Guide Training

It goes without saying that the guiding department is the backbone of
the safari industry. Professional guides are what can make or break guests stay at your establishment. At The Delta Training Academy, we provide world class guide training through some of the very best trainers in Africa.

Introduction

We focus on skills development of guides already working in the industry, as well as entry level guides wishing to pursue a career. Our training has an emphasis on practical guiding skills and the enhancement of the guest experience which is paramount.

 
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Guide Trainer

Trevor Carnaby, has more than 25 years experience as a guide in the premier wildlife areas and lodges in southern and East Africa – the last 15 of which have been spent tailoring and leading high-end private safaris through these destinations. This exposure has enabled the development of a ‘best practice’ model for guiding standards and we have been presenting these courses from a training and assessment perspective in various countries in
Africa for the last 10 years.

 

Trevor specializes  in ‘polishing’ professional guides already operating in the industry – upskilling and honing existing skills.
Trevor is an accredited trainer and assessor in South Africa (FGASA) and in Botswana (BQA).


He is also the author of the popular ‘Beat About The Bush’ series of wildlife behavioral guides that are prescribed reading books for FGASA Levels and are used by guide trainers and guides throughout southern and East Africa.

 

Courses/Modules Structure

We have developed 15 modules, each with specific focal areas in foundational hospitality, guest excellence and practical guiding skills while intermediate and advanced knowledge enhancement modules address fundamentals of understanding the natural environment.  Our modules and courses can also be tailored to suit the specific needs of individual companies given that each has a unique set of challenges. We also provide training, guidelines and protocols for the setting-up and effective & professional management of guide and tracker teams.
 
Each course / module is conducted over 3-5 days on-site at camps and lodges, thus minimizing disruption by keeping staff in-situ while providing training in the context of operations.  This is particularly beneficial because site-specific dynamics are important factors to consider when striving to optimize the value of the guided experience and off-site courses cannot achieve this as effectively.  

 
 

Modules 1 to 4 
The first 4 modules focus on practical skills development in dealing with guests and conducting a professional guided experience.

Module 1

This module will focus on how to deal with and manage guests professionally:

  • General guest etiquette

  • Meal-time etiquette

  • Wine knowledge and presentation

  • Punctuality

  • Learning to think like a guest

  • Balancing guest needs

  • Airport pick-ups and drop-offs

  • Refreshment / comfort stop standards and protocols

  • Nationality traits

  • Managing children and families 

  • Managing disabilities and challenges

  • Dealing with complaints

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Module 2 

This module will focus on practical guiding skills:

  • Functions and role of a guide

  • Types of guides

  • Safety briefings

  • Vehicle presentation

  • How to conduct a guided experience

  • Principles of driving open (NOT 4 X 4) vehicles

  • First and last day principle

  • Culminate in a climax

  • Delivering on guest expectations

  • Working with trackers

  • Maintaining focus

  • Maintaining consistency and balance during the guided experience

  • Effective, ethical and professional use of a spotlight

  • Communication skills

  • Radio etiquette and procedures

  • Principles of approach to general and dangerous game

  • Vehicle positioning

  • Emergency procedures and protocols

Module 3

This module will focus on enhancing the guest experience:

  • Enhancing the guest experience

  • Taking the conversation to different levels

  • Identification and elaboration

  • Presentations

  • Use of media tools

  • Local and regional site knowledge

  • Current affairs knowledge – conservation issues

  • Planning a guided experience

  • The element of surprise

  • The WOW factor

  • Photographic skills and awareness

  • Basic astronomy

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Module 4 

This module focuses on the skills required to identify & elaborate on animal behaviour:

  • Basic ecology

  • Basic field signs

  • Basic identification and observation skills

  • Basic definitions of common animal behaviour

  • Basic track interpretation and behavioural prediction

  • Situational awareness

  • Common bird calls – practical ID

  • Common frog calls – practical ID

Modules 5 to 10 
These modules focus on knowledge enhancement with a view to enhancing
the guided experience and ultimately obtaining higher levels. The
modules are theoretically and practically driven.

