Guiding School

One of the best safari experiences you can have

Safari Lifestyles has teamed up the boys at the Okavango Guiding School to present you with an incredible opportunity to increase your knowledge of the bush and “bushcraft”…. Do not be put off by any aspect of tourism here, this is the real deal and you will be attending a course which may have people just like you – like minded, passionate, wildlife people, training right alongside people hoping to become professional guides in the safari industry.

Your trainers will be some of the most qualified guides and guide trainers in Africa boasting degrees in wildlife, the full range of FGASA qualifications and tens-of-thousands of hours experience.

Courses last form 7 to 28 days and you will live, work and breathe in the Botswana wilderness.

This is not a classroom training course. Your training will be right in the thick of the bush… right in the center of the Okavango Delta at the Kwapa Training Camp. The learning experience is influenced by the natural beauty of the area and the habitat’s diversity. Kwapa has a combination of river channel’s, floodplains, lagoons as well as riparian woodland, savannah, mopane scrub, mopane woodland and grasslands.

The safari guide training camp on the Kwapa River is situated in the Okavango Delta of Botswana. 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.

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.

Is this for you?… are you just an interested tourist?

Absolutely YES…! Some students choose to do the courses purely for enrichment and do not write any of the qualification exams. If you are someone like this then you are not going to get closer to pure knowledge than theses trips.

All the courses are presented in the tabs below, which also give you the start dates and costs. The big thing to remember here is that you will find it difficult to find any Lodge or Mobile Tented Safari at such a low price per night…. especially with the experiences given on these Okavango Guiding Courses. Considering this, these courses really are a bargain.

Guiding Courses

Trails Guide 14 & 28 Days

 

Summary

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.

Acommodation

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 15% surcharge for single occupation.

Activities

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

Your typical week

First day: the Okavango Guiding School trainer meets all students at the PPCC Indian restaurant across the road from Maun Airport at 14h00. This allows students to arrive on international flights on the first day of the course (these flights usually land at around 13h15). The students are then taken to purchase their drinks before embarking on the 2-hour road transfer to Kwapa Camp. Please note that if any students arrive after 14h30 they will have to find accommodation in Maun and pay the U$70.00 fee for an unscheduled transfer to Kwapa Camp the following day.
 
Arriving at Kwapa Camp in the late afternoon, the rest of this first day consists primarily of orientation and familiarization of the assessment process to be used for this course. Meals - dinner
 
A typical day: Kwapa Camp, on the banks of the Kwapa River in the Okavango Delta, operates on a “duty-guide” system. Each day there are two duty-guides who will assist with wake-up calls and preparation for breakfast. One duty-guide will guide the morning activity whilst the other will guide the afternoon activity. Each activity will be approximately 3 hours. After returning from morning activity at around 10h00, there is a coffee and tea break. The Trainer will then take the duty-guide through the activity he/she has just conducted and allow this student to comment on his/her own strengths and weaknesses using the assessment document as an outline. Following this the group will discuss these points offering constructive criticism and observation. Finally, the facilitator will fill in on points he feels could have been handled differently.
At each meal, duty-guides are encouraged to host the group using acceptable hosting techniques such as leading conversation throughout the meal, making sure drinks are served and “guests” all have what they require before beginning to eat.
 
11h00 – 12h00: Lecture
12h00 – 13h00: Lunch
13h00 – 14h00: Shower and rest period.
14h00 – 15h00: Presentation by candidates (topic to be discussed with facilitator). Discussion on the content and technique of the presentation.
15h00 – 18h00: Afternoon activity/ training session
18h30 – 19h30: Review of afternoon activity/ training session
19h30 – 20h30: Dinner and daily activities finish Meals – Breakfast, lunch and dinner Last day: After your morning activity and breakfast we will return to Maun in plenty of time for those guests that have international flights.
Meals – breakfast
 
 

