Safari Guide of the Year 2022 announces the finalists.

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In no particular order, these are the five finalists that will be participating in Safari Guide of the Year 2022.

 

 

 

Background:

Liam is 30 years old and is from Johannesburg. A FGASA qualified Professional Field Guide and Lead Trails Guide, he currently works at The Homestead in Kwa Zulu Natal. Passionate about wildlife photography, he draws inspiration from teaching, educating motivating and sharing his knowledge with those that he comes into contact with.

Thoughts on being a finalist:

I consider being chosen as a finalist an amazing achievement. I am looking forward to sharing this experience with the other finalists as well as learning from the judges. I would like to see how this event will enable me to improve my guiding skills and become a more knowledgeable and professional guide. I believe that those guides that stayed on over COVID and went through the trials and tribulations of that recess are in this field for the long term“.

Quote:

The notion of being a guide is not just a short ‘gap year fill-in’ but more of a serious career choice“.

 

 

 

Background:

Solomon is 38 years old and is from Utah, a village in Mpumalanga. His primary mentors were Alan Yeowart and George Nguna and as a result, Solomon completed his first FGASA qualification in 2009. In 2010 he joined the Singita Tracking School, where he is currently a Professional Field Guide and Trails Guide.

Thoughts on being a finalist:

I am an avid birder, with a special passion for trailing, track and sign. I would like to use the competition to gain more knowledge from both my fellow finalists as well as the judging panel as well as share my skill set. I am of the opinion that we can all benefit from each other at events like this”.

Quote:

Everyone has their own unique way of guiding, and as such, I am looking forward to sharing and learning other methods that may add to MY offering as a guide“.

 

 

 

Background:

32-year-old Nico was raised and schooled in Cape Town. He started his guiding career in 2013 and is a Professional Field Guide as well as Professional Track and Sign and Trails Guide with regional birding qualifications. His speciality, developed over the years, is walking trails.

Nico is currently working as a Trainer at Bushwise Field Guides and has been there since July 2021.

Thoughts on being a finalist:

I am excited about the competition and about meeting the other finalists. I am looking forward to learning from all involved as I have spent most of my time in the Eastern Cape which is “a pretty secluded spot”. I have always aspired to take part in the competition and I view it not only as a challenge but also as a learning experience“.

Quote:

I am constantly challenged in the training sphere through all the questions that my students as and I hope to use that experience in this competition“.

 

 

 

Background:

Johannesburg born Cameron went straight from school into guiding! At 35, he has chosen this as his career path. His list of qualifications is impressive. Professional Field Guide, Professional Trails Guide, Marine Guide, Culture Guide and holds an SKS National Birding (South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique). He is also a Professional Tracker with Cybertracker and a FGASA Assessor.

Thoughts on being a finalist:

This is going to be an exciting event for me, coming from Namibia to compete in the Lowveld. My specialities are birding and tracking and I am hoping all the preparations that I am doing will pay dividends.

I believe in grabbing opportunities as and when I can and I am looking forward to sharing my energy with the people that are passionate and at the top of their game“.

Quote:

I cannot wait to rub shoulders with the top-end guides and mentors at the competition as these are the giants of our industry. I looking to learn from the competitors and judges alike to be able to add “more ingredients to my(guiding) recipe.”

 

 

 

Background:

From Nelspruit, this 27-year-old did his training at Bejane Nature Training in Kwa Zulu Natal. Ruvan is a Field Guide and a Trails Guide and as such feels that he is a good all-rounder in terms of guiding but he has a special passion for birding.

Thoughts on being a finalist:

I want to gain experience and enjoy and learn from my participation in the event. It is a  privilege and honour to have made it to the finals. I am looking forward to the exposure and to learning from some of the doyens in the industry“.

Quote:

I want to see the bush through the eyes of the judges“.

 

 

 

 

FGASA and all the SGOTY 2022 sponsors wish the finalists every success for the duration of this event and beyond.