1-2 December 2008 Rhino Camp Wilderness Safaris. A training course on approaching and viewing lions for tourism was held at Rhino Camp. On 1 Dec 2008 the staff from Rhino Camp participated with practical fieldwork when a sub-adult male lion was immobilised and radio-collared. They gained valuable exposure and assisted with marking the lion, monitoring and data collection.

Emsie Verwey & Dorris Murangi helping to fit the collar (C B)

Daphne Hanabeb (Manager) & the staff with the lion (E V)

Dorris helping with the lion & Emsie recording data

The formal training course was held on 2 Dec 2008 and was aimed at the Guides and Camp Managers from Palmwag, Rhino Camp and Damaraland Camp. In addition, most of the Rhino Camp staff, Emsie Verwey & Chris Bakkes also attended, and Louis Nortje & Richard Fryer drove up from Windhoek to participate. Following the “Guide Training Structure” (see below) emphasis was placed on lion biology, behaviour ecology, and aspects of approaching and viewing lions. Nine guides / camp managers officially attended the course (see below). At the onset of the training they were given a short exam paper (click to view or download) to test their basic knowledge of lions, and to guide the structure of the training programme. All but one of the trainees passed the test and the average score was 52% (see graph below).

Names of the Guides and Camp Managers

Frequency distribution of the trainee's test results

The course was held in a tent at Rhino Camp (R Fryer)

Ignatius Hanabeb
Daphne Auchas
Raymond Roman
Everest Adams
Heidi Dednam
Durr Ferreira
Willem Mutinga

Daniel Uakaramenua
Me-Gusto Busch

Below are a few examples of the images and illustrations used during the lectures.

Tourism Guide Training Structure – Large Carnivores & Tourism in the Kunene Region, Namibia.

Essential Embedded Knowledge
Specific Outcomes
A qualified tour-guide is able to demonstrate a basic knowledge & understanding of: A qualified tour-guide, assessed against this standard, will be able to:
1. The evolutionary history of large carnivores and the relationship between the six large carnivore species.
2. The anatomy and key identifying characteristics of the species.
3. The fundamental biological characteristics of each species, including:
3.1. Sexual dimorphism.
3.2. Reproduction.
3.3. Age categories & key identification guidelines.
3.4. Social structure.
1. Provide accurate, current, and interesting information to tourists.
2. Relay to tourist interesting characteristics within and between species.
3. Accurately identify & categorise individual animals into different age classes, for each species.
Behaviour Ecology
1. How large carnivores communicate, with an emphasis on visual (facial expressions & body positions) and vocal communication
2. Home ranges and habitat preferences.
3. Hunting behaviour and predation.
4. Activity patterns.
5. Inter & intra-specific competition.
1. Provide accurate, current, and interesting information to tourists.
2. Identify key communication signs by large carnivores, when approaching them, in order to:
2.1. Improve the sighting & experience by tourists.
2.2. Avoid disturbance to the animals.
2.3. Avoid dangerous situations.
3. Use their knowledge of habitat use & activity patterns of large carnivores to improve locating and viewing large carnivores.
Approaching and viewing large carnivores
1. The moral dilemma of short-term & long-term gain in tourism.
2. How large carnivores respond to people and vehicles.
2.1 The factors that cause disturbance to large carnivores.
2.2 Ways to avoid disturbance
3. The behaviours of large carnivores that indicate disturbance.
3.1 Facial expressions.
3.2 Body postures.
3.3 Vocal communication.
3.4 Ways to avoid disturbance.
4. The techniques of approaching large carnivores by vehicle, in order to minimise disturbance.
5. The typical situations that may cause disturbance to large carnivores.
1. Demonstrate professionalism.
2. Interpret and understand the behavioural signs of disturbance when approaching large carnivores.
3. Approach and view large carnivores safely and with minimal disturbance to the animals.
4. Avoid potentially dangerous situations when approaching large carnivores.
Conservation status
1. The current distribution and density of large carnivores in Namibia.
2. The current distribution and density of large carnivores in their area, and the western section of the Kunene Region.
3. The International conservation status of the six large carnivore species.
4. The conservation status of the six large carnivores in Namibia.
5. The major threats to the six large carnivore species, locally, and throughout Namibia.
6. The role of tourism in the conservation of the species.
1. Provide accurate information to tourists on the current conservation status of the species.
2. Promote the importance of tourism to the conservation of large carnivores in Namibia.
Data recording
1. The importance of recording observations.
2. What information to record.
3. Why it is important to capture this information.
1. Accurately record the correct information.