It’s our third consecutive year running our Wilderness Group Guide Mentor Workshops. This time our workshop was held at Savuti Camp situated in Botswana’s Linyanti Concession and took place from 6 to 17 February 2017. Previous workshops took place in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park in 2015 followed by our mentor programme at Banoka Camp in November 2016.
Presentation on the Ethics Charter and Code of Conduct for Cultural Tourism by Lesh Moiteela
Twenty-five Wilderness Safaris guides from Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia made their way to the Savuti Camp where the workshop was held over two intense weeks. The first group consisted of a team of six guides; two guides each representing Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia with Botswana guides forming the second group. Guides were selected to take part based on region and their performance at their respective camps. It was a mixture of old and young including a trainee guide based at Savuti Camp who leapt at the opportunity. We were also honoured to have guest presentations from speakers from the Okavango Guiding School and Paul Scheller from Red Roan.
Topics which were discussed included among others, tracking, photography, what makes a great guide, guiding techniques, managing guest expectations and interpretation versus narration.
We have since had wonderful feedback from the course. Below is a quote from one of the guides:
“I will highly recommend this training to all the Wilderness guides as it teaches us the best approach to guiding, reminds us why we love the work we do, and reinforces the role we play in the wilderness. The openness of the trainers and their passion for their duties was very clear to see. It is important to remember that this is a legacy that we carry and we need to pass it on to other guides and areas of operation.”
We believe that this same workshop should be held annually to reinforce a solid guiding culture. The course has helped to transfer information, knowledge and skills across all our regions.
Elephants at the logpile hide at Savuti Camp in Bostwana
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has contributed to the success of this workshop. To Lesh Moiteela, Mike Fitt, Alex Chaplin and Claire Strachan, Savuti Camp Management and staff, Courtney Johnson from Zimbabwe and Johan Fourie from Namibia, we appreciate your continued support.
To my colleagues Ona B and Ona L- a big thank you and of course thanks must go to the wonderful Wilderness Safaris Training Department for your continued support.
Written by Cilas Mafoko