After going to Makerere University I graduated as an Artist but making a living in Art was difficult so I got a job as a driver taking tourists around my country.
How did you make the transition to becoming a tour guide?
I later registered and became a member of the Uganda Safari Guides Association, and did a lot of training with the Association.
What does a typical day look like for you?
From time to time I guide groups of Dutch and Belgium tourists. I am always up at 5 am in the morning make sure clients breakfast is ready, their bags are packed in the car, give them the programme of the day, answer questions and try make sure everyone is happy in the group. Then comes the nice bit of showing them my Country and giving them information about the places we visit, and things that we see in nature, as well interaction with locals that we meet.
Later I have to call hotels ahead and plan with other local guides for excursions. I plan meals for for the day, have dinner with clients, explain why internet is slow. FYI the Dutch and Belgium don’t do African Time. Don’t get me wrong it’s fun, I am just saying it takes a lot more work to make a holiday than to go on one. But the END is always rewarding.
My style of guiding is based on doing as much as possible on a tour to meet more than clients expectations. For example; doing things or visiting places you won’t find on TripAdvisor, such as say, visiting a church on Sunday during a tour., trying to create activities clients didn’t expect to do and even better – most of these activities don’t cost the clients anything extra.
What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is always meeting different kinds of people with differences in culture and behaviour.
Ever had any odd requests from clients?
Yes I have heard odd requests from clients. One time one client failed to track the Mountain Gorillas and she wanted a refund of the Permit. This is not the case with the Uganda Wildlife Authority ( the organization that sales the permits) when you fail to track. Seeing the wildlife is not guaranteed.
The advantage of hiring a guide are many; the guides know the right place to take the tourists to depending on their interests, the guides know the local language and can communicate and work with locals to give tourists a great experience, the guide always knows the best places for tourists to have their meals, the guides always know what tourists want or what the tourist wants to experience, the guides are well informed about places, activities of interest and they have contacts with hotels and know the best places for accommodation.
Tell us something about your area that only a guide would know.
Only a guide would know the best time and place where he or she would take tourists to see the Tree Climbing Lions in Uganda.
A professional guide is one who has multiple skills to research, communicate, acquire knowledge, and tell stories. A good guide must have good driving skills, interpretation skills, and interaction skills among many others.
And finally, have you got any tips for people who are interested in booking a guide like yourself, but aren’t too sure what to look for?
Well if you are looking for adventure and having a remarkable holiday to remember then am your guide.