IS A SAFARI GUIDE NECESSARY ON A KENYAN WALKING VACATION

YOU ASKED

Outright I don't like walking with a guide. I prefer independent walking vacations but my inquiries for walking safaris in Africa are all coming back with a safari guide as part of the package. Do I really need a safari guide? Is it because of dangerous animals or just to keep me company or is it for creating employment? Sorry, but this beats me. Not that I would have anything personal against the African safari guides, it is just I like my own "space" when walking - anywhere in the world.


ANNE HUYSMAN REPLIES

Hello James,

If you want maximum value from your african walking vacation, it would be a good idea that you seriously consider all the ground factors which can affect your enjoyment of the tour. A safari guide, who is knowledgeable should add more value on your tour than being a bother.

Other than knowing the walking routes (consider that maps may be of no or little use in some African walking trails), the walking safari guide should have a wealth of knowledge on animals, birds, plants etc. Of necessity he should have a good people skill and with this he will read you right when you want your personal space when on safari.

You ask if the guide is there because of animals, though this doesn't in anyway say you are not a responsible traveler, being with someone who knows the way of the bush on what to avoid, distances to keep from animals and what to do in case of danger can surely not be a negative during your walking safari!

Any serious operator for walking holidays in Africa will be very, very reluctant and with very good reasons to get into a contract with a client who specifically does not want a safari guide.

Anne Huysman
Ontdek Kenya Safaris