When Hendrik told me this story, I knew I had to share it. Hendrik Human and his wife Chrissy run an amazing Cape Town based touring company called Earthstompers Adventures. They run a happy, healthy and growing business doing adventure trips up the Garden Route for environmentally conscious and youthful travelers. They are what you call “an employer of choice” – they only hire the best and people don’t leave.
I am always in awe of Hendrik’s attention to detail – whether it is staff training and motivation, ops around vehicle maintenance and safety issues, guest communications and all the little extras. Over time his policies and procedures framework and onboarding protocols for both staff and guests have become world class – I give Chrissy a lot of credit for this. My friend married well.
I digress. The coffee shop conversation took some interesting turns, but I was particularly tickled by the fact that Earthstompers guides are quite particular about where they – and their guests – relieve themselves. At Earthstompers, even the toilets are carefully selected.
It seems like a no-brainer, but when you have 500km+ driving days one needs to pay careful attention to your upfront planning. Especially when the company you work for have a few very specific values, two of which are:
1. Never fill up for gas with guests in the car
2. Never pee at gas stations
Rule 2 would happen if you didn’t follow rule 1. Either way, they take this so seriously that the guide group use their whatsapp group in an interesting way: Swopping info with each other on cool new places to take a leak. Where most of us get excited about a hot new restaurant, the Earthstompers crew get excited about a great new loo at a funky coffee shop. There is nothing wrong with gas station restrooms – its just that there are better places. And they will find them. Now THAT is commitment.
It is a small thing – but it does speak to the Earthstompers ethos. EVERYTHING they do is with maximum guest experience in mind. Not one moment is wasted on stuff like filling up gas – that gets done while the guests are on an activity or sleeping. We love working with these guys.
Which is why I asked Hendrik to be a trustee on Tourism Boot Camp. Chrissy has already generously given of her time in 2018 to help train our various Boot Campers in Excel, and now the Earthstompers team is going one step further.
This winter, we are launching a new Boot Camp module. Where before we focused on workplace readiness with recent tourism graduates, we will in June and August of this year run a comprehensive upskilling program for qualified tour guides on Cape Town and Garden Route touring protocol (the “Earthstompers” way). This forms part of the ongoing commitment from the PG TOPS group and Earthstompers Adventures to upskilling and enabling South Africans into the tourism industry. You can’t get a job without experience, you can’t get experience without a job. Garden Route Boot Camp will help inexperienced guides go to the next level of employability. Running these kinds of trips is the next step up in guiding skill – we will help bridge that gap!
As before, the training will be completely free to the selected candidates. However, there will be quite a rigorous topgrading process starting with a one day adventure race early in May. Please apply though the Contact Us Page to come into consideration. Minimum requirements are a PDP, WC and Garden Route guiding qualification.
The training will take the form of about 3 days intense office training, and three weeks of on-the-road mentorship and training on Earthstompers tours. Click the link below for full info: