African Bush Skills Wildlife Course $1995 per person for a week in the Botswana Bush
This wildlife and ecology skills-based course is perfect for someone wanting guide and wildlife training without the need for a professional guide's license*. All the practical aspects of wildlife and nature guiding are covered here. This course includes walking safaris, conducting informative game drives, boat and mokoro (dug-out canoe) excursions, bush sleep-outs and weapons handling. You will learn the skills of bush survival, tracking, and mammal and bird identification from the best of the best. No prior experience is required. You will receive an Okavango Guiding Certificate after completion of this course. Book here.
* Courses to get your professional guide's license and longer courses (14 and 28 day) are also available. 14-day courses are $3253 and 28-day courses are $6506 (note prices subject to change). This is great way to see Africa and learn all at the same time!
Accommodation: You will live in a 3×3 meter tent with a 2×3 meter en-suite shower and bush toilet with its own verandah. Each tent comes furnished with a camp bed, pillows, duvets and towels. A bedside light and table is provided along with a wash basin and a chair for relaxing on your verandah.
Day 1: Maun, Botswana. We depart for camp from at 14h00 and game drive to your camp, arriving about 2 hours later at your home for the week. The remainder of this day consists primarily of orientation and familiarization of the camp and course procedures that we will be following during the ensuing week.
Daily Activites: Every morning we wake-up early and have breakfast and head out into the wilderness. The route we take and the transport we used is based on the movement of the wildlife and the specific targets for the day.
Wilderness excursions are done on foot, by vehicle, by boat and dug-out canoe. We return to camp by late morning for a short lecture on one of our topics. Our lecture topics include “Wildlife and Ecology of the Okavango”, “Mammal Behavior”, “African Conservation Issues”, “Hydrology of the Okavango”, “Fascinating Birds of Botswana”, and more.
A hearty lunch is served in camp followed by time for shower, siesta and personal study time.
Tea is served in the mid-afternoon and followed by an afternoon excursion.
During the week at Kwapa Camp you will do a sleep-out where we load the bare minimum and head out by boat or mokoro to a remote island and set up a sleep-out fly-camp where we rest under the stars for the night. We return to camp before lunch the following day.
What will I learn?
- How to pole a mokoro (dug-out canoe). These canoes are the traditional means of transport in the Okavango and moving noiselessly from island to island allow us great opportunities for finding wildlife.
- Driving a 4 wheel drive. The Okavango offers some challenges when it comes to driving around. Deep water crossings and heavy sand are only some of the challenges.
- Conducting a wilderness excursion on a motor boat. The Okavango Delta is a myriad of channels, lagoons and islands and in high water the most efficient way to move around is by aluminium-hull motor boat. Weapons handling and shot placement on potentially dangerous game. This is an essential skill for guides operating on foot with a rifle and a great skill to learn.
- The ancient art of tracking. This ancient art is based on observation and deduction. It is a crucial skill in the bush.
- How to approach big game on foot and local mammal and bird species identification
- Navigating in the African wilderness. While much of the African bush looks exactly the same there are many tricks to determine direction in the wilderness and find your way back home.
- Essential survival skills and astronomy. A basic introduction of what you can eat in the wilderness, how to attain safe water and how to make fire.
Day 7: After morning activities we will return to Maun, Botswana in time for International departure flights.
**Week-long courses run June 4th-September 23rd, starting every Saturday. Please inquire for 14 and 28 day courses.