We are interested in booking a walking safari in Africa but have noted that the tour guide/leader will be traveling with us from USA and we guess we will be paying for his tour costs including international flights from USA to Africa. Is an overseas tour guide necessary for an African walking safari? Aren't there local safari guides who can lead the walking tour.


There are no strict rules on who should lead an African walking safari and different vacation providers will use the leader whom they best believe reflects and maintains their operations culture and adds value to the company's brand.

That said, it is safe to assume that the Africa walking safari outfitters are in the business for profit and the costs of the international tour guide is taken up by the clients, adding to the retail price of the tour.

What such international operators do to keep the prices of walking safaris within the "affordable" range is to put a minimum number for tour take-off. The down side again is, if this number is not met clients are subjected to supplements or the tour is canceled.

But even on an African walking safaris with an international tour director, there is usually a team of competent local guides on the tour who are knowledgeable on culture, wildlife, birds and the stories about their countries.

So the accompanying foreign guide on the walking safari is not coming to lead on his own but it is more to co-lead with local guides.

To conclude it is an issue of how different Africa safari companies like to run tours and if you feel that the international tour guide will add value to your walking safari tour - by all means pay for it.

If taking a private walking safari, you may consider asking your US tour operator if he can book you a tour without an international guide.

Anne Huysman
Ontdek Kenya Safaris