Pack Safari and Chamäleon spare no expense in pursuit of excellence


Pack Safari and Chamäleon spare no expense in pursuit of excellence

By Stefan Rust

It is my belief that sustainable tourism is a collaborative way of improving conservation and social welfare for the benefit of all citizen of involved countries. Therefore it is important to offer excellent guest service through professional guiding and to treat every tour, assignment and country with that Pack Safari and Chamäleon operate in with respect: for the environment, wildlife, sights and monuments, local customs and traditions. During the entire period in which a guest deals with Chamäleon and Pack Safari, from interest in a trip to the completion of the guided tour, much of the success depends on the competence of the tour guide during the trip. Tour guides should always act responsibly as a representative of Pack Safari and the according partner (e.g. Chamäleon).
Bearing this in mind, a recently completed internal tour guide training tour was designed and accomplished by Pack Safari and Chamäleon in order to increase the number of happy guests through competent and professional guides.
Experienced guide Mr. Stefan Rust, with ten years extensive guiding knowledge in southern Africa, led this tour from the 26th of May until the 6th of June 2017.

The tour contained the following objectives for the guide and future guide participants:
To learn and experience the techniques and styles of guiding.
To get to know the routes, the tourist attractions and the accommodations of different tours offered by Chamäleon and Pack Safari.
To have an opportunity to meet and build a good relationship with the people from tourist attraction sites and the different accommodations.
To have a chance to confront difficult situations and problems during tours and to get to know how to handle such situations and solve problems.
To share the working experiences with other tour guides.
To gain knowledge on all relevant aspects of the different countries in southern Africa that tours are offered in.

“Three Countries in One” would have been a suitable description for this training tour as it stretched over Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. The instructive program was arranged as follows:

Day 1 (26.5.’17)
Accommodation: Seidarap Guesthouse, Namibia
Program: Vehicle takeover; How and on what to brief guests on first day of arrival; Departure Windhoek; Namibian history; Sketch on “How to welcome guests at the airport”.

Day 2 (27.5.’17)
Accommodation: Nunda River Lodge, Namibia
Program: Talk and discussion on homeland history and development of them; Talk on Caprivi; Namibia geology and rivers; PM Okavango River boat cruise.

Day 3 (28.5.’17)
Accommodation: Nxamaseri Island Lodge, Botswana
Program: Visit of the Mahangu NP.; Training and experience on border crossing; Talk on Botswana history and politic; Madikubu Houseboat visit; Talk on the Flora of the Okavango Delta.

Day 4 (29.5.’17)
Accommodation: Chobe River Camp, Namibia
Program: Tsodillo Hills visit; Talk on Botswana’s tourism attractions; Talk on southern Africa’s river systems; Info about Chamäleon and Pack Safari.

Day 5 (30.5.’17)
Accommodation: Chobe Safari Lodge, Botswana
Program: Talk on Chobe NP.; What to do and remember with Zimbabwe border crossing; Zimbabwe history and politic; Victoria Falls NP visit; Vulture Restaurant visit; PM Chobe boat cruise.

Day 6 (31.5.’17)
Accommodation: Dumela Lodge, Botswana
Program: AM Chobe NP Jeep Safari; Talk on Botswana’s infrastructure and tourism industry; Talk on Botswana’s water system; Practical session on how to handle different accommodations; Talk on South Africa’s history, current situation, politic and economy.

Day 7 (01.6.’17)
Accommodation: Nata Lodge, Botswana
Program: Talk on different tribes in southern Africa; Practical bird identification session; Fauna and Flora session; Practical session and sketch on what to do and how to handle guests in case of puncture or vehicle problem alongside the road.

Day 8 (02.6.’17)
Accommodation: Nata Lodge, Botswana
Program: AM Nata Bird Sanctuary visit (Makgadikgadi pan visit); PM Village visit.

Day 9 (03.6.’17)
Accommodation: Thamalakane River Lodge, Botswana
Program: Inspection of the Planet Baobab accommodation; Talk and conversation of Botswana’s economy; Talk on Okavango Delta; Maun city tour; Optional Okavango Delta scenic flight.

Day 10 (04.6.’17)
Accommodation: Thamalakane River Lodge, Botswana
Program: Full day Moremi Game Reserve visit; Talk on Moremi Game Reserve.

Day 11 (05.6.’17)
Accommodation: Dqae Qare, Botswana
Program: Visit of Bana Ba Letsatsi Orphanage; Talk on Botswana’s conservation efforts and hunting industry; Talk on different Chamäleon and Pack Safari projects; Talk on fences in southern Africa; Talk on diamonds in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa; Systematic discussion of Guidebooks of the Limpopo, Moremi, Caprivi and Okavango Tours and tips and hints for these tours; PM Bushman walk and traditional dances.

Day 12 (06.6.’17)
Program: Discussion on how to “sell” and handle the Dqae Qare accommodation; Systematic discussion of Guidebooks of the Limpopo, Moremi, Caprivi and Okavango Tours and tips and hints for these tours; End of tour.

Day 13 (07.6.’17)
Pack Safari Head Office, Namibia
Program: Handover of awards to the participants.

Pack Safari and Chamäleon spare no expense in pursuit of excellence 13

In conclusion the participants agreed that this training tour gave them a lot of knowledge, hints and tricks and made them look forward of continuing and improving in being or becoming a guide for Chamäleon and Pack Safari even if sometimes being a tour guide might be a bit of a challenge. Everyday was totally rewarding due to getting to know the places and accommodations of the different guest tours and also because of meeting the Pack Safari and Chamäleon business partners.

Tourism industry is a diverse and challenging economy that the participants want to continue working for, especially if it is through such sustainable organisations as Pack Safari and Chamäleon.

A big THANK YOU for this generous opportunity you gave to all participants!