Shortlist revealed for 2023 World Guide Awards – register now

After receiving thousands of nominations, we’ve whittled them down to just 11 impressive finalists. Here’s our shortlist for the 2023 World Guide Awards…

Jessica Reid
21 June 2023

The 2023 World Guide Awards are kindly supported by AlUla and Swarovski Optik

Tour guides and leaders are an integral part of our travels, especially for those seeking to get to the heart of a destination. They help us gain a deeper connection with cultures, local communities and nature, and navigate us safely to wherever we want to go, whether that’s to the top of a mountain, or through a bustling city centre. However, guides are rarely recognised or praised within the industry.

In 2006, Wanderlust set about to change this and launched the World Guide Awards. It returns this year for the first time since 2019, and after thousands of impressive nominations, we have managed to whittle them down to just 11 finalists. This year’s awards ceremony will be held virtually on 29 June at 6.30pm, where each guide will have their moment in the limelight before a range of awards are handed out, including the highest accolade of the night, the Gold Award. Wanderlust readers are invited to join and show their support to the world’s unsung heroes of travel. You can register for the virtual event here.

The 2023 World Guide Award shortlist…

Malick Suso

Where he guides:Gambia

Book through:The Gambia Experience

With over 20 years experience, Malick Suso is a birdwatching expert in the Gambia, and has been described by Chris Packham as the ‘very best’ at his craft.

Glenda Araya

Where she guides:Costa Rica

Book through:Exodus Travels

Glenda is a favourite among travellers in Costa Rica, teaching them about the country’s rich biodiversity while also embracing the locals’ “Pura Vida” lifestyle.

Jagat Narayan Chaturvedi

Where he guides:India

Book through:Tiger’s Den Resort, Bandhavgarh

Jagat was born and raised in Bandhavgarh National Park. Specialising in safaris, he understands the importance of how tourism can increase awareness of conservation.

Nilufar Kuchkarova

Where she guides:Uzbekistan

Book through:Wild Frontiers

Born and raised in eastern Uzbekistan, Nilufar Kuchkarova started her career as a guide in 2009, and has been showing tourists around her home country ever since.

Peter Momoh Bassie

Where he guides:Sierra Leone

Book through:Tourism is Life

Peter Momoh Bassie is a well-respected tour guide, known for making Sierra Leone’s complex culture and off-the-beaten-track gems accessible for everyone.

John Shepherd

Where he guides:Worldwide

Book through:Andante Travels

John Shepherd is a guide lecturer with more than two decades experience and expertise in archaeology. His favourite place in the world is Pompeii.

Sara Lamzouwaq

Where she guides:Morocco

Book through: Epic Morocco and FTLO Travel

Sara is a highly-praised tour leader in Morocco, enhancing the country’s cultural and natural experiences for travellers, and representing a minority of female guides.

Phurba Sherpa

Where he guides:Nepal

Book through:Intrepid

Phurba Sherpa is a high-altitude trekking leader in the Himalayas. He started his career more than a decade ago as a 17-year-old porter, inspired by his elders who he’d grown up watching guide tourists into the mountains.

Ali A Aligi

Where he guides:Saudi Arabia

When Saudi Arabia opened to tourism in 2019, Ali saw the demand for his services grow exponentially. He’s experienced in desert orientation, archaeology, wildlife, local tribes and more.

Hamid Oumezdou

Where he guides: Morocco

Book through:Intrepid and others

Dedicated tour leader Hamid resides in Marrakech. He has 13 years of experience as a guide in Morocco, with countless mountain treks and immersive city tours under his belt.

Leila Yarub Hafiz

Where she guides:Saudi Arabia

Leila Yarub Hafiz is a full-time tour guide in Saudi Arabia and the only certified guide to speak Italian. She shares her knowledge on the Kingdom’s beauty and traditions with her (mostly) Italian guests.

Don’t forget to register for the 2023 World Guide Awards virtual ceremony now

Explore More

More Articles