USAID’s Nyungwe Nziza Project in Rwanda launches professional guide certification program in Nyungwe National Park
Kigali, February 14th – Through the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Nyungwe Nziza Project in collaboration with the Rwanda Development Board, Nyungwe National Park (NNP) has just become the first park in Africa to train all guides as Certified Interpretive Guides through the National Association for Interpretation (NAI). NAI, a US-based international NGO, has over 5,370 members in 30 nations and has trained and certified more than 20,000 professionals in more than 40 nations over the past decade. NAI guide training is considered the premier training in the world for guides at parks, zoos, museums, nature centers and UNESCO world heritage sites.
Twenty-seven guides took the five-day intensive workshop at the Kitabi College of Conservation and Environmental Management (KCCEM). All twenty-seven guides successfully completed the course, passed the required elements, and demonstrated their abilities in a practical exam which included successful demonstration of their understanding of workshop material to their peers and trainers in a 10-minute thematic trail hike.
The NAI certified trainers remarked that all the guides were quite good and several demonstrated exceptional proficiency. Great guiding helps tourists make both intellectual and emotional connections with the unique stories and sense of place at NNP which creates lasting memories for the guests and encourages return visits, longer visits, donations and increased word of mouth advertising for the park. It helps the public understand the important conservation role of all staff and visitors and encourages conservation behaviors such as not littering, not feeding wildlife and compliance with park rules and policies.
A two-day Certified Interpretive Host workshop was also conducted by the trainers for 18 NNP personnel and partners who meet the public but do not lead guided activities. Six individuals from Nyungwe Forest Lodge, and several representatives of the Kitabi, Banda and Cyamudongo cultural communities and KCCEM took part in the training along with the Chief Park and Tourism Wardens. The host training course focuses on how each member of the NNP team and partners can cross-market each program and help turn every conversation with a tourist into a lasting relationship for NNP and Rwanda.
For further information contact: Boaz Tumwesigye, Boaz_Tumwesigye@dai.com, +250-788309833