Wilderness Experience Basic Field Guide Training in Botswana

Educational Course in the Okavango Delta

Your four-week Field Guide adventure

Experience a unique educational adventure amidst the breathtaking nature of the Okavango Delta and become a certified FGASA or BQA Field Guide within 28 days. Your classroom – the biggest inland delta in the world – happens to be the perfect place for your basic training to become a ranger due to its different ecosystems and impressive wildlife. The course consists of theoretical and practical units in which you will gain basic knowledge about ecology, geology, zoology, climate and weather as well as competences in bush navigation, tracking, handling a gun and guiding by foot, boat, Mokoro and all-terrain vehicle. Always by your side: experienced guides, who will teach you all the secrets of flora and fauna and who will give their expert knowledge to you during theoretical lessons and regular game walks and game drives. The course is modular, enabling you to join the course for two or four weeks – at a time or in parts. Be part of a unique wilderness experience and gain rare knowledge about nature and basic skills of a real field guide while being surrounded by unspoiled nature of famous Okavango Delta!

The camp you will be living in during the course is located in the Okavango Delta which was officially inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2014. Being the biggest inland delta in the world, it stretches about 20.000 sq. km into the Kalahari – one of the biggest deserts worldwide. Each year in May, the Okavango floods a huge area and transforms the dry Kalahari Desert into a lush green landscape of swamps, lakes, lagoons and islands. The private, unfenced concession area in which your camp is situated is a perfect place for stunning nature and wildlife observations. Resident on the concession are lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog, white rhinoceros, elephant, buffalo, hippo and much more – an impressive region providing a suitable setting for your personal educational adventure.

Services Our Services

Included

  • Placement in the course
  • Training manual
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Classroom hours
  • Assistance with selecting travel insurance
  • Excursions
  • Assistance with booking flights
  • Game walks
  • Pre-departure information pack
  • Game drives
  • Airport pick up and drop off
  • English speaking support by long-term experienced staff
  • Accommodation in tents during the course
  • 24/7 support throughout the course
  • All meals during the course
  • Certificate
  • Drinking water, tea, coffee

Not included

  • Flights
  • FGASA/BQA registration and exam fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Further beverages (e.g. liquors, soft drinks, bottled water)
  • Visa fees
  • Personal expenses and optional excursions

4 weeks | Module I + II

Start DateDurationCostNATUCATE-ID W.AF-014
28 Days 5.500 €

The prices stated in euros are approximate values. Due to sharp fluctuations in the exchange rate of the US dollar, all prices will be calculated at the time of enquiry.


Giving something back: As part of their social responsibility programme our partner in Botswana sponsors one citizen trainee to join every four-week course that is conducted (with four or more students).

2 weeks | Module I

Start DateDurationCostNATUCATE-ID W.AF-014
14 Days 2.700 €

The prices stated in euros are approximate values. Due to sharp fluctuations in the exchange rate of the US dollar, all prices will be calculated at the time of enquiry.


Giving something back: As part of their social responsibility programme our partner in Botswana sponsors one citizen trainee to join every four-week course that is conducted (with four or more students).

2 Wochen | Modul II

Start DateDurationCostNATUCATE-ID W.AF-014
14 Days 2.700 €

The prices stated in euros are approximate values. Due to sharp fluctuations in the exchange rate of the US dollar, all prices will be calculated at the time of enquiry.


Giving something back: As part of their social responsibility programme our partner in Botswana sponsors one citizen trainee to join every four-week course that is conducted (with four or more students).

Requirements

Requirements

To participate in the basic field guide training in the Okavango Delta you must be at least 18 years old and have advanced English skills to be able to understand the course materials and instructions of your guide. Furthermore, it is important to be enthusiastic about nature and outdoor life and to be willing to work and learn actively. You need to be physically fit since you will take part in long hikes in the bush every day. With that said, it is important for you to know that we need a certificate from your doctor confirming your good state of health as well as a certificate of vaccination. Additionally, you need make sure to get travel insurance before departing to Botswana.

 

Everyone interested in the courses Professional Field Guide, Field Guide Level 1, Basic Field Guide Training, Safari Guide and Trails Guide should be aware that these courses aim at educating the participants. The courses have a set content and deal with a variety of topics that are introduced in English. A number of theoretical and practical examinations as well as presentations in English are part of the learning experience and can be challenging for non-native speakers. Please note that the courses are not simply safari excursions but require effort. But if you are interested and also willing to learn something completely new, the challenges and tasks will be manageable for you. You should not get discouraged – feel free to contact us so we can discuss the detailed learning plan and explain the general procedure of the courses to you.

