Assistant guides move up the ranks!

Sep 24, 20225 comments

The passion of Kapama Private Game Reserve not only lies with wildlife conservation and the love of our Country but also in helping the communities living in the vicinity of our Private Reserve. Kapama believes that by assisting these communities to build economically sustainable livelihoods, we can equip them to empower future generations.

Over the years, a large number of our trackers have come from the areas surrounding Kapama. A big focus regarding our guiding team has been to assist our guides and more importantly our trackers to move through the different field guiding levels to acquire their necessary qualifications.

To qualify as a field guide an NQF 2 level is needed, and after this, a practical exam is done through the Field Guide Association of South Africa (FGASA).

Liezel Holmes, Kapama’s Safari Manager, has passionately assisted our trackers in learning the required information to gain this qualification. Liezel implemented numerous training sessions and brought in lecturers and experts to ensure our trackers were prepared for their exams and practicals. This qualification and upskilling, have resulted in our trackers moving to a new level of assistant guide. Currently, all assistant guides on the reserve have completed their NQF 2 and the majority have completed their practical exam.

Kapama Ass guide 1

Kapama’s investment in our assistant guides has sparked so much enthusiasm and eagerness to learn among the team, that many of our assistant guides are wanting to further their education. They are now setting their sights on completing their trails exams and then their walking qualifications. Trail guides write an NQF 4 Field Guide qualification and soon after that become a professional guides with the relevant qualifications.

Kapama River Lodge ass guide

This fits in perfectly with Kapama’s vision for our community development and our passion projects around education and learnership programs.

Kapama staff
Kapama ass guide sunset

This has been a pioneering project and Kapama is proud that we were the very first luxury Private Game Reserve to have a qualified guide and assistant guide, together on the same game vehicle to completely transform our guest’s wildlife experience. This means our guests will have a more comprehensive wildlife experience while submerged in the vast knowledge and experience of a guide as well as a newly promoted assistant guide.

Not only is Kapama committed to upskilling our assistant guides, but a large focus has been around hiring female guides. Our female Field Guides are pioneering the path for other women to follow. All across Africa female guides are breaking barriers and challenging stereotypes by moving into a male-dominated industry.

Kapama ass guides 4

Kapama’s six female field guides all hold different qualifications and are busy with their walking qualifications. A few have already passed their Advanced Rifle Handling qualification and are moving forward with acquiring their necessary walking hours to complete the qualification.

Kapama female guides

With a vision and mission focused on enhancing the lives of the people who work within Kapama, we remain committed to developing even more assistant guides, while including additional female guides to the team. Ultimately our goal will be to have two qualified field guides per vehicle. This can only mean great things for the team, their families as well as the greater community in which we operate.


  1. Thys Buitendag


    We agree 100% with your approach and would to applaud you for this initiative.
    We very recently experienced the benefit of this initiative when we had the privilege of having Panic as our co- ranger/tracker. his knowledge of the bush and his tracking capability was absolutely phenomenal. Can’t wait to get him as our ranger one day of on our next trip to Kapama!

  2. Stuart du Toit

    Being a fairly frequent guest of your wonderful lodges, my family and I can only attest to the success of your program. We have benefited many times over from the knowledge of the guides who came through these ranks and some of the assistant guides who are busy in the program.

    They are part of the many reasons why we love to come back.

  3. Dan

    Your guides and assistant guides were all great on both visits to Kapama. I loved the Safari experiences every time.

  4. Melanie

    I have been coming to Kapama long enough to to witness the personal and professional development within the group of trackers and guides. Recently I started bringing my teenage children, who relish every moment in the bush.

    In our experience the guiding and tracking at Kapama has been truly excellent, and there is a culture of enthusiastic and ongoing learning. It is infectious. As guests we caught the wilderness bug years ago, but we are still learning with every visit and we are always immensely grateful to our guides and trackers at Kapama for what they show us, and teach us.

  5. Eric F. O'Neill

    Congratulations to your guides! They truly helped make our recent visit a trip of wonderful memories!


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