Safari guiding is the most critical element of a life-changing safari experience. A guide is your connection to the wildlife, your host in the Botswana bush, and your personal Wikipedia page. Without an exceptional safari guide, everything about your safari will be lackluster, and you could even put your life in danger.
Safari Guiding at Brave Africa
At Brave Africa, our priority is to provide a best-in-class safari guiding experience. As part of that, we have two of the top bush guides in Botswana—Tabona Wina and Moses Teko—who have over 23 years of experience between them. They’ve worked for some of the top names in the business—Ker & Downy, Wilderness Safaris, and African Bush Camps—before joining Brave Africa, and all of our guests benefit from their immense experience.
- Wina has been a safari guide for 11 years, and for the last two years, he was a VIP guest guide. He has distinguished himself as someone who always delights his guests and provides a quality experience.
- Moses has been a safari guide for the past 12 years, and a bush guide trainer for two years. He’s known his meticulous attention to detail, and for specializing in children’s safaris.
9 Reasons to Choose Your Safari Based on the Guides
So why are Wina and Moses so essential to Brave Africa and your safari experience? Here are nine reasons why safari guiding can make or break your trip.
1. Guest Safety
The African wilderness is dangerous. Lions might look fluffy, elephants might seem peaceful, and wild dogs might look cute, but they are all extremely dangerous wild creatures. A safari is not a trip to the zoo. You are in the animals’ home, and that means you have to be smart and safe.
Your safari guide is ultimately responsible for your safety. He has spent years learning everything he can about animal behavior to know when and how to approach animals in such a way that you are always protected. Your guide should also be an expert off-road driver, ensuring that you never find yourself in a situation where you’re stuck, and you have to abandon your vehicle.
This might seem like basic common sense, but it’s not.
For example, on a recent trip out into the Bush, we witnessed a guide for another company almost get his guests killed by a male lion. He decided to put his guests’ desire for the perfect picture over their safety and kept getting closer and closer to a male lion who was clearly agitated. He ended up being reckless and pulling up so close that the male lion jumped up and growled at the car. It was a very close call and could have gone much worse all for a picture.
2. Wildlife Consideration
That brings us to our second point, care and consideration for the wildlife. On a safari, your desire for a picture should not come at the cost of the wildlife. You are in their home, and so you should do your best to have as little impact on the environment as possible. It’s up to your safari guide to ensure that you have a fantastic experience without harming the wildlife.
There will be times where your Brave Africa bush guide will stay back and further away from the animals than you might like because it’s better for the animals. Your enjoyment will never come at the harm of something else; that’s not a sustainable or eco-friendly safari experience.
Instead, Wina and Moses always keep in mind the health of the wildlife before making any decision. For example, on a recent safari, we witnessed a wild dog pack on the hunt. While Wina followed the lead dog, he stayed at least 100 meters away so as not to interrupt the hunt at any time. Another guide at a different camp did not show the same consideration and actually ended up disrupting the hunt and scaring off the impala because he got too close and was more concerned with his guests’ pushiness than the wildlife.
3. Walking Safari Guides
Only Level 3 guides have the experience and skill to take you on bush walks. Walking safaris are a great way to see the wildlife up close and personal outside of a car, but it takes immense knowledge to do this safely.
Wina and Moses both are Level 3 Guides, meaning that you can track a pride of lions through dense bush, go walking with a herd of buffalo, or hang out with a wild dog pack in safety. They know wind direction, animal behavior, and more so that they can take you on a walking safari that’s safe and spectacular.
4. Tracking Skills
A Botswana safari is not a zoo. You’re in the middle of the open wilderness with no fences, and no guarantees. The animals could be anywhere, and it’s up to your safari guide to track them. This is especially important for predators.
Safari guiding requires in-depth knowledge of animal tracks, sounds, location, and more. It’s not as simple as just driving out the animals come to you. You have to find them.
For example, on a recent trip out, Wina was able to lead guests to a lone male lion thanks to some drool and a Kudu call. He knew the lion was somewhere deep in the bush because he saw a very fresh lion paw track with some wet drool in the print. But the lion was impossible to see no matter how long Wina looked. However, there were Kudu standing nearby, clearly paying attention to what was happening. Then, one of them barked, and immediately, Wina knew where the lion was and took his guests directly to him for an hour-long private sighting.
