We are proud to work with some of the best guides in the industry. In order to keep them (and us) at the top of the game, staff development is very important at Jenman African Safaris. Training has many benefits for staff. They acquire new skills, increase their contribution to the business and build on their self-esteem. Regular training develops the skills of employees and ensures they are at the forefront of the industry as well as feeling valued and invested in. We arrange an annual guide training that takes place over three days, where our most ambitious and new guides come together to learn, share and socialize. It’s also a time for showing our appreciation with a fun party at the end. This year 40 guides and drivers got together in Victoria Falls and were trained by Jeromy our Head of Operations, Valerie our Tour Manager and Katja our CEO. Read more to find out about what was covered at this year’s event.
Guide briefings: main departure briefing and daily briefings with guests
Briefings are an essential communication tool. Information is delivered, questions asked, and feedback collected. A successful briefing ensures that there is little to no misunderstandings within the group. Keeping the guests up to date, with departure times, distances, next stops etc., is essential for every day and allows for a sense of comfort amongst guests.
Guide responsibilities, pre-tour, during the tour, and post tour
Not only is the Guide responsible throughout the tour for the well-being of the guests. He also needs to structure and organize the before and after of each tour. There is quite a bit of prep that takes place pre-tour. After the tour, it’s important to ensure all the admin is done in an orderly manner, even though the tour itself is over the work isn’t over. After the tour it’s time for Recons and Invoices, it’s very important that these are done correctly, this was covered in detail at the training.
Competitions and Trip Advisor reviews
By creating a guest-centric culture, employees are empowered to make a difference. At the end of the day, your employees are representatives of your brand and those responsible for offering remarkable guest service. The team feels motivated if they know their effort and hard work is making a difference on a larger scale. When guests mention guides for their excellent service, the guides are rewarded internally. Guide of the month is also chosen based on TripAdvisor reviews.
On a tour, the vehicle is can often feel like a member of the team. Guests will stay in various types of accommodation and experience different landscapes but the vehicle will remain a constant. It is their trusty steed through Africa so it is important that it is well maintained. Should any problem arise a guide and driver should be able to sort it out quickly and efficiently. This is why vehicle training is vitally important. Drivers are often selected not only for their safe driving practices, but also –very importantly – for their safari expertise and knowledge of the area and the wildlife!
Our company vision and the Grow Africa Foundation
As brand ambassadors, guides should be well-versed in the company ethos. They can often be the most effective messenger as they deal directly with guests and often establish a good rapport. Our CEO Katja, gave an insightful presentation about our company vision as well as the redefined vision and mission for the Grow Africa Foundation which guides were encouraged to share with all guests.
End of training treat
After an intense training, the guides were able to relax and let their hair down on a boat cruise on the Zambezi River. This outing was for our regular Zimbabwe and Botswana guides and a fun time was had by all.
Guide of the Year and Driver of the Year
At the end of training, the Guide of the Year and the Driver of the Year were announced. For the 2nd year in a row, Lucky has won Jenman African Safaris Guide of the Year. His prize is two nights for two at Elephant’s Eye, Hwange a luxury eco-lodge in Zimbabwe. Well done Lucky, and thank you for the many years of excellent service you have provided to Jenman African Safaris. Our Driver of the year is Fungai, well done Fungai and thank you so much for your dedication to Jenman, our vehicles, and guests!