nature Guide Training
Nature Guide Training

Under “Nature Ecology” secton only the weather and climate module needs to be upgraded to Level 3. If you would like to download our manual to assist you with your studies please download Nature Guide Training Manual

Compuslory Vocational Specific Subjects

Here are the Compulsory Vocation Specific subjects that the candidate must prove comptency on include;

Demonstrate knowledge of Protected Wildlife Areas, World and Cultural Heritage SitesProvide a broad nature and cultural guided experience for gutests during a multiday itineraryDemonstrate knowledge of cross-cultural communication for the tourism and travel industryApply professional ethics and conduct to enusre integrity of the natural and cultural environmentDemonstrate knowledge of the role and responsibilies of a Level 3 Nature GuideDemonstrate a broad knowledge and skill in two-way radio communication operation in a tourism context.

These unit standards are available from the BQA Website or the Okavango Guiding School offices

Again all the above unit standards are covered in our Nature Guide Training Manual which can be downloaded or ordered from our offices.

Overnight Camping Guide

So following subjects that directly relate to overnight camping are also a requirement;

  • Design a multi-day guided experience for guests in Botswana

  • Plan and prepare a multi-day guided experience for guests

  • Lead a multi-day camping nature guide exprience

  • Generate a post multi-day camping nature guided experience report

  • Diagnose and rectify minor faults in a 4-wheel drive vehice

  • Oversee the set-up and break-down of a temporary campsite


And the above unit standards will be covered in detail by your assessor in your pre-assessement briefing. Also, by going through the assessement document you will know exactly what evidence you will need to provide in order to achieve the qualification. Furthermore, the qualification reqires a minimum of 2 days with an overnight in the wilderness to assess. So, if you are keen to crack on with the process drop us a mail

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