WHY TRAIN WITH AGA
There are many safari and ranger guide training schools throughout Africa and in particular South Africa. Many people looking to do training do not know how to choose the right training school for them. If you select on price alone you will no doubt be sacrificing quality.
So the question is what makes a quality training experience?
The following is a broad outline of what makes a great training experience and
why our safari guide training courses are beyond compare.
The African Guiding Academy trainers train throughout Africa. But our home, Kwapa Training Camp, is on a wild and remote island of the southern Okavango.
The Okavango Delta was declared a World heritage site because of its pristine ecosystems, its scenic beauty and abundance of wildlife. The Okavango is one of the most scenically spectacular wildlife areas anywhere in the world. The myriad of crystal clear channels and wildlife rich islands is a habitat unlike any other.
Your learning experience is influenced by the natural beauty of the area and the habitat diversity. Kwapa has a combination of river channel’s, floodplains, lagoons as well as riparian woodland, savanna, mopane scrub, climax mopane woodland and grasslands.
Equally remarkable is the fact that this wilderness stretches unfenced for hundreds of thousands of square kilometres through Moremi Game Reserve, Chobe National Park, the Caprivi Strip of Namibia, Angola, Zambia and into central Africa…
The southern Okavango, like most of southern Africa is currently in the grips of a drought. For this area it is said to be the driest it has been in almost 90 years and for this reason boating and mokoro have been suspended. However, the natural dry and wet cycles are an important part of balancing populations of plains game and those species preferring seasonally inundated floodplains. With permanent drinking water close to camp, the area still has prolific wildlife and an incredible sense of wilderness.
In order to learn the skills of being a guide you need to be immersed in an environment where there is a good diversity of the prominent and flagship species.
Kwapa Guide Training Camp for example has good numbers of elephant, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, kudu, impala, reedbuck and other herbivores. Rhinoceros are making a come-back in the Okavango due to some phenomenal conservation programs. Predators include lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog, serval, caracal, african wildcat, black-backed jackal, side-striped jackal, spotted hyaena and other smaller predators. In short there is pretty much everything the savannah biome has to offer with regards to wildlife.
The area has over 300 species of birds and the list is still growing. Some of the highlight birds are wattled crane, lesser jacana, long-crested eagle, saddlebill stork, green-capped eremomela, greater painted snipe, coppery-tailed coucal, luapula cisticola to mention but a few.
Do you really want to spend your entire training course driving around the same roads day after day?
Our training courses allow you not only to learn the skills of conducting a game-drive but also how to drive a motor boat as well as pole a mokoro (dug-out canoe) on the waterways of the Okavango. When the water levels are high we are able to make our River Runner into an riparian classroom, studying the uniqe aquatic world of the Okavango delta, learn about the local birds and at the end of the day we find a suitable island to camp on, and hopefully catch some fresh bream for dinner.
Even in a great area with wonderful biodiversity you need a great field guide trainer. The trainer not only helps you to identify the species but also to interpret the behaviour and understand the complex and fascinating interactions between the species and their environment.
AGA has a team of safari guide trainers that are unsurpassed in their qualifications and experience.
When undertaking a safari guide training course there is a significant time investment into learning theories, definitions, terminology, species names and much more. You want to make sure that the material you are studying is up-to-date and factually correct.
African Guide Academy has developed what is the most comprehensive guide training manual the industry has seen. Our policy of making the learning materials available to students before the course and allowing students to become familiar with the material before coming on course. Our preparation page allows students to become familiar with the common animals, birds, and plants before arriving. This allows the student attending the guide training course to spend more time in the field and less time listening to lectures. There is little point coming to Africa’s finest wilderness to spend time in a classroom listening to lectures on topics you could read through in the comfort of your home. With our approach, we can take the classroom to the bush and everything we find out there becomes a living example of what you have read in the manual.
African Guide Academy is proud to be the only guide training school to put a local citizen on every course to be co-trained alongside the international students.
Eco Tourism is one of the most abused catch phrases of the past 2 decades. The concept of Eco Tourism is the absolute minimum impact on the environment with the focus of using the experience in the environment to educate people and to give the surrounding communities real benefit from the people visiting the area. And following the true definition of eco tourism our safari guide training courses are one of the few “real” examples of eco tourism that works.
We hand-pick our sponsorship candidates from a large pool of young local people who would like to become guides. We target individuals who have the core skills to one day become great guides and by bringing one of these candidates on course with you there is a wonderful opportunity for you to learn about the culture of the local people as well as the wildlife and ecology of Botswana. We have students who many years later, still follow the careers of the sponsored students and even some who have returned later to do safaris and be guided by their Motswana friends from their safari guide training course.