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Wilderness Safaris Guides Lead The Way In Ecotourism Excellence

August 25, 2014 Tour Operator No Comments Email Email

As Africa’s leading ecotourism and conservation company, Wilderness Safaris prides itself on having the finest guides in the world.

Anderssons Camp“Guides perform the essential task of translating the natural areas in which we operate to guests in a way that results in lasting memories and a better understanding of our world”, says Wilderness Safaris Chief Marketing Officer, Chris Roche. “Training therefore plays such a vital role in ensuring our staff are able to create meaningful and life-changing wilderness experiences.”

To ensure that all Wilderness guides across all regions are of the highest quality, equipped with specialist skills and knowledge, Wilderness Safaris focuses on a combination of intensive training, ongoing mentorship, and opportunities for future growth and development.

In Botswana’s Okavango Delta, Wilderness Safaris has a dedicated camp used exclusively for training purposes (Kaparota). After a month-long entry-level guiding course, trainee guides then go on to complete eight to 18-month internships at the camps. In Zimbabwe, guide training takes four years and includes written exams, practical study, hands-on experience and mentorship programmes. The final phase is a seven-day long “mock safari” where guides are required to set up their own tented camp and are assessed on their knowledge and ability.

An essential part of guide training is identifying and encouraging young professional guides to attain the next level of qualification and to further enhance their growth within the company. In this way, dedicated guides and naturalists are able to share their knowledge with the next generation of staff and guests, creating a love for Africa to ensure the ongoing protection of its biodiversity.

“There are many different ways of sharing and appreciating the incredible natural environments in which we operate, which is why our guides are encouraged to interpret the individual interests and needs of each guest. For example, our guides, who are often impressive photographers in their own right, can coach guests on how to snap that perfect shot, or highlight the planets and constellations during a “star talk” after dinner. Guides also aim to make activities as interactive as possible, whether it be sampling local fruits and berries, or learning how to read the tracks and signs of the wild during guided bush walks”, Chris added.

This commitment to creating highly personalised experiences has resulted in global recognition. In 2014, 10 Wilderness Safaris guides, past and present, were included in Condé Nast Traveler’s Top 25 Safari Guides List, while America’s leading active lifestyle brand, OUTSIDE, selected Wilderness Safaris guide, Thuto Moutloatse, as one of the “seven best adventure guides on the planet” in its annual Travel Awards.

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