Details Your basic training as a ranger

Your field guide course

After your arrival at Maun airport/Botswana you will be picked up and taken to your training camp in the Southern Okavango Delta. There you can become familiar with the camp facilities and meet other participants.

During your basic training to become a ranger, experienced guides will teach you topics like geology, ecology, hydrology, astronomies and weather and climate of Botswana and give you share their expert knowledge with you. You will acquire important navigation skills as well as bush survival skills to be able to orient yourself in the African bush. In addition to that you will be taught the ancient art of tracking and be introduced to Botswana’s flora and fauna. Depending on the season you will be practicing how to navigate a motoring boat or a Mokoro, a traditional dugout canoe in Southern Africa and common transportation on the Okavango. During long game walks and game drives you will be taken deeply into the African bush, increase your knowledge and hopefully experience unique wildlife sightings. During the course you will participate in wilderness sleep-out under the incomparable African night sky – this does not only sharpen your senses but also gives you the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge in astronomies. Since it is important to always pay attention when roaming in the bush, you will also get trained in handling a gun to protect yourself. Most of the time your day begins before sunrise: after having a light breakfast, you will leave for Botswana’s wilderness to explore the local flora and fauna. Around noon you will return to the camp, have lunch and a short break and will take part in theoretical lessons. In the late afternoon there will be a second game walk or drive in order to test the skills you have just gained before leaving for the camp at dusk.

Students, who join the course due to personal gain, will receive a certificate of attendance after the course is finished. Students, who would like to improve skills on a professional level, can acquire two official qualifications as part of a final exam at the end of the course:

  • BQA – level 2: qualification of Botswana Training Authority (BQA), which allows absolvents to work as guides in Botswana.
  • FGASA – level 1: qualification of Field Guide Association of Southern Africa (FGASA), which allows absolvents to work as guides in South Africa. If you would like to take the FGASA Level 1 test, you you must complete the pre-course workbooks and prepare the required lecture material. In addition, you need to take the four-week course – you can do it in units instead doing it in one session.
 

Subjects covered in the course are:

  • Practical, hands-on experience of navigation in the African wilderness
  • Bush survival skills
  • Tracking
  • Zoology, animal identification (especially birds and mammals)
  • Weapons/Guns handling
  • Game drives with a 4x4 vehicle
  • Game walks and wilderness sleep-outs
  • Stargazing and astronomy
  • Theoretical units and presentations from experienced guides regarding the topics geology, ecology, hydrology, astronomy, weather and climate
  • Depending on season: motor boating excursions
  • Depending on season: mokoro expeditions
 

We realise that some of the people in our projects in Southern Africa want to see as many animals as possible in their natural environment. However, this is dependent on a number of factors. Please note that NATUCATE cannot guarantee that you will see a variety of animals, in particular the big five, as nature doesn’t always give us what we want. To make such a guarantee would be unprofessional and against our corporate philosophy.


Accommodation

Accommodation

Together with other course participants you will be living in the Kwapa training camp, which is located in Southern Okavango Delta near Qwapa River. Your camp is located in a fantastic wildlife area, which is characterized by a stunning animal and habitat diversity. You will be sleeping in a 3x3 meters high wall wilderness style stent which provides a bed, a bed table and a LED-light. Usually, each participant has their own tent – upon request you can get accommodated with a partner, though. The tents are connected to an ensuite-bathroom which provides a typical “bush toilet” and a bucket shower. There also is a large verandah with a stand-basin and a relaxing chair. You will be provided with three daily meals, and also receive coffee and tea throughout the day. The tab water has drinking water quality and you can buy additional drinks in the camp.

 

Everybody interested in volunteering abroad should be able to adjust to entirely unfamiliar standards of living in their future host country. Therefore, we would like to point out the importance of being flexible and adaptable regarding the accommodation and sanitary facilities provided by the project. Those are very basic and – depending on the project – cannot be compared to European standards. The equipment and furnishings are limited to a minimum; air conditioning is not available. Depending on your host country occasional power blackouts or water outages are quite common. Please contact us if you have further questions about your accommodation. We are pleased to provide you with comprehensive information since we would like you to feel entirely prepared for your time abroad.

Got questions? — We'll call you back