Wilderness Safaris Namibia has trained 250 Namibians as tour guides in the last two years, Guest Experience Trainer, Johan Fourie told The Villager this week.
The program that specialise in training guides from the entry level (introduction to guiding), founding training, eco training (Amarulla and distell sponsored training where they provided logistic support), Flora, Fauna, Ornithology, Geology and Geography, Health and Safety, Astronomy, working with colleagues and friends in a culturally diverse environment and Elephant guiding.
‘’We have regular training for tour guides throughout the year most recently we conducted Flora (plants) in March and desert guiding in February training courses that is part of the curriculum to become a nationally qualified guide’’, Fourie said.
He added that they run an internship program called the emerging guides program where they take some young Namibians without guiding experience into their camps were they go through a selection process and various training courses and then gain valuable work experience until they are ready for full guiding roles
‘’We currently have four of these trainees and in the next few months they will be employed full time as guides. We have also done Fauna (animals) Ornithology (Birds) Geology and geography, Health and safety. These are all part of the unit standards guides must have to become nationally qualified guides’’, Fourie said.
Wilderness safaris also train, internally recognized programs, this would be entry level programs and out foundation training program this is used as part of the selection processes for the emerging guide program.
According to Fourie, they work close with the(UNDP) and the Ministry of Sports, Youth and National service(MSYN),that has given financial support for buying equipment, providing transport and venues to some their training programs. Where the MSYN also assist them with candidates for some entry level programs.
In May this year, the program will also start an astronomy course, then 1 more entry level program in May towards the end of the month.
‘’Then I will do foundation program in June with candidates selected from the entry level programs and start of a new emerging guide program with selected candidates. We do science training courses in the following fields Fauna, Flora, Ornithology, Geology and geography, Ecology. That is about it regarding formal training programs I am planning these may change these course is mostly aimed internally as we are a tourism company firstly and we train our staff’’ Fourie said.
Wilderness Safaris Namibia last year trained in Rundu, several times in the Kunene region where they have their camps, and also at a place called Werelds end, and used ministry of youth site close to Berseba in the Karas region and the Khoadi Hoas conservancy office and Waterberg National park several times.(Otjozondjupa).
150 staff members including guides also received first aid training.