Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Maps vs. GPS

The trusty road atlas has fallen out of favour over the last few years as technology caught up with demand and GPS navigation systems became more affordable to the masses. GPS is definitely a must have for any guide, it gets you from point A to B in the shortest time possible and helps you out in a pinch if you happen to take the wrong turn, but should this really be a reason to recycle your maps?

GPS quickly and efficiently calculates the route you need to follow whereas a map gives you the big picture of the area you are heading to/through. What happens when a tourist would like to see the layout and boundaries of the provinces? How would you show them the size of the Kruger National Park in relation to the size of the country? How do you show them exactly where you’re heading if you don’t have a map with you?

Maps come in hundreds of different varieties, from road atlases to pocket guides. You get specialised maps of areas such as the Kruger National Park, Winelands, Panorama, Drakensberg , Richtersveld, the Garden Route, 4 X 4 routes, flower route map and dive site to name but a few.

GPS might be the new kid on the block but that good old trusty map that has laid forgotten in the glove box is still a handy tool for any tourist guide.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Flag Day At Drum Beat

Across the world people are celebrating today and here at Drum Beat it’s no different.

In Australia they are celebrating Australia Day, in Uganda it’s Liberation Day and in India they are celebrating Republic day.

Here at Drum Beat we are having fun with our own special day - Flag Day. Everyone needs a reason to celebrate, right?

The whole office joined in and represented a flag in some way or the other, we have just about everything from Ghana to Bangladesh.

Just to make this an educational experience we had a little test to see who knows their flags, turns out it’s a bit harder than expected and even the test creator couldn’t remember them all. But it is our great pleasure to announce that we have a clear winner! Congratulations Christa! We all had a good guess but you are most certainly the champion!

Can you guess where these flags are from?

If you want to learn more about our country then our Tourist Guide Course is the thing for you!

Friday, August 12, 2011

10 things no guide should be without

1. Q-cards

2. A good map or GPS

3. Spare microphone

4. Torch

5. Multi tool

6. Cell phone (with air time) and charger

7. 1st aid kit

8. Own medication

9. Patience

10. Sense of humour

Sunday, June 19, 2011

First Aid Across Borders

Limpopo Valley Horse Safaris asked us to come and present a First Aid course for their trail guides in Botswana.

What an experience!

We went across the border at Pontsdrift. We were pulled over the Limpopo River in a little steel cable cage. A first for us.

The class was presented on the bank of the river with the wonderful symphony of birds in the trees around us.

Everyone enjoyed the course especially the practical part. Even the little one’s participated and astonished us with the accuracy with which they mimicked the CPR procedures.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

ROMANZ Anti-Poaching Concert

SANPARKS Honorary Rangers (Pretoria Region) presents ROMANZ for their Anti-Poaching Campaign.

Place: Sorex Estate

Date: 14 May 2011

Time: 20:00

Price: R150.00

Contact Christa Viljoen 082 675 2258

Tickets also available at Computicket.

Monday, April 18, 2011

What Makes A Good Guide?

As with everything in life a good guide is a matter of opinion and personal preference. There is some truth in the saying that you can please some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time. There is however a few guidelines that help dictate what a good guide should be:

A tour guide needs to advocate enjoyment. The main reason people go on holiday is to enjoy themselves and to relax, to see a new part of the country or world and to go back home enriched and well rested. Even though we travel for enjoyment learning something about the place you are visiting helps enforce that ‘holiday feeling’ we are all looking for.

A tour guide needs to be well organized. A lot of guides work for tour operators and thus think that they don’t have to be bothered with the small organizing details, this type of thinking can lead to catastrophe. A guide always need to ensure that he/she knows the route and the arrangements off by heart, having an alternative backup plan or two will ensure that your group is always well taken care of and that all possible scenarios are covered.

A tour guide needs relevant knowledge. This doesn’t just refer to the area they are guiding in but also about the people they are guiding. A guide needs to know what interests his group as well as any cultural/ethnic considerations that need to be addressed.

A tour guide needs to be well spoken and well dressed. A guide is the introduction to the area or country he/she is guiding in. A guide is essentially the representative of a brand and product. It is the guide’s duty to portray a polished well rounded image of his profession and his/her area of operation.

A tour guide needs to be a Jack-of-all-trades. A tour guide needs to know a little of everything, not just facts and figures. Sometimes a guide will need to be a nanny, first aider, counselor, handyman, chef, problem solver or even a cheerleader. You never know what a client will require from you, always try to assist as well as you can and always within reason.

There are many traits and guidelines to follow to be a good guide but only through trial and error will you be able to find the right formula for you.

Visit our Tourist Guide and Event Support website for more information about Tourist Guides and Tour Operators.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011