Atua Enkop Africa Group - 2022 High Season Preparation, with an intensive seven day training course to all our Driver Guides from Zarek Cockar.

On the 21st April 2022, driver guides from the four camps that form the Atua Enkop Africa Group, embarked on an intensive seven day training course. The course which took place at our Mara Ngenche Camp covered numerous areas which are designed to improve the guides’ skills and enhance their capabilities.

Some of the topics that were comprehensively delved into during the training were:

- Interpersonal skills                - Communication
- Problem solving                     - Leadership
- Ethics                                     - Etiquette.

The training included some role-play to enhance the participants’ critical thinking capabilities in various situations. On most mornings and evenings, the guides went on game drives and during these drives everything from bird identification to handling difficult clients were discussed. The weather throughout this period was rainy and wet and this presented itself as an opportunity for training on wet terrain and off road vehicle handling. The morning drives were followed by lectures after breakfast and some classroom time.

The lectures covered and helped broaden the guide’s knowledge and grasp in areas such as:

- Guiding Skills                                                    - Taxonomy & Scientific Names
- Birds & Bird Guiding, Mammals                        - Animal Behavior
- Insects                                                               - Arachnids
- Astronomy                                                         - Reptiles, & Amphibians

Guides additionally received a refresher course on how to make and use a checklist for daily vehicle checks (mechanical & equipment) and a detailed explanation of the 4WD system, other areas covered were table manners and eating etiquette. All the guides participated in setting of tables, serving drinks. All in all, each guide was able to glean plenty of useful information and knowledge from the training to take back and incorporate into their daily guiding.

The trainer was Zarek Cockar.

About the Trainer:

Born and raised in Kenya, and having taken every opportunity to go on safari, camping, and hiking from a young age, Zarek has developed a deep connection to East Africa’s wilderness areas.  His guide training programmes are defined by his wide-eyed wonder at the natural world, from hopping through muddy puddles catching frogs to studying the finer details of a porcupine track. With over 13 years in the safari industry as a private guide, Zarek now fills his low season periods by traveling around East Africa providing natural history training for guides and rangers Zarek holds a Gold Level badge from the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association (KPSGA), a Level 2 qualification from the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA), a Level 3 qualification from CyberTracker (a global wildlife tracking qualification system), and is a Trainer & Assessor for the African Field Guides Association (AFGA).