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Where to hire a private tour guide?

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Hilo, Hawaii
posts: 3
Where to hire a private tour guide?

I am planning to travel to Joburg with 11 family members in October. Rather than having someone lose out on the sites and scenes, we'd prefer to have a local drive us around. Anyone has any ideas on where I can find a reliable and safe chauffeur service who is also knowledgeable about the city, places to go, cultural and historical. Would like to visit Soweto and Mandela's home but do not want to be hung up by set schedules. Dire need to be flexible. Thanks for your help.

Johannesburg, South...
Destination Expert
for Johannesburg
posts: 2,069
reviews: 23
1. Re: Where to hire a private tour guide?

Be careful.

You need to make sure that the person you hire is a registered tourist guide, licensed for the areas of interest.

There are many "fly by nights" who purport to be tourist guides, who offer a seemingly "too good to be true" rate for their services..

Remember, if it seems to be "too good to be true", then, it IS!

You must employ a registered guide.

That way, you will get the correct information from a properly trained guide, with the appropriate knowledge, and the required insurance, etc etc.

Ask me how I know.

For Example......I have actually heard a "tourist guide" in Soweto, tell a client that the Orlando Power Station is a nuclear plant. ( The power station ceased to function about 30 years ago, and it was never nuclear. The ONLY Nuclear plant providing power for South Africa is at Koeberg, near Cape Town)

Remember the old adage still holds true "you get what you pay for".

If you want names of reliable, knowledgeable guides, please e mail me off board.

Gavin

New York
Destination Expert
for Travel Gadgets and Gear
posts: 1,166
2. Re: Where to hire a private tour guide?

Try Wilro Tours. I've used them on a couple of trips to SA and they do exactly these type of tours or pay by the hour in Joburg. I had a private car and driver who designed an itinerary with me while my 10 friends (who had not visited SA before and did a more traditional Soweto/Apartheid Museum day) had a larger vehicle with a driver and guide. They also transferred us to the airport at the end of the day for our overseas flights.

Hilo, Hawaii
posts: 3
3. Re: Where to hire a private tour guide?

Thank you so much for your warning. This is the reason precisely why I'm asking. I look forward to your referrals. Is there a SA version of the US BBB?

4. Re: Where to hire a private tour guide?

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5. Re: Where to hire a private tour guide?

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Hilo, Hawaii
posts: 3
6. Re: Where to hire a private tour guide?

Actually I was talking about a better business bureau. Like how do I know this is a registered tour guide or vacation home. I am also looking to rent a vacation home in Capetown. I saw a place I really liked and sent for more information. I was asked to sign a lease and send a lot of personal information, plus a deposit to hold the home. Is this legitimate? Seems sketchy to me.

Cape Town, South...
Destination Expert
for Cape Town Central
posts: 861
7. Re: Where to hire a private tour guide?

In terms of tourist guides you ask for their registration card which is a white plastic card with the persons' details on them. It has the guide registration number, identity number, photograph and expiry date of the card on the front.

On the rear it indicates which provinces the guide is registered to guide in.

If you have any doubt about the guides registration then you check it on...

westerncape.pgwc.gov.za/tgs/FindGuide.aspx

Johannesburg, South...
posts: 329
reviews: 6
8. Re: Where to hire a private tour guide?

There are so many tour guides in all the provinces in South Africa that it is too many to name.

I agree with Gavin to look out for registered guides. I love Soweto and the local people are very friendly. Much changed in the last few years and Soweto is very alive. A lot of tour operators do just scheduled tours.

Good luck

Randburg, Gauteng...
posts: 865
reviews: 34
9. Re: Where to hire a private tour guide?

I suggest you try the Gauteng Guides Assocation to contact a Registered Tourist Guide. They have all the legitimate guides on record and this way you can be sure of not being taken for a ride. You can also try Africantimeout tours. They do this type of tour and are reliable and reasonably priced.

Lyn - Owner - Thorntree Tours and Safaris

Gig Harbor...
posts: 1
reviews: 1
10. Re: Where to hire a private tour guide?

I just returned from visiting Johannesburg. My daughter and spent 1 day touring with Mandy from Imbizo Tours. She grew up in Soweto, has contacts there and adapted the day with some of our background (educators) in mind. It was worth the money for the day. She picked us up at our guest house and returned us there about 9 hours later. We had already been to Constitution Hill and the Apartheid Museum and this day just completed our education about the current history of So. Africa.