Wednesday, June 12, 2019

FGASA Safari Guide of the year. The judging panel.

I will be part of the media contingent
at this event to be held at the NJ More Field Guide College
 in Marataba from the 23rd to the 29th June 2019.

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

JAMES STEYN

 Q: James, how long have you been in the Industry? 
25 years
Q: What is your greatest achievement?
 In guiding, SCOUT Qualification.
Q: When you are judging the selected candidates, what do you look for most? 
I look at a person’s potential rather than how little or how much he/she actually knows.
Q: What does Safari Guide of the Year represent to you as a judge? 
It is a platform where like-minded people can promote the profession of guiding.


QUINTON COETZEE

Q: How long have you been in the Industry?
 Truth be told, I’ve never been formally employed in this industry. 
However, I have spent most of my life (at least 5 decades) living, 
learning and exploring the natural system… globally.
Q: What is your greatest achievement?
Perhaps it’s my induction into the HALL OF FAME 

(Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa).
Q: What do you look for when judging the selected candidates?
In my opinion: more important than “identification” is instead, a diverse, 

general knowledge as a broad-based naturalist, 
an enquiring/questioning demeanour and deductive/interpretive/philosophical skills.
 Is the candidate a perfect interface between science, nature and the public?
 Above all, the candidate’s ability to serve as an ambassador for South Africa
 and its magnificent natural heritage.
Q: What does Safari Guide of the Year represent to you?
Safari Guide of the Year is a brilliant, prestigious initiative dedicated to the awareness, 

preservation and maintenance of the standards, 
conduct and excellence that define world-class safari guiding.



MIKE KARANTONIS

Q: How long have you been in the Industry? 
For 22 years
Q: What is your greatest achievement? 
Becoming a partner in Africa Direct.
Q: What do you look for when judging the selected candidates? 
For someone that has a true understanding that the industry is about selflessness, 
genuine warmth towards all they interact with (staff or guests) 
and a great understanding of his or her environment through skills and dedication.
Q: What does Safari Guide of the Year represent to you? 
I started Safari Guide of the Year because I wanted to give our ambassadors 
and custodians of our wildlife the recognition they deserve.


Juan Pinto

Q: How long have you been in the Industry? 
.This is my 26th year in the industry.
Q: What is your greatest achievement? 
Achieving my Master Tracker status.
Q: What do you look for when judging the selected candidates? 
I look for a Guide that reads their guest and opens up nature to them
 in a way that is a memorable experience. 
Q: And what does Safari Guide of the Year represent to you? 
The Safari Guide of the Year is a chance to let like-minded Field Guides
 learn from each other and reflect on the skills and professionalism Field Guiding.

BRIAN SERRAO

Q: Brian, how long have you been in the Industry? 
25 years 
Q: What is your greatest achievement? 
Being able to assist and encourage less fortunate guides who have now achieved great FGASA Qualifications and have succeeded in their guiding careers. 
Q: What do you look for when judging the selected candidates? 
The candidate must be passionate, a people’s person and have the right attitude.
Q: What does Safari Guide of the Year represent to you? 
It is a platform that enables Safari Guides to showcase their skills and 
potentially represent fellow guides in the industry.



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.


Information and images supplied by FGASA.



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