| All safari tour packages to Kenya
include guides. Some are guided by the local driver
guides that drive the safari vehicles, and some by tour
leaders, usually from your own country.
If you travel on your own, driving yourself, you may be required to hire an official
guide to enter certain parks,
for example the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania.
All safari vehicles on packaged tours are driven by a driver guide, i.e. a local driver
who is also guiding the safari. Most guiding is in English, but some driver guides also
speak other languages, such as German, French, Italian or Spanish.
Driver guides generally have a good knowledge of the wildlife, nature and safari areas
where they work. Their background and training varies, from autodidacts and ex-hunters
to graduates from 4-year wildlife management colleges. Some have special interests,
such as ornithology.
Tasks and duties
Besides driving and guiding, the driver guide assists when checking in at lodges
camps, helps you solve any problems arising, plans the days, maintains the vehicle
etc. He (female driver guides are very rare) usually doesn't take part in social activities
such as meals, get-togethers in evenings etc with his clients. The driver guide is mainly
on duty with his clients during daytime, and then retires for other duties and for resting.
Driver guides are not employed by the travel
company where you book your safari, for example in the US or Europe, but by the
operator contracted by your travel company to provide the local safari services.
More about local tour operators
KPSGA guides in Kenya
In Kenya, poor knowledge levels among driver guides led to the founding of Kenya
Professional Safari Guides Association in the mid 1990's. Today's members of
KPSGA have proven their guiding skills in examinations, and carry a guide badge visibly
at all times when practising their profession.
Packaged tours may also have an extra guide in form of a tour leader, usually a native
speaker of your own language and employed by the travel company where you book your
safari. The tour leader doesn't drive safari vehicles, but is focused on guiding and
on servicing the group. He or she stays with the clients, takes part in social activities
and is available to assist the group round the clock.
The tour leader usually has good knowledge about and a passion for the East African
nature and safaris. In Kenya, he or she may be a member of KPSGA, i.e. a certified guide.
When the group travels in more than one vehicle, the tour leader alternates between
Self-drives without a guide
It is possible to rent a safari vehicle and drive to and in the parks yourself, i.e.
without a driver guide or tour leader. It is a fun and exciting way to travel, but to
attempt this, you should have previous experience from safaris, both to find the animals
and, for safety reasons, to know how to behave when they are around.
To enter some parks, for example the Ngorongoro Crater,
you may be asked to hire an official guide from park headquarters. The reason is safeguarding
both you and the park. We ourselves have experienced quite poor service, knowledge and
driving skills from some such guides, below the general level of driver guides and tour
More about safaris by road
This page in Swedish
Go to www.savannen.com for this page in Swedish.