March 30, 2017
A great guide is at the heart of any successful safari experience.
Every guest in Africa arrives full of anticipation and excitement. Having a repeat guest is often easier because the Safari bug has bitten and they come with experience and an established expectation. An intuitive Guide can use this sense of anticipation to explore what a guest craves and go to bush with an established storyboard. However, a virgin Safari traveler is more often than not the real barometer for a successful Safari and a great Guide.
Brimming with excitement, travelers arrive with a preconceived idea of what Safari should be like. Having spent hours watching documentaries, trawling blogs and reading books, they have already envisioned their adventure across the African plain. Great guides are not only masters of their bushcraft but are also masters of EQ. Reading their guests and knowing how to delicately embrace their enthusiasm is a special attribute that differentiates exceptional from mediocre.
A perfect safari experience balances the emotive with the educational and the execution is up to the Guide. Knowing what to say and when to say as well as when to say nothing at all are all great qualities in an experienced guide.
At Safaria we know that having a great Guide is difficult to know in advance and for this reason, we have some important criteria that our guides need to meet before they join our Safaria brand. We only appoint permanent guides with a minimum of 10 years experience from a reputable 5-star lodge. We are also very fortunate to have Andreas Liebenberg who is one of only 9 South African FGASA Scouts to look over our Guides knowledge and bush skills and ensure that we maintain the highest standards. Apart from the required wilderness skill and knowledge, what is critically important to us is a well-trained EQ and the ability to professionally engage with our guests and tell a great story. As part of our business philosophy, we aim to have the best permanent Day Safari Guides to journey with our guests through the iconic Kruger National Park.