“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged
to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”
A deep love of the African bush was the defining factor in the founding of the Okavango Guiding School. Our core of passionate guides were motivated by the need to train generations of new custodians of this delicate and threatened ecosystem. We aimed to create an environment where we could share our knowledge and experience and imbie tohers with a love of the area and all it represents.
Based in Maun the school developed a training camp in the Kwapa region of the Okavango. This pristine wilderness area is exclusive to the guiding school and is courtesy of &Beyond who support the development of guides in Botswana by making this wilderness area available to students of the bush. The school has also developed strong roots in the Tuli Region through the dedication and commitment of Tuli Safari Lodge with which Okavango Guiding School has strong ties.
The Okavango Guiding School was the first independent guiding school to be registered and accredited by the Botswana Training Authority (BOTA). The company is owned by a family of naturalists who for 3 generations have explored and studied the wilderness areas of Southern Africa. Both Brent and Grant Reed have lived, guided and trained in the Okavango for the past 15 years and it is this experience that sets us apart.
Mission and Vision
MissionOur mission is to facilitate the development of skills and knowledge of guides, and to inspire each and every guide to strive to become the best that they can be.
Our vision is to replicate the success of our Botswana training facilities, and hand in hand with the tourism industries in other countries, to develop a higher standard of guiding for Africa, country by country.
Leaders of the Pack
The success of the guiding school can be attributed to many factors.
- The knowledge and experience of our Trainers and Directors is unparalleled in Botswana
- No other school in the country has a facility that equals Kwapa Camp for its ease of access, making courses more affordable and offering wonderfully diverse fauna and flora. The exclusivity of our training area also means that there are no distractions or other parties to consider when training
- Our training materials are of the highest standard and we make use of a combination of the best of modern technology and good old fashioned bush skills
- The Okavango Guiding School is highly instrumental in the development of the new BOTA standards that define the knowledge and skills guides require
- No other private giuding schools in Botswana can match Okavango Guiding School for our experience, training resources and commitment to guiding excellence
Okavango Guiding School is an accredited training provider with the Field Guide Association of Southern Africa. OGS is the first school outside the borders of South Africa to achieve this status. The long history of training and assessing guides has made FGASA the leading training and assessing body in Southern Africa and Okavango Guiding School is proud to be a FGASA accredited institute. Much of the BOTA standards were derived from the already tried and tested FGASA standards.
The Botswana Training Authority was mandated by the Botswana Government to develop alongside industry all vocational training in Botswana. As such BOTA developed a task force of members across the spectrum of the tourism industry to determine what it is the tourism industry requires of a guide. Okavango Guiding School was instrumental in formulating these standards and training materials to support the new standards. Okavango Guiding School was the first private school to achieve accreditation with BOTA and we will continue to work hand-in-hand with BOTA and the industry to improve guiding standards in Botswana.
OGS membership association
The Okavango Guiding School membership association provides members with the following benefits:
- Records of your training, qualifications and guiding type stored on our database
- Registration with relevant training authorities and assessments bodies e.g. FGASA and BOTA
- Employment agency for qualified members and placement for learners on workplace attachments
- Quarterly newsletters with updates of all aspects of guiding, qualification procedures and details, news on wildlife and important events in the guiding industry
- Reduced rates on reference books and various field equipment
- Reduced rates on study packages and workbooks
- Reduced rates on assessments and theory examinations
- One-on-one mentoring for career path development