1. Building group dynamics and getting to know each other
Briefings provide an opportunity for important dialogue between the guide and his guests to ensure mutual understanding and effective cooperation among the group. Briefing helps guests to comply with rules and regulations and understand their responsibilities on safari. Good briefings may also foster some development of trust, cooperation and commitment to other group members.
2. Making sure all know what to expect & reducing misunderstandings
Briefing ensures that guests feel well informed, they know what may be expected during the journey, and feel comfortable to start their safari. It helps the guide to update his checklists with the guests to see that everyone knows what is needed to bring along. Briefing also helps people to understand how to navigate in a different or new environment. It also reduces misunderstandings and reinforces their role as part or the travel group. It also mentally prepares the guests on identifying potential problems.
3. Making people aware of DOs and DONT’s
A briefing allows the guide to impart information that some guests may not be aware off; for example some pretty looking flowers could be harmful to touch or smell as they may contain toxins. Taking photos of people could be OK where they come from but in other places the same is not considered very polite and may cause problems.
4. Ensuring safety: Briefing is risk management
Briefing helps to reduce potential risks on the field which has a great importance for the safety during safari. Briefing allows space for the guide to highlight and raise awareness of potential hazards including informing guest what to do in case of an emergency. Briefing provides a channel for delivering a clear message, prevents assumptions that may lead to potential danger due to ignorance or lack of information.
5. Putting the well-being of people first
Briefing allows the guide to listen his/hers clients and respond to their questions and concerns. This is really important when one wants to succeed as a guide. It is important to find out how people think and feel during the safari, and to open up space for guests’ suggestions that influence their well being.
6. Offering better customer service
Briefing helps to improve the service quality and customer satisfaction that may in turn influence your tips a a guide.
Photo © Oliver Schaef