Lion Sands Blog | Field Guide And Tracker Training
The More Group places a high value on professional development and bringing out the best in our guiding teams. It is our responsibility to ensure our guests’ safari experience is the best it can be, and one of the ways to do that is through regular training sessions. Last week we welcomed Byron Ross from Essential Guiding back to Lion Sands!
Byron has been running a 5-day training and development course with our field team over the past few months. The trainings are divided into small groups consisting of guides and trackers from both Sabi Sand and Kruger National Park Lodges, to reinforce team bonding across properties. The training is focused specifically on intensive team building and skills development.
The partnership and interaction between a field guide and tracker has an immense impact on the guest’s safari experience. As a result of countless hours spent together in unpredictable and at times potentially dangerous situations, the field guide and tracker must have a strong relationship that is built on trust and an understanding and appreciation of the other’s role and contribution. Many of the exercises during the course focused on team building and help to reinforce the bonds critical to their success as team. Click here to read more about the relationship of guides and trackers at Lion Sands.
The course also looked at understanding how to maximize knowledge and individual strengths between guide and tracker, to collectively create the best guest experience. Byron and Essential Guiding train by the philosophy that “great guiding begins from the heart, and not from the head.” They examined different ways to share knowledge, interpret animal behaviour, and create a life changing experience for guests.
Participants in the training commented that perhaps the most exciting experience during the training, or at least the most memorable, was the overnight sleep-out in the bush. On the final night of the training, each group sleeps out under the stars (and we are not talking at Chalkley Treehouse), but instead each person taking shifts to keep a watchful eye of the night’s nocturnal life. Most of the team returned the following morning red-eyed to say the least, but with smiles on their faces.
Words and image by: Charlotte Arthun