Tales of a whale guide 

Imagine being an entertainer, a teacher, and in an improv group all at once! That’s what it’s like to be a guide at a museum and that’s exactly what the wonderful WhaleTime tour guides have experienced during the past couple months.  

It’s a position that requires confidence, communication, motivation and lots and lots of practice.  After receiving in-depth training and exposure to all-things-whale, our guides were ready to take on some practical guiding experience at the Durban Maritime Museum. 

One of the best parts about this project is that it wasn’t just the museum visitors that learnt about the whales and their history, it was an awesome opportunity for the community guides to learn something new too! Nombuso said that at first, she had no idea that there was a species called ‘whales’ that swim in our oceans – “It has really opened my mind and my eyes!”. After getting the chance to see the whales in their natural habitat for the first time, Nondomiso now feels she can speak more confidently and passionately about whales. Like most of us experiencing the emotion of seeing a whale for the first time, Nondomiso felt that this really was a life changing experience. 

Most of the girls have expressed their gratitude to the organisers of this project. All of them had a fantastic time and added that the skills they had gained through this will benefit them throughout their careers. Nombuso boasted about the strong interpersonal relationships she built with her clients and how well she can now manage the tricky dynamics of diverse groups of people with different backgrounds. Bongiwe and Nondomiso learnt some new money saving and recycling skills and were both happy to report that they have continued to follow up on some of the more difficult questions visitors had asked them. 

The feedback we’ve received from these ladies has been really rewarding, and we can’t wait to see them grow into model tour guides and whale ambassadors!

Keep going ladies, and we hope you have a whale of a time whilst doing it!