Field guiding is far more about people than animals. You may spend ten hours a day looking at four-legged animals, but you will spend between fifteen to eighteen hours daily with the two-legged ones. There are a few professions where you spend so much time with the same people. On any kind of safari, you are with your clients almost every waking hour, which is normally from dawn till around ten at night.
You will be asked so many times “you must hate doing this every day?” Look at it in another way. As a field guide you see the best side of humanity. Firstly, you work in the biggest and most beautiful office in the world. Secondly, your clients are on holiday. They are out for a good time. They want fun, laughter and a safe adventure.
In modern society people are so worried about their image, money, surviving, the day to day stresses of just keeping afloat. Yet when these people join you on a game drive, they drop all the social barriers and pretences they need to survive in their daily lives. Guests will meet other guests who comes from totally different social, financial and political and cultural backgrounds and sometimes life-long friendships are formed.
What draws these social opposites together? The answer lies in the beauty and simplicity of untouched nature. Imagine how rewarding it feels after moments where the “very bossy and high-ranking businessman” change whilst he is out on game drive with you. Field guiding is such a privileged profession: your “office” is this massive reserve, teeming with so many colourful and interesting forms of wildlife. In turn, your reserve is a theatre, an amazing open-air amphitheatre where the props are real living trees, clouds, rivers and mountains. The orchestra comprises the combined melody made up from the sounds of the wind, bird songs, gurgling rivers, a lion’s roar, a hippo’s snort and the call of the zebra.
The animals are the actors, their beauty and actions speaking their parts. You are the presenter, with endless opportunities to share an ever-changing and unwritten show with your fellow man. Your guests from all corners of the globe and from all walks of life, are the mobile audience.
You hold in your hands the opportunity to realise your guests dreams and fantasies of Africa. Make every moment count for you and your guests and give them the experience of a lifetime!
Until next time
Trevor @ Bushwise