Field Guide Training Pre Qualification Course 

tsitsikamma eco guides
Published: January 26th, 2015

tsitsikamma eco guidesPlett Tourism is in the process of developing professionally guided eco hiking trails as part of their ongoing commitment to grow and develop the tourism industry in the area.  The trail program is fully aligned with Plett Tourism’s investment and marketing strategy, which is a key component to the out of season job creation and revenue strategy. 

The five, three and one day ecological orientated trails will operate in Kranshoek, the Crags, Bitou Valley and Nature’s Valley areas. The trails are in essence a “slack packing” nature based trail concept – overnight accommodation at luxury country lodges, portage of personal belongings by vehicle, picnic lunches and wine tasting at some of Plett’s boutique wine estates. Once fully operation, the Plett Winelands trails are destined to become a “must do” tourism experience, which encompasses the great natural beauty of the coastline, the diverse wildlife and flora and early history of mankind.

Professionally trained guides will lead the trails and suitably candidates are currently being selected and will undertake training to lead these trails for both South African and international clientele. The training will be rolled out in two phases:

Phase One: Pre-Qualifying Selection (9 -14th February 2015 – The Conference Room at The Upper Deck)

Phase Two: Field guide training and FGASA Accreditation (March – April 2015, venue to be confirmed)

The pre-qualification training program will focus the ecology and the cultural history of the southern Cape. The curriculum will include the following subjects.

  • Marine ecology.
  • Ornithology.
  • National Parks and protected areas of the southern Cape.
  • Palaeontology , with particular reference to Nelson’s Cave and Pinnacle Point.
  • Forest ecology.
  • Griqua culture.
  • The Wine industry of Plettenberg Bay.
  • An overview of the SA tourism industry
  • Guide training etiquette.

The training program is being developed and managed by ecology and tourism professionals, appointed by Plett Tourism and in conjunction with the Bitou Valley Foundation

  • Guide Training Etiquette – Mary Jane Waite – At the Source.
  • Forest Guiding in the Knysna Forests, its history, wildlife and birdlife – Frank Carlisle, Bhejane Safari’s.
  • Ornithology in the Bitou Valley – Gareth Robbins Plett Birding
  • Specialist guiding in the Garden Route – Gareth Robbins Plett Birding
  • Forest Ecology – Peter Collins Bhejane safari’s
  • Marine ecology – Colin Wylie Garden Route Walks
  • Fynbos ecology – Colin Wylie Garden Route Walks
  • Paleontology – Grahame Thomson, Plett Tourism
  • Course Management – Julie Carlisle, Mary Jane Waite and Grahame Thomson



Green Valley Candidates

Nigel Gysman (age 44)
Lives in Green Valley (Wittedrift) and is one of the family of the original inhabitants of Green Valley.  His hobbies include art, drawing, reading, sport and hiking.  Prior work experience and training in carpentry, construction, business and tourism.  He has a valid driver’s licence.

Veronica McClean (age 27)
Lives in Green Valley.  After passing matric, whe worked at Buffalo Hills Game Reserve as production assistant, helping with the distillery, orders and reservations.  She has also done domestic work that includes the care of children.

Rouxjay Daries (age 31)
Lives in Green Valley.  Matriculated from Plettenberg Bay Secondary School and worked at the Keurbooms River Protea Hotel as Receptionist.  Following this, he worked as a maintenance worker with Mr William Sam.

Ruzaan McLean (age 27)
Lives in Green Valley and matriculated from Plettenberg Bay Secondary School.  Following this, she worked as an assistant at Buffalo Hills Reserve and then Bay Holiday Home Services.


Kranshoek Candidates

Jolene Chantelle Booysen (Age 29)
Matriculated and lives in Kranshoek. Currently employed at Woolworths, but has a strong desire to move into a career in the tourism industry

Lorenzo Preissex (Age 25)
Matriculated and lives in Kranshoek. Currently employed by the Protea Hotel Group at the Knysna Quays Hotel, undergoing training in all aspects of hotel operations.


Plettenberg Bay/Kwanokuthula Candidates

Thandiswa Mabukane (Age 30)
Lives in Qolweni and matriculated at the Hillside secondary school. Attended the Tourism Ambassador Program in 2013 and is now employed by Plett Tourism as the office assistant.

Mbulelo Mafana (Age 25)
Lives in Kwanokuthula and matriculated from Murray High School in 2008. Completed the Educo Africa Wilderness Leadership Course in 2011 and obtained a certificate in Practical Business Administration in 2012.

Warren Koboka (Age 29)
Lives in Kwanokuthula and matriculated from Mzomtsha High School in 2005. Worked as a merchandiser for Pick,N Pay for 6 years.

Nolumabalo Mooi (Age 21)
Lives in Kwanokuthula and matriculated in 2011.She is currently studying Tourism L4 at the Bitou Campus, South Cape College.

Amphiwe Kendle (Age 20)
Lives in Kwanokuthula and matriculated from Bulelani Secondary School in 2013. Currently studying at the South Cape College for a tourism diploma, NCV Level 2.

Thembakazi Mbangata (Age 24)
Lives in Kwanokuthula and matriculated from the Nzululwazi Secondary School in 2008. She is currently studying Tourism L4 at the Bitou Campus, South Cape College.

Franklin Matthews (Age 21)
Lives in Pletteberg Bay and matriculated from Plettenberg Bay Secondary School in 2011. Attended South Cape College and completed a course in Management.

Lukhanyo Mdzeke ( Age 21)
Lives in Kwanokuthula and matriculated from Murray High School in 2010. Completed a diploma in Tourism Management at the South Cape College and is currently employed by Plett Tourism  as the Assistant Information Manager.


The Crags/Covie Candidates

Awaiting confirmation and selection


Pre Qualification Course 9th – 15th February

At the Upper Deck Conference Centre