Uganda Travel News

Tourist guides are our ambassadors when it comes to selling Uganda. They are the contact persons when it comes to conducting a safari. If you employ good guides, chances are that your business will grow since the experience of the whole safari will be positive.

Uganda is first developing as a top destination in East Africa because of the relative political stability, attractions such as mountain gorillas, beautiful national park, hospitable people among others. In the same respect, the government is supporting the sector by encouraging public-private partnership, development of infrastructures, creating a conducive environment for the private sector to invest in the tourism industry among others.

In order to create an everlasting experience to the tourists that come to Uganda, a tourist guide is very important and because of this, many associations such as Uganda Safari Guides Association, Uganda Birding Club, Uganda Cultural club among others have been training tourist guides for quite sometime and it is at this time that we can say that Uganda has quite a good number of individuals who can create a memorable experience to tourists visiting Uganda.

The government through Uganda Tourism Board is in the process of licensing all tour guides so that it becomes a mandate for all tour guide to have a licence before doing their job. Uganda Tourism Board is in the process of examining all guides and who ever will qualify will then be given a licence. All this is aimed at standardising the service offered by guides in the whole country.

A guide need to be a good driver. Most companies look to employing a guide who can disseminate information and be in position to drive at the same time. As a guide you should have experience in defensive driving, you must have a valid driving permit and must understand the rules and regulations that govern all drivers with tourist. A tourist should be comfortable with your driving otherwise he/she will be nervous and will not enjoy the tour.

A tourist guide must be a good mechanic. It is not enough to know how to drive but one should have some elementary knowledge about mechanics. This is because most touristic routes in Uganda are in remote areas and in any case, if there is a minor mechanical problem, then he should be able to sort this one out. If for example a vehicle gets a tyre puncture, the driver guide should be able to address this so that he continues with the safari. Guides are therefore encouraged to have these skills.

A good tourist guide should have knowledge about essential first aid. This is because the guide is the person who is always with clients and should any tourist get a health problem in areas far away from clinics or hospitals; the guide should be in position to provide first aid to that particular client. Its for the same reason that every safari vehicle is encouraged to have a first aid box.

A good guide should be knowledgeable in terms of the countries culture, history, fauna and flora so that he is in position to provide reliable, update and quality information to the clients/tourists on safari. Information or knowledge about the country, birds etc are very important and this is what clients are looking for.

A good tourist guide should be punctual all the time. If it is picking clients from the Airport, the guide should be there in time, if it is time for briefing, the guide should always be punctual. If it is time for game drive and you explained to your tourists that you will be there at 6am, please be there fifteen minutes before.

A good guide should be able to control tourists in his group. Sometimes companies organise group tours and each of the joining tourist do not know each other. This means that each individual has his/her own interest, behaviour etc so sometimes it becomes difficult to satisfy each of the tourists in the group. A good tourist therefore should be able to balance and make sure that each of travelling tourists has value for money.

Briefing of clients is very important and all good guides should be able to do this. Upon arrival, tourists should be briefed about the itinerary to make sure that that all is in order. The Guide should be in position to explain the drive time, activities day by day, the accommodation facilities per day and if they have certain services or not and each day, the guide should be able to sit with clients and discuss the program of the next day. The guide should be able to give information about the country and make sure that each tourist has the necessary items for the day. If any questions arise, then they should always be addressed to make sure that clients are satisfied. There so many qualities of a good guide and we will continue with this in our next article.

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