Nature Guiding Course

  (FGASA Level 1/ BQA Level 2)

Course Synopsis:

Theory-based, with a strong emphasis not only on the practical skills of guiding but also the full syllabus used by southern African guides to qualify for the theory exam, our nature guide training blends informative lectures with field experience – 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.

Activities:

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 wildlife driving skills

Wildlife walking safaris

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

Course length:

14 or 28 days

Access:

Maun Airport

Mahube Bus Service Johannesburg to Maun

Accommodation:

Your tent is a 3×4 metre meru 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.

Qualifications:

No prior experience is required

OGS Certificate:

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 a certificate for participation in the course.

However, for those seeking it, there are two formal qualifications available:

BQA-Level 2

This is the Botswana Training Authority exam which is the national guiding qualification for Botswana.

FGASA-Level 1

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.

Cost:

14 days – From AUD $4,784 p/p
28 days – From AUD $9,568 p/p

Payment:

25% deposit to confirm booking.  Balance due six weeks prior to departure.  Payment can be made by bank transfer.  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:

Meru style tented accommodation

All meals at Kwapa Camp

Drinking water, tea and coffee

All training and activities

A scheduled transfer from Maun to Kwapa Camp return

What your course fee excludes:

Unscheduled transfers to/from Kwapa Camp

Travel insurance

All flights

Personal effects, including toiletries

Staff gratuities (approx 10 – 15%)

Drinks other than those mentioned above can be purchased in Maun before departure

All ammunition

FGASA/ BQA registration and exam fees

Sponsorship:

As part of our social responsibility program, our supplier sponsors one citizen trainee to join every course they 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 Botswana 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.

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