Guiding in Botswana

Old Sep 5th, 2007, 09:28 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 689
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Another vote for Steve K...he is unbelievable...all the other guides just seem to wait around for him to find something.
loru100 is offline  
Old Sep 5th, 2007, 09:51 AM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 579
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Newman at Chitabe Lidabe (aka, Chitabe Trails). Wonderful tracker, excellant personality, understands photography and need for certain lighting. I have had many fine guides/trackers but this fellow is an all around gem. Bookmark this thread.
safarichuck is offline  
Old Sep 5th, 2007, 05:39 PM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Had fogotten about this thread ..... Kanawe from Linyanti Explorations deserves a mention in this list! He is focussing on their walking trails at the moment, although i did have his experience at Zibalianja this past June!

Rgds,
Hari
HariS is offline  
Old Sep 5th, 2007, 06:17 PM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,669
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
how often do the guides change lodges? For example, I am already looking forward to having Spencer guide us at Lebala. Am I being premature?

And, who would you recommend at Xigera?
Momliz is offline  
Old Sep 5th, 2007, 07:53 PM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Momliz,

No idea! depending on each induvidual and the company they work for!!! some guides are shifted around from one camp to other within a company.

Spencer, is available for private guiding so your travel agent can help in requesting for his services at any of the Kwando camps. You can read his profile on the Kwando website under the private guides section.... to ensure his services, you may need to book him as a private guide as otherwise he may be guiding someone else. However, even if he is busy .... there are other great guides in the Kwando concession (Between Lebala and Lagoon) so you will be in good shape.

Hari
HariS is offline  
Old Sep 5th, 2007, 08:02 PM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,669
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
yup, that's why I kept pestering Vanessa with wanting to stay at a Kwando camp! She was very patient with me

I guess the really good guides must love their jobs - what kind of education/training do they get, just out of curiosity?
Momliz is offline  
Old Sep 5th, 2007, 08:13 PM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Momliz,

Kwando has a very vigorous training program. I don't know the specifics ... but, i do know that they get serious training in terms of photography also, in addition to all the usual guiding related stuff .....

There's plenty of good options for your upcoming trip - Besides Spencer and Charles, there's Vundi (Lebala). At Lagoon, their top resident guides are Ruster and KB. Being in the same concession, they guide at Lebala also when the necessity arises, i think ....

Hari
HariS is offline  
Old Sep 6th, 2007, 02:21 AM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 267
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks to post like this we get to know who are the best guides and can try to get them for our next safaris,(you are correct Johan , excellent guides can make a real difference),but looks like is not always ease to get them.

Since we have private vehicles for our november Kwando camps and base on what i have read in this forum about guides, i asked for the next ones:

-LEBALA: Spencer or Charles.
-LKWARA: Doctor , Mothusi or Joe.

This is the anwser i got :

“Doctor, Mothusi and Joe have apparently left Kwando Safaris, but Spencer and Charles are still with them.
In order to book & guarantee either Charles or Spencer there’s an additional charge.

Charles – will cost an additional 600$ per person (2 person)for 6 nights at Lebala and Little Kwara.

Spencer - will cost an additional 400$ per person for 6 nights at Lebala and Little Kwara”.

We are already paying 240$ per day for the private vehicles ,which i think is reasonable. If i want Charles ,is going to cost and additional 200 per day,¿¿¿i don´t understand this???

Finally my TA told me that , what she could do is send a request through to the camps and let them know that i would please like either Charles , Spencer or Steve as our guides. It’s not guaranteed, but at least they’ll know about it.

I also know from various poster in this Forum that Kwando guiding is usually very good so i am not very worry , but I told her to do that and lets see what happens.

Paco.



PacoAhedo is offline  
Old Sep 6th, 2007, 04:45 AM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 357
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have posted a related question specific to particular camps. I have read through all this thread too. How does one request a specific guide? . Do we make the request through our TA or through Wilderness directly or wait until we arrive? We are not booking a private safari so can we still request a specific guide?
zinfanatic is offline  
Old Sep 6th, 2007, 05:37 AM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Paco,

As i mentioned above, Charles and Spencer are private guides ....... hence a bit more expensive than just a private vehicle fees.

Kwando's private vehicle rates are still reasonable compared to other companies and given today's craze for the safari market, you would be wise to have your own vehicle. Remember Dana's recent trip report/awful recent experiences RE vehicle mates in Namibia?

Hari
HariS is offline  
Old Sep 6th, 2007, 06:05 AM
  #31  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Zinfanatic,

You can request thru TA. If not private safari, i'm sure you can still ask your TA to ask for you to be assigned to a specific guide, if available .... that's what i would do, if i was you!

Cheers,
Hari
HariS is offline  
Old Sep 6th, 2007, 06:06 AM
  #32  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 267
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

Hari

I think Kwando's private vehicle rates are very good ,actually rates are 50% lees than Selinda for a private vehicle, but asking almost the same for an specific guide than for the private vehicle maybe is a little to much.

