A tour guide is the eyes and ears of a particular destination. Here is Sidney Mikosi from Marekele National Park. Picture: Clinton Moodley.

A tour guide is the eyes and ears of a particular destination. They can either entice travellers or be the reason they never visit again. 

Often tour guides display characteristics that are good and other times, their actions prove questionable.

These are what travellers search for in a tour guide:
 
Be on time
There is nothing more frustrating than having a tour guide who is late. There are some guides who spend more time explaining a place than actually allowing tourists to experience it. It is never good when a guide arrives late for a tour that has a scheduled time. Many of the tour guides I have explored with often cut  the time on certain activities, which takes away from an authentic experience.
 
Know where you going
Do you not find it strange when a tour guide asks you to GPS a location? I do. Not knowing where to go is one aspect tourists hate, because it means more travel time and being late to your destination. I have heard horror stories of guides not knowing the routes, which meant hours spent on the road and not very happy tourists. As a tour guide, research the place before you visit so that your guests can feel at ease. No one wants to direct you during their holiday.
 
Know your facts
There are tour guides who are unsure of certain facts and are left red faced when their tourist ends up answering it for them. A tour guide should know their city, it's history, hidden gems and be enthusiastic about showing it to people. Tourists love hearing folk tales, stories of people and places that showcases the country.
 
Treat everyone as  VIP
I've noticed that some tour guides pay more attention to certain individuals than treating everyone in the same manner. By isolating guests, they will be afraid to ask questions or share input. Tour guides should pay attention to all of their guests, no matter how rude and impossible they may come across.
 
Let loose
Tour guides should have fun with their guests. No one wants a guide who memorises a textbook or any form of awkwardness. Enjoy your guests, be able to interact with them and maybe share a joke or two.