It seems like a fantasy job; learning and telling others about the wildlife on a beautiful game reserve. And in many ways it is!
Firstly, they ask what the visitors would like to see and pick them up early in the morning in specialised safari vehicles, before the heat of the day drives the wildlife into the thick bush for shade. They also go out in the early evenings.
Secondly, they liaise with all the other guides to find out where the cheetahs, the leopards, wild dogs, giraffe and so on are to be found.
The beauty of it is – every day is different; different animals in different places, the cheetahs and leopards with kills, cubs being sighted for the first time and something different each and every day.
The guides tell the stories of how the wildebeest or gnu got its name, of how the Oryx is the national animal of Namibia and is ideally suited through numerous adaptations to the climate, such as heat reflecting white “socks” on their legs, and so on.
What got me was the enthusiasm, the sense of wonder, the in-depth knowledge, the understanding and sense of humour of the guides – it was infectious and you couldn’t help but be caught up in the moment, smiling constantly, feeling an intimacy with the place – this is the Okonjima experience.
The guides are carefully chosen at Okonjima and it attracts only the best people.
To experience a Namibian safari first-hand, come and see for yourself .