Today the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association (KPSGA) is an acclaimed examining body, which offers a series of qualifications that act as industry standards by which all Kenyan safari guides can be measured. The examinations require guides to have knowledge of a broad range of topics including flora and fauna; conservation and tourism; ethics, and hospitality standards.
The story of the KPSGA began in the ’80s. A young safari guide, just hired, realised that there was not a merit-based system that determined who got a job as a safari guide in Kenya, and many of the driver guides were very knowledgeable and experienced, yet had no way to advance in their career. He became determined to change this. This guide in question is Royal African Safaris Founder, and Founding Chairman of the KPSGA, our very own, Peter Silvester.
Many years later, with a lot of help from a number of experts, Royal African Partners, safari guides, tour operators, national museums staff, faculty from training institutions and the Kenya Wildlife Service. The Bronze, Silver, and Gold KPSGA syllabuses and examinations were created.
Thousands of guides have now taken these examinations. They have improved the standards within the industry as a whole and provided the possibility of career advancement for individuals within it.
New free online courses for KPSGA guides Project:
With COVID-19’s impact on tourism, many Kenyan guides have been sitting at home not advancing their knowledge and skills as they wish to. So with Peter’s encouragement and our funding, Zarek Cockar has taken the initiative to start free online courses for KPSGA Safari guides in this time when they cannot be on safari and perhaps beyond. Zarek is a KPSGA gold level safari guide and an independent trainer who teaches guides at different lodges and he is a volunteer who helps with KPSGA online administration. Each course is on a particular topic, for example, reptiles or ecology and conservation and it contains a lecture, an assignment and a short assessment. Some of these courses have guest lecturers. These courses continue to be free for KPSGA members thanks to the Royal African Foundation’s funding, and a minimal fee is charged for non-members. The courses have been going really well so far with a minimum of 100 participants signed up for each one.
It’s a fantastic education project that is helping to secure the future of the wilderness areas we visit, we are proud to sponsor it, and to be a corporate sponsor of the KPSGA.
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