5. Bush Knowledge
There are over 23 different types of antelope in Botswana. There are hundreds of birds and thousands of unique flora and fauna. Your safari guide has to know all of it, and well. You’ll have hundreds of questions as you’re on safari, “Why do the wild dogs behave that way? What’s that bird, and who’s nest is that? How do you tell an Impala from a Reedbuck? How do lions hunt? What’s the difference between male and female elephants? Giraffes?”
Wina and Moses will be responsible for answering all these questions on the fly with answers that are as accurate as an encyclopedia. This is incredibly important so that you feel like you’re really immersed in the Botswana Bush and not just watching wildlife with no idea what’s going on.
We dare you to test our safari guides against your guidebook. You won’t be able to beat them.
6. Bush Guide Hospitality
Your safari guide is more than just your connection to the wilderness; they are also your host for the entire time you’re on safari. They’ll become your friend, and so you want someone personable and focused on providing an incredible hospitality experience. They should be able to sit with you around the table at night and comfortably chat about your day, be a companion during long game drives, and be a host at all times.
At some safari lodges, guides are not local. They’re brought in from South Africa or other countries. This is a problem. Not only does this harm the Botswana economy by not hiring local, but it also means you have a guide who does not have the depth and breadth of knowledge of Botswana and its areas that you want.
Moses and Wina are both Botswanans from local tribes, so they know the country, the wildlife, and the Okavango Delta better than any outsider could. They’ve also spent years guiding guests in the exact areas where Brave Africa goes. This familiarity means they know the areas inside and out and can take you to Hyena Dens or known leopard hunting grounds, which means you’ll have the best chance of seeing something extraordinary.
8. Adventurous Spirit
A safari guide with an adventurous spirit is key to your once-in-a-lifetime experience. They need to be willing to go off the beaten track, explore, and have fun while they’re doing it. Wina and Moses love being guides, and they love being in the Bush. This makes a big difference. It means they’ll be willing to chase down a cheetah through dense forest or take a less-traveled path for the chance to witness something extraordinary.
Some safari guides and lodges, instead of focusing on adventure, focus on comfort or luxury. These types of bush guides will stay on paths, go slowly, and not risk guest comfort for something exciting. While this might be nice for some people, at Brave Africa, we think that you’ve come to Botswana to see and spend time with the animals, so if that takes a little more off-roading, then that’s what we’ll do.
9. Young Explorers
Finally, an African safari is not just for adults. It’s an incredible experience for families with kids—over seven years old, at least. However, kids need a different safari guiding experience than adults.
Moses has been in charge of the Young Explorers program at some of the top safari companies in Africa. This means that he has spent years taking kids out on safari and showing them a great time. For kids, there are more unique learning opportunities that keep them interested in wildlife and occupied all day long.
Our Brave Africa Safari Guides
Get to know Tabona Wina and Moses Teko, who will be your safari guides whenever you’re with Brave Africa.
Tabona Wina – Level 3 Guide (highest level)
Wina was one of African Bush Camps’ earliest employees, starting as a guide in 2008. Throughout his 11 years there, Wina distinguished himself with the quality of his guiding and ability to delight his guests. After spending some time as a Camp Manager and then as the Country Coordinator for the African Bush Camps Foundation, Wina spent the last two years as African Bush Camps’ Guest and Public Relations Manager, responsible for guiding the company’s VIPs.
It was because Wina completely turned around a potentially negative guest experience into an incredibly positive experience that Wina won the hearts of his guests, and they decided to invest in his dream of creating Brave Africa. Wina is the beating heart of the company, and his commitment to the guest experience has no rival.
Moses Teko — Level 3 Guide (highest level)
Moses began his guiding career at Wilderness Safaris in 2007 at their high-end premier camps Kingspool and Mombo. He joined Ker & Downey Botswana as a Manager and managed their Kanana, Shinde, Okuti, Footsteps, and Dinaka camps. Moses later moved to Footsteps as a specialist guide leading the Young Explorer’s family safaris. Most recently, Moses held two positions beginning in 2017 as Ker & Downey’s Guide Trainer, and their Sales and Marketing Manager.
Moses is now Brave Africa’s Sales Manager and Professional Guide. The company stole his heart because of its focus on getting back to the basics, empowering Botswana, promoting eco-tourism, providing guests with a life-changing experience, and focusing more on wildlife and conservation in Botswana.