Annual Lower Zambezi Safari Guiding Training and Exams conducted at CLZ Base Camp in March 2013
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. This year CLZ welcomed our first Zambian female safari guide trainee Inonge Mubiana from local village, Mugurameno. Learning to lead a game drive is just the beginning, as the students also practice operating a 4×4 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 are also 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, there was a 76% pass rate of those who sat exams, emphasizing 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 100% 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 and a warm congratulations to the newly qualified Lower Zambezi Safari Guides! Best of luck in the growth and development of your future careers.
There were so many people whose time, energy and resources supported CLZ throughout March. Many thanks to those who led the training courses. Thanks to the LZSG committee for writing the exams and thank you to those who made time to come to CLZ and invigilate, mark, and evaluate the candidates during the two weeks of exams. This includes Rory MacDougall, George Bell, Brendon Graham, Ian Stevenson, Riccardo Garbaccio, Alan Bonella, Matt Porter, Lackson Tembo and Lawrence Mazele, Patrick Siabunkululu, George Mwanza, Dale Bluett, Chris Musonda and Laura.
This year the practical examination process was a little different, as the Driving and Walking exams consisted of two days now, including a hosting and astronomy component. This would not have been possible without the participation of Flossie Shawa, Chileya Kasuba, and Anet van Niekerk who judged hosting skills, Patrick who tutored in astronomy, and the generous LZSG committee who spent (at least!) two days and one night per exam to ensure the high quality of knowledgeable, social, and professional guides. Thanks also to ZAWA for sending commercial officer Bruce Chamusonde to observe the exam process, ProFlight for sponsoring Deb Tittle’s flight from Mfuwe, Gerry Carben of Chakanaka Farms for supplying endless and delicious bananas to our consistently full and hungry camp, and Fred Meztger at CC Systems in Lusaka for printing copies of the LZSG Manual.
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!