Your safari guide will spend anywhere from 8-12 hours with you per day, basically every waking moment, he will become your protector, teacher, fireside storyteller, waiter, and most of all a friend. It is very easy for any guide to point out the animals, but an outstanding guide will reveal to you the extraordinary spirit of African, and what it has to offer. Some guides are great overall naturalists while others may be experts in particular subjects, such as birds, botany, or culture.
We feel it is a great idea to have an excellent guide to accompany our travelers on every activity they take even the ones which are led by local guides and park rangers, as it adds to the continuity of a consistently high level guiding throughout the safari, and our guides are more experienced and entertaining.
What are the qualities of a good guide?
To be a very good guide, one needs genuine love of the outdoors and all its treasures, and have an inquiring mind, and above all, you need a positive attitude. Seven wonders safaris have high lightened some of the basic qualities of a great guide, and we are proud of our guides who take our guests on safari and changing their lives.
Safety is paramount. A very good guide will ensure that all equipment is in good working order, your first aid kit must be available and fully stocked all the time, you must always have your radio fully working in case of emergency, safe and considerate driving is a Non-Negotiable aspect of your job.
A very good guide will tread softly on the earth, a guest is our priority but she/he should not compromise on ecological sensitivity and ethics to make his/her guest happy.
A very good guide will establish the particular interest of his guest, by letting them tell him/her, what their expectation are on safari, and what other wildlife areas they have been to. Finding out what they most want to see, or what excites them, will enable you to plan your game drives, and other experiences well as well meet and manage their expectation.
A very good guide will make effort to excite his guest about smaller creatures, birds and other fascinating aspects of the bush. Encourage them to use their senses, and get out of the vehicles when the opportunity or rules allow. She/he will make sure they leave with an experience and appreciation of the natural world, not only the satisfaction of seeing the “Big Five”
Very good guides are not afraid to say I don’t know when asked a question. They will write the question down and always find out the answer and get back to their guest with the correct information. Constant knowledge acquisition is essential and will assist in keeping them stimulated in their ongoing roles as a naturalist.
A very good guide will have good communication skills which are crucial, he/she will turn around when talking to his/her guest, and speak, keep eye contact and observe his guest throughout the game drive to assess their interest or anxiety.
A very good guide will be a team player, which is vital, always remember you’re part of a team, be considerate to other safaris and guides.
A very good guide will ensure before driving away from a sighting, that his/her guest are finished with their photographing, binocular viewing and wish to leave.
A very good guide will orient his/her guest during the game drive or other experiences, “Think aloud” he/she will let them know where he/she is going, describe changes of his/her route or intention, and involves his/her guest in the decision where appropriate.
A very good guide will know that guiding is a culture which requires manners and etiquette, he/she needs to be proud of her/his profession.
A very good guide will treat all his/her guest equally it is not her/his job to differentiate how a guest should be treated. Guide to the best of your abilities irrespective of where they come from, who they are, or how much they have paid for their safari.
A very good guide will not take unnecessary risks with his/her guest lives or expensive equipment.
A very good guide will know that sensitivity and consideration for wildlife and habitats “MUST’’ always be her/his priority, make every effort to minimize disturbance and impact, as this will ensure that she/he is witnessing natural animals behavior.
A very good guide would never expect a tip or be put out if she/he doesn’t receive one, tips are purely a bonus for service excellence. She/he should never tip or gift solicit from the guest if guest offer him/her a tip as a token of their appreciation accept modestly and graciously.
A very good guide will be flexible, to wildlife, guest, and activities not pre-programmed she/he will “Remember we are here for our guest, and the guest is not here for us”
A very good guide will go the extra mile.
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