Daftest guide explanation!

Jan 4th, 2008, 10:36 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 10
Daftest guide explanation!

I was busy seeing guests off this morning on their gamedrive. These guests had an amazing 2 hour leopard sighting yesterday. So I say to the driver (thankfully he is not one of our camp's staff)

"ready to find some more leopards?" and he says...

" no, if I show my guests too much they will not return!"

And here I thought great sightings is what makes tourists return to the same camps and countries time and time again.

There must be some other classic illogical statements which you have heard over the years. Please share...
monkeypooshoe is offline  
Jan 4th, 2008, 11:45 PM
Join Date: Dec 2007
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Hi monkeypooshoe

First of all I have to ask how you came about your username?

I have had plenty & plenty of statements which really make me laugh in the past. Do you know how often I have sat at dinner with guests and they tell me the most interesting info that they have heard from their drivers. In the lodge where I work we get these lizards that run around. A group of guests asked their driver what it was and he went on to tell them how poisonous they were. I did not hear any of this but during lunch I got an urgent call because one of these lizards was under a table. I simply picked it up to take it out. The guest then said to me that they are deadly. I said they are harmless. The guest then said that he was told by his driver that they were deadly and that he believed him. I asked why he would not believe me that they are harmless. The guest then said because his guide had grown up in the bush and knew everything there was to know about the bush. I just simply said that if it was even slightly venemous I would not touch it and went to go release it. What I wanted to say was why automatically I would not be believed because I did not "grow up in the bush". Never mind all the studying I have done over the years and nevermind that I am far more qualified than the guy that actually only led a few cattle around and does not really know that much to be honest about the bush - just interesting...
shinmewa is offline  
Jan 5th, 2008, 01:41 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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Hi Shinmewa

Glad you survived the Lizard attack!

Firstly my screen name. You are no doubt aware that we are in the same industry. In other words we are over-worked and underpaid (for the benefit of other readers ha ha!)
We often get up at the crack of dawn when it is still dark and since the resident monkey troop occasionally roost along my route to the office I often end up with a significant amount of "doo-doo" under my shoe before I even have my first cup of coffee in the morning!

I completely agree and understand what you are saying about guests taking their drivers word as law. While I agree that there are loads of very well trained guides I must also say that there are also loads of "untrained" guides to put it politely, who have grown up in a town just like me and can actually not tell the difference between the track of a lion and hyena. I have come across tourists who are better at track id's than their driver! Shocking but very true.

Have a wonderful season!
monkeypooshoe is offline  
Jan 5th, 2008, 06:21 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 22
So this is good...2 'real' guides...can you help me decide about tipping...some sights say to give the guide a tip at the END of your time with him, but my gut says they would probably appreciate it at the end of each day? I just want to do the 'right' thing...leaving on jan 31.

mollymich is offline  
Jan 5th, 2008, 06:36 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 212
We frequently stay at small lodges when our mobile camp is moving great distances. One day at lunch, a group was talking about their sighting of three “leopard” hunting together on the Serengeti Plains. I was intrigued for it was my understanding the leopard was a solitary animal. As we engaged in conversation, one person pulled out their digital camera to prove their point. Clearly I recognized three grown cheetah (probably male), but their driver had identified leopard, and leopard it was going to be.

Or, that time in Kenya when I was on my way to breakfast when I noticed a crowd of people gathered off the path leading to the main lodge. They were photographing a snake nearby that their driver had identified as “harmless.” It was a Puff Adder and I warned them that if there was just the slightest chance that I could be right, they were putting themselves in jeopardy. Thankfully, they gave me the benefit of the doubt and moved off.

The majority of driver guides I’ve encountered are very competent professionals. That said, I also understand that some companies/lodges hire taxi drivers from the city during peak season to cover their short-term needs. Whether the cat is identified as leopard or cheetah does not diminish the wonderment you take away from your African safari experience. Every safari experience is amazing at every level.
Khakif is offline  
Jan 5th, 2008, 08:18 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 7,391
The daftest explanation given to me:
While in the Caprivi Strip, it sprinkled one night and the next day on the game drive there were no animals to be found. I asked our guide where the animals were. He said they went to Angola because of the rain. I pictured a long line of animals parading double file into Angola and asked if we could find them. He said, "No, they are in Angola now."
matnikstym is offline  
Jan 5th, 2008, 08:35 AM
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for Mollymich

Almost certainly at the end of the stay. Tipping daily is a hassle and could leading to guides expecting something everyday. Some guides start off like a "house on fire" and by day 4 they are no longer so enthusiastic anymore. Rather judge performance over the entire safari and decide accordingly. It is also a hassle having to make sure you have money on you each day. In my experience gratuities almost always happen on the last day.

There could be exceptions e.g. Botswana, often you have a different guide/tracker doing some activities with you like Mokoros or the boating or even walks. In this case it is acceptable to tip after the activity as you may not see this person again.

Enjoy your safari
monkeypooshoe is offline  
Jan 5th, 2008, 08:36 AM
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Next time it rains I am going to Angola for sure, great story!
monkeypooshoe is offline  
Jan 6th, 2008, 04:19 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Khakif wrote:
>> Clearly I recognized three grown cheetah (probably male), but their driver had identified leopard, and leopard it was going to be.

Maybe they were Dutch andspoke bad English?
In Dutch a cheetah is sometimes called a "jachtluipaard" (which translates as "hunting leopard")...

pixelpower is offline  
Jan 6th, 2008, 05:09 AM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 7

2 kinds on safari, field guides & driver guides. Ask your next guide what he is.

Hey monkeypooshoe

I am sure you know the different kinds of guides and the training involved, and the difference in countries. Care to comment on that?
shinmewa is offline  
Jan 6th, 2008, 11:04 PM
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I suspect you have your own thoughts on this but would prefer me to open the can of worms!

I will give a few comments but I generally do not like to generalise as there are always exceptions.

From personal experience I would agree with you that there are at least 2 types of guides (possibly more in some countries)

1. Field guides/Rangers depending on the country. These people normally have some form of recognised qualification or certificate showing that they have a certain amount of knowledge and experience. Usually they have a huge passion for the bush and are not doing the job just for money or status.
2. Driver guides - who are not often "bushwise" but generally the drive and point types or as Khakif mentioned just a taxi driver with an average sense of direction to make sure he gets his guests where they need to go on the right day.
3. Specialist guides. These are very experienced guides who have a special interest (walking/cats/birds/photography etc) but they are usually only available at an additional expense to the tourist.

Overall (again, I do not want to generalise) I would say SA are leading the way with their guiding regulations. Botswana also have a system but there are some serious loopholes. I know of guides there who have the highest qualification yet have never done a walk or handled a rifle - scary stuff! I must say that the "driver guide" is very common in East Africa where jobs are scarce and the tourist trade is seasonal. Unfortunately I have not experienced many guides in east Africa who have a genuine love of the bush (there are exceptions of course) They seem to get away with it more because there are many safari "first timers" who go to East Africa first whereas Botswana is often visited by safari regulars.

I have come across some exceptional guides in SA, Botswana, Namibia and Tanzania but also some awful ones. At the end of the day one can often pre-judge the quality of a guide by researching the safari company first. Some companies have far better guides because they offer them far better training. If you are not sure go with a company who has a good reputation for having quality field guides(not necessarily the cheapest option)but it makes the world of difference to the guest experience.


monkeypooshoe is offline  
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