Our approach to planning a safari is a little different... We believe that the safari guide is critical to having the best experience you possibly can on your trip.
So you should start with the guide and build everything else around that.
The safari company, destination, wildlife, surroundings, accommodation, food and service is important too of course, but we've found that the top safari guides seem to gravitate naturally towards the better safari companies (or own them themselves), lodges and destinations.
So find the best guides and you will find the optimum of all the other factors that go into making an unforgettable, life changing safari.
So that's exactly what we did!...
How The Top Safari Guides List Is Compiled
On safari, you will be spending a large part of the day with your guide searching for wildlife, and if they are not up to the task the whole experience will be in jeopardy, so it makes good sense to go with the best guide you can find.
We track him or her down for you by taking all the following factors into account, ensuring that only the foremost guides are listed and recommended here:
Must have at least five (5), or in some cases (8) eight years of experience.
Experience is a good start when determining guiding ability because practical knowledge and passion are very important in this field and five to eight years allows enough time to reveal the very best guides.
Any less committed, inept and incompetent guides will also have been disclosed within that time frame and either moved on and out of the guiding profession or improved their skills and committment to capable levels.
Must have grading certification from a recognised association and a legal guiding qualification.
Each African country has their own unique system of awarding safari guiding grading and assessment certifications and qualifications. To find out more about them and how they affect the Top Safari Guides list and recommendations, click on the specific country below...
Solid reputations are built up over time and peers can normally attest to that so we take into account feedback from colleagues and industry experts. Reviews from past travellers also play an important role as well as contributions made to the industry.
Must be available to guide regularly.
There are excellent guides with high qualifications and many years of experience that unfortunately can't be added to the list because they have moved into management positions or started their own company which hampers them from guiding frequently.
No Charge For This Recommendation Service
There is no charge for this service of finding, matching and recommending the best guide and safari company for you.
Top Safari Guides generates income by charging a fee to the companies and lodges that employ the top guides, or that the guides own themselves, not from your pocket. Therefore you won’t pay a penny more than booking with them directly, no extra markup is applied.
Guides and companies can't pay their way onto this recommendation list under any circumstances, they are chosen because of their qualifications, experience, competence and track record.
Bruce & Wilma Whittaker: Founders
Who We Are
Wilma and I have been involved in the safari industry since 2003 as a husband and wife team, helping thousands of people discover and enjoy the wonders that a safari has to offer by organizing and facilitating their African travel.
In that year we launched African Safari Journals, which has grown into one of the leading safari review websites on the web.
I've also had the opportunity to write three ebooks that many people have found useful namely "Better Safari Photography", "How To Guide Your Own Safari" and "Guide Your Own Safari Planner".
Going on safari ourselves is a passion and has been for both of us since childhood. Growing up in South Africa allowed us to visit all the wonderful nature reserves here such as the Kruger National Park from an early age.
Over the years on these trips, and from the large amount of review feedback from others, we've come to realise that the guide is a really important part of any safari.
So we started Top Safari Guides in 2016 to unearth, list, recommend and help people travel with the very best field guides available, making a safari trip even more of a life changing experience.