Guiding is an integral part of any safari, and it is usually possible to arrange private and/or specialist guiding if required.
Whilst sharing your safari experiences with a few other guests is normal and often great fun, paying extra for ‘exclusive use’ of a vehicle for all or part of your safari is sometimes worth considering. A private vehicle naturally comes with a private guide and tends to be very appealing to more experienced travellers who have very specific interests such as birding or photography.
There are certain destinations, such as Northern Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Namibia and Madagascar, where for logistical purposes it is often necessary to take a private safari vehicle for some or all of your safari, hosted by a private driver guide. This is mainly because you would be travelling between regions by vehicle and there are camps and lodges which operate as hotels, providing accommodation but limited activities or guiding services. This style of safari is ultimately available throughout most of safari Africa if preferred.
However, it is usually more time efficient to fly between safari areas, and the industry across safari Africa caters for this, though arguably less so in certain less developed destinations such as Uganda, Rwanda and Madagascar. Upmarket safari camps and lodges will offer a fully hosted fly-in experience with fully guided activities. Game drives will usually be shared with other guests (usually between 4 and 7 guests on a vehicle) unless you decide to take exclusive use, which is usually possible.
Taking things one step further, it is possible to hire specialist ‘private guides’, either in specific camps and lodges (a good idea if you have specific interests such as photography or birding) or to host you throughout your safari. Historically, the safari industry developed from privately guided safaris, and today you can still hire a professional guide to host you throughout your time in Africa.
With many years experience as a leading Africa specialist we know personally and have worked with a wide range of specialist and professional guides. Whilst we do not often promote expensive ‘hand holding’ just for the sake of it, the benefits of travelling with a top quality private guide are not limited to just their guiding qualities, but extend to encompass your whole safari experience. Hosting at meal times, smoothing your way through transfer arrangements and telling entertaining stories of Africa around the camp fire all fall under the remit of a top private guide.
If you feel that you would appreciate a private vehicle and/or a specialist private guide for all or part of your safari, please advise us when you speak to us. We are very flexible and different regions present different opportunities, so we will simply work with you to include the level of exclusivity and guiding that you desire.