5 reasons to use a local tour guide

Who is a tour guide and why should I use one?

A tour guide (U.S.) or a tourist guide (European) according to wikipedia.com provides assistance, information and cultural, historical and contemporary heritage interpretation to people on organized tours and individual clients at educational establishments, religious and historical sites, museums, and at venues of other significant interest.

Africa indeed is a beautiful place to visit. In in order to maximize the time you have on your trip and make most of it, it is essential you hire the services of a tour guide.

That feeling of excitement mixed with a slight pang of ‘fear of the unknown’ that comes with finding your way around some far-flung destination on a quest to discover your own version of it.

It brings out the explorer in all of us. But like most things in life there is a time and a place for everything. For all those other times, there are tour guides.

I share with you 5 compelling reasons to use a tour guide based on experience and research.

1. Save time

Most people only have a certain amount of time off work each year and trying to pack in a ton of sights is always time-consuming. Guides will always be able to cut to the chase to ensure you see what you want to see without getting caught up in unnecessary activities along the way.

2. Local knowledge

Tour guides are amazing sources of information on everything you need to know about the local culture and heritage. Learn to dig for water, you say? Make a bow and arrow out of three leaves and a twig? No problem! There’s no better way to enjoy a new place than chatting to someone who knows the area like the back of their hand and hearing first-hand what life is like.

3. Safety

Not all travelers are street-wise and for this reason it is often safest to visit certain areas with a guide. Not only can they serve as a deterrent for would-be petty thieves but they can also help you avoid being scammed or help haggle a good price on that one-of-a-kind wooden giraffe sculpture you absolutely must have.

4. Support local businesses

One of the most important things you can do when you travel is support local entrepreneurs. This is something you can do simply by using a local guide. It brings income into their communities and helps to build the economy and tourism potential of an area. Travelers who visit an area with a local guide will be guaranteed a more authentic and rewarding experience, full of interesting tales. Immersing yourself in the culture is ultimately what travel is all about.

5. Take photos

While travelling is about making new friends and long-lasting memories, what better way to relive those memories than having an album full of photographs? Photos of sights are boring if there’s no one in them. Scrap the selfies and get your guide to take a photo of you. And, after a long day of sightseeing, cultural education and obligatory photo-taking, enjoy a cold beverage with your tour guide. It might just be the start of a beautiful friendship.

I trust you will consider these 5 points on your next trip just in case you have not considered it yet.

Continent Tours, Africa’s premier destination management and corporate travel experts will be glad to give you this service no matter your destination. Visit their website www.continenttours.com or call them on +233 302 775371 (Ghana) or +1 215 471 8299 (USA).

Many thanks for reading, and do well to stay in touch.

Originally published at tourafrica360.com on March 3, 2016.