New Tour Guide Academy in Namibia: Great Opportunity for Local Talent and Promotion of the German Language
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From January 2019 onwards, the newly established Tour Guide Academy of Pack Safari will be offering free vocational training to local talents to become German-speaking tour guides. The first 10-12 participants receive a 7-month intensive German course, training to become a certified Field Guide and a training allowance.
Namibia is one of the fastest-growing tourist destinations in the world, and travellers from Germany are by far the largest group (after visitors from neighbouring African countries): In 2016, more than 122,000 people from Germany visited Namibia – a growth of 35% over the previous year. And visitor numbers continue to increase year by year. Of course, this also increases the demand for German-speaking tour guides who show the country to small and larger groups. So far, these have been German-Namibians in many cases, but their number is decreasing and amounts to just under 20,000 – less than 1% of the population in Namibia.
The specialist for small group travel Pack Safari is pleased about the growing demand from Germany, but the German-speaking tour guides are becoming scarce. Therefore, it was decided to found the “Tour Guide Academy”. From January 2019 young local talents will learn German in an intensive course, but also the theoretical and practical aspects of tour guiding. Behind this is the conviction that there are many people in Namibia who could delight tourists by showing them their country and its people, but German language skills are often lacking. At the same time committed Namibians can receive a solid education and thus an attractive career perspective in a real growth industry.
In 2019, initially 10 to 12 local talents
will be trained. In the first few months, the focus is on learning the German
language. It is based on a combination of proven Internet language courses from
the provider Babbel and “real” German teachers on site. In the
following months, the proportion of tour guide topics such as knowledge about
fauna, flora, geology, astronomy, but also history, safe driving, etc.
increases. As part of the Academy, the participants become certified guides of
the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA Level 1). In addition,
the trainees receive hands-on lessons from Pack Safari’s experienced tour
guides. The extensive program is completely organized and paid for by Pack
Safari, the graduates will also be able to sign a 5-year contract as a Tour
The Job Profile:
As a trained tour guide with German knowledge, the graduates have attractive career prospects. Peter Pack, photographer, Pack Safari Owner and CE and tour guide himself: “In Namibia, well-educated people often see themselves as tour guides just as ‘fillers for the gaps’. Yet this is a very diverse profession with manifold career opportunities – right up to the founding of an own travel company.” In Namibia, every seventh job and 14% of the economic output depends directly or indirectly on the tourism sector.
The Search for Talent:
In the coming weeks, the search for suitable talents will be in the foreground. Livia Pack describes the profile of successful participants as follows: “Most important from our experience are the following three points:
- Enthusiasm for showing country and people to others – this includes an open, cheerful, extroverted personality, a positive outlook on life, a sense of humour and being a natural entertainer with a genuine interest in Namibia’s nature and history.
- A certain talent for languages and communication – it should be easy to learn new languages and you should be happy to use them, even if you may not speak perfectly.
- The right mix of “secondary virtues”, above all reliability, diligence, patience, respect for others and a good level of organizational talent. “
Candidates should also be at least 25 years old and have accommodation in Windhoek. Furthermore, driver’s license, first experiences as a tour guide and German basic knowledge are of advantage. Interested applicants can submit their documents to Pack Safari by 18th November 2018.
The following are illustrative profiles of three fictional, but real-person inspired people who would have good chances at the Academy:
- Joseph, 35 years old, has been working on a guest farm near Windhoek for several years, performing game drives and hikes. He is very knowledgeable about plants, is a communicative person who always has a smile on his face, speaks good English, Oshivambo and Otjiherero.
- Kauna, 27 years old, has successfully completed English studies at UNAM and does an internship at KfW. She is very interested in Namibian nature and history and has traveled to various parts of Namibia. She has an open, optimistic personality and is interested in German culture.
- Andrew, 32, formerly a primary school teacher in Otjiwarongo, is currently a taxi driver in Windhoek. He also organizes bicycle tours through Katutura, where he delights tourists with his cheerful nature. He is a hobby ornithologist, fluent in English and Afrikaans and native to Damara.
Help to give local talents a German-speaking career perspective!
The success of the academy stands and falls with the appropriate participants. If you know such “rough diamonds” who bring enthusiasm and talent for German speaking tour guiding, encourage them to apply! Surely you have someone in your circle of friends who fits the profile we are looking for.