Trails Guide course (part 1 & 2)

Ranger training in the Okavango Delta — our most challenging course

Trails Guide course (part 1 & 2)

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Encounters in the wild are intentional! We learn how to handle them safely.
We spend a lot of time hiking in the bush. That is the best way to get very close to Africa.
The safe use of rifles and ammunition must be learned.
Safe driving in the off-road 'Game Viewers' is a training topic in the Trails Guide course
If the delta carries enough water, observing wildlife from the water is also a lesson topic.

Travel details


Why take a wilderness guide course...?

There is no better way to experience the African bush than to dive into the wilderness on foot. The intricacies of nature are often overlooked when traveling in a vehicle. It is something very special to practice the ancient art of tracking and hiking in the midst of Africa's big game.

You'll learn how to approach potentially dangerous wildlife on foot using wind and cover to disguise your presence. Every nuance of behavior becomes important, and you learn to read the wild animals in a way that is not possible in a vehicle.

Trail guide training is more physically demanding than typical nature guide courses. Every day, you'll do muscle memory exercises to learn and perfect shot coordination, and you'll run long distances through the bush. Muscle fatigue is part of the experience.

Icon Kleingruppenreise
Traveling with a small group
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Individual trip - booked especially for you
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Accommodation in Hotels & Lodges
icon Zelt
icon Lodge und Hotel
Mixed accommodation in hotels & lodges and camping
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Round trip in a rental car
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Round trip with a rental off-road vehicle
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Round trip in a minibus
Icon Safari Truck
Round trip in a special safari bus
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Round trip with a driver in a car
Icon Beteiligung erwünscht
You should take part in this trip, for example when preparing food or doing the dishes
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No involvement in set-up, meal preparation, etc. is expected during this trip.
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This trip includes a course or training






Map of tour

Course length:

14 or 28 nights

Starting point:

The meeting point is opposite Maun Airport at 14:00 on the first day of the course. The time is chosen so that international arrivals can be adjusted


This course takes place at Kwapa Trails Camp. The Meru-style tents have a private bathroom with a bucket shower and bush toilet. Each tent is equipped with two camp beds, sheets, pillows, duvet and towels. There is a battery-powered LED lamp in the tents. The covered veranda has a sink and camping chairs.


  • Game walks — including approaching big game on foot
  • Game drives
  • Navigation and search for clues
  • Overnight in the wilderness
  • Star gazing/astronomy
  • Theory talks with PowerPoint presentations
  • Mokoro trips (dugout canoe) - depending on water level
  • Motorboating - depending on the water level
  • Theory lectures on the behavior of potentially dangerous animals (PDA) and ballistics
  • Tracking, navigation and survival techniques
  • Basic weapon handling
  • Shooting training with an air rifle
  • Practical shooting with the large caliber rifle
  • Fast-shot exercises
  • Evaluation of fast shooting - quick kill exercise; recovery from malfunction; simulated attack

Who should take this course?

  • People who want to reconnect with themselves and are looking for an authentic bush experience that helps them recharge, renew and restart
  • Experienced safari visitors who are now looking for a deeper, more holistic experience in the African wilderness
  • School and/or university graduates looking for life-changing time off
  • People with a sense of adventure who are looking for more than just a typical backpacking experience
  • Prospective guides
  • Experienced guides who want to further expand their knowledge and skills

Important: Even as a participant who is not seeking certification, you must complete a minimum of exams and game drives. This is not a cheap safari, it is a tour guide school.

Objectives and qualifications of participants:

If you are not seeking certification or the BQA qualification, no previous experience is required for this course. For FGASA qualification, however, participants must have successfully completed the Field Guide NQR2 qualification. When booking, it is important that you know what your goal is by taking this course:

  • For personal training only:
    Many participants only attend this course for personal gain. In order to maintain the integrity of this structured course, all participants are required to write the daily retests and a final theory test. All students also receive a certificate of participation from the African Guide Academy.
    If you want
  • qualifications:
    Two qualifications are offered that are similar to each other and students can either or both the FGASA qualification and the BQA qualification (Botswana Qualification Authority). There are daily retests for both and a final theory test for both.
    If you want
    1. FGASA backup or lead trails guide: This is the Field Guide Association of Southern Africa and is the national qualification for hiking guides in South Africa. Qualification used in South Africa. Please note: To qualify for the FGASA Trails Guide (backup or lead), you must have successfully completed the Field Guide qualification and complete the FGASA Trails Guide workbooks before the course. It is the participant's responsibility to contact FGASA directly and organize the registration and shipping of the books to achieve this. It is advisable to do this as early as possible as shipping can take a very long time. To obtain the FGASA certificate, you must also complete the full 28 days of training, but this doesn't have to be done in one session and can take place over a longer period of time. You will take the theory exam in the last days of the course at Kwapa Camp. The practical exam is carried out over the course of 4 weeks - depending on your progress, you will be considered competent in the required areas. The final exam takes place in the last days of the course.
    If you want
    If you want2. BQA backup and lead trails guide: This is the Botswana Training Authority qualification, which is the national qualification for Botswana. You will take your theory exam in the last days of the course at Kwapa Camp. Your practical exam is carried out over 2 or 4 weeks - depending on your progress, you will be considered competent in the required areas. The final exam is carried out in the last days of the course. Please note that to obtain a wildlife guide license in Botswana, you need a valid work and residence permit and must have at least 5 years of management experience outside Botswana and a BQA level 3 naturalist guide qualification.

You should have sufficient English language skills have and are generally in good fitness.


