Monday, June 10, 2019

FGASA Safari Guide of the Year 2019. The finalists.



I will be part of the media contingent that will be covering this event
from the 23rd to 29th June at the NJ More Guide College in Marataba.

Introducing the finalists for
 Safari Guide of the Year 2019.
In no particular order,
they are...


These are the judging criteria:
SAFARI GUIDE OF THE YEAR 2019
These 5 finalists will compete against each other
 in a number of assessments and
 will represent all the Guides within the industry.

NJ MORE Field Guide College will be hosting the competition this year, 
presenting many challenges to the Finalists.

The Finalists will be assessed and judged on the following:
• A Guided Walk through an area that they are unfamiliar with.
• Track and Sign identification on tracks theses guides may have not come across before.
• A Game Drive that will test their ability to interpret a sighting,
 navigate the game vehicle, and keep their guests satisfied.
• Their Birding skills will be tested by sight as well as audio.
• They will be assessed on their Advanced Rifle Handling and shooting skills.
• Around the evening campfire, they will have to rely
 on their great Story Telling skills to win over the judges and guests.
There are winners for each category listed above, 
and the Winner of SAFARI GUIDE OF THE YEAR 2019 is determined by the
 amount of points that they receive on each assessment.

RASSIE JACOBS 
Kapama Private Game Reserve, Buffalo Camp

Q.Rassie, how long have you been guiding for?
I have been guiding for 9 years. I started in the Free State and
 I am currently in the Greater Kruger National Park area working
at Kapama Private Game Reserve.

Q. Who was your training provider/who did you train through?
My FGASA Level 1 training provider was Bushveld Training
 Adventures in Nylstroom in the North West. 
FGASA Level 2, Back-Up Trails, Full Trails and Tracks and Signs Level 2,  
I completed during my employment at Kapama Private Game Reserve.

Q. What has FGASA done for you in terms of qualifications and achievements?
FGASA assisted me with the necessary workbooks and handbooks
 in order for me to complete my Back Up Trails, Full Trails, 
FGASA Level 1 and FGASA Level 2.

Q. What is the best thing about being a guide?
The best thing about being a guide is to be able to take guests
 out on a game drive and to be yourself. 
To let the guest experience nature through your eyes as a guide. 
On a game drive, a guest may see a beautiful Marula Tree,
 but I will be thinking of and try and convey this message to my guests:
- How old is this tree?
- How many elephants have eaten the fruit from this tree?
- How many leopards have used this tree as a resting place?
- How many sunsets and sunrises have passed over this tree?

Q. And what is your greatest personal strength?
My greatest personal strength is to communicate with guests 
and other people about my passion for the bush and the animals. 
I will also try and turn something negative into a positive
 the aspect of life and to learn out of those experiences.



MARGAUX LE ROUX

Q. How long have you been actively guiding?
12 years.

Q.Who was your training provider/ who did you train through?
By fluke, I attended a yearlong adventure guiding course in 2003
 with a company called Beyond Adventure. 
There it was compulsory to write the FGASA Level 1 Theory Exam.
 Obtaining the theory qualification is what inspired me
 to enrol in EcoTourism Management at the Tshwane University of Technology, 
and once I completed my BTech qualification, 
I got an external assessor to assess me for my Level 1 Practical. 

Q.What has FGASA done for you in terms of qualifications and achievements?
I think they have definitely raised the level of professionalism
 in the guiding industry through the continuous monitoring
 and implementation of higher standards.  

Q.What is the best thing about being a guide?
Sharing Africa’s Wilderness with guests from across the world
 and seeing the priceless looks on their faces as they share life-changing experiences
 with loved ones is a definite highlight of being a guide. 
A close second would be the unpredictability of the Bush, 
as not a single Safari experience is ever the same. 

Q.What is your greatest personal strength?
I tend to stay calm under pressure.



ANTONY COLLETT

Q. Antony, how long have you been actively guiding for?
25 years
Q. Who was your training provider/ who did you train through? 
I was fortunate enough to start my guiding career as an Apprentice in Zimbabwe
 at a lodge called Touch the Wild in Hwange National Park.

Q. What has FGASA done for you in terms of qualifications and achievements?
FGASA created the framework and structure for me to become a well-rounded, 
professional Field Guide.

Q. What is the best thing about being a guide?
Being a facilitator of people’s dreams, experiences, and lifelong memories.
 And waking up to the dawn chorus every morning.

Q. And what is your greatest personal strength?
My ability to communicate with people at all levels.

JULIUS MKHIZE
Q. Julius, how long have you been actively guiding for?
I have been a guide for almost 20 years.

Q. Who was your training provider/ who did you train through?
I did my guiding training in house at Shamwari game reserve.

Q. What has FGASA done for you in terms of qualifications and achievements?
FGASA has provided me with the platform of being in a database of guides
 in the country which has made things 
easier in exploring different products out there.

Q. What is the best thing about being a guide?
Being a guide is wonderful in the sense that you get to meet people
 from all over the world and working for the wonderful properties that we have in the country.

Q. And what is your greatest personal strength?
My greatest personal strengths are working with people and problem-solving.
RIAAN FOURIE 


Q. Riaan, how long have you been actively guiding for?
18 years

Q. Who was your training provider/who did you train through?
I obtained a national diploma in nature conservation through the 
Tswane University of Technology and completed my practical year
 with SAN Parks in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. 
This really set the tone for my guiding career, 
but it was through FGASA that I kept growing in the industry.

Q. What has FGASA done for you in terms of qualifications and achievements?
Through FGASA I achieved SKS (DG), SKS (Birding) and Trails Guide Qualifications.
 This framework always inspired me to keep learning and keep growing. 
It played a pivotal role in me having a long term career
 at one of the top lodges in Southern Africa, 
alongside a team of exceptional, like-minded field guides.

Q. What is the best thing about being a guide?
Doing something that one is passionate about for a living. 
I don’t think there are many people who can get up in the morning
 and truly say that they are excited about going to work.

Q. And what is your greatest personal strength?
I think I have the ability to adapt to my guests, regardless of their trepidation and fears. 
Many people don’t get to experience the African wilderness, 
as they should, purely because of nerves. 
Trust in one’s guide is the first step in having a life-changing safari experience.


All the guide information and images
were supplied by FGASA.



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