Riaan Fourie, a professional Field Guide at Royal Malewane, the award-winning safari lodge from The Royal Portfolio in Kruger National Park, has been named the Safari Guide of the Year 2019 by the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA).
The award comes as a result of a grueling week-long competition, consisting of bush walks, game drives, birding assessments, advanced rifle-handling contests, tracking and storytelling around the campfire, all under close scrutiny of a panel of six judges – all experts in their field. A consistent performance over all the categories saw Riaan emerge as the winner. Riaan becomes the second Royal Malewane guide to win the trophy following Nikolas Vounnou in 2012.
Riaan has been a professional guide at Royal Malewane for nearly 13 years. He holds a National Diploma in Nature Conservation and is a FGASA Level III Professional Field Guide with SKS-Dangerous Game and SKS-Birding. He is also a Level II Tracker.
Led by Director Juan Pinto, a veteran FGASA Level III Professional Field Guide and Master Tracker, the Royal Malewane team is considered the most qualified guiding team in Africa and is now the only team in the world to have three Master Trackers.