Hello! I need some help with figuring out a decent fee to pay for Guide Services in Kenya.
I am taking a group of Friends there- I have been before, but traveled in an all-inclusive trip.
Now that we are planning our own trip from scratch, I don't know how to offer them a fair wage for traveling with us as guides. Also for the woman who is helping us coordinate things in Kenya.
Please, can people offer suggestions?
Thank you very much- Asante Sana!
mmmm... I had a guide in Isiolo, Northern Kenya, I gave him 100 shilings (1 euro)/hour, but Isiolo is in the poor part of Kenya so, I guess you, in such places you can give less. Prices rises certainly in Nairobi and when you hire qualified guides. It is always wise to discuss the price first, before accepting any services so don't wait and simply ask them what are they financial expectations. Be prepared to bargain - it is normal African procedure.
How much would you pay a heart surgeon? Depends on if he did a good job or not eh?
The same goes for guides. I've paid guides $10 at the end of an all-day game drive and one other guide I paid $50 for one of the best mornings I've had in my life. This guy not only spotted animals David Attenborough wouldn't see but knew everything about them and gave me the feeling I was in the care of a real expert.
So to answer your question, pay your guide what it's worth to you. Don't worry, if you pay him even minimal rates it should still be good by Kenyan standards.
One more thing. Have a list of expectations of what you'd like to see. Ask the guide does he/she think they can spot these animals. Maybe a bonus for every spot would work but I've never seen anyone do it... wonder why?
Make sure you have some idea what you want to see and at least that way if you don't spot it's not because your guide wasn't looking. Also try a night drive to see a completely different Kenya, costs more though. The lions in the Mara Reserve specialise in night-time appearances - and very vocal too.
Firstly, have a quick chat with the locals, both holidaymakers and residents and get some info about where and where not to go. Then chat to people who have done what you are planning. The price will vary somewhat depending on where they went and who they hired. I have done parks in Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa. They are all quite different but your guide will be pretty much the same wherever you are. In Malawi it was more expensive than in Kenya, basically because the trip was longer and the guide was much poorer, so we gave him more money to help him along. In Kenya we paid $40 for our guide. The trip was around 6 hours. In Malawi it was about 10 hours and we gave him $75. To us, nothing for the wonderful experience an and expert guidance, to the locals an a far too excessive amount of cash. And to our guide.. The biggest smile and handshake of appreciation ever.
[ Edit: Edited on 20-Sep-2009, at 12:26 by BedouinLeo ]