What you should expect from an operator and guiding team

A few years ago I joined the Wild Eye Team, after working for a very small photographic company, I decided it was time to move on and look for new growth. There were a number of reasons why I wanted to join the Wild Eye team.

I want to become the best individual I can be, not only for myself but for my family and the company I work for. I am an individual that doesn’t just want to settle, or for lack of a better word to be ‘average’. The only way to learn and to better one’s self is to be stimulated, push yourself and move out of your comfort zone.

To say that I have been blown away over the last few years I have spent in the Wild Eye office is an understatement. One thing I was looking forward to the most was being in an office environment, surrounded by some of the best in the industry.

There are obviously many different ways to do things and be successful. In this industry things are constantly changing and evolving, so being able to stay up to date and keep with the times is absolutely crucial. The whole purpose of this blog was to talk about what I have learnt over the past few years and how I feel I have grown from it, especially during the last year we have had.

In an industry where social media has such a large impact, I have taken plenty of useful information out of the last few months, not only in managing my social media accounts, but also respecting each platform and how each one works.

What I mean by the above is, what you post on Instagram isn't always the right thing to post on Facebook or snapchat - What I am trying to get to is that each platform has a time and a place for certain content, we should always remember to be professional and try and provide good relevant content.

Now, this is just my observation, but looking at different accounts, it often reminds me, just how fortunate I am to work in the company I do. To say that some of the content is embarrassing - is me just being nice. I have learnt to look at my social media as well as the companies account through a viewers eyes. This allows me to process the content and answer some valuable questions such as - is it relevant? is it informative? Am I conducting myself in a professional manor? but most importantly am I portraying myself exactly as I am or am I trying to be someone I am not?

One again, Im not judging others - each to their own. I am merely stating what I have experienced and noticed over the past couple of months. In this day and age, especially using social media, we have eyes on us 24/7 and nowadays everything we do is documented and loaded up onto social media. The majority of the content is put on platforms for everyone to see. If you are happy with who you are and how you want people to perceive you then thats perfectly fine. I am confident in myself, who I am and what I put online, but I urge you all to look at the content you are putting online and ask yourself the same questions I mentioned earlier in this post.

From an experience point of view, another reason I joined the Wild Eye team was for the way the company and the individuals are portrayed online. Having been here for a couple of months I can happily report that what you see is exactly what you get.

It only takes looking at images and marketing material on social media to see what a company is all about. The sad reality in this industry is, many individuals are out there to get their OWN shots, sit in the front row of the vehicle (prime spot), enter competitions and travel to some pretty spectacular destinations in the process.

For myself, on a vehicle with guests, I almost feel guilty to take a picture. This stems from my days as a full-time guide and working at londolozi. It was drilled into us that Guests ALWAYS come first. I think many individuals have become self absorbed in what they do and forget the very reason they started in this industry and that is to create a dream come true and often once in a life time safari experience for their guests.

As I write this blog I am surrounded but individuals (my colleagues) who have all been guides before starting at Wild Eye and were all trained in a similar fashion and share a passion for meeting new people as well as giving them the best safari experience we possibly can.

It saddens me to see the kind of experience some individuals are giving guests who potentially have saved up for months if not years to embark on what often is a once in a life time opportunity. I am referring to safaris in general, from safaris run in the Kruger National Park right the way through to photographic safaris that are run to a variety of upmarket lodges and destinations.

I am writing this to urge you to do the research, look at the different experiences operators are offering and invest wisely in your next safari. Remember your Safari is about YOU, not the company you are working through and most certainly not the operator/individual you are sitting in a vehicle with.

Having said all this, I hope you find some value in what I have learnt over the past couple of months and I really hope you enjoy the next time YOU go on safari.

Until next time,

Trevor

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