Who said you can’t teach old dogs new tricks – B2B back to school

Responsible Tourism Tanzania

We are well and truly through what is commonly known as the rainy or low season! B2B team members however have been pretty active over the months still managing to have some RnR with time spent on Zanzibar and Pangani, Serengeti and for the B2B drivers, sales and logistical members of the B2B team time to travel back to their family home towns throughout Tanzania.

With a build up to the new hot 2012 safari/climbing/beach season we are all somewhat recharged and for several individuals carrying new or refreshed knowledge with us in preparation for venturing out into the Tanzanian bush. To give you, the reader a short review as to how we keep ourselves up to scratch with the latest updated trends and field training, please take a look below as to some of the achievements that we are happy to shout out to you all to further paint the picture that we are very serious about what we do here in Tanzania. I have said it to many clients past and new, we not only know how to do the talk we really know how to do the walk.

Driver Guides

Simon Kimaro, Edwin Lyanga and Charles Kessy all went that little bit further during April and May. Simon and Edwin were the first to head into Lake Manyara with notebooks, pens, pencils, field guide books and sleeping bags, they said goodbye to wives and young children and disappeared for a month-long intensive field guide course with credited trainers from South Africa. They were to breath, sleep, think, act and learn many new bush skills and hands on guiding training scenarios in the best outdoor class room one could ever want for. Areas covered are listed below, with each individual having to present two subjects of personal interest back to the trainers. It was a very hand’s on course located at a special camp in the heart of Lake Manyara, allowing plenty of time for the guides to be fully absorbed by the wonderful bush and its inhabitants.

  1. Ethology
  2. Communication and health and safety of guests.
  3. Mammals.
  4. Birds level 1 &2.
  5. Botany trees and grasses.
  6. Taxonomy.
  7. Reptiles.
  8. Amphibians.
  9. Insects and their relatives.
  10. Basic first aid treatment.
  11. Terrorist attack procedures
  12. Ecology.
  13. Interpreting tracks and signs.
  14. Astronomy

Directors

DirectorsIt was also time for me to head back to re-sit and review my WFR medical training that I had taken 2 years prior. WFR stands for Wilderness First Aid responder, although I am not guiding so much I do spend a lot of time in and out of the bush and after 12 years of living here in Tanzania feel it is an important skill and knowledge to keep up to date. All our Kilimanjaro guides have this level of training so for me on the ground and back in the office it is equally important (for me to have the same level of training so I can further advise and take action if I am contacted by a mountain guide or a driver guide for the matter. When on safari, if you follow proper bush ethics and listen to your guides and what you have perhaps read out there, you will no doubt pass through Tanzania without any issues. Accidents and illnesses are seldom but on occasion clients do get a bit of Bali belly or a little too much exposure to the elements. We give all our guides in-house training so they are a little better prepared for the common problems that can make a safari vacation a miserably one. The guides do not pass themselves off as doctors or nurses but can give reassurance, advice and take preventative action so that your safari vacation to Tanzania is as trouble-free as they can make it.

Getting close and personal with a CPR dummy.

Getting close and personal with a CPR dummy.

Following a path of Green – Responsible Tourism

Our environment and how we are closely working with it has always been part of the makeup of Bush2Beach philosophy “take pictures and only leave footprints” type of approach.

My own background into the great outdoors started from a very young age when my folks thought it would be good fun to walk along freezing windswept beaches in the middle of a Jersey (C.I) winter, looking for washed up waders and other sea birds!! At the time I was more concerned that my nose might actually fall off or I would have permanent problems with the functionality of using my fingers again. So to say a great respect of the wilderness has always been with me from as far back as I can remember. It saddens me time and time again when travelling behind buses and other vehicles that the simple understanding about rubbish being ejected out of moving vehicles is ‘WRONG’ unfortunately is simple not there. Taka taka (rubbish) as it is called in Ki-Swahili has not set place to be dropped!! Anywhere is ok for a huge majority of the Tanzanian population, if you stand up for your own beliefs you are looked at as a fool and become the laughing point of the small group of groupies that are tuning in on the conversation.
To say that the new generation are a little better informed is a promising sign but this needs to be implanted and enforced towards the bus companies that pull in to the road side bus stand restaurants for the allocated 20mins lunch stop where one can buy all manner of greasy fried foods. Black plastic bags along with plastic drinks bottles are later ejected out of bus windows some 10km down the road to which even though you are driving along the chain of the pristine Usamabara mountain ranges one cannot help but reflect that along the road side it looks more like your local rubbish tip.

Before I drift away from the main point I started writing about, I wanted to let the reader know that we at B2B are, and always have been practising a green philosophy in all our operations and after the 1st Responsible Tourism workshop that I attended earlier this year that was organised by Responsible Tourism in Tanzania (RTTZ) and sponsored by the British high commission I came away with many ideas, suggestions, useful tools and a deeper understanding as to which way to steer the company supported and assisted by RTTZ.
It was great to meet and get to know the many other interested parties that are looking to put Tanzania in general on the world-wide map letting all know that tour operators and hoteliers are joining forces and stepping into line with RTTZ guide lines. This at the end of the day makes perfect sense, considering the pristine wilderness destinations that we are taking you all to. This also means we can suggest suitable hoteliers that follow RTTZ guide lines in reference to their own accommodation. We will be injecting these tools and principles back into our mobile fly camping safaris and with the opening of our wooden doors to other tour operators of B2B’s Isoitok Camp, we look forward to further sustainable responsible developments and attaining our accreditation rating from RTTZ in the not too distant future.

1st Responsible tourism workshop in arusha

8 in from the left - Chris Pilley B2B managing director attending the 1st Responsible Tourism workshop in Arusha.

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Comments

  1. jay conklin May 28, 2011

    thanks for the update Chris. Looking forward to meeting you in Tanzania. Jay

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