 

Module 5

  • Basic taxonomy

  • Intermediate knowledge enhancement & ID – mammals

  • Intermediate knowledge enhancement & ID – birds

  • Intermediate bird calls – practical ID

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Module 6 

  • Intermediate knowledge enhancement & ID – invertebrates

  • Intermediate knowledge enhancement & ID – reptiles

  • Intermediate knowledge enhancement & ID – amphibians

  • Intermediate frog calls – practical ID

  • Intermediate knowledge enhancement & ID – botany & biomes

Module 7

  • Current affairs knowledge – conservation issues

  • Basic conservation management practices

  • Local historical and cultural knowledge

  • Story-telling

  • Practical drive assessments

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Module 8 

Advanced knowledge enhancement & ID – mammals
Advanced knowledge enhancement & ID – birds
Advanced bird calls – practical ID

Module 9

  • Advanced knowledge enhancement – reptiles

  • Advanced knowledge enhancement – invertebrates

  • Advanced knowledge enhancement – amphibians

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Module 10 

  • Conservation management practices and application

  • Story-telling

  • Practical drive assessments

Specialist & Advanced Modules

 

Tracking Module

This course will provide expertise in track identification and how this can be used to enhance the guest experience. It will also focus on how guides and trackers must work together:

  • The individual roles of trackers and guides

  • The collective role of the guide / tracker team

  • What the guest is expecting and seeing

  • Delivering on guest expectations

  • Safety and liability

  • Vehicle presentation

  • First and last day principle

  • Culminate in a climax

  • Effective, ethical and professional use of a spotlight

  • Communication skills

  • Principles of approach to general and dangerous game

  • Sightings protocols

  • Refreshment / comfort stop standards and protocols

  • Emergency procedures and protocols

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Trail Guide Module

This course will focus on practical walking skills, ethics and safety. It is a practically driven course involving simulations and can include shooting competence.

  • Structure of an effective safety brief

  • Route planning

  • Guest preparation

  • Group management

  • Rifle safety

  • Walking protocols

  • Track recognition

  • Standards and ethics

  • Dealing with dangerous game

  • Understanding animal behaviour

  • Recognition of warning signs

  • Emergency protocols and procedures

Boat & Mokoro Guide Module

This course will focus on all elements of aquatic guiding in big game environments.

  • Structure of effective safety briefs

  • Guide and guest preparation

  • Boat and mokoro preparation

  • Route planning

  • Group management

  • Understanding animal behaviour

  • Recognition of warning signs

  • Fault finding (boats)

  • Effective driving and poling

  • Dealing with dangerous encounters

  • Risk management

  • Emergency protocols and procedures

  • Understanding the aquatic environment

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Practical Astronomy Module

This course will focus on how best to provide guests with an entertaining night sky experience.

  • Understanding the seasonal skies

  • Recognition of major constellations and celestial objects

  • How to effectively entertain guests with sky talks

  • Effective use of laser pointers, binoculars and telescopes

  • Understanding star photography

Escorting Procedures Module

This course will focus on best practice for escorting people (both staff and guests) in a big game environment.

  • Effective brief and control measures

  • Effective spotlight use

  • Understanding animal behaviour

  • Recognition of warning signs

  • Group management

  • Effective communication

  • Avoiding & dealing with dangerous encounters

  • Emergency protocols and procedures

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Problem Animal Management Module

This course will focus on how best to manage the incidence of all types of problem animals in tourism environments.

  • Identifying a problem animal

  • Understanding animal behaviour

  • Recognition of warning signs

  • Passive & Active mitigation & management measures

  • Understanding the implications of such measures

  • Managing these measures in the tourism environment

  • Situation management and roles

  • Reporting protocols

Effective Guide Management Module

This course will focus on how to understand guides with a view to best managing them.

  • Learning to think like a guide

  • Nationality management for vehicle allocation

  • Radio etiquette and procedures

  • Principles of driving open vehicles

  • Ecological sensitivity of game drives

  • Enhancing the guest experience

  • Identification and elaboration

  • Dealing with Weather

  • The element of surprise

  • The WOW factor

  • Situational awareness

  • Risk management

  • General guest safety protocols

  • Emergency procedures and protocols

  • Dealing with complaints

  • Managing children and families

  • Managing disabilities and challenges

  • Dealing with agents and tour operators

  • Vehicle presentation

  • Comfort stop standards & protocols

  • How to approach game in vehicles

  • Dealing with dangerous game

  • Approaching & viewing general & dangerous game

  • Basic guiding principles Eco-tourism – the bigger picture

  • The need to think like a guest

  • Guest needs and expectations

  • Balance & consistency

  • Effective communication

  • Punctuality

  • General guest etiquette

  • Meal-time (dining) etiquette

  • Airport pick-ups and drop-offs

  • Structure of an effective safety brief

Availability

 

Due to the popularity of the guides training, we have the below training slots available. Book your training slot now to avoid disappointment!

 

2021

November 1-10

2022

17-26 January

1-10 February

21 February – 2 March

14-23 March

4-13 April

1-10 November

21-30 November