Professional Guiding in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe has some of the most breathtakingly beautiful, wild and remote game rich regions anywhere in Africa.
Northern Zimbabwe boasts two world heritage sights namely Victoria Falls and Mana Pools. Nestled in between these two famous parks lie one of the largest man-made lakes in the world, Lake Kariba. Southern Zimbabwe holds a gem of a national park called Gonarezhou and to the East one finds stunning vistas and unique birding opportunities in the mountainous Vumba region. The West of the country is home to the largest park in Zimbabwe and holds one of the highest concentrations of elephant on the continent and the second highest diversity of mammals in the world! 3 more world heritage sites deserve recognition and exploration, namely Motobo Hills, Khami and Great Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe’s tourist facilities and infrastructure have enjoyed a total facelift and many of the original photographic camps have undergone major refurbishments and some have been totally rebuilt. They all have exceptionally high standards and are enjoying ever- increasing occupancies.
The renewed interest in Zimbabwe as a photographic safari destination is fuelled in part by the unquestionable expertise of our charismatic Professional Guides on the ground.
Zimbabwean guides are renowned as being some of the best naturalists on the continent and no doubt this reputation is born of the most stringent and rigorous apprenticeship in Africa and of course its notorious accreditation process.
After, on average, 4 to 5 years as a trainee and numerous exams the learner guides and hunters have to undertake an arduous week long practical examination. During this exam, where candidates set up their own camp, they are examined on everything about the outdoors with particular emphasis on bush lore, track identification and tracking, vertebrates, invertebrates, osteology, vegetation, photography, astronomy, conservation and eco-tourism, advanced first aid, shooting, rifle handling and safety.
The Zimbabwe Professional Hunters and Guides Association is an important platform for the hunters and guides to work together in helping the department of National Parks in all aspects of the examination process and to help maintain the exceptionally high standards that are expected. Experienced qualified guides and hunters, together with National Parks officials, will give up their time freely to examine the up and coming learner guides and hunters in the accreditation process.
It is because of this intensive qualification process that Zimbabwe is one of the few destinations in Africa where guides are permitted to walk guests within National parks. Walking offers guests a chance to safely get out of the game drive vehicles and together with their Professional Guide explore the rugged wilderness on foot. This activity enhances any safari and makes for an unforgettable experience.
Both the consumptive and non-consumptive operators in Zimbabwe are instrumental in helping communities, on the boundaries of their concessions, benefit directly from tourism ventures. Most of the safari camps in Zimbabwe today contribute hugely to the communities and National parks where they help with the development of schools, clinics, boreholes, roads, anti-poaching units and employment. We understand the importance of working together with these communities who have had to contend with animal conflict, drought and economic hardships and we believe we are having a positive influence on the way people perceive wildlife.