Safari Guide Jobs
Safari guides are adventure tour guides who take guests into the wilds of African nations like Kenya, Botswana, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Congo, Namibia, South Africa, or Uganda. This unique form of eco-tourism brings guests into the wilds of Africa to experience and photograph wildlife.
Safari guides work in remote and diverse African game parks that cover thousands of square miles. Guests are often flown in by prop plane. Then under the watchful eye of a safari guide donning khaki belted bush jackets and pith helmets, they are off in search of wild animals.
Safaris are one of life’s finest adventures. Armed only with a rifle, a camera, and a selection of vaccinations, safari guides and their groups may move on foot or in a lion-proof Land Rover – traveling from lodge to lodge or tent to tent. They never now what might be across the next river crossing, around the next ancient tree, or lurking over the horizon.
People from all over the world flock to places like Kenya’s Great Rift Valley, Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, or Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park to experience a safari. Their goal is to photograph buffalo, hippos, tigers, rhinos, alligators, antelopes, and other exotic creatures in their natural habitat.
With any luck, they’ll spot a leopard lounging in a tree, a mountain gorilla enjoying the peace of the forests, a cheetah chasing a hyena, a herd of elephants protecting their turf, or the mighty king of the jungle finishing breakfast. It’s an unforgettable experience.
The only way guests can experience these incredible wildlife moments is with the guidance of a professional safari guide. Besides keeping guests safe, safari guides are intimately knowledgeable about the landscape and surroundings. This can enhance the safari experience by providing details about animals, geography, flora and fauna, native customs, inhabitants, and safety.
Being a safari guide requires a cool demeanor, excellent guest service skills, and a sixth sense that can read what an animal is thinking. While the goal of the guests is to see as many animals as possible, the goal of the guide is to keep the guests safe at all times.
Safari guides work long hours for weeks on end. It’s a demanding job and guides are responsible around the clock. The reward of the job is being outdoors amongst some of the largest and most impressive creatures on Earth – and sharing that with others.
If you want to find work as a safari guide, you need to be certified. This is the only way that the big safari companies, game lodges, wildlife reserves, and national parks will consider hiring you. Most safari guides earn their certification through the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa or other field guide certifying bodies. Aspiring safari guides will learn theoretical and practical knowledge in classrooms and via shadowing opportunities.
During training, guides become familiar with rifle handling, dangerous game orientation, trail guiding, 4×4 driving, birding specialties, game drives, wildlife photography, tracking, bush navigation, first aid, and other tips and techniques. Both their life and their guest’s lives depend on these skills.
Safari guide jobs are very competitive. The allure of large animals, wild adventures, stunning scenery, and the romance of Africa will make any cubicle warrior drool with envy. Before you quit your day job, do your research. Safari guides typically only make $40 per day plus room, board, and tips. Pay depends on guests, country, employer, experience, reputation, and other factors.
Do you want to find a safari guide job? You’ll work with a global cast of guests in some of the world’s most stunning locations. It can be a dangerous job, but for a safari guide, the risk is worth the reward.
Quick Facts About Safari Guide Careers
Job Title: Safari Guide aka Field Guide aka Game Ranger
Office: Diverse game reserves in Africa
Description: Guiding guests through the wilds of Africa for wildlife sightseeing
Certifications/Education: Certification and training
Necessary Skills: Calm, Personable, Safety-conscious
Potential Employers: Safari Companies, Private Game Lodges
Pay: $40 per day plus tips