You will have the same driver-guide for the entire trip. At the end of the day, the single most important factor in our clients having a successful safari is the quality of their GUIDE. Our guides are all local Tanzanians, well-educated and they all speak fluent English. We hire only the very best, and once we hire someone great we treat them like gold, not only do they deserve it but we also want to keep them! We continue to invest in them and their training. It is important to us that our guides are the most educated and passionate in the industry. Our guides are well educated and happy to be working for ADS! Here at ADS, our guides are the heart and soul of our company. They are our employees sure, but they are also our family.
Your guide-driver will be responsible for helping you plan your days by giving you suggestions, although ultimately the decisions are up to you. Probably the most important aspect of his job is that he is responsible for finding the animals - after all, that's why you've come! Thus he must understand intimately the animals' habitats and behaviors. It is important for your guide to have experience so he is not afraid to go off the beaten path for fear of getting lost, otherwise you may never make it far from the main road! It is important that he is well educated and a good communicator because he will be responsible for communicating information about the animals, trees, insects, ecosystem etc. to his guests. It is important that he is a professional, and has a pleasant personality because you will be with him for the entire trip! It is important that he is passionate about his job, because we all know enthusiasm is contagious and can greatly enhance one's enjoyment of the trip. This is the guide profile here at ADS.
A frequent question we receive is 'why is it better to have a private guide instead of utilizing different guides employed at various properties?' Some companies will shuffle you between different camps without a dedicated driver guide, and that means you will have a new guide at each location and you will need to go out on shared game drives with other guests. That means you lose the ability to control your own schedule and the amount of time focused on your interests. By the time you're done shuffling between the various driver guides, you may have heard the same lesson on dung beetles 20 times, which is always repeated 1) because the driver guide is new to you and he doesn't know what you've heard, and 2) for the benefit of other new guests in the vehicle with you. And you never do make it far from the driveway to find the leopard or cheetah cubs or other interesting animals that may be a little bit more difficult to find.
We have a high number of returning guests and are often asked if we can again assign the driver-guide our guests had on their previous ADS safari. The assignment of our driver-guides is actually quite complex and based on a formula that interweaves factors such as annual leave, scheduled safaris, duration of scheduled safaris, client interests and various other factors.
In fact, the assignment often looks like a complex jigsaw puzzle and removing just one piece of the puzzle -such as a specific guide-effectively dismantles the carefully pieced together jigsaw puzzle. With this in mind, we are unfortunately unlikely to be able to assign a specific guide however as evident by the blog postings, all of our guides are talented professionals and you will not be disappointed. Our goal is to exceed your expectations and this starts with who we assign to guide our returning guests.