Wilderness Experience Trails Guide in Botswana

Ranger Course in the Okavango Delta

Your four-week Field Guide adventure

Discover the stunning wilderness of the Okavango Delta by foot and experience a unique outdoor adventure which enables you to explore the African bush using all of your senses. As a participant of this specific wilderness experience you will enjoy a high-quality training as a FGASA or BQA certified Trails Guide within 28 days and will explore the unique flora and fauna of this gigantic ecosystem in an incomparable way. Equipped with a rifle and binoculars and together with your international team and an experienced guide you will go on long hikes each day where you will experience the African bush in a unique way. Navigation and survival training, Mokoro and motorboat rides, tracking, stargazing and sleep-outs in the bush are part of the course as well as lectures and presentations on zoology, ecology and meteorology. You also get trained in handling a rifle properly – because a skilled Trails Guide must be able to lead safari tourists safely through the African bush by foot. The course is modular, enabling you to join the course for two or four weeks – at a time or in parts. Exploring Africa’s wild flora and fauna by foot is a very special experience and will give you the feeling of being a small part of something even greater. An unforgettable educational experience in the awe-inspiring Okavango Delta is waiting for you!

In 2014, the Okavango Delta became the 1000th site to be officially inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Since you will be located in the Southern part of the Okavango Delta, you will get to know this impressing ecosystem up close. The biggest inland delta in the world stretches with over 20.000 sq. km into one of the largest deserts in the world – the Kalahari. Each year in May the Okavango River floods a huge area and transforms the dry Kalahari landscape into an oasis of lagoons, swamps, lakes and green islands. The private, unfenced concession, in which your training camp is located, is a great place for breathtaking nature and wildlife observations. Animals like elephants, hippos, rhinos, buffalos, lions, leopards, cheetahs and hyena are the most common inhabitants of the area – a spectacular region and the perfect setting for an overwhelming 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-015
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-015
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-015
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

TIf you would like to participate in the Trails Guide course in the Okavango Delta, you must be at least 18 years old and have good English skills in order to understand instructions from your course instructor as well as the learning materials. Enthusiasm for nature and outdoor life are very important as well as the motivation to work and study actively. It is absolutely necessary to be healthy and fit since you and your group will go on long game walks in often high temperatures and waist high water carrying a heavy rifle. Do not underestimate regular shooting exercises, since they can be physically exhausting as well. With that being said, we want you to know that we need a certificate from your doctor confirming your good state of health as well as a certificate of vaccination. Moreover, you need to make sure to get foreign health 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 training as a Trails Guide

Your educational outdoor adventure

After arriving at Maun airport/Botswana, you will be picked up by an airport transfer which takes to your training camp in the Southern part of the Okavango Delta. There you can familiarize yourself with the camp facilities and meet other course participants.

During your training to become a Trails Guide you will gain skills and knowledge of a Walking Guide in the African bush. You will focus on game walks, survival training, tracking and rifle handling. Theoretical units will be part of the course just like hands-on practical training: early afternoon lessons in the camp’s own class room will provide you with knowledge about Southern Africa’s nature: by lectures and presentations in the fields of geology, ecology, astronomies, weather and climate. In the morning and in the late afternoon you will leave for the bush with your guide to train essential navigation, survival and guiding skills. This way you learn how to safely approach wild animals, how to drive a motorboat and a mokoro, how animal tracking works and you will sharp your senses during wilderness sleep-outs. The daily shooting trainings are very important since being a Trails Guide requires to lead your safari guests safely through the wild and therefore, to pay attention the entire time while roaming the African wilderness. This way you learn different shooting techniques and practice them on a regular basis. Immerse yourself into Botswana’s wild nature, gain essential guiding knowledge and experience an unforgettable outdoor adventure!

Students who take part in the course for personal enrichment will get a certificate of attendance after the course is over. Student, who would like to improve their skills on a professional level can gain three official qualifications as part of a final exam at the end:

  • BQA Lead or Back Up Trails Guide: qualification of the Botswana Training Authority (BQA)
  • FGASA Lead or Back-Up Trails Guide: qualification of the Field Guide Association of Southern Africa (FGASA). You can do the FGASA qualification as an extra together with the obligate examination for BQA certificate.
  • OGS Lead or Back-Up Trails Guide
 

Subjects covered in the course are:

  • Navigating in the African bush
  • Survival techniques
  • Tracking
  • Game drives with a 4x4 vehicle
  • Game walks including approaching big game on foot
  • Sleep-outs in the wild
  • Comprehensive training to handle guns including different shooting practices:
    • Basics weapons handling
    • Practical shooting with a large caliber rifle
    • Air rifle accuracy training
    • Muscle memory for shooting coordination
    • Speed shooting assessment
  • Theoretical units and presentations from experienced guides, especially regarding potentially dangerous animals' behaviour
  • Depending on season: motorboat 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

The Kwapa training camp, located in Southern Okavango Delta close to Qwapa River, will be your home during your time in the Trails Guide course. It is located in the centre of a fantastic wildlife area with numerous wild animals and habitats. You will be accommodated in a 3x3 meters high wall wilderness style stent which provides a bed, a night table and a LED-light. Accommodation is single but twin is available on request. Moreover, there is an ensuite-bathroom connected to the tents providing a bucket shower and a typical “bush toilet”. There also is a veranda with a pedestal sink and sitting accommodations. Besides daily meals you will be offered tea and coffee throughout the day. Tab water has drinking water quality. You can receive more drinks in camp if needed.

 

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.

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