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Are Driver and Guide on Safaris separate indviduals or same?

Austin, Texas
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Are Driver and Guide on Safaris separate indviduals or same?

It appears from some safari trip reports that there is only one person who functions as the driver and guide on the safari. Several websites that list their employees also identify many as "Driver Guide" or "Driver/Guide".

Do these DGs perform one role or both on a given safari? Does that depend on the number of passengers in a safari vehicle? If a DG is both D and G, how is one to interpret the suggested tipping amounts for Drivers and Guides? Add the 2 amounts if D&G is one individual or something else? We're not expected to text while driving here. Can they guide while driving in TZ? ;-)

New Delhi, India
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1. Re: Are Driver and Guide on Safaris separate indviduals or same?

Most of the experienced drivers (you can hire them from Arusha or Mwanza, etc) are licensed guides to national parks in Tanzania. We hired one such driver and we were pretty happy with the number of things he showed us and the information he provided on the places we visited.

Isle of Man, United...
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2. Re: Are Driver and Guide on Safaris separate indviduals or same?

The term Driver/Guide covers both his roles. Unless you specify an 'expert' such as one with real Bird knowledge when you may get two people or still one who will drive as well.

As in #1. All Drivers in NPs must be licensed as guides hence the duality of their name.

Tipping one person is fine. Unless there are two actual people.

Findlay, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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3. Re: Are Driver and Guide on Safaris separate indviduals or same?

You don't double your tip because it's one person. In almost all cases the Driver/guide will be one person. Don't read into this our laws about texting, it's different there. They can easily do both and they are trained to see things which you will not see easily.

Chicago
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4. Re: Are Driver and Guide on Safaris separate indviduals or same?

It is remarkable that they can sight animals from far away while driving. Remember that most of your game drives will be at a slow pace through the parks as you stand and pop your head out of the car top. They also can distinguish between actual animals, and what my guide called "ALTs" (animal looking things), which fool you into seeing what is not really there.

Edited: 01 August 2013, 12:37
Michigan
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5. Re: Are Driver and Guide on Safaris separate indviduals or same?

I was on one group tour where there were drivers for each vehicle plus a "tour director" who rotated between the vehicles. I was on a solo trip where the guide was also the driver/spotter/handled everything. Was also on another solo trip where there was the guide but also another individual who did the driving as well as extra spotting. Personally, I prefer where there is one individual who is the driver and guide. When there is a separate driver and guide, they can get a bit chatty with each other (sometimes missing things) or you may have to listen to a lot of conversations in their language.

Regarding tips, everyone has their ideas about such. My personal opinion is that if one person is having to do everything from driving/spotting/cleaning the vehicle/helping with the baggage/checking you in and they are doing a fantastic job, that is worth more. If there are two persons handling things, then splitting the tip (and you determine if it is equal or not) is reasonable. In one case on the group tour, where the driver was very minimal, he was tipped accordingly.

Isle of Man, United...
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6. Re: Are Driver and Guide on Safaris separate indviduals or same?

<"ALTs" (animal looking things),>

Yes. we see lots of those critturs. "Rhino rocks" 'Stump Leopards', "Lion Bushes" .

You will see even more if you take up birding. "Leaf birds" are very common.

Dar es Salaam
5 posts
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7. Re: Are Driver and Guide on Safaris separate indviduals or same?

Do not mix the two please. In English grammar there is no word which stands as Driver Guide! A Driver is a different person and a Guide is merely shorten but it should be a Tour Guide. A Driver is a person whose job is to drive the Car from one point to another while considering driving laws, ethics, technique and safety of the trip.

A Tour Guide or Guide as shortened' is a well trained person in a particular field of knowledge especially in tourism industry to guide tourists in places of interest such as wildlife, mountain climbing, marine tours, heritage, arts culture, history etc. A Tour Guide main role is not to drive the car he or she is a person who drives the dreams of the tourists to come true, he always thinking how to deliver the service that tourists bought whether direct to him or via tour operator!

A Guide or Tour Guide's role cannot be compared with a Driver. A Tour Guide is a master thinker and chief of a trip. A Driver is the one who should receive orders from a Tour Guide.

What happened is that some of the employers or the tour operators do not want to separate the two as they escape the burden of salaries for professional Tour Guides and they want to economise running costs.

A tip should be given to a Guide and a Guide will share a sum with a Driver. If

Aloys E. Malekela,

Tour Guide,

Dar es Salaam City

Tanzania.

Edited: 19 December 2013, 09:16
Dar es Salaam
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8. Re: Are Driver and Guide on Safaris separate indviduals or same?

Post my views.

Ottawa, Canada
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9. Re: Are Driver and Guide on Safaris separate indviduals or same?

Aloys, your views and comments are very appropriate for cities, bus or group tours, however, the situation on the Northern safari Curcuit of Tanzania is different. These safaris are private bespoke trips and often only have two clients in the vehicle. The company person is a trained 'wildlife' guide who also drives. There are other types of professional guides than 'tour' guides, wildlife guides being just one of them. Perhaps we do them less justice if we refer to them as 'driver', but we certainly respect their skills and expertise. Because they do the driving, my view is that this makes them better guides as they know the environment so well. These are two words often used interchangably on this forum.

Nashville, Tennessee
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10. Re: Are Driver and Guide on Safaris separate indviduals or same?

Aloys-

I agree with QM. For a 2 person safari, it would not make sense to have a guide and a driver for 2 people in the vehicle. What a waste of time and money. In the northern circuit, for a private safari, one person driver/guide is sufficient.