As any Field Guide will tell you, being a successful guide does not only entail hours in the sun tracking lions, rattling off Latin names of flowers or photographing elephants playing in the mud, but rather the all-round experience from guiding, to mechanical work, to the finer things in the hospitality industry such as correct dining, wine pairing, setting up and serving meals correctly, and all the little things in a lodge, which do not relate to the wildlife!
So this week we focused on these things, grooming out the roughness, and teaching the students how different wines go with different meals, how to correctly check in guests on arrival, and how to work with “difficult” guests!
All these aspects are vital towards becoming a good safari guide, and our students did very well in this.
As the mock assessments have now finished, the trainers gave one last drive, focusing on a little bit of recap before the main exams start. Right at one of the plains, we were treated to a lion and rhino in one sighting, plenty of good birds and even a couple of chameleons!
Just as things seemed to be going easy, a final Botany practical exam took place, and there was a definite air of nervousness about this, but the students did very well despite us throwing in some really tough plants to ID!
Now the fun and games have really come to an end, as everyone is preparing for the final FGASA exams looming in a weeks time! After this the students will do their practical examinations, and should they pass, will then be officially qualified Safari guides! Good luck to them, and we are sure all of them are going to do great!