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Top Class Luxury African Safari Guides

There are a number of elements that come into play to make a luxury African safari the trip of a lifetime, the guide being a very crucial one.

The gourmet food, stylish accommodation, attentive service and plush surroundings can all be of the highest order, but if the guide falls short in some way then your experience can be somewhat diminished.

On the other hand, if the guide is exceptional then it elevates your whole adventure onto another level and makes it completely unforgettable.

Don't risk going on a luxury African safari with an underwhelming field guide, rather travel with the best, like the ones listed below...

QUALIFICATIONS
  • KPSGA GOLD LEVEL (Only 26 gold guides in Kenya, highest qualification level possible).
EXPERIENCE
  • 1986 TO PRESENT: Guided all over Eastern, Southern and Central Africa, but mostly focused in Eastern Africa.

WHY AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A SAFARI GUIDE?

I was raised as the son of a safari guide and operator and so it was a natural progression for me to follow on with the tradition.

After completing my education at University in Canada, I decided to return home to Africa and continue in the same tradition as my father in the life of a safari guide.

WHAT MAKES A GOOD SAFARI GUIDE?

Knowledge and understanding of wildlife, birdlife, plantlife, insect life, geography, culture, photography and all sorts of other outdoor skills are needed, but are only a part of being a good safari guide.

Also of great importance are social and communication skills, as well as high sense of responsibility and work ethic in looking after your guests.

FAVOURITE ANIMAL?

Favourite animal is certainly the elephant, all time spent in amongst elephants is high quality time. They are such magnificent, gentle, intelligent, family oriented animals, all with such individual personalities.

I like nothing better than sitting quietly in amongst these awe-inspiring animals.

MOST MEMORABLE SIGHTING?

After 30 years of guiding, there are so many fabulous experiences it is impossible to select one.

Is it seeing 10's of thousands of wildebeest struggling to cross the Mara River with crocodiles taking out the stragglers? Is it sitting in amongst 150 magnificent peaceful elephants in Amboseli, or being repeatedly charged by a very protective matriarch elephant in Tsavo?

Or is it being repeatedly charged by a silverback mountain gorilla in the forests of the Virunga Mountains in Rwanda? Or is it being in the forests of the Mahale Mountains on the edge of Lake Tanganyika and witnessing the terrible brutality of chimpanzees hunting and killing colobus monkeys?

They are all memorable and extraordinary sightings and behaviours that I feel privileged to be party to, and I like nothing better than to be sharing these experiences with appreciative guests.

GUIDING SPECIALITY?

I would say my areas of specialisation are wildlife, mammal behaviour, birdlife, culture and photography.

FAVOURITE CAMPFIRE STORY?

There are so many, it is impossible to elect one. Stories are triggered by events while out on safari that relate to memories of related previous events.

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QUALIFICATIONS
  • KPSGA SILVER LEVEL.
  • DIPLOMA IN TOUR GUIDING & ADMINISTRATION (From Skynet aviation college).
  • CERTIFICATE IN ORNITHOLOGY.
  • CERTIFICATE IN BASIC CHINESE LANGUAGE.
EXPERIENCE
  • 2012 TO PRESENT: Guiding in all the major Kenya National Parks.

WHY AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A SAFARI GUIDE?

I grew up in the rural arid lands of Kajiado, an area where wild animals roamed freely.

I looked forward to walking to school in the morning and back home in the evening, just to spot the wild animals. At the end of the day I would record the animals I had seen in a small book. It was a must do thing for me!

My favorite part of the day was when Safari jeeps would pass me by with tourists going to Amboseli National Park. It sure felt like an icing to my cake. I would really admire the drivers who would jovially say “hallo” to me.

As years passed, and I grew older it became clearer to me that I had an interest in safari tours and I kept telling my mother that one day I would be a tour guide and for sure eventually it stopped being a statement but a reality for me.

WHAT MAKES A GOOD LUXURY AFRICAN SAFARI GUIDE?

For me tour guiding is not just a career but a calling.

A good luxury African safari guide must have in-depth knowledge that pertains to his/her field and be able to efficiently and honestly communicate with the guests.

He/ She must be passionate about their work and must pay attention to the guests needs and understand how to fulfill them.It is also very important to be friendly and have a sense of humor so as to create a memorable experience for the guests.

FAVOURITE ANIMAL?

My favorite animal is the lion. Seeing the majestic species up-close is always a spine-tingling experience for me.

The lion has forever been my symbol of strength, power and ferocity. I love how the male lions defend the pride’s territory while females do most of the hunting. Despite its' wild nature, African lions are the most social of all big cats and live together in prides.

MOST MEMORABLE SIGHTING?

My most memorable sighting was when a martial eagle was hunting and was just about to capture a mongoose but just before it got it, a group of mongooses came from nowhere and chased the martial eagle all the way to a nearby tree.

It was interesting to see how the hunter became the hunted. The mongoose which was about to be killed stood mesmerized at the change of events and I could only imagine how grateful it was to its heroes.

FAVOURITE CAMPFIRE STORY?

I once shared a safari room with one of the oldest tour guides in Kenya; he has been guiding from 1966 to date. I asked him to share his safari experiences with me, and there is one particular story which I really enjoyed and share it to my guests every quite often.

It is a story of why safari vehicles have roof tops. Long time ago, tour vans did not have roof tops, the guests would easily look over the vehicle as they enjoyed their game drives.

In one particular day the driver guide was doing what he enjoyed most; guiding the tourists in Manyara National Park in Tanzania then all over sudden a lion they were watching fell from a tree right into the vehicle!

It was a scary experience for the tour guide and the tourists who screamed out loud for help and eventually were able to jump off the windows and so did the lion.

Luckily no one was hurt but since then, all the safari vehicles have roof tops to protect guests from ‘lion visits.’

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