Mwagusi Camp believes strongly in the in-house and on-site training of it’s safari guides. A full-time guide instructor is employed at the camp and an intensive guide training programme is in place with new recruits being taken in every year. It is a multi-faceted learning approach with the aim of equipping it’s trainees with a variety of skills that will make them well suited to various facets of the tourism and hospitality industry in Tanzania.
The core objective is to improve a trainee’s wildlife and bush knowledge and nurture a better understanding of the land and the wildlife that surrounds them. These studies usually take at least 3 years to complete before a trainee has the experience and wildlife knowledge to work as a Mwagusi Safari Guide. The approach to learning is varied and interactive in the form of daily walks and classroom lessons.
Two walks occur on a daily basis in the early morning and late afternoon. During these walks students cover a broad number of topics including: tracks, birding, insects, trees, animals and guiding etiquette. The walks are predominantly a means to question and answer and practice conveying information in an accessible and interesting manner. Not only students, but full-time experienced guides attend walks and assist students with explanations and understanding.
Classroom lesson run periodically throughout the day and are taken by our guide instructor, and interspersed with examples and region specific information from the experienced guides. Topics include: mammals, insects, geology, ecology, animal behaviour and plants. Class is open to all members of staff and attended mainly by all guides and students. Students are challenged in their understanding and forced to substantiate their claims thereby enhancing their understanding. The class is interactive and encourages its members to research answers to their own questions using the material available in camp, and consolidate this knowledge with our guide instructor as well as use practicing guide’s experience to corroborate new information.
English is also taught daily and class is open to all members of staff regardless of the extent of their command of the language. English is taught through grammar, reading, vocabulary and conversational practise. Recently this has been expanded to include digital facilities with tools such as Rosetta Stone which simultaneously increases its students computer skill base while providing new and captivating ways to learn.
In between a busy day of learning with classroom lessons and walks, trainees experience the alternative part of their training programme which includes mentorship and skills training in various departments within the camp. This ensures that all employees are rewarded with an extensive skill set. Trainee guides assist in areas such as waitering, bar tendering, housekeeping, butlery, cooking, and camp maintenance which includes masonry, carpentry, building, thatching and plumbing.