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Local guides: How our expert local leaders make Explore tours special

An escorted tour with a local guide can enhance your travel experiences in many ways. From organising the logistics to sharing first-hand knowledge of the places you visit and immersing you in their own culture, here's how local tour leaders make our tours so special. 


Passion and enthusiasm are two of the most important qualities of an Explore tour leader. More than just your typical local tour guide, our leaders have all been chosen for their passion and love for their country. They look forward to welcoming you to their country and showing you its highlights, as well as the hidden gems. Tour leader Diego Torres treats each tour as a new adventure, and he loves to inspire travellers to 'feel life at its best.' From interacting with indigenous people and tasting local fruits to watching Galapagos birds and listening to the magical sounds of the rainforest, Diego will lead you through Ecuador's most immersive experiences. 

"Diego was very passionate about Ecuador, especially the Galapagos, which inspired excitement in all of us. He was exceptionally generous with his time and information, answering all of our questions and explaining both the history and culture."


Our tour leaders will bend over backwards to make sure you enjoy a fully immersive and authentic cultural experience on your escorted trip. From making sure everyone arrives safely and gets checked in with ease, to accommodating unusual diets and medical needs, you can rely on your local tour guide to deliver the best service possible. Explore tour leader Rejaneesh VS, from India, has been known to invite guests to his own home for a Christmas Day lunch, while Diego Torres has been praised for swiftly leading his tour guests to safety during unexpected riots in Ecuador. 

"We had a fabulous Christmas day on which Reggie invited us to have Christmas dinner with him and his family. It was a truly special experience and one I won't forget."


To ensure that your guide has first-hand knowledge of the country in which you're travelling, we only employ people from the local communities that you visit. Nothing compares to the rich understanding of authentic cultural experiences that local people hold. Explore leader Wilfred Garbutt from Belize, is often praised for his in-depth knowledge of the endemic flora and fauna and his incredible ability to spot animals in the wild. And Denis Agiolli from Albania tells personal stories about his family to help bring the history of the Balkans to life. 

"Wilfred was quite simply inspirational...His knowledge of Mayan and Belizian history and culture was exemplary...He has a great store of knowledge about the birds, wildlife and native fauna and flora; he always knew where we were most likely to see the creatures and plants...How he spotted some of them was beyond me."


Our small group local tour guides always ensure that your escorted trip is easy-going and hassle-free. With excellent organisation skills, Explore leaders will look after all of the route planning and transport logistics, as well as sort out the accommodation and local activities. This allows you to focus on enjoying the trip and all of its unique experiences. You also don't have to worry about where you're going next and how you're going to get there. All you need to do is pack a bag and get on your flight - we'll look after the rest!

"Zeynep [2019 winner of the Explore tour leader awards] is outstanding…We were so impressed with her management of the group. She got everyone organised with good humour; never ever officious or bossy. She had the total respect of the whole group and by the end of the trip, and I can honestly say she was very much loved by everyone."


Dedicated tour leaders provide an extra layer of safety to your travels. Whether you're cycling through the Sahara Desert, climbing Kilimanjaro or exploring the souks of Morocco, the guides are there to look out for every single person on the trip and keep them safe. One of our most highly regarded and award-winning tour leaders, Zeynep from Turkey, is renowned for the care and compassion she has for her guests' safety and her ability to sort out any medical issues that do arise swiftly and efficiently. And Bibi from Botswana even manages to make his guests feel safe when they are camping amongst lion, elephant and hyenas on safari. 

"Bibi was an outstanding leader. Although we camped for seven nights in the wilds of Chobe and Moremi wildlife reserves with lions, elephants and hyenas moving through at night, we felt perfectly safe."


One of the most important goals of a small group tour is that you have fun and revel in your adventure. Whether you're journeying the length of Vietnam or ascending Toubkal, the highest peak in Africa, our tour leaders will always strive to make your holiday enjoyable. Explore tour leader Moayad Alotaibi from Jordan is very popular amongst travellers for his witty sense of humour and the way he helps the group to bond and make new friends during the trip. And Indu Singh from India has been known to organise end-of-trip parties for his guests.

"Moayad is one of those rare gems of a tour leader who not only knows his stuff and is an excellent people person but also has a great sense of humour which added to the enjoyment of our tour immeasurably."

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