As i said i think it will be ok at Kwando,at least from what i read in your posts.

I have special interest in photography so i think a private vehicle is very important,not only for me but for other travellers that don't want to be stack with a photographer waiting for the right light or the best momentum.

I remember 2 years ago in Etosha whith a Wilderness Safari vehicle and other (really nice)travellers . Everybody waiting for me while i was waiting for the ground squirrels to come out.After a few minutes i felt bad and we moved although i really didn´t want to leave.
But i understand that not everybody is excited about ground squirrels in great lighting when 200 meters ahead there is a big elephant herd.

Zinfanatic

We made our request for the guides through our TA.

Paco.
PacoAhedo is offline  
Old Sep 6th, 2007, 06:32 PM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Paco,

Don't stress too much! I'm sure you will have a great trip with some fantastic photographs at the end of it!!! I look forward to hearing about all of your sightings on return. Hopefully, it will be a dry summer!

Rgds,
Hari
HariS is offline  
Old Sep 8th, 2007, 06:30 AM
  #34  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 9
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Doctor is now guiding for Mapula camp which is next door to Vumbura. Steve Kgwatalala is free lancing from Kasane now and Mothusi is also free lancing from Maun. I am not sure where Ruster and Joe have gone too. Russ has been at Vumbura for several years now. Kwando used to spend special effort on the guide and tracker training with Mark Tennant in the early days and Kevin Leo-Smith, Norman Galli and Simon Blackburn over the years.

Most of the guides I have been with at Kwando (I can never afford private vehicles and guides) have become friends and we keep in touch with them between visits. Kwando no longer provide proper training anymore which is why many of the guides have left. They have been made offers they cannot refuse as the other companies struggle to achieve the same standards through their systems.

Mark Tennant was the person who developed the interest in photography among the guides and encouraged them to both compete in the Nhabe Museum competition as well as helped them sell their pictures.

At the end of the day a safari is about the guide in my opinion. Really all you need is a good bed, edible food, good area and the best guide and you will have the greatest safari - I know I have had 7 safaris and still counting - by following the guides and not the companies.

This thread is really a great thing as it is wonderful to see the names of the best local guides coming up ahead of the foreign guides - great for Botswana. Makes we want to plan my next trip!!
westernsafari is offline  
Old Sep 8th, 2007, 03:05 PM
  #35  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 127
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
One guide who deserves mentioning on this list is Mompati Aaron.

I first met Mompati when he was the waiter/trainee guide at Zib camp in 1998.

Although softly spoken and shy to begin with he is now a guide with a dry wit, stunning tacking abilities, exceptional eyesight and an uncanny sixth sense. - He never failed finding the wilddogs for me and I have witnessed many many kills due to his skills.

He left L.E. (Selinda) in 2003 and now works for CCAfrica on the mobiles (I think).

Geoff.
GeoffG is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2007, 09:26 AM
  #36  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would not find it worth while to follow guides from concession to concession ..... To the best of my knowledge, guides (regardless of country or company or reserve etc etc.,) at times find the necessity to move on ......

Let's use the clear example of Doctor (whose name has been mentioned a hell of a lot in recent times ......) he started guiding at the WS camps of Duba Plains and Vumbura and had spent more or atleast the same amount of time there as he did at Kwara. Now, all of these camps are amongst the most popular in the delta aren't they? my point being ...... life goes on!!!

I can't wait to return on safari .... and next year, i go twice!!!

Hari





HariS is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2007, 12:45 PM
  #37  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 136
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Momliz - Just saw your question about guiding at Xigera. We had Sam and Ishmael - those two really know the waterways around the area. And they were very easy to talk to. When will you be there? Can I send about a half dozen hello messages through you to the people there?
VeeR is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2007, 05:13 PM
  #38  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,669
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
we will be there late December 2008, so who knows if they will still be there then. But, I would be very happy to take any messages - thrilled, actually, since it would be a good ice breaker for us.
Momliz is offline  
Old Sep 16th, 2007, 04:04 PM
  #39  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 873
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Two votes for best guides I've had in Botswana:

Jame 007 at Duba Plains. Everybody know who he is, and he is fantastic.

Ronald at Duma Tau. I haven't heard much about him on this board, but the few postings I've read seem to agree with my thoughts. He is fantastic. Young guy, new to Duma Tau, not well known. Unbelievable energy. See my trip report on Duma Tau.
Dana_M is offline  
Old Sep 24th, 2007, 08:39 PM
  #40  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 5
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I asked our travel agent how we could request a specific guide. I hadn't thought about it before, but reading this thread makes me realize that it seems to make a difference. So...

1. How do I request a particular guide?
2. What do I do if the travel agent (Eyes on Africa) says that guides can't be requested or that it doesn't make a difference?

We will be at Chitabe Lebida, Little Vumbara, Savuti or Kings Pool (any opinions which to choose?), and Little Mombo. We'll be there in mid-October of this year.

Thanks!
KSinNYC is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -