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Protocol of meals with guide/driver?

NY
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52 posts
18 reviews
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Protocol of meals with guide/driver?

We have a tour through TWS with a private guide/driver . Do we invite him to dine with us or should he be "off duty" and not have to converse with us?

Ottawa, Canada
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10,061 posts
137 reviews
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1. Re: Protocol of meals with guide/driver?

This is usually dictated by your accommodation. If you have a tent camp in the Serengeti, then they eat with you regardless of invitation. If a lodge, then it is by invite - sometimes at an extra cost (usually about $20). At a lodge, there will be other guides and they might enjoy having down time to visit with their pals. If you are hitting it off, and want to include him for dinner, then ask. He may demure. Some places are not supportive of drivers eating with guests.

Isle of Man, United...
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2. Re: Protocol of meals with guide/driver?

I agree. A somewhat double edged sword.

Some Lodges do not permit it (which I find somewhat despicable and won't stay there.)

Some Drivers don't much care for wazungu food.

Above all they do deserve some down time away from us chattering clients.

(Rumours that they go off with fellow drivers and laugh about us behind our backs have some foundation)

I make a point of inviting but I never press. He will eat with us if he wishes and we should respect those wishes.

He may be Demure when he demurs!! Smile!

Ottawa, Canada
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10,061 posts
137 reviews
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3. Re: Protocol of meals with guide/driver?

<<He may be Demure when he demurs>> ...I knew I should have checked my dictionary, but yes, they often are demure.

Seattle
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147 posts
20 reviews
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4. Re: Protocol of meals with guide/driver?

mfuwe, I would love to know what the drivers say!! I know what we were saying about some our "fake" friends that we met along the way so I can imagine what they say. When our driver stopped and talked with another driver, we would always give him a bad time about not really talking about where the lions or rhino are but kidding him that they were talking about "us"!! And he would then have that demure demur smile.

Ottawa, Canada
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10,061 posts
137 reviews
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5. Re: Protocol of meals with guide/driver?

<<they were talking about "us"!! >> don't you wonder when they talk and then drive off laughing? I figure we have all been part of the conversation. I know they discuss solo women travellers. You can tell by their speculative glances when they stop to talk mano et mano. Just how rich is she that she can afford a trip by herself...and I don't even want to know what other speculation goes on, but S was always the gentleman and steered them off....and they talk about those 'special' women who have browbeaten husbands and test everyone's patience. Enough said on that topic. We can only hope that they talk about all their good clients; not just the bad ones. I am sure there are plenty of eye rollings, for the silly questions we ask in interest, but ignorance....and how gullible we are when they play jokes on us. Can't be that much different, that any servicecentric profession.

Isle of Man, United...
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36,837 posts
342 reviews
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6. Re: Protocol of meals with guide/driver?

I can imagine. My driver often reports back in an unguarded moment a few days later. Maybe I should put a wire on him?

"That crazy lady, she hid under the seat when the Lion came close. Did she think it was going to come in the car?"

"That big loud man. He wet himself when that Elephant did a mock charge."

Could be the basis for a best seller.

Saint Paul...
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Serengeti National Park
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1,805 posts
5 reviews
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7. Re: Protocol of meals with guide/driver?

Actually, I speak pretty decent Swahili and thus have the ability to 'eavesdrop' quite a bit when I'm in Tanzania. While on safari, I've noticed that the guides, when they meet on the road, do not actually talk much about the clients. It's more likely that they will just talk about where they are coming from, where they are going, how long they will be on safari, what they've seen, etc. I think they know that some people know enough Swahili to catch on and they never know who actually knows Swahili fluently. Perhaps they talk more when clients are not around... They do have special code names for the big animals because they know that most people learn the words tembo, chui, duma, twiga, simba, etc. They won't use those words because clients will hear those and get excited about what is next, but there is no guarantee that just because one guide saw a chui, that it will still be there.

Regarding meals with guides, just go with the flow. Invite the guide to dinner (if you like) and then let him respond however he feels.

Seattle
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147 posts
20 reviews
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8. Re: Protocol of meals with guide/driver?

Just think what some of these drivers have to drive with. One of the drivers had a family of six (4 boys) all with diarrhea. I don't know why I find this sorta funny but so awful. You got to see the humor in this just to make it through the horror.

I hoped they tipped big.

Minneapolis...
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4,490 posts
128 reviews
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9. Re: Protocol of meals with guide/driver?

hmmm... physical diarrhea or verbal diarrhea - not sure which on would be worse...

Saint Paul...
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Serengeti National Park
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1,805 posts
5 reviews
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10. Re: Protocol of meals with guide/driver?

Which one is worse? I guess it depends on their age and if they are old enough to deal with their own symptoms.

BTW, I remember when our high school Physics teacher got upset with all the chatter in the classroom and told us that we had 'Diarrhea of the Mouth.' That shut us up and has stuck in my memory for many years now.