Launching the Plett Community Guiding Network 

Launch of community guiding network
Published: November 1st, 2023

Launching the Plett Community Guiding Network – Building Connections and Empowering Local Guides

In the heart of Plettenberg Bay, a community-driven initiative is taking root, one that aims to empower the dedicated individuals who guide visitors through the region’s stunning natural treasures. The Plett Community Guiding Network recently embarked on its journey to foster collaboration, networking, and the sharing of experiences among guides, all while strengthening the vital bond between man and nature.

On a crisp Monday afternoon, the first gathering of community guides took place at the Bitou Wetland Biocamp. This gathering marked a significant milestone in the effort to empower and support local community guides whilst helping create a network that connects guides with potential opportunities. The event’s agenda aimed to encourage networking and, most importantly, begin to empower the local guides.

The event commenced with a warm, welcoming atmosphere, as participants were greeted with comforting hot drinks, fostering an environment conducive to open dialogue and connection. This sense of togetherness and community is what the Plett Community Guiding Network strives to create. For the first networking events, we had participants from Green Valley, Kranshoek and Kwano.

One of the day’s highlights was the guided tour of the Bitou Wetlands Biocamp, an ecologically diverse and stunning area on Plettenberg Bay’s doorstep. The tour, led by experienced guide Frank Carlisle, provided a firsthand look at the natural beauty of the region and the role guides play in interpreting and preserving these spaces.

Crucially, the event allowed every participant the opportunity to share their personal stories, challenges, and aspirations, fostering a real understanding of the reality facing the guiding profession on the ground. This open exchange of experiences enabled participants to connect on a deeper level, creating a sense of camaraderie and a shared purpose where conversations continued over a hearty dinner of chicken curry and freshly baked bread. Those staying over enjoyed a peaceful nights rest in the serene calmness of Bitou wetland.

At the core of the Plett Community Guiding Network is a vision that transcends typical tourist experiences. The goal is to establish a sustainable guiding network that not only provides opportunities for local community guides but also enriches the experience of visitors. This network is in collaboration with Plett Tourism and seeks to provide a platform between guides and opportunities in the area. It is also important to acknowledge that it is recognised that there has been a lot of previous work done in terms of training local guides.

The endgame is not just about enhancing the quality of tours but also ensuring the conservation of protected areas for generations to come. It is a commitment to eco-tourism that is both informative and sustainable. Visitors can expect to explore Plett’s natural wonders under the guidance of well-informed, passionate local guides, who are not only proficient in their field but also deeply committed to the preservation of these pristine spaces.