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Elewana Collection registers the first apprentice guide training programme in East AfricaBy Ali Bellamy, Elewana Afrika
The Elewana Collection has registered Kenya’s first ever apprentice guide-training programme, led by Head of Guide Training, Craig McFarlane.
The apprenticeship programme that Craig has developed recognises the responsibility that a guide has for ensuring all guests to Africa leave having felt a connection with the environment on which we all depend, and a respect for its surrounding communities and custodians – the fundamentals that underpin the ethos that drives Elewana and our Land and Life Foundation.
The apprentice programme runs for two years - the minimum time needed to ensure that a trainee guide gets sufficient hours to gain the practical knowledge required across a broad skills base. The first six month are spent working across a number of different lodge functions and departments to make sure that our guides have thorough grounding in all elements of a guest’s stay with us before they progress to learning how to guide.
Each apprentice guide in Kenya will need to qualify as a Kenya Professional Safari Guide (KPSGA) and to complete FGASA level 1 in the first year, which includes an understanding of the natural environment plus a sound knowledge of the history, geology, plants and animals in their geographic area of guiding. In year two each apprentice will work alongside our senior Elewana guides and sit for FGASA level 2, which covers advanced birding and botany, tracking, people skills & communication and advanced rifle handling.
We are delighted to announce that after intensive interviewing, the first intake of 14 apprentices started their training earlier this year. We have eight apprentices in Kenya and six in Tanzania. In a professional world dominated by men we’re thrilled to have two young passionate women that want to be part of the elite Elewana guiding programme.
The apprentice programme that Craig has developed is fundamental as Elewana works to empower, support and recruit from our local communities.