How to find a quality African safari guide
Unlike planning a trip to Europe or the US a trip to Africa is more involved and needs professional planning due to the sheer size of the Dark Continent. You will not always be near a town when going on an African safari trip and so an African safari guide and tour operator is essential even for those used to making their own travel arrangements.
The advantage of hiring an African safari guide is that you won’t waste your time looking for animals in the wrong places, and when you do happen to come upon something interesting you will have someone knowledgeable enough to tell you about it. Using an African tour operator with provides quality African safari guides is essential, in some cases you may be putting your life in your African safari guide’s hands so choose wisely even if it means paying a little bit more.
When choosing your African safari guide here are some general tips:
- Choose an African safari guide who is local or has lived in the area for a long time. They will be more comfortable at getting around and dealing with any problems that arise.
- Read, read and read as many customer reviews online as you can, this is perhaps the best way to weed out the bad African safari guides for the quality ones.
- Think of safety first, don’t be brave about traveling in Africa or an African safari alone, let an expert African tour company help plan your trip.
- Choose an African safari guide who is knowledgeable, and talkative, there is nothing worse than being stuck on a tour with a guide who has little to say. This means he needs to speak good English as well. Again, finding a quality African Safari Tour company will help ensure that your guide will speak English well and be a knowledgeable person for the area you are traveling to.
- Choose an African safari guide and tour operator who has the experience and has been around for a while, don’t risk using a new African safari guide or company that doesn’t have a strong reputation.
- Your African safari guide needs to be passionate about his country and enjoy what he does. You can assess this by exchanging a few emails and see how forthright they are with information and ideas.
- Choose an African safari guide who is willing to custom tailor the African safari trip for you, so that your specific interests are addressed.
- Try to give yourselves a way out in the middle of the African safari trip if you are not happy with the African safari guide. You can do this by booking your entire trip as a package through one of the reputable African tour companies that have more than one guide to offer you.
- Some pertinent questions to ask when booking an African safari guide are, Are the accommodations throughout the safari itself safe? Will the safari trip be done only in vehicles or also on foot? Also, always be sure to ask if there are any hidden extra costs or extra fees in addition to the quote the tour company provided you with.
Embarking on an African safari trip is one of the major trips a person can take in their lifetime and can also be one of the most exciting and memorable trips. The planning involved may not always be as straightforward as other trips. There are many aspects when planning an African safari trip to take into consideration.
Here is a short summary of things you need to do when planning an African safari trip, the list could be expanded but these are the essentials. We hope these can help cover the basics of traveling in Africa and what to think about. A good guide is essential to a successful and fun trip and can mean the difference between the trip of a lifetime or a miserable experience.
- Book your flights, be sure to check the national airlines such as Delta, American Airlines, etc… for African countries as they often have the most reasonable rates.
- Book your transport from the airport in Africa to your hotel or camp in advance. Many African airports are overwhelmingly busy and confusing, be sure to arrange that your African safari guide, hotel, or camp representative meets you at the airport gate.
- Check which travel documents are required for the African country you are traveling to for your African safari trip. Many African countries require visas that need to be applied for in advance.
- Get the necessary vaccinations for your African safari trip as Africa holds the threat of diseases which Westerners are unaccustomed to. Check this out in advance as some of the vaccines need to be given a certain amount of time before you embark on your African safari trip.
- Make sure you have packed first aid and other survival gear for your African safari trip, for example, insect repellant, ointment for stings and bites, sunscreen, and treatments for blisters if your African safari guide will be escorting you on foot. Also, include any medicines you take on a regular basis and personal hygiene items which you won’t be able to buy in the middle of a safari trip in Africa.
- Essentials for any safari trip to scorching Africa are a hat, sunscreen, water bottle, sunglasses, and tops with sleeves to prevent getting burnt shoulders.
- Know where your national embassy is in the African country you are visiting, and have the embassy’s contact information just in case as some African countries have volatile political situations and unexpected emergency situations.
- Your travel insurance when going on an African safari trip has to be comprehensive and may need to include things that ordinary travel insurance does not take into account. Be sure you know exactly what your African safari package includes so that you have food, accommodation, airport transfers, an African safari guide, other outings, and excursions, and transport within the African safari covered. Lastly and perhaps one of the most important things to plan before leaving for your safari trip is to find the best possible reliable and qualified African safari guide.