Whats Included

 
• Shared tented accommodation (single supplement is 15%)
• All meals at Kwapa Training Camp
• Safe drinking water, tea and coffee
• All training and activities
• Scheduled transfer from Maun to Kwapa Camp return (1 transfer in and out per student)
 
 
Nature Guide 14 & 28 Days

 

Summary

The Trails Guide Course is held at our Kwapa Training Camp on the Kwapa River in the southern Okavango Delta. Training to become a Trails Guide is physically demanding. This course comprises of four components:

1. The theory component that covers weapons safety, ballistics and information on potentially dangerous animals.  This is tested with a final theory exam towards the end of the course.
 
2. The Advanced Rifle Handling (ARH) assessment is conducted on the borders of the NG30 (Kwapa) concession. Ammunition usage is charged at the end of the course. Air rifle and muscle memory training are done daily while visits to the rifle range are done twice a week. To get a head start, watch this video clip:
http://www.guidetrainingcourses.com/get-a-head-start/watch-a-video/
Students not wanting to take part in this component are welcome to stay in camp with the camp staff.
 
3. The trails guide walking assessment that includes viewing potentially dangerous animals on foot (VPDA) is done throughout the course on daily walking activities.
 
4. Logging hours on foot; this too is done through daily walking activities.
 
It is of the utmost importance that students realise that the above requirements for a full qualification are impossible to gain in a short period of time. Much depends on the student’s shooting ability, what nature offers in the way of required encounters with potentially dangerous animals and having enough time to log sufficient hours on foot with a qualified mentor. This qualification is usually acquired over several months.
 
Many of our international students opt for this course as a life enrichment experience and get an Okavango Guiding School certificate, rather than pursuing a formal qualification through FGASA or BQA.
 

 

Acommodation

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 15% surcharge for single occupation.

 

Activities

• Game walks including approaching big game on foot
• Game driving skills
• Mokoro (dug-out canoe) poling skills – depending on water levels
• Motor boating – depending on water levels
• Theory lectures on potentially dangerous animal (PDA) behaviour and ballistics
• Tracking, navigation and survival skills
• Basic weapons handling
• Air rifle accuracy training
• Muscle memory for shooting co-ordination
• Practical shooting with large caliber rifle
• Speed shooting drills
• Speed shooting assessment – quick kill exercise; recovering from a malfunction; simulated charge
• Wilderness sleep outs

 

Your typical week

First day: the Okavango Guiding School trainer meets all students at the PPCC Indian restaurant across the road from Maun Airport at 14h00. This allows students to arrive on international flights on the first day of the course (these flights usually land at around 13h15). The students are then taken to purchase their drinks before embarking on the 2-hour road transfer to Kwapa Camp. Please note that if any students arrive after 14h00 they will have to find accommodation in Maun and pay the U$70.00 fee for an unscheduled transfer to Kwapa Camp the following day.

Arriving at Kwapa Camp in the late afternoon, the rest of this first day consists primarily of orientation and familiarization of the assessment process to be used for this course. Meals - dinner
 
Day 2: our week begins with an introduction to weapons and weapon handling and, for those with some experience, we continue with the more advanced muscle memory drills. After the rifle handling, we head out on a foot safari and return to camp for lunch. The afternoon begins with further weapon handling and is followed by an introduction to mokoro handling (depending on water levels). These traditional dug-out canoes will be an important part of the walking course, making it possible to get from island to island in absolute silence. Meals - breakfast, lunch & dinner
 
Day 3: we wake at the crack-of-dawn to do a game walk. The direction of our morning walk is often dictated by the vocal clues from our quarry at night. When we return to camp w head to the shooting range to see how our shooting skills are progressing. In the afternoon, we do weapon handling and review the video of your morning practice. These videos are done in slow motion and allow the trainer and the student to better understand any flaws in shooting technique. Meals - breakfast, lunch & dinner
 
