Namibia Guide Trainer Johan Fourie has had a busy month training prospective Wilderness Safaris guides…
“I conducted two training sessions in the last month. We started off by doing a trip to Rundu where I hosted a group of 21 candidates on an entry level training program. From this programme and another I did in November last year, I selected a group of candidates to take on further training. These courses were a collaborative effort between the United Nations Development Programme Namibia, Wilderness Safaris and the Namibian Ministry of Youth and National Service.
During the Entry Level programmes I introduce candidates into the world of guiding and do some basic developmental work, using this as a first selection for recruitment and candidate identification. Some of the candidates really stood out, like this stunning chap Jimmy who sadly has only one leg but the biggest smile and a wonderful outlook on life. On top of that, he loves the bush and I can see him developing into a fantastic guide.
Trainees climb the Brukaros crater in the Karas region
After the entry level programme I did a Foundation training programme with a selected few during which I did some general training and two courses that count towards their guide qualifications.
I also did a lot of practical training, familiarising the trainees with vehicles, driving a four-wheel-drive vehicle through steep ascents and descents, through rough terrain, doing vehicle checks, practising safety briefings for guests and introducing some basic concepts of Geology, Astronomy, Flora, Fauna and Ornithology, how to use guide books and tools and how to use field guides and manuals.
The candidates ended off their training course by taking myself and the other candidates out on a two-hour game drive as ‘guests’. These prospective guides are still in the developmental phase but I am looking forward working with them.”
No guide training course will would be complete without the very famous “bokdrol spoeg” competition. This is where the candidates pick up a dropping of their choice and see who can spit this the furthest
(Middle) Stanley trying his best to get his “bokdrol” as far as possible (Far right) Katambo letting loose with his kudu dropping
The concept of the 4Cs was communicated to the guides