Tourism has hit a nose dive following the coronavirus pandemic. South Africa is feeling the dip of this viral outbreak too. But one man who will be ready to greet visitors when the crisis is over is Benjamin Mpofu.
He has been named the best tour guide for Africa and the Middle East.
“It’s really important as a tour guide to be honest. When you are asked questions, get the answers right, because these days anyone can fact-check on the internet or elsewhere. Also be on time always. If you give a time to meet, be there beforehand. And be the leader of the group”, Mpofu said.
It's really important as a tour guide to be honest.
A two-day tour with Mpofu costs about $315 and he also has longer tours available. His clients hold him in high esteem.
‘‘It was a fantastic tour and Benjamin is an excellent guide. He’s got so much knowledge and information, and he’s such a great storyteller that you are constantly enthralled. He’s also a great guy, very friendly – a great guide. And the tour was fantastic. Beautiful animals seen from the jeep. For two days, we really enjoyed ourselves’‘, a Dutch tourist, Harry van der Bergh said.
Nizaan Peck is a Tourism Lecturer at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. He said getting along with people is an essential quality for a good tour guide.
“You need to love South Africa, if you’re a South African tour guide. It will show in your smile, in your being, how you talk to people, how much time you have available. Because you want to show them that flower, you want to show them that mountain. It comes from within. And passion for people as well. Basically, getting along with people”, Peck said.
Because of COVID-19, the government has imposed restrictions and a 21 day nationwide lockdown begins on March 26. And so most of Mpofu’s impending tours have been cancelled.
But what is for sure is that South Africa’s treasures will still be waiting when the tourists return after the world defeats the virus.