Day 4: another early start for a morning game walk which is followed by a theory lecture on weapon safety, ballistics and/or viewing potentially dangerous game on foot. In the afternoon, we head out on the river in our motor boat (depending on water levels) and find a good area for a walking excursion and we hope to encounter some potentially dangerous game.
Meals - breakfast, lunch & dinner
 
Day 5: we take a morning game drive to the north of camp where large herds of buffalo often drift through. Hopefully with a few approaches under our belts we return to camp for lunch. In the afternoon, we begin with weapon handling drills to hone our shooting techniques and perfect our muscle memory. After our weapons "work-out" we head out on foot and continue to search for game to encounter and approach. Meals - breakfast, lunch & dinner
 
Day 6: you guessed it, the morning begins with another game walk! But the wonderful thing about the Kwapa region is that there is such a diversity of habitat that every walk is different and with each student having the opportunity to lead walks we see the bush through different eyes. We return to camp and before lunch we do a short session of weapon drills. In the afternoon, we set out for a great adventure. We pack our back-packs with the bare minimum and walk out to a favorable area where we set up our mosquito nets and make our overnight "camp". The sleep-out is a chance for ultimate intimacy with nature. With no tents, no artificial light and only the bare minimum of supplies, we enjoy the bush as our ancestors did thousands of years ago. Students take turns managing the fire and keeping guard while the other students get some sleep. Meals - breakfast, lunch & dinner
 
Day 7: we wake up in our wilderness camp and, after erasing any sign of our presence, we walk back to camp. We continue our lessons on tracking, navigation, safe walking techniques and hoping for a few good encounters before a well-earned lunch! We head out in the afternoon to the shooting range. It is time to assess what everyone has achieved in the week's shooting drills and practical shooting. After the shooting assessments, we head back to camp for dinner. Meals - breakfast, lunch & dinner
 
Subsequent days: more of the above.
 
Last day: after breakfast, we return to Maun in plenty of time for those guests that have international flights to connect with. Meals - breakfast
 
Please note: the above is just a broad outline so it can and will change depending on the guests needs, external factors and on some days it has been known to not be followed at all!

 

Whats Included

 
• Shared tented accommodation (single supplement is 15%)
• All meals at Kwapa Training Camp
• Safe drinking water, tea and coffee
• All training and activities
• Scheduled transfer from Maun to Kwapa Camp return (1 transfer in and out per student)
 
Bush Skills 7 Days

 

Summary

The Bush Skills Course is an exciting, new addition to the Okavango Guiding School Courses and developed very much for the international traveler, seeking an intimate African bush experience, full of wilderness adventure and practical information. This 7-night course at our Kwapa Camp in the southern Okavango Delta is a highlights package of the practical and theory aspects of the Nature Guide and Trails Guide Courses. This course is also an ideal introduction for those wanting to do a self-drive safari. 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 and covers basic survival skills, 4x4 driving skills, walking in the wilderness, animal tracking, dangerous mammal facts, geology of the Delta, astronomy for navigation, birds and useful plants.

 

Acommodation

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 15% surcharge for single occupation.

 

Activities

• 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

 

 

Whats Included

 
• Shared tented accommodation – unless a 15% single supplement is paid
• All meals at Kwapa Training Camp
• Well-point water, tea and coffee
• All training and activities
• Scheduled transfer from Maun to Kwapa Camp return (1 transfer in and out per student)
 

2019 rates and Dates

14 or 28 Nights

USD 3,416 (per 14 nights)

Start dates
5th April
19th April
14th June
28th June
23rd August
6th September
1st November
15th November

14 or 28 Nights

USD 3,416 (per 14 nights)

Start dates
1st March
15th March
10th May
24th May
19th July
2nd August
27th September
11th October

7 Days

USD 2,021

 Start dates
29th March
3rd May
7 June
14th June
21st June
28th June
5th July
12th July
19th July
26th July
2nd August
9th August
16th August
23rd August
30th August
6th September
13th September
20th September
25th October

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