The managing executive of the Kruger National Park (KNP), Dr Bandile Mkhize received a full set of the park's new 40-module guide training manual at Skukuza on Monday March 17, 2008.
"We are continually looking at ways in which to improve our services and we identified that there was a need for high quality training material for our guides," commented Dr Mkhize during the hand-over ceremony.
The new guide training manuals were handed over to the KNP by the International Labour Organisation (ILO/Swiss Project), the organisation that helped Kruger compile the manual which will now be used as the standard for SANParks-employed guides in the KNP.
"We have also found that most of the guiding training materials available are not KNP specific, which is why we chose to develop our own," concluded Dr Mkhize.
KNP activities manager Andrew Desmet outlined how the park's new guiding "Service Excellence Programme" would benefit from the new materials."It stands to reason that guides need to know the KNP and that they shouldn't give our guests wrong information, and that is what training is all about. We see it to be a living document, which will be changed as new things are learned about our environment," he commented. Work started on the new manual after a contract was signed between SANParks and the ILO in August 2006.
"The fruit of all this effort will only be seen when these training manuals are implemented in our guide training, but we have certainly achieved a lot and thank the ILO for all the support and effort," said Desmet. Together with the new manuals, a performance management system has also been developed in order to ensure that the KNP guides give their guests correct information about the park and to evaluate their performance in this regard.
Southern African Wildlife College near Orpen entrance gate also received copies of this training manual as this institution is a key component in the training of KNP guides. There are 100 KNP guides, deployed to all the rest camps and bush camps, and they take guests on game drives, morning walks, mountain bike trails and various other activities that the park offers its guests.