Are you looking for a little more adventure than your average safari, wanting to learn life changing skills or gainer a deeper understanding of the African Bush? If any of these apply, a course at the Okavango Guiding School could be a holiday you will never forget.
What courses are offered at the Okavango Guiding School
The seven-day bush skills course is the most popular with International visitors providing a condensed taster of many of the skills required for guiding and is very practical. However, there is also the longer Nature Guide Course which covers the entire syllabus and practical evaluation to qualify as a guide in Botswana and South Africa. The Trails Guide Course teaches skills needed for walking guides in the bush and therefore has a strong emphasis on walking, tracking, survival and weapons handling.
What does a typical day look like
All students take it in turn to carry out the camp wake-up call where a polite good morning is accompanied with hot water for an early morning freshen-up. Breakfast is communal and the itinerary for the day ahead is discussed. There is normally a mixture of class room activity such as learning about species and how to identify them by tracks and call sign’s and practical activities in and around the camp such as learning to drive a 4×4 vehicle, poll a mokoro, walk safely in the bush or approach potentially dangerous animals on foot. No one day is ever the same and activities will often be dictated by what wildlife is roaming around the camp. There is also usually one night where the group will camp out in the bush and cook supper over an open fire
What Flora and Fauna am I likely to see
Kwapa, where the school is based has a combination of river channel’s, floodplains, lagoons as well as riparian woodland, savannah, mopane scrub, climax mopane woodland and grasslands. There are good numbers of elephant, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, kudu, impala, reedbuck and other herbivores. A trip to the Guide School must not be confused with a safari, participants are there to study and learn, rather than watch animals from a vehicle, however most students enjoy some great sightings.
What can I expect from the accommodation?
Accommodation is in wilderness tents furnished with camp beds made up with sheets, pillows and a duvet. All tents are en-suite with a plumbed in toilet and a bucket shower. There is also an exterior veranda with a chair conveniently positioned for reading or having a quiet beer whilst listening to the surrounding wildlife. Accommodation can be single or twin.
How is the food
Breakfast is simple with hot porridge, toast, cereals and fruit. Lunch will consist of healthy salads with cheese, ham and baked bread. Dinner is a delicious hearty meal, often reflecting local Africa cuisine with plenty of vegetables. There are vegan and vegetarian options available.
Tell me a little about the students
The school appeals to curious and active people with a passion for nature and a desire to gain a deeper insight into the fascinating local ecology and ancient skills many cultures have long forgotten. Some sign up as part of a gap year or a well needed break away from the monotony of the office or many just crave simply more adventurous safari holiday.
Will there be phone or internet reception
No, you will be off the grid.
What qualifications will I receive
Whilst all students receive a certificate from the Bush Skills course, there is no formal qualification attached. However the longer Nature Guide and Trails Guide courses there are formal qualifications that count towards a career in guiding.
What’s included in the price
The Bush Skills Course starts from US$2,021 and the Nature Guide and Trails Guide Courses start from US$3,416. These include accommodation, food and soft drinks, transfers from Maun and all activities. Alcohol can be purchased at the camp or guests can bring their own.