Kapama Private Game Reserve, renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and abundant wildlife, is the esteemed host for this year’s Safari Guide of the Year Awards. With its commitment to conservation, exceptional guest experiences, and dedication to the preservation of Africa’s natural heritage, Kapama is the ideal location for honouring the outstanding individuals who embody the spirit of safari guiding.
The Safari Guide of the Year, or SGOTY, was founded in 2011 and is a highly anticipated annual event of the safari guiding and ecotourism industries. The Safari Guide of the Year competition, is a prestigious event that recognizes and honours the hard work, sacrifice, training, skills development, knowledge, and expertise that field guides across southern Africa need, to deliver an ethical, immersive, engaging, and informative safari experience to guests from all over the world. These guides play a crucial role in offering guests an unforgettable experience, providing in-depth insights into the wildlife, ecosystems, and cultures that make Africa a truly unique destination.
Additional sponsors for the Safari Guide of the Year Awards include: Ruggedwear, Canon, Sapmok, FGASA, Kruger2Canyon News, OutonAir, FreeGo Canvas and Gear and Africa Direct Travel.
Kapama has recognised the significant role guides play. The career path of a field guide is more than just a job, it is a career and a lifestyle that requires passion and commitment not only to the natural world but also to hosting and hospitality. To qualify as a field guide an NQF 2 level is needed, and after this, a practical exam is done through theField Guide Association of South Africa (FGASA). Kapama’s Safari Manager has passionately pioneered a program to assist trackers in learning the required information to gain this NQF 2 qualification.
Numerous training sessions were implemented, and lecturers and experts were brought in at Kapama’s expense to ensure the trackers were prepared for their exams and practicals. This qualification and upskilling, have resulted in Kapama 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.
Just a few success stories include Edwin, Dumisani and Collins.
Kapama Private Game Reserve, is renowned for its commitment to environmental conservation and sustainable tourism practices. Its vast 15,000-hectare wilderness area provides pristine habitat for a diverse array of wildlife, including the Big Five—lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros, and buffalo. Kapama’s guides are known for their expertise, professionalism, and dedication to preserving and educating visitors about the natural wonders of the reserve.
Therefore, it is no surprise that Ruan Coetzee, a Kapama River Lodge guide, has been selected as a finalist in this years Safari Guide of the Year Awards. We wish him all the best in the competition.
By hosting the Safari Guide of the Year Awards, Kapama Private Game Reserve is reaffirming its role as a leader and pioneer in the safari industry, in particular with the career development of its guides. The event will bring together a distinguished panel of experts, to celebrate the achievements of safari guides who have shown exceptional knowledge, leadership, and an unwavering commitment to conservation.
The awards ceremony, which will be aired live on the 2nd of June at 18:30, set against the backdrop of Kapama’s stunning African landscape, promises to be an unforgettable affair. This event will provide an opportunity to immerse guests in the reserve’s unparalleled beauty while honouring the remarkable individuals who have made significant contributions to the safari industry.
Throughout the event, attendees will be treated to captivating experiences that showcase the essence of being a safari guide. These experiences have been specifically chosen to test the top five finalists on a variety of skills, such as a Bushwalk, a guided photographic experience, Track and sign and storytelling sessions that share the rich cultural heritage of Africa will be among the highlights of the program, to name but a few.
In addition to recognizing the outstanding efforts of safari guides, the awards ceremony will serve as a platform for discussing key conservation issues and promoting sustainable tourism practices. It will encourage the exchange of ideas and strategies among industry professionals for safeguarding Africa’s natural resources for generations to come.
Kapama Private Game Reserve’s involvement in hosting the Safari Guide of the Year Awards underscores its commitment to raising awareness about the importance of responsible tourism. By showcasing the vital role played by safari guides and highlighting this as a respectable and valuable profession and career path, Kapama aims to inspire visitors to become stewards of nature, promoting conservation efforts in their communities.
As the date of the Safari Guide of the Year Awards approaches, on the 2nd of June, excitement is building among the safari industry and conservation enthusiasts alike. Be sure to follow our social channels, Youtube, Facebook and Instagram for updates throughout the competition running until the 7th of June.
Kapama Private Game Reserve, with its unrivalled beauty and dedication to preserving Africa’s natural heritage, stands ready to welcome the world to an extraordinary event that will honour the heroes of the safari industry and inspire a new generation of wildlife enthusiasts and conservationists.
Photo credits: Armadillo Media