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

Mother Nature Is In Charge – Covid-19


Be warned, this is not an e mail to tell you to wash your hands or that we have implemented a policy of hand sanitising (we already do this stuff on trips).  Those of you who have travelled with us before will know we have no shortage of loo roll. We even put a square […]

6 Of The Best Short and Long Rafting Trips


Hamish McMaster gives his verdict on the 3 best short rafting adventures and his 3 favourite longer rafting trips in the world. Some of our guests love the ‘quick fix’ on a river trip. For others, it’s genuinely about spending as many nights as possible on the water, to relax and unwind with the help […]

Rafting With Kids – What’s it All About?


After doing a number of multiday trips with our kids Holly and Josh, and having taken literally thousands of kids rafting over my quarter century leading trips, here are a few of my tips to make for a perfect family trip both for Mum and Dad, and the kids.   Choose an Appropriate Trip: This […]