Nature Guide – Okavango Delta
"Learn how to become a Field Guide in Botswana's Okavango Delta"
"Learn how to become a Field Guide in Botswana's Okavango Delta"
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 you many choose to do the full four weeks over time due to leave constraints.
A unique, once-in-a-lifetime expericence awaits you in the unforgettable Okavango wilderness when you become a FGASA or BQA-registered field guide (FGASA Level 1/ BQA Level 2) through this value-for-money nature guiding course.
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.
You’ll do all this and more on this course 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.
The Nature Guide Course (also referred to as the Field Guide Course by FGASA) is a practical and theory-based course with a strong emphasis not only on the practical skills of guiding but also the full syllabus used by southern African guides to qualify as a guide. The focus of the course is taking the classroom to the wilderness. While there are informative lectures the majority of the training happens out in nature on foot, in a 4-wheel drive vehicle and depending on water levels, by boat and mokoro (dug-out canoe). The course is modular, so you may join the course for 2 or 4 weeks.
The African Guide Academy (former Okavango Guiding school) is owned and operated by the Reed family. The well known Reed brothers, Grant and Brent who starred in “Safari Brothers” which aired internationally on National Geographic Wild.
The academy is the first private guide training school registered in Botswana to provide training for guides on both the Field Guide Association of Southern Africa (FGASA) and the Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA) platforms.
The training courses are conducted in the Okavango Delta which has been declared a World Heritage site because of it’s pristine ecosystems, it’s 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.
The 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, savannah, mopane scrub, climax mopane woodland and grasslands.
Possibly the most amazing thing about the area is the fact that it is part of a wilderness that stretches unfenced for hundreds of thousands of square kilometres through Moremi Game Reserve, Chobe National Park, the Caprivi Strip of Namibia, southern Angola and southern Zambia.
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.
Practical, hands-on experience of navigation in the African wilderness, bush survival skills, the ancient art of tracking, weapons handling, bird and mammal identification and so much more
Wilderness walks and sleep-outs
4×4 vehicle game drives
Game walk safaris
Stargazing and astronomy
Theory lectures and presentations from qualified and knowledgeable trainers on diverse topics ranging from local geology, ecology, and hydrology, to astronomy and weather/climate
*Typically, the flood arrives at Kwapa mid-May and the peak water is in August with the flood receding by November. Please note that every season is different, and boating can only take place if the flood is sufficient to launch. Mokoros require much less water.
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
Experienced guides wishing to further enrich their knowledge and skills
Important: also as an enrichment student you have to complete a minimum of exams and game drives. This is not a cheap safari, it is a guide school.
Our training camp is situated in a private concession area in the southern Okavango. Major habitat types include savannah, woodland, mopane woodland/scrub, grassland, floodplain and riverine forest. Please note that Kwapa is not in the permanent swamps which makes it a better wildlife area but when water levels are low November-June the Kwapa River may dry up all together. Water levels in the Okavango are impossible to predict from year-to-year.
The area has resident populations of most of Africa’s iconic wildlife but our focus on all our courses is learning and discovering. We do not chase Big 5 but rather delve into the ecological interactions of all our wildlife regardless of the species.
Kwapa Camp has nine 3 x 4 meru-style tents with a short passage to an enlarged en-suite bathroom with bucket shower and short drop toilet. Each tent is furnished with two camp beds, sheets, pillows, duvet and towels. A battery-operated LED light is provided in the tents. There is a wash basin relaxing chairs on the covered verandah.
Accommodation is on a shared basis with the option of a single supplement for single accommodation.
The transfer is included in the course price and takes place on the first day of the course. The African Guide Academy trainer meets all students at the PPCC Indian restaurant across the road from Maun Airport at 14h00. The transfer to camp takes approximately 2-2.5 hours.
No prior experience is required for this course. It is important to be clear when making your booking what your course goal is.
This is not a cheap safari! Many students attend this course for personal enrichment and have fantastic time but keep in mind our goal and focus is on the learning and development of skills. You will be training alongside people who wish to become top guides in the industry. To keep with the integrity of this being a structured course, all students are obliged to write the daily revision tests and a final theory exam. All students will also receive an African Guide Academy certificate for participation on completion of the course.
(African residents may enquire for Africa rates)
A 15% single supplement applies.
There is no minimum group size. Maximum group size is 8 (exclusive of the one sponsored local student)
*Please note that the official price for this course is in USD as above. Any other currency price for this tour is merely indicative. The USD price will be converted to your preferred currency using the exchange rate on the date of invoice.
▪ Shared tented accommodation Single supplement 15%
▪ All meals at Kwapa Training Camp
▪ Well-point water, cordial, tea and coffee
▪ All training and activities
▪ Scheduled transfer from Maun to Kwapa Camp return (1 transfer in and out per student)
▪ Unscheduled transfers to/from Kwapa Camp
▪ Travel insurance and all flights
▪ Items of personal nature, including toiletries
▪ Staff gratuities
▪ Drinks other than those mentioned – these can be purchased in Maun before leaving for Kwapa camp
▪ FGASA/ BQA registration and exam fees
Just drop us a message and we help you to find the right course for you!