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Safari Guide Training

You are on foot in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, walking in a small group. Fresh lion tracks lie in the sand ahead of you; a herd of elephants is moving into sight. Hippos snort from the river. Everyone’s eyes turn to you: it’s your call – which direction do you take? After all, you are the guide.

Close encounters on a walking safari guide training

Decision time: safari guide training teaches you how to react in these situations.

Safari guide training is rapidly gaining popularity as an alternative to a traditional safari. Instead of sitting in the back of a 4X4 and listening to all the information, travellers are now immersing themselves in experience by learning, training and practicing how to become professional safari guides. And although it’s unlikely that many will end up as a full-time professional guide, the training is both fascinating and challenging, equipping the participant with valuable, practical life skills.

Wilderness sleep out on a safari guide training

Getting ready to cook supper the old-fashioned way.

The learning environment is the real deal. This is not something you can do online or in a conference room: our favourite safari guide training is offered by African Guide Academy in the Okavango Delta. Recognised by FAGASA (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa) and BQA (Botswana Qualifications Authority), their training ground is a landscape of open savannah and forest crossed by clear-flowing rivers and home to vast sprawling wetlands. It’s an area famous for its bio-diversity and supports large populations of elephant, buffalo, lion and other big cats. There are no tarred roads in the delta; transport is by light plane, 4X4 and traditional canoe.

If you’re going to learn to be a safari guide, it may as well be here.

Poling mekoros in the Okavango Delta

The easiest way to get around the Okavango Delta is often by mokoro, the local canoe.

The full guide training is a month-long course so it is offered in modular form – shorter blocks of skills training – which you can book individually. The various modules cover topics such as tracking, 4X4 driving, use of a firearm and first aid in the bush. You’ll have to wade through water, light campfires and cook on them, and recognise nature’s alarm calls – birds, squirrels and antelope warning of approaching predators.

Specialist birding skills on a safari guide training

The training is thorough – this is part of the Specialist Birding module.

There’s no need for prior experience; you just need to be relatively fit and with an adventurous spirit and a deep love for nature. There are plenty of resources available from the academy to provide you with a solid background knowledge before you start, enabling you to spend more time in the field with the basics already under your belt.

And there’s another reason a safari guide training course is a good idea: at the African Guide Academy, a local trainee guide is included on the course. Thanks to your investment, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is given to a promising young man or woman who may well end up guiding professionally, forming part of the local green economy. Think of it as a mechanism to ultimately protect and preserve the Okavango Delta.

Sundowners on a safari guide training

Safari guide training is also fun & you’ll make lifelong friends.

This win-win combination of tourism and conservation can also be seen in South Africa where great progress has been made in the fight against rhino horn poaching.

Rhino conservation on a safari guide training

When they say ‘hands-on’ conservation work at Marataba, they mean it.

The malaria-free Marataba Private Reserve offers a rhino conservation safari where you mix game drives and boat cruises with conservation field work. And to complete the circle nicely, Marataba also has a Field Guide College, offering FAGASA-recognised courses ranging from a week to a year.

Hands-on Expertise

  • We’re based in Africa
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  • Knowledgeable team
  • Expect great customer service

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Professional, quick and top of the edge service!!!

From the very first contact we’re very happy about the respond time and quality of information from safari-online.com. Based on the received first tailor-made quote, which is a weblink with all the details about the flights, photos of the lodges etc. we knew that this is “our” partner for this trip. Our expectations were excelled!!!

Lukas (Germany)
Safari Online made our fantastic family holiday dream come true!!

Safari Online have been nothing but professional and incredible from the time we made our first enquiry to the last day of our stunning holiday. Nothing was too much trouble for Walter. We are now starting to plan our next family Safari for 2019. Guess who we will be booking with??? Safari Online we hope you are ready!!!!!

Penni (AU)
Karina was absolutely instrumental to our safari success.

Our experience with Safari Online was excellent. After becoming very frustrated trying to search for a safari destination on our own, we turned to Karina for help and she was a lifesaver.  We had an amazing safari adventure at the lodge–the experience of a lifetime–and are so grateful for her help. We literally couldn’t have done it without her!

Chris (USA)
Very helpful good suggestions for holiday ideas always available for questions good organising

Excellent service and they supplied good suggestions for our holiday they also organised all internal flights and arranged check in for us so we had no worries while on holiday. We have had a most memorable holiday staying at wonderful places thanks to Sabrina and Safari Online. Would recommend Safari Online to organise your holiday.

Lorraine (UK)
Professional, patient, efficient and responsive. Met all our travel needs and requirements spot on

Communication was excellent – I asked A LOT of questions and did a ton of research myself and Walter was extremely patient with me and very responsive. he was straight forward and extremely professional. Tour itself was excellent – an incredible experience and one never to be forgotten. Everything was spot on.

Best trip I have ever been on. Highly recommend.

Would highly recommend. Safari online asked questions when booking and were efficient and knew exactly what we were looking for in terms of accommodation and animals were wanted to see. Gave advice on a few little extras with no pressure, which we did and am very grateful which make trip even more exciting. Would definitely recommend booking with them.

It was a safari of a lifetime and exceeded all of our expectations!

Our mom grew up in Central and South Africa so we had visited the continent many times. My sister and I wanted to take our teens and husbands to Africa to experience the magic. We had a limited budget but big and specific expectations and by some miracle Walter was able to manage both.

Heather (USA)
Walter has always been an excellent communicator and has supported us fully

We have been to Africa for 24 of the last 27 years so know a bit about what is involved. Walter has arranged the details for the last couple of years, and has done a superb job. He is always quick to respond and comes up with answers immediately……..no evasive tactics, always head-on!

Roger (UK)
Safari Online were extremely efficient and absolutely charming to work with.

Our 28-day itinerary took us to South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana. A magnificent and unforgettable adventure. Everything ran smoothly and efficiently from the flights, transfers, rides, connections, etc. Absolutely wonderful! Can’t thank them enough!

Ann and Mario (Canada)
An incredibly well organised tour with no hassles whatsoever.

Safari Online understood our needs and was able to present us with sensible options to choose from. It was evident that this tour operator has knowledgable and experienced agents who can arrange a seemless tour. We were provided with a professional online itinary which was comprehensive and easy to use, knew exactely what to expect, and encountered no stumble blocks along the way.

Gwen (AU)