Spend your gap year in Botswana on a guide training course at Kwapa Training Camp—situated in a private concession area in a remote and remarkably beautiful corner of the legendary Okavango Delta.
This wildlife-rich area is inhabited by lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos, rhinos and many other spectacular mammals and birds. From this location, Okavango Guiding School runs a multitude of different wildlife, ecology and guide training courses for international travellers. Most ‘students’ participate in our courses for an adventurous learning experience and not because they want to pursue a career in guiding. Classes are small and intimate, with a maximum of 8 learners per course. The minimum training period is one week and the maximum length is two months.
Our courses are based on a sponsorship model whereby we choose a dynamic, young and motivated local to join the course free of charge. The local Botswana students bring a wealth of knowledge on the history, culture and traditions of the country and in return are given the opportunity of a lifetime: to receive the training they could otherwise never afford and, more importantly, a foot in the door for a career that will last a lifetime.
The Botswana Guide Course
Our Botswana Guides Course covers the full syllabus of the National Guiding Qualification in Botswana, with subjects such as astronomy, geology, mammal behaviour, bird identification and much, much more. Some students choose to sit the national guide license exam at the end of the course.
The practical component of the course includes the chance to learn learn:
- How to operate a 4 wheel drive vehicle on tricky terrain.
- Pole mokoros (dug-out canoes).
- How to lead walking safaris.
- Survival and tracking techniques.
- How to conduct boating safaris in the Okavango.
The full course is 28 days but can be completed in 14-day modules.
Trails Guide Course
Our Trails Guide Course focuses on teaching our students the fascinating skills used by trail guides throughout Africa. We teach you everything there is to know about high-speed shooting of large calibre rifles, how to track wildlife in the African bush and how to safely approach potentially dangerous animals using wind, structure and cover.
We use motor boats or mokoros to access remote islands in the Okavango where we conduct our walks and also have the opportunity to explore the area by game-drive vehicle. This course can be done as a 2 week or 4 week course and those with the time and budget often choose to do it back-to-back with the Botswana Guides Course and thus gain experience (and where sought qualifications) in both.
Bush Skills Course
For too long the Okavango Guiding School courses have been beyond the reach of many due to time constraints. However, our new Bush Skills Course is a perfect one-week highlights package of the amazing skills that safari guides use in their daily lives to amaze their guests.
For active people with a passion for wildlife and the outdoors, Okavango Guiding School offers the best way to experience the wilderness. Our courses in Botswana teach people more than just how to be a safari guide on their gap year — our students learn essential life skills such as teamwork, leadership, communication skills, empathy and other traits that are essential in almost any vocation. This exceptional learning adventure does not only better our international students, it also uplifts local communities by giving aspiring and less privileged people an opportunity at a better life through a rewarding career.
This article was in partnership with Okavango Guiding School