Now we feel the term safari specialist is banded around a little too much – there is a hell of a lot that goes in to making the world’s top safari specialists, and although it is outright bragging, ourselves along with a handful of our competitors can actually truly use the term. A safari specialist has so many different attributes and we hope to help you to know instantly whether you are talking to a true safari specialist or not. Many of the larger companies have stopped sending so many people to Africa, stopped investing in their safari specialists and this is where we feel you can easily see the signs of someone less experienced. Africa is so vast that it can take a safari specialist over ten years to really know their stuff – many will specialize in just a country or an area, but those that know every country and every area take much longer to develop. Here are your signs that you’re talking to a real life safari specialist. Here’s a video of a recent safari our MD took from Sausage Tree Camp in Zambia, with expert guide Kyle Branch:
This seems obvious, not only will the ideal safari specialist have been to every single luxury camp in the area you are visiting, they will have stored every detail in their heads and will be able to talk freely and easily with you, relaying detail after detail. But it’s not just that… a good safari specialist also has passion (more on this later) so will suddenly head off on a tangent about their guide when they stayed at a particular camp, or the time they watched lions hunt as the sunset – you will find their tales emanate pure love for this amazing continent.
As mentioned briefly already you will here a level of excitement in a true safari specialists voice, this is not only because they are so confident at talking about luxury safaris and Africa that the tales reel off their tongue, but also because they are truly and utterly obsessed with Africa and the region they are discussing with you. It’s real life head over heels unadulterated LOVE that a good safari specialist is feeling.
The Inside Knowledge
This should be apparent after point one, but after speaking to a few safari specialists you will have already pinpointed the real expert – they will have told you things about the camps and lodges that no one else has. They will know the owners / managers / guides – they will know the game movements around that camp at certain times of year. It will be very apparent after speaking to a pretend safari specialist, when you then actually get to speak to the real thing.
The quote of a proper safari specialist should be lean and competitive, we all get better rates than one can get direct and this should be shown in the cost – if they have included extras this should be clearly detailed, and there should also be options to include some of their off the beaten track suggestions. A true safari specialist will save you heaps of money and time, and the whole process will be so fun that you’ll want them to plan all your holidays.
The safari industry attracts some quirky, wild and charismatic people which you should experience both before you go and on the ground – Africa is a wild place full of romance and your safari specialist should be too – a story teller, an organizer, a friend.