Zimbabwe, Zambia

Kariba & Middle Zambezi

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Safari Guiding Gurus of the Lower Zambezi 2013

Safari Guiding Gurus of the Lower Zambezi 2013

Safari Guiding Gurus of the Lower Zambezi 2013

Annual Lower Zambezi Safari Guiding Training and Exams conducted at CLZ in March
With thanks to the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA), CLZ (Conservation Lower Zambezi) and the Lower Zambezi Safari Guiding Exam Committee (LZSGEC) another successful intake of safari guides have been trained and assessed in the Lower Zambezi this March.

The Lower Zambezi has established a reputation for a high level of safari guiding over the past decade and is proud to continue to uphold the values of guiding etiquette and environmental sensitivity as a benchmark for Zambia.

Training the safari guides of 2013
Over two weeks, with over 10 years of guiding experience in Zambia, Deb Tittle conducted General Training and Walking Training courses at CLZ for 18 participants. Learning to lead a game drive is just the beginning, as the students also practice operating a 4x4 safari vehicle, while spotting wild animals on the move, and entertaining their clients with all sorts of fun facts, at the same time. They also learn how to identify, and track, the wide variety of creatures that inhabit Lower Zambezi National Park. The walking students were taught how to handle encounters with dangerous game while on foot, as well as how to handle a rifle.

Scott Brown (Baines River Camp) and Sven Vrdoljak (Wildtracks) led the Boating & Fishing Training Day on 17 March, which covered boat use and fishing techniques on the Lower Zambezi with a specific emphasis on catch & release. Roddy Smith (Mwambashi River Lodge) conducted the Canoe Training Day on 18 March discussing techniques to keep guests safe and entertained on the Zambezi River.  Of the total 28 training course attendees, 21 returned to sit the exams and 16 achieved their guiding accreditations.  This 76% pass rate of those who attended LZSG training emphasizes the success of the learning and knowledge sharing conducted during the courses. 

Testing the knowledge
Exams began on 21 March with the General Safari Guiding Theory Paper. A total of 28 people sat the challenging exam, of whom 12 qualified for the practical driving exam, 12 passed to sit for the Canoeing Theory exam, and 3 to sit for the Walking Theory exam. The overall pass rate was 43% for the General paper. Of the 6 who participated in the Driving Practical exam, 2 people (33%) passed to qualify as driving guides in the Lower Zambezi this year.

Of the 11 candidates who wrote the Walking Theory exam, 6 candidates qualified for the practical exam. The experienced candidates met the high standards of the committee and we are delighted to report that of the 6 who attempted the Walking Practical exam, all passed and are now eligible to be Walking Guides in the Lower Zambezi

There were 12 candidates sitting for the Canoe Written exam, 7 (58%) of whom passed The canoeing practical exam will be conducted in April 2013.

Finally, the Boating and Fishing exam showed excellent participation and results.  17 people sat for the written exam, all of whom passed to take the practical exam!  Of the 15 who chose to attempt the practical exam, 14 qualified to achieve their LZSG Boating and Fishing Guide accreditation.

A big thank you to all 53 LZSG Training and Exam participants, as well as the voluntary committee, and a warm congratulations to the newly qualified Lower Zambezi Safari Guides!  Best of luck in the growth and development of your future careers!

Thanks and congratulations to all, the Lower Zambezi has maintained another year of high standards of safari guiding in contribution to the tourism industry of Zambia and we look forward to further development and success next year!

Read more articles from this issue:
Zambezi Traveller (Issue 12, March 2013)

Read more about the region in our destination guide:
Kariba & Middle Zambezi

Zambezi Traveller Directory:
Conservation Lower Zambezi