Private Guide

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Oct 31st, 2005, 10:18 AM
  #1
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Private Guide

Has anyone used a private guide on safari, if so can you give me an idea of the costs involved?
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Oct 31st, 2005, 12:28 PM
  #2
sandi
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Most people who travel independently in East Africa do have a private guide and vehicle, especially if doing an all-drive safari. If they fly between destinations (parks and/or camps) they often share a vehicle with other guests at the property. If one wishes a private guide and vehicle, and if the property provides such - can run from $200 to $450/day.

What type of safari do you have planned, to which country, driving or flying. Need more information as to what specifically you need to know.
 
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Oct 31st, 2005, 01:07 PM
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Sandi

MOST people who self drive do not take private guides and is really not necessary. It is the rare self-drive group that hires a guide. If one feels they need a guide, they can hire a ranger at each individual park and reserve-that is more common, but again not that many people do it.

napamatt

If one wants to hire a private guide for their own mobile safari there are guides that do exactly that. It depends on what you are looking for.

Otherwise you can try to hire a private camp guide and vehicle (in Advance) at each campsite lodge if you don't want to share with a mob of strangers on game drives.

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Oct 31st, 2005, 01:51 PM
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sandi
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Didn't see where napamatt said anything about a self-drive. He asked about hiring a private guide, to which my comments referred specifically to independent private safaris where one has a private guide. I also inquired what kind of safari was being planned and to where. If one is flying to/from destinations, most use camp/lodge guides which is customary; or find varying prices, if private guides are available.

The question asked by napamatt does require more specifics.
 
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Oct 31st, 2005, 01:54 PM
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Robbie,
I believe sandi was referring to a private driver/guide on a tour operator organized safari in East Africa and not a self drive safari.

BTW thanks for pointing me to the tracks4africa site. I bought the Kenya/Tanzania/Uganda map and got it uploaded into my GPS (I think). I'm still learning.

napamatt,
Where? In Kenya/Tanzania a vehicle plus driver/guide from a tour operator (not one from a lodge or camp) starts around $120-$150 per day. I'm sure it varies depending on the operator and type of vehicle you request, but I think this is the ballpark starting range. I believe the cost is higher in Tanzania than in Kenya. This would be if you were planning an all drive (or mostly drive) safari where you're using the vehicle and driver/guide that your tour operator provides for your game drives rather than lodge/camp vehicles and guides. I don't know what the costs are for a private vehicle/guide for the latter option but would assume it varies depending on the specific lodge or camp.

More than likely though, a tour operator wouldn't be quoting you a price for just the vehicle and driver/guide alone but rather an all-inclusive price with accomodations, park fees, etc.
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Oct 31st, 2005, 02:58 PM
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Sorry Sandi

I read and reread your answer and checked prior to posting with a few of napamatt's previous posts. He has been to Africa several times before. An independent safari and organized safari/tour means different things to us.

There are options that amazingly are ignored on this forum. One is that there are guides that will lead you on self-drive safaris and will provide all the comforts of a mobile safari including food preparation, setting up tents,ect. Two, there are guides that will take you on your own mobile safari, in their vehicles,designing the safari to your specifications. This is truly the way to go for an African Safari. To me, these are private guides. The only other option is to have one arranged at each specific camp/lodge-which I believe napamatt is aware of. And thats just an extra fee to an organized safari.

Then there are independent the safaris, thus in response to your post when talking of all drive safaris.

I have been on all of these variations, and prefer this over the organized tours-booked camps/lodges type safaris.

We both were looking for more information to give a more better answer.

With the cost of many of the camps reaching astronomical levels, its getting to the point where hiring a private guide for your own safari makes more sense. Especially if a swimming pool, ac and whatever seem a over the top for a traditional African safari and you are looking for something getting you closer to a bush experience.

Not trying to be antagonize you Sandi. But, like to give the gamut of options to someone with previous safari experience.Peace.
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Oct 31st, 2005, 03:05 PM
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napamatt,
As a long time Fodorite, you should know better than to post such a skimpy message
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Oct 31st, 2005, 03:27 PM
  #8
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Thought everyone knew me. Guess I'm a legend only in my lunchtime.

I was referring to having a specialist guide such as Mark Tennant or Lex Hess.

Hope that makes it clearer.
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Oct 31st, 2005, 03:58 PM
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napamatt,

E-mail me and I will forward you a couple quotes that I have received from a couple highly regarded private guides that you may know. Each of them specialize in Southern Africa, especially Botswana.
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Nov 1st, 2005, 05:01 AM
  #10
sandi
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luangeblondes -

No problem. Also reread napamatt (though didn't check back to his earlier threads) and really needed more information to the rather vague question.

For those who choose to venture out on their own, your information is valuable.

napamatt -

Thanks for the additional information which hopefully will receive more substantial responses.
 
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Nov 1st, 2005, 05:23 AM
  #11
mv
 
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Matt

a couple of questions:

do you want the guide for a private safari or for use in a private vehicle.
What do you primarily want from your private guide: sightings? tips for photography? info on the animals/birds etc that you are watching?
The well known guides may cost you around 1000 USD pr day whereas some of the local guides will be much less.
The local guides will typically have better knowledge about the area and the individual animals, and will probably give you better sightings.
The local guides sometimes also understand photography as many of them have learned from professional photo/videographers visiting. However since you are suggesting Mark Tennant and Lex Hess photography is probably your main concern.
A good private guide can certainly be recommended. I do it for a number of reasons
1. I can do what I want. Dont get me wrong, I love watching Zebras, Impala, Wildebeest and so on. However with new people in the vehicle it can be frustrating to stop for Impalas every day!
2. The guide get to know me and what I want to see/do.
3. I can spend as much time at a sighting as I want!
4: I dont have to fight for a good seat. The guide will always try to position the vehicle to my advantage!
5. The guide will try to make routes to give me the chance to see the animals that I have "requested"
Michael
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Nov 1st, 2005, 12:44 PM
  #12
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Rocco

E-mail sent

Michael

Thanks. Do you have any experience or is the 1000 USD a guesstimate?
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Nov 2nd, 2005, 03:12 AM
  #13
mv
 
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Matt

I have not been able to find the e-mail,but back in 2003 I was quoted rates of app 300 -1000 USD pr day for a private guide at Kwando. No names were mentioned but I would assume that Mark Tennant would be at the high end of the range!!
Michael
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