One of our most memorable and funfilled visit was to Idanre Hills. You might want to ask why? Is it not this same Idanre Hills that most people have visited so far? What’s so special about it? So many thoughts might be going through your mind with the way I started this blog and I’m sure you want to know my reasons. Well, every destination in Nigeria has its own uniqueness and beauty, if only you get the right information and story behind each monuments. And no one else can give you this information and also take you through every important events that makes such places unique except the tour guides. Now, how do these tour guides make me enjoy my visits to these destinations you might ask?
We took a tour to Idanre Hills with my colleagues to have a good view and photography survey prior to the Mare Festivals that was scheduled for the week, which usually welcomes and hosts indigenes from various part of the world. As the hills is annually celebrated for protecting the town. On getting to the town, marvelling at the awesome and gigantic hills that beautifies the whole town, then I wondered to myself, where I’m I going to start from? Until a tour guide came to our rescue.
These are what makes them Top notch;
Communication: One of the challenges that most tourist destinations in Nigeria hasn’t overcome yet is the communication challenge but when you realise that you can perfectly understand a tour guide then you are one step to having an interesting tour. The young man came to us after looking at how we dressed and asked us politely if we understand Yoruba and when we smiled and said yes, he smiled back and asked us if we won’t mind if he takes us round. He introduced himself to us and started narrating how he got to be a tour guide in Idanre Hills. Our communication made us to ask questions whenever we are confused, or not getting a story well, and he replied us well. If you do not understand Yoruba very well and you find yourself in Akure, Osun or Ekiti just try and ensure you get a tour guide that understands English and can communicate well with you . It’s really important or else you will just go sight seeing alone and that’s not true adventure.
Memory & Storytelling: As we started the adventure to the mighty hills, our tour guide started narrating stories behind the steps and the stops, I could remember when he told us that the steps were up to 666 and we were like you mean 666? Lol. And when we got to the first river before the Missionary school, he narrated to us well how warriors do go to the river to seek the face of the goddess of the river before going for war. And when we got to a small but heavy rock and he asked us to guess what the rock was being used for. We all responded by saying it is used for sharpening of swords or something. Then he narrated to us how youths of the old were being tested of their strength and ability to manage themselves and their family, as the belief is that the level of your strength determines if you are fit to marry or go to war. And we all tested out our strengths, you dont want to know the outcome of that quest. He was really taking us through each events and they were playing themselves right before our eyes. You need someone who is really good at story telling and a good memory of events and history.
Humor: Its an adventure and not an examination. If that tour guide doesn’t posses any sense of humor, you might have a very boring adventure and tour. Even though we were climbing hills and rocks but at every moment he tries to tell a funny story that keeps our mind off the rigorous climbing. A tour guide with a great humor gets you to remember every details well. With his movements, gesticulations and those strong local accent of his, he was just the perfect guide for the tour.
Passion: What drives every professional in ensuring he delivers a good and quality service. A tour guide with great passion for what he does will ensure you have the best time on tour. His speech and attitude towards his work will make you satisfied with everything he does without missing any details. As he or she will keep asking you if you are really having a great time and also advise you on what to do. Most passionate tour guide go out of their comfort zone to ensure you are safe, protected and comfortable, offering advice of how to ensure you have a nice stay in the town and also suggesting nice places where you can have fun. Though, some of them do give this careless attitude that just piss you off. Be mindful of them.
Flexibility: How nice it is to have a tour guide who is adjustable and pliant to every situation. The ability for him to be able to cope with mixed multitude also makes him an added advantage. In a scenario where you have both local indigenes and foreigners together in a tour, how he ensures both groups are carried along makes him a great tour guide. Taking time to making himself understandable and approachable allows tourists to have a good time out. Being flexible is a very important skill a top notch tour guide must have.
Punctuality: Lastly, a tour guide should keep his toursits waiting or stranded because it can kill the anxiety and urge for adventure among the tourists and if eventually he shows up, it will be very difficult to get that spirit back. A top notch adventure should be the one waiting for your arrival and get to work almost immediately. This shows some level of trust and commitment which makes the tourist to feel comfortable around the guide.
Irrespective of the kind of tour package you subscribed for, the need of a tour guide is important to ensure you have a great tour. My colleagues and I had a wonderful day on the hills as we went through most of the places on the hills such as the ancient palace, the market place, the healing river, the court house, the prison yard and also saw the writings on the wall and several other places. What a fulfilled day!
Your comments will be well appreciated. Keep travelling and keep having fun.
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