Whether you go on a small-group safari with a guide, stay in a budget-friendly camp, or spend top bucks for a luxury resort, it makes no difference. The quality of your safari guide is the most significant factor that will determine the overall quality and enjoyment of your safari.
The safari guide is, without a doubt, the most crucial aspect of the entire safari experience. You’ll have an amazing day regardless of the animals, the weather, or the resort if you choose a fantastic guide. Here’s why they’re so crucial.
Great Safari Guides know the facts
First and foremost, a good safari guide will provide you with a wealth of information. There’s a lot to learn, especially if it’s your first safari, and a knowledgeable guide will be able to answer all of your questions – from the obvious to the esoteric. Not only that, but they’ll provide you the facts right away, without having to wait for you to ask questions.
A great safari guide will also be able to acknowledge when they don’t know something – and then research the solution afterwards; a hunger for knowledge is an important aspect of becoming a great safari guide.
Beyond the facts and data, skilled guides are excellent storytellers who can bring their wealth of knowledge to life; utilising real-world examples helps guests retain information, and it’s fascinating for them to imagine what they could see.
Great Safari Guides are able to relate to people
A good guide, like a great host or anybody in the hospitality industry, will be able to read their guests and adjust accordingly.
If tourists become fatigued after a long trip, for example, a guide will know not to overwhelm them on their first drive, instead easing them into bush life. If visitors are frightened, a guide or ranger should make them feel at ease and safe; similarly, if a guest has been on a hundred safaris before, a guide will be able to keep the experience enjoyable for them. What is the most significant factor in achieving this goal? Communication. The finest guides make sure they understand what their visitors want out of their trip, whether it’s to see their first lions, be interested in smaller animals, or be avid birders.
Another advantage of having a guide who has a good read on people is that it reduces possible conflict amongst visitors. In a safari vehicle or at a public dining table, you never know who you’ll meet, and personalities might clash. Guides are on hand to relieve stress before it escalates and, if required, to decrease the amount of touch that visitors have with one another.
Great Safari Guides are great at making conversation
It’s generally up to the guide to keep the conversation going, whether it’s at sundowners (unless it’s obvious that everyone is content staring off into the bush and enjoying the calm) or supper. A competent guide will be aware of which themes to pursue based on the personalities, ages, cultures, nations, and other characteristics of the guests. It’s up to the guide to deftly shift the conversation in a new way if politics come up and it’s evident certain visitors are uncomfortable.
Great Safari Guides make sure you stay safe
Of course, a skilled guide or ranger is crucial for more than just making people feel protected. A good guide will be able to keep people safe by understanding animal signs. This is very vital when walking, especially if you come across an animal that may be violent, such as a black rhino or buffalo. In many instances, experience is just as crucial as theoretical understanding.
They’ll also know how to drive safely and responsibly, lowering the chances of being trapped – though even the greatest drivers may get stranded at times! When it occurs, at the very least they’ll know how to promptly resolve the issue and not cause fear among the visitors.
Great Safari Guides make it interesting even when there’s no wildlife
What happens if things don’t go as planned? When you can’t find any of the large, famous animals or it’s raining? That’s where having a fantastic safari guide comes in handy. They’ll shift gears and concentrate on the little details, such as how trees signal elephants when it’s time to stop browsing, and what goes on within the worlds of termites, birds, chameleons, and dung beetles. When the renowned faces miss their cue, guides can keep the bush exciting.
Great Safari Guides manage expectations
Guides should avoid telling visitors what they might see or what was noticed that morning since there is much too much risk of disappointment. Instead, a skilled safari guide would set reasonable expectations and make no promises. Guests will be delighted with what they do discover, rather than disappointed if they do not come across a group of wild dogs.
Great Safari Guides know how to keep young children interested
Taking small children on safari might be difficult, but a skilled safari guide will know how to entertain children of all ages by learning about their hobbies, asking questions, and throwing in the occasional pop quiz on interesting animal information. If all else fails, guides know that children of a certain age like looking at animal waste, which is plenty on safari!
For your trip to Namibia, hire the best African safari guide and company. Booking you stay with us we put you in connection with the best guides the country has to offer. We tick all these boxes and more. So what are you waiting for? Let’s make your dream safari come to life together.
— Bronwyn Reynolds, Fizzin