Some guides operate in areas of particular specialty which require additional expertise and experience. Travel Africa Magazine asked Keyala Phiri from Robin Pope Safaris to share what they try to do to make your safari special:
“When I take guests on a walk, the focus is on the senses we don’t normally use when in the vehicle: touch, hearing, smell and taste. The experience should be about letting the nature unfold and using these senses to bring it to life: following tracks to read the stories the ground has to offer; looking at how nondescript objects fit into the environmental jigsaw puzzle; learning how certain plants can be used.
The most crucial part of my job is to keep guests safe, to manage their expectations and set the stage – although the actors can never be predicted. Teaching guests about approaching wildlife is also important: how animals view us as we walk up at a safe distance, their primary detection senses, their body language and reactions to certain stimuli. For instance, an elephant’s poor eyesight can allow us to get within 50 metres of them without detection, however if we are upwind they can detect us from over 200 metres.
Each walk should be an adventure, taking in guests’ interests and expanding their knowledge. It should be about uncovering nature, rather than covering ground.
What is so exciting is that no two walks are the same!”
Travel Africa/January-March Issue 2022