Just What Makes A Good Guide, Great?

26th November 2014

The essence to a great river trip are the guides who accompany you on your adventure. Many times guides are asked, “so, what’s your real job”? Many have chosen to make guiding a career, where their skills always involves wonderful river guiding skills, it is what lies beneath these fascinating characters, that makes them special. Many are college graduates, some have Post Graduate degrees, but all are from the “school of river life” and everything that teaches you.

Cuan and Tembo. African legends!

Cuan and Tembo. African legends!

We are so proud of our guide team. They are the windows to our company and ethos and your insight into the geology, history and culture of the region that you have chosen to explore. Far from being ego driven, these guys and girls thrive on making you feel 100% comfortable in your new environment. Many guests are amazed when we arrive at camp, that the guides happily swing into action, preparing stunning meals out of cooler boxes and with little more than a 4 burner gas cooker, or perhaps preparing a pizza over some embers in a dutch oven. Sharing their world with you, is genuinely what makes them happy.

Lovemore, our head safety kayaker who started river life as a porter.

Lovemore, our head safety kayaker who started river life as a porter.

Around the campfire, all the classic river stories come out. Perhaps relating to a land slide they conquered on the way to the river in Nepal, or perhaps when they walked the Darian Gap. Stories that will intrigue and amaze you, but leave you in no doubt, that you are in very safe hands. Perhaps the guitar may come out and you’ll get to star gaze and listen to a few songs. Out here, life is all about the pace of the river and not what car you drive or answering e mails. If you are traveling with kids, you’ll find your children are drawn to these inspirational characters. No matter if you choose to travel to the US, Morocco or the Zambezi, this is a family adventure holiday they’ll remember forever.

Biff getting the most out of his team in Morocco

Biff getting the most out of his team in Morocco

Guides often refer to themselves as cooks and cleaners, who raft to work each day, but they are SO much more than that. Let these wonderful people share their knowledge of the area, whether it be the geology of the Grand Canyon or the stunning bird life on the lower reaches of the Zambezi river. Thank you to all you wonderful guides out there.

by Hamish McMaster

Hamish McMaster is the Water By Nature owner. He has spent the past 25 years exploring and playing on the world's great rivers. He still loves nothing more than getting out there and sharing adventures.


Recent posts

A Welcome Break From Covid Chaos


I was recently fortunate enough to travel to Greece for a week of sailing at the end of October with family and friends and to be perfectly honest, it was just what the Doctor ordered! In a world filled with uncertainty and a lack of positivity, the opportunity to island hop, swim in the ocean, […]

Our 2021 Shortlist Of Adventures – Where Will You Go?


It has been encouraging to see some of our past guests book on for adventures in 2021 and some even for 2022. It seems that people are more confident about travelling from May onwards when we hope restrictions will be lifted and we can recommence visiting some incredible places. In their spirit of adventure, here […]

Here Comes 2020 – Grade V All The Way


In February 2020, a crew of adventurers and I were busy having fun in New Zealand. The only challenges we were facing were standard for an adventure company — re-arranging the order of rivers on our New Zealand River Rafting Road Trip given the large amount of rain we were getting. We followed this with […]