Guests Who Become Friends

By Kings Camp Team on November 4, 2019
Words and Photos by Tracey Bruton – Guide, Kings Camp

25 October 2019

As safari guides we have the wonderful opportunity to give our guests an often once-in-a-lifetime experience on safari in the African bush, and memories that are remembered for many years. We spend a lot of time with our guests- at least six hours a day on game drives, time on bush walks, at the lodge and during meals.

Through time spent with guests, sharing experiences with them, we get to know them, and by the time they depart the lodge, they have become friends. Often we keep in touch on email or via social media.

Two years ago, I guided Eric and Karin Meeussen from Belgium at a different lodge before I found my home at Kings Camp. This month it was wonderful to have them visit me. We have kept in touch via social media, and become good friends. They reminded me of the sightings I showed them two years ago, the things I taught them, and the fun we had. During their stay at Kings Camp, I was able to join them for meals to catch up, and show them incredible sightings.

Kings Camp has many guests who return time and time again, year after year. They have truly become our family. Yes, there are other places to explore and other lodges or reserves to experience, but I have heard from many guests who visit us at Kings Camp that when they leave, they feel a part of the Kings family, and it is just natural to return, especially because they know that the experience and the service they will receive is top class.

Being a guide has helped me to become a confident, outgoing person. In school it was difficult for me to even stand up in front of my schoolmates, but now I speak with passion and enthusiasm to guests every day from all over the world. It is a privileged occupation to be able to take guests out into the wilds of Africa, and to share my passion with them.

I think that over and above the animal encounters we witness, it is a big responsibility of the guide to ensure that the guest has a memorable and fulfilling experience. A guide is way more than just a driver who takes the guest from one animal sighting to another.

We give our guests the full bush experience. On game drives our guests of course want to see the big five, but we also show them the smaller, more elusive, or lesser-known animals. We will teach you about aspects of the bush such as our vegetation, animal behaviour, and the ecosystem as a whole. On a clear evening you can experience the stars and learn about the constellations you see in the Southern Hemisphere. A bush walk after breakfast is a wonderful experience to feel more a part of nature. Learn a few words of Shangaan, only one of South Africa’s 11 official languages, experience our many different cultures and of course, take many photos!

If you are part of the Kings family, we can’t wait to see you again! If you have not yet visited us, we look forward to meeting you! Remember, the safari bug bites and you will want to come again and again!

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