Travelling with a Private Guide enables our guests to enjoy a unique and enriching experience. For those who are interested in gaining a deeper understanding of not just the big 5, but also the small 50 or even the tiny 5000, travelling with a dedicated and knowledgeable private guide is invaluable.
On a non-privately guided safari you use the local camp guides (so you have a different guide at each camp) and you share game drives with other camp guests, usually with up to six guests in a vehicle. There is always a certain amount of compromise necessary on shared game drives – some guests may be keen photographers, others may enjoy the thrill of the chase rather than sitting quietly at a sighting; some guests only want to track predators, whereas others may be keen birders; some may be on their very first game drive – wanting to stop for each and every impala – whereas others will already feel as though they have seen a trillion impala! The guide needs to balance all these different interests and keep everyone happy – not always an enviable job if there are strong personalities among the guests!
On a privately guided safari, your guide helps with advice during the early stages of planning your itinerary and is involved throughout with decision-making. If you haven’t travelled together before you get to know each other before your safari and he will be fully aware of your preferences and any special interests by the time you travel to Africa. Many guests who travel with a private guide return regularly and build up lifelong friendships – even relying on their guide to provide the ideas for their next safaris.
Should you choose to travel with a private guide, he or she will meet you at the airport upon arrival and will travel with you throughout your safari. At the safari camps you will enjoy private activities, with sole use of game viewing vehicles. For group sizes upwards of six persons we may even be able to organise exclusive use of the smaller camps. Mobile safaris can always be organised on an exclusive use basis.
With a private guide, guests benefit from a continuity of personal service throughout their safari, with detailed attention to individual requirements. A high level of flexibility on private safaris is a particular advantage to those with special interests, such as photography or ornithology and also to families with children who may need a bit more flexibility over the timings of activities. Game drives can be tailored to suit your needs – whether tracking a specific animal, concentrating on photography, watching animal behaviour, birding, or any of a myriad of special interests.
The camp guides have a whole host of duties in between game drives, which keep them busy and away from guests. Not so for a private guide who may be able to take you on extended game drives or just sit and answer all those questions you have. For larger groups we can arrange educational talks between game drives.
A privately guided safari can be a life transforming event and once experienced it would be difficult to revert back to a non-private safari with shared activities!