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