Basic Field Guide Training Botswana – Alexandra
Alexandra spent 4 weeks in Botswana's awe-inspiring Okavango Delta to enjoy a four-week Field Guide training. In her feedback she reveals more about her time
Project: Basic Field Guide Training in the Okavango Delta/Botswana
Location: Camp Kwapa/Botswana
Duration: End of September until end of October 2019 – 4 weeks
Support from the Natucate team:
Basic Field Guide Training in Botswana – Feedback: Seven questions for Alexandra
1) Could you give us a brief overview of your activities in the course?
I was a participant in the Basic Field Guide Training. The course is exhausting, but since a lot of fun and new knowledge are involved as well, you won’t notice that before falling into bed at the end of an exciting day.
The day consists of different components. Getting up, small breakfast, game drive with breakfast (possibly with you as "guide") or a bush walk, classroom unit, lunch, lunch/learning time (break), classroom unit, game drive (possibly with you as "guide"), sitting briefly by the fire, dinner, possibly sitting briefly by the fire, bed. There are also pauses between the units, depending on how time allows. I met lots of interesting people in the course (different age/nationalities) and we got along great (after all, all of us are nature lovers!). It was a very good team spirit.
2) What were the biggest challenges for you during the course?
To be on the tracker seat because my legs are too short (especially on one vehicle this doesn't work, unfortunately)
3) Was there something you liked most? Or something you remember particularly negatively?
GOOD: The fantastic lessons (and game drives/bushwalks) given by Julian, the instructor. I also found the sleep-outs particularly good and very instructive. I wouldn’t mind doing this every week. Negative: at the end of the four weeks I couldn't see any "minced meat" anymore.
4) Did you have certain expectations before you travelled to the course?
Expectation: to gain more knowledge about nature and to have the opportunity to experience lots of special wilderness moments = expectation fulfilled. There might be a few more bush walks (if the outside temperature allows it).
5) Have you done anything in your free time that you can recommend to future participants?
Since the heat was quite intense, I learned and slept during the day in a wet shirt under a damp sheet. Works great and also keeps the flies away.
6) What tips would you give to other participants?
To read in the dark: Kindle Paperwhite (you can download the manual of Natucate's partner and other textbooks), then you don't need any light in your tent. If you have already learned/read in advance (the OSG Manual/Ranger's Backpack), you have definitely an advantage and you are less confused. The birdcalls are already trying to learn in advance: download the bird app "Roberts Bird App" onto your mobile phone! A really good (lumen strong) stick torch (as small as possible) and possibly also a headlamp pack. You should bring along good binoculars (e.g. 10x42). You don't have to bring any books. There is a bookshelf which is well equipped and also includes the manual of the partner. In the hot season, a wet/moist scarf (if you have taken one with you) will help.
7) Can you estimate how many additional costs you had on site?
Incl. drinks and wifi approx. 1300 Pula for four weeks
Enjoy an unforgettable Field Guide training amidst the breathtaking wilderness of South Africa's Eastern Cape