Courses within the natural acumen module are specifically focused on teaching students the fundamentals of fauna & flora, game farming and animal husbandry as well as building towards a Zimbabwe professional hunters and guides learners license. If you are not Zimbabwean and wish to continue with this career path the knowledge accrued from this can work towards gaining your FGASA license in South Africa or Namibia.
Hunting and guiding Industries
Overview of professional hunting and guiding, related industries and ethical issues.
Further understanding of taxonomy, species identification, habitats and pressure on habitats
Introduction to the principles of tracking.
Introduction and to shooting and weapon ballistics
Practical hunting, skinning and use of meat.
Discussions on the role of hunting in conservation
Need for habitat protection and anti-poaching
There will be practical excursions chosen from top quality big game areas;
Bubye conservancy Rocky Glen, Malilangwe, Cawston and Peeke ranches.
This aspect of the course will involve understanding the certain legal requirements such as the firearms act, and the forestry act.
Once students have completed this specific course, they are in a position to write the Hunters and Guides Learners License at the Zimbabwe National Parks Board (second session).
The Zimbabwean professional hunters and guides license is a three to four year apprenticeship marking it as the most arduous wilderness qualification. Students who pass the learners exam can carry onto their apprenticeships.
Animal Husbandry, Game Farming and agriculture
A specifically designed course which enables Quest students to gain first hand experience in game farm management, including:
Track and fence maintenance,
Control of alien species encroachment and other issues such as
Game counts and habitat evaluation
Hands on and practical introductions to animal husbandry including cattle, horses, goats, chickens and ducks.
Visits to dairy, cattle, goat/sheep farms.
Practical introduction to conventional crop cultivation and growth of vegetables using aquaculture and hydroponic systems. Composting and vermiculture are included.
Fauna and Flora
Hands on introductions to all types of fauna and flora, initially in Quest's own game park and then further afield.
The importance of underlying rock and soils types will be considered.
Fundamental concepts of bird and tree identification.
More detailed studies of mammals, reptiles, including snakes, amphibians will take place.
The significance of smaller fauna such as scorpions, Lepidoptera, termites and bees will be assessed.
Understanding of ecosystems in the African context, including topics such as human/wildlife conflict, conservation measures and ecotourism.
Horse riding in Quests game park.
A hands on introduction to stable management
Fish Farming Industry
Visits to Lake Kariba, Lake Malawi and local dams where they will also be plenty of opportunities to fish and learn about aquatic conservation.
As a side note, Lake Malawi is widely regarded as the most biologically important lake in the world.
Due to its global importance for biodiversity conservation, Lake Malawi National Park was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1984.