There is little doubt that a Private Guide, leading a journey from start to finish, will enrich any safari. Creating continuity, adapting the itinerary to guest aspirations and avoiding overlap of information, a private guide is a fantastic way to shape lasting memories. What’s more, guests get to really discover the fascinating cultural aspect of the country "from the horse's mouth". Privately guided journeys allow guests to discover remote and pristine areas that are home to diverse and fascinating wildlife, while highly skilled and knowledgeable guides are equipped with years of experience in the safari industry.
Why have a private guide?
A private guide will be the first person you meet upon arrival and will stay with you until you depart, hosting every step of the way and ensuring that all guests’ needs are met. Rather than the guests relying on management and guides at each destination, the Private Guide is there to act as guest liaison and as an interface with camp management while dealing with requests every step of the way to ensure check-ins at airports, handling of transfers, charters and specific requests at camps are all seamlessly dealt with. Plus, Private guides have a detailed knowledge of food, wine and service standards to ensure that all bases are covered.
When undertaking a safari trip, guests are first and foremost looking for interpretive guidance on what they can expect in addition to what they are seeing and experiencing. Private Guides offer this interpretive guidance with their intimate knowledge and experience of a wide diversity of wildlife destinations and lodges throughout the region and can deliver a continuous, expert commentary on day to day experiences. This in-depth level of the expertise across a wide spectrum of subject matter (both pertinent to wildlife and current affairs), means that guests will not only derive added value from their observations and encounters with fauna and flora, but will be regaled by lively debate and insight into conservation and wildlife issues as well as enthralling and often hilarious tales of ‘living in the bush’. Many are also skilled photographers and can assist guests in taking amazing wildlife photographs, while other skills include birding, tracking and walking safaris. Further, others can lead multi-country safaris or are multilingual and can guide in a guest’s own language. Private guides are ideal for traveling families or private groups and are excellent with children on safari, amusing and educating the kids.
A Private Guide works with the guests’ itinerary in its entirety and can therefore plan activities, excursions and informative talks based on their knowledge of the highlights of each destination. This enables the guide to know exactly what the guests have seen and been told, what questions have been asked and what preferences they have for the way the safari is conducted – which greatly enhances camp-to-camp itineraries and avoids any overlap of information. But perhaps most importantly, they can dedicate all their time to you because there are no other guests for them to concentrate on, making for a uniquely individualized experience that nurtures a guest-guide relationship based on trust. Also, since Private Guides get to intimately know the preferences of their guests they can be of great assistance on future safaris. Therefore, many repeat guests request the same guide they have built a relationship with on previous trips.