First day: The trainer from the African Guide Academy meets all participants at the Indian restaurant PPCC opposite Maun Airport at 14:00 This allows students to arrive on international flights on the first day of the course (flights usually arrive at 1:15 p.m.). Students are then taken to buy drinks before taking the 2-hour road transfer to Kwapa Camp. Please note that students who arrive after 14:00 will look for accommodation in Maun and pay the U$70.00 for an unscheduled transfer to Kwapa Camp the next day. After arriving at Kwapa Camp in the late afternoon, the rest of the first day consists primarily of orientation and introduction to the assessment process used for this course.
Meals: dinner

Day 2: Our week starts with an introduction to weapons and weapon handling, and for those who already have some experience, we continue with advanced muscle memory exercises. After handling the rifle, we go on a foot safari and return to camp for lunch. The afternoon begins with further weapon handling, followed by an introduction to how to use the Mokoro (depending on the water level). These traditional dugout canoes are an important part of the course and make it possible to travel from island to island in absolute silence.
Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 3: We wake up very early to go on a game drive. The direction of our morning migration is often driven by loud clues from our nocturnal prey. After returning to camp, we head to the shooting range to see how our shooting skills are developing. In the afternoon, we practice using weapons and watch the video of the morning training. These videos are shot in slow motion and enable the trainer and the student to better understand any mistakes in shooting technique.
Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 4: Another early start for a morning game drive, followed by a theory talk about gun safety, ballistics and/or monitoring of potentially dangerous game on foot. In the afternoon, we take our motorboat out onto the river (depending on the water level) and choose a good area for ourselves, a good area for a hike, during which we will hopefully encounter potentially dangerous game.
Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 5: We go on a morning game drive to the north of the camp, where large herds of buffalo often pass by. With hopefully a few approximations, we'll return to camp for lunch. In the afternoon, we practice gun handling exercises to improve our shooting techniques and perfect our muscle memory. After “weapons training”, we set off on foot and continue to search for wild animals that we can observe.
Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 6: You guessed it, morning starts with another game hike! The wonderful thing about the Kwapa region is that there is such a diversity of habitats that every hike is different and every student has the opportunity to lead a hike. We return to camp and do a short exercise with weapons before lunch. In the afternoon, we set off on a big adventure. We pack our backpacks with the bare essentials and go to a special area where we hang up our mosquito nets and set up camp for the night.” An overnight stay is an opportunity for ultimate intimacy with nature. Without tents, without artificial lighting and only equipped with the bare essentials, we enjoy the bush like our ancestors did thousands of years ago. The participants take turns looking after the fire and guarding while the other participants rest.
Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 7: We wake up in our wilderness camp and, having removed all traces of our presence, hike back to camp. We're continuing our lessons on tracking, navigation, and safe walking techniques and hope for a few good encounters before we treat ourselves to a well-deserved lunch! We make our way to the shooting range in the afternoon. It is time to evaluate what everyone has achieved in shooting practice and practical shooting this week. After evaluating the shooting practice, we drive back to camp for dinner.
Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

On the following days: more of the above.

Last day: After breakfast, we will return to Maun in time so that guests who have booked international flights can also reach them.
Meals: breakfast

Please note that this is only a rough overview, which can and will change depending on the needs of guests and external factors.


Kwapa Camp - Okavango Delta - 14 or 28 nights


If you want2023:
EUR 4,030.00
per person per module (14 nights) in a double tent
(single tent supplement: EUR 605.00)

upon request

Included in the tour price

  • Accommodation in tents
  • All meals at Kwapa Camp
  • Drinking water, tea and coffee
  • All training and activities
  • A scheduled transfer from Maun to Kwapa Camp and back

Not included in the tour price

  • Unscheduled transfers to/from Kwapa Camp
  • Munitions
  • Travel insurance
  • All flights
  • Personal items, including toiletries
  • Tips for staff
  • FGASA/ BQA registration and examination fees

Drinks other than those mentioned above can be purchased in Maun before leaving for Kwapa Camp

Minimum number of participants

The course is conducted with only 4 to a maximum of 8 participants (plus the sponsored local participant).


Module A = part 1 (14 days)
Module B = 2nd part (14 days)

Course dates 2023

Module A: 24.03.2023 - 07.04.2023
Module B: 07.04.2023 - 21.04.2023

Module A: 19.05.2023 - 02.06.2023
Module B: 02.06.2023 - 16.06.2023

Module A: 14.07.2023 - 28.07.2023
Module B: 28.07.2023 - 11.08.2023

Module A: 08.09.2023 - 22.09.2023
Module B: 22.09.2023 - 06.10.2023

Module A: 03.11.2023 - 17.11.2023
Module B: 17.11.2023 - 01.12.2023

Course dates 2024

upon request


For every four-week course we run, AGA sponsors a local guide!

To preserve our unique habitat for future generations, we give back to local communities by sponsoring a dedicated local guide for every four-week course we run for international students. Last year, AGA donated more than 50,000 US dollars to train local communities that are ultimately the custodians of one of Africa's last remaining true wilderness areas.

More information

Trails Guide course (part 1 & 2)

Detailed information

All information about the exact itinerary, accommodation, routes and sights can be found here:
Detailed Itinerary *Detailed Itinerary*

* Detailed itinerary
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This offer is for People with reduced mobility not suitable. But here too, the following applies: Please contact us. We can customize your trip for you, even taking into account any mobility restrictions.


We strongly advise you to take out international health insurance, which also covers repatriation to your home country. Through our partner, we offer you appropriateInsurances On.

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