At the beginning of the year we sent a number of our walking guides to South Africa for six weeks to learn from leading professionals in the industry. In our continued training, Professional Guides from Royal Malewane travelled to Tanzania and over the last two months have worked with our walking guides to further their skills and knowledge on home ground. One of the guides, Nikolas Vounnou was once an apprentice of our very own Head of Guide Training at Elewana, Craig McFarlane and having completed his training, Nik was awarded FGASA Safari Guide of the year 2012.
After finishing his studies he was fortunate enough to be accepted into Royal Malewane's 2 year apprenticeship in 2008 under the guidance of two of Africa stalwart guides Juan Pinto and Craig McFarlane.
He is an enthusiastic and committed guide who has his National diploma in Nature Conservation. He is a FGASA Level III Professional Field Guide and youngest to obtain SKS DG. Nik is a Level III Tracker and SKS-Birding (National).
He has a passion and zest to expose guests to Africa, its wildlife and endless beauty especially whilst on foot.
With over 21 years of game lodge and hospitality industry experience, Rudi is constantly fine-tuning his passion for Guiding along with nature and wildlife photography. Starting as a guide in 1998 in the Waterberg area of South Africa, Rudi quickly moved through the training ranks to attain the highest South African guiding qualification available (SKS DA) by the end of 2000.
At Royal Malewane, Rudi upgraded his previous Guiding qualifications and since has completed all components to achieve the SKS DG qualification, completed in June 2017. Currently Rudi is in the final process to achieve two further specialist qualifications, SKS Birding and SKS Astronomy. Guiding has always been a passion that, in conjunction with Photography, has kept him motivated, and thus an inspiration to all his guests and peers.
The training conducted reinforced the earlier teachings that had been done in South Africa but now on home soil. This included rifle handling, awareness of the environment, different situations and how to manage not only the wildlife but the guests in the Guides’ care.
It has been wonderful to hear from our Walking Guides that the external training received has made such a difference and impact on how they conduct their bush walks. Now putting into practise what they learnt in South Africa, one of our Guides, Baraka said “It was our time to take a lead and they (Nik & Rudi) just observed, sometimes advising on how we could improve so that we can deliver the best experience to our guests. I found things like maintaining a flow of walk by minimising stops will make guests feel the experience more.” In general our guides have gained from being able to share experience and knowledge. Our Head Guide at Elewana Tarangire Treetops confirmed “it is my expectations that this will not be the end, we have opened a new chapter between us.”
Our Elewana Walking Guides:
Moses Yahane (Elewana Head Guide) was born in Karatu where he grew up and did his schooling. He did not complete secondary schooling and started his first job in 1994, employed at Elewana Serengeti Migration Camp as a security guard. As time went on his passion for learning about the trees and birds in the area grew and during the day he would join the guides to learn all he could. The fig tree in the centre of the camp was planted by Moses in 1994, a year before the camp opened. Moses has been a guide for 21 years and loves the bush, constantly wanting to improve his skills and be the best.
Alex Kanunga was born and raised in Arusha, completing secondary school in 2003 and continuing his studies at Arusha African Wildlife Management College. His first job was helping out with safaris before joining Elewana in 2013, with over 12 years in the industry and of those 8 have been in guiding, his knowledge of the bush is extensive. Alex is known for his friendly smile and outgoing character and is passionate about guiding and sharing everything he knows with visitors. He is one of our top walking guides at Elewana Serengeti Migration Camp.
John Ngowi grew up in Kilimanjaro and did his schooling in the area. He went to College where he studied Wildlife Management. He then joined a research company for 2 years studying the breeding and biology of small passerines. After which he worked for different camps as a guide and in 2005 joined Elewana Collection, developing his skills while working in all our Tanzania camps. He has 8 years experience as a guide and continues to grow as his passion for wildlife and the outdoors is unmatched.
Elly Mamuya (Elewana Head Guide) was born in Kilimanjaro but his family soon moved to Manyara where he grew up and went to school. He studied wildlife in 1992 and got a diploma in Wildlife Management in 1994. He has worked for a couple of safari operators then in 2005 was employed by the government for 3 year as a warden. In 2009 joined Elewana as assistant manager but his passion was in guiding so requested to transfer. He has been a guide for 22 years, he does everything by the book and is dedicated to giving guests the best experience at Elewana Tarangire Treetops.
Baraka Mtallo was born in Kilimanjaro where he did his schooling then continued his studies in Wildlife Management in Arusha. He started working at Elewana Serengeti Migration Camp then moved between the properties before ending up at Elewana Tarangire Treetops. With 12 years in the industry, of which 8 are as a Guide and has become a skilled individual who knows the bush and its secrets. He is friendly and gets on well with everyone.
Born and raised in Kilimanjaro, Stanford Shao went to Dar e salam once he completed secondary education to attend Hotel School. Once he finished his studies he worked in the hospitality industry but did part time guiding for a number of years. He joined Elewana Collection in 2005 and has worked hard to build his reputation as a key member of the team. He is a confident individual that is outgoing and has a wealth of information to share with guests.
The Elewana Collection is fully committed to continuous guide training in both Kenya and Tanzania iin order to achieve our goal - that our guests enjoy exceptional and safe safari experiences with our guides, while exploring and discovering East Africa’s many beautiful areas.