Nature Guide (Field Guide Level 1) | SafariFRANK
Professional

Nature Guide (Field Guide Level 1)

"The basic course to become a field guide"

Price 5490 EUR
Course Type
Professional
Country
Botswana
Duration
28 Nights

general information

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.

about the school

Okavango Guiding School:

The 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 Okavango Guiding school 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.

Our 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.

The Trainers

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.

OGS has a team of safari guide trainers that are unsurpassed in their qualifications and experience.

course content

  • Game walks – including approaching big game on foot
  • Game drive skills
  • Navigation and tracking skills
  • Wilderness sleep outs
  • Stargazing/ astronomy
  • Theory lectures with power point presentations
  • Mokoro (dugout canoe) excursions – depending on water levels*
  • Motor boating skills – depending on water levels*

*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.

start dates

2019
10 May 2019 - 7 June 2019
19 July 2019 - 16 August 2019
27 September 2019 - 25 October 2019
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2020
28 February 2020 - 27 March 2020
8 May 2020 - 5 June 2020
17 July 2020 - 14 August 2020
25 September 2020 - 23 October 2020

camps

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.

transfers

The transfer is included in the course price and takes place on the first day of the course. The Okavango Guiding School 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.

qualifications

No prior experience is required for this course. It is important to be clear when making your booking what your course goal is.

Enrichment only:

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 Okavango Guiding School certificate on completion of the course.

Qualifications: Students can choose to do one of the below, or both:

  1. FGASA Field Guide (Level 1): This is the Field Guide Association of Southern Africa and is the national guiding qualification used in South Africa. It is also the most widely recognized qualification in Africa. Please note: that to qualify for FGASA level 1 you will need to download our training manual, complete the pre-course workbooks and prepare the required lecture material before attending the course. The onus is on the student to contact FGASA directly and arrange for registration.In order to qualify for the FGASA certificate you must also do the full 28 days of training but this does not have to be done in one session and can be done over time. You will write your FGASA Level 1 theory exam at Kwapa Camp in the last few days of the course. Your practical assessment will be done over the 4 weeks – as you progress, you will be marked competent in the required areas, with your final assessment being conducted in the final days of the course. Please also note that you may not enroll for the FGASA Trails Guide Course until you have successfully completed this Field Guide course.
  2.  BQA Level 2&3: This is the Botswana Qualification Authority (BQA) assessment which is the national guiding qualification for Botswana. Students write their theory exam at Kwapa Camp in the last few days of the course. Practical assessment is continuos throughout the course. BQA does not require 28 days of training however, doing the full qualification in less time is strenuous. Please note: while you may achieve the BQA qualification, for an expatriate to be issued with a guiding license in Botswana, one needs a valid work and residence permit, to show a minimum of 5 years guiding experience outside of Botswana and BQA Level 3 Nature Guide qualification (local and enrichment students qualify with Level 2).

price

14 Days – 2019 U$ 3416 pp

28 Days – 2019 U$ 6832 pp

(African residents may enquire for Africa rates)
A 15% single supplement applies.

 

INCLUDED

▪ 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)

EXCLUDED

▪ 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


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