22. Guide Training at Akagera National Park with Lisa Brochu

I met interpretive planner Lisa Brochu in Akagara National Park in Rwanda. I was there as a tourist, and she was there as a guide trainer.

Lisa’s teaching stresses that the best way to communicate with the visiting public is by having strong, central theme. 

At Akagara National Park, park-employed and community freelance guides are the ones doing that communication. By working with them, Lisa hopes visitors’ experience in Akegara will stick with them longer. Lisa teaches that instead of rattling off a list of facts, guides should bundle them together with a strong, central theme. Repeating the theme throughout the tour builds an emotional connection that standalone facts don’t.

In this episode, Lisa explains the importance of “going beyond the wow,” particularly for institutions like Akagara that have plenty of cool experiences to offer visitors. The “wow” doesn’t last, but a good theme will leave visitors with something to reflect on afterwards and then hopefully stimulate the visitor to make to make a commitment to the park’s conservation. 

Guest: Lisa Brochu