This is Paul Kirui; he was the wildlife guide for my wife and me on many of the African safaris that we went on while photographing for our book Africa on Safari.

Paul Kirui-9457

Paul is a customer service champion, of that there is no doubt. And as a result, he is always in demand and can pick and choose his clients, a rarity in business these days.

So often we would be sitting at dinner and make a casual remark about the meal being not quite right or mention something about our tent that needed attention. Often the matters were minor and mentioned only in passing; they were seldom “deal breakers”. Nevertheless, Paul was attuned to what we liked and expected. He knew that our next trip to Kenya or Tanzania depended on us having a perfect trip this time. As a result, he would note our concerns and without telling us or asking our permission, he would sort out the situation. He would liaise with the camp manager or chef, always out of our earshot, and make sure the situation was rectified, quietly and without fuss.

Often he had to battle with camp staff, who were not au fait with the needs and wants of their guests. But such was his devotion to his customers, he took on the responsibility of pointing out improvements that these camps might make that would keep their (and his) guests happy or, ideally, delighted. After a number of trips, Paul had worked out exactly what we wanted and briefed the properties in advance ensuring we were left to concentrate on photographing wildlife and not sorting out dramas.