Basic Field Guide Training Botswana – Birgit
Birgit successfully passed the basic field guide training amidst the Okavango Delta's breathtaking wilderness. Learn more about her time in Botswana.
Project: Basic Field Guide Training in the Okavango Delta/Botswana
Locations: Camp Kwapa/Botswana
Duration: End of September until end of October 2018 – 4 weeks
Support from the Natucate team:
Basic Field Guide Training in Botswana – Feedback: Six questions for Birgit
1) Could you give us a brief overview of your activities in the course?
The course was designed in such a way that we took over the role of a guide for our classmates basically from the second day on. One was either divided as a guide for the morning or the afternoon.
This included: checking on the guests' expectations, planning and preparing the route, waking the guests in the morning, checking the jeep's driving safety before each ride. During the game drive we were both driver and guide, explaining to the guests what to see, keeping an eye on their well-being and hosting them during the tea breaks.
If not a guide, one slipped into the role of the guest and was allowed to enjoy the ride. In the best case (which often happened) the game drives were designed as common and extremely exciting learning experiences. After each drive there was a valuable feedback round.
Then, of course, there were learning times to prepare for the exam, especially around lunch time, followed by lectures (approx. 1 ½ hours), before we went on another game drive in the afternoon. As a so-called duty student you were responsible for preparing breakfast – but we didn't have to cook ourselves.
2) What was the biggest challenge for you during the course?
My biggest challenge – especially at the end of the course – was to find my place as a participant who decided not to take the exam. Besides, it was not always easy to find a bit of free time / time for yourself as the days and schedules were extremely tight if you didn't take yourself out of the group action.
3) Was there something you liked most? Or something you remember particularly negatively?
My expectation was to experience way more bush walks instead of spending so much time in the off-road vehicle. I would have liked a more balanced mix here. However, learning so much was more than great – not only about nature on site, but also about things like communication, group management and feedback culture, as well as practical things that you might need everyday like patching up car tyres. A little more knowledge transfer about the history and society of Botswana would be fantastic, though.
4) Have you done anything in your free time that you can recommend to future participants?
Free time was more than limited. And don’t expect to be able to freely move around outside the camp in the bush by yourself as it would be too dangerous.
5) What recommendations would you give to other participants who want to do the course?
If I decided to take this course again, I would definitely take the exam at the end. Especially at the end, the course itself, the group dynamics and everyday life are dominated by learning for the exam.
6) Can you estimate how many additional costs you had on site?
I spent about 50 Euro on drinks.
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