Easy Travel could not be what it is today without our incredibly passionate and trustworthy guides. We might even go so far to say that we have the best guides in all of Tanzania. And since you will be spending most of your time on safari in the company of our guides, we thoughts we’ll introduce you to them. So, this is the start of a series where we take a closer look into what our clients writing about them in their reviews 🙂. Join us as we introduce our guides and ask them 23 Questions in a quick fire round:
1. What is your name and surname?My name is Claus Kassian Nikata.
2. Tell us a bit about yourself – family, where you grew up etc.I was born in 1975 in Songea Region where I also took my primary and secondary education. We are 3 in our family – all boys and I am the first born. I am married with 3 kids, 2 of whom are boys and the youngest is a girl.
3. What languages can you speak?I speak Ngoni which is my mother tongue, Kiswahili our national language and English and Spanish as foreign languages.
4. Do you have any nicknames?Sometimes I am known as “Matokeo” which means results. I was given this name by my mother who expected that when I was born I could be girl, but God plans are always right therefore, my mother had to agree with the results when they came to realize that it is a boy whom she delivered. By the way, I am happy that I have 2 sons and a girl that my mom wished to have.
5. How long have you been a tour guide?I have been a safari guide for almost 15 years now. I have enjoyed working as a guide for all these years!
6. Do you remember your very first trip you led as a guide?Yes, I do remember the very first trip I lead as a guide. This was in the season of July 2002 when we traveled to Tarangire. The male lion passed beside the car, so I was frightened, and I quietly asked myself “what if it decided to jump into our car”? I tried a lot not to show it to my passengers. Well, at the end the lion disappeared in the bush, but the clients got very nice shots as lion walked away.
7. Where does your passion for wildlife come from?The village where I was born, borders the Selous Game Reserve in the south. We used to see wild animals and we were also taught in school about wild animals, So, I developed interest in wildlife since then I decided to attend a college of tourism and wildlife management and eventually became a guide.
8. What is a typical day in the life of Easy Travel safari guide like?A typical day in the life of Easy Travel as a safari guide is to make sure all is set and ready for safari. I also take time to check with mechanics from all departments to make sure that I am able to solve any mechanical issue when I am away. Otherwise, I grab my guide book and checklists to make sure that all the necessary items are in place.
9. What is your favorite part of Tanzania and why?The favorite part of Tanzania is the southern part of Tanzania. The national parks and game reserves available in the south are less visited and hence still pristine and the available features such as rivers, lakes, the huge crop plantations and Mbozi meteorite found in southern highlands of Tanzania.
10. Do you have any hidden talents?Yes. I am sometimes a comedian! I love making everyone laugh, even when they are extremely angry.
11. Is there a particular lesson or story you love to teach your guests about regarding nature or your culture?Yes, I have many stories to share with my guests about nature or culture. The particular one is for instance, I will teach the client that they should not pick anything from the park. For example, when they see an ostrich eggs they should not pick not matter how attractive they look. This is because, during the day, a female ostrich takes care of the eggs nest and may leave them for a short while and in camouflage you may not be able to see and it may turn out to be dangerous because in defense, it has a very strong kick when it realizes something is going to happen on the eggs nest.
12. What was your scariest moment as a guide?I remember it was on safari one day in Serengeti campsite. One of the camp crew went to the bush to relieve himself. All of a sudden, we heard a terrifying lion roar at a distance. I was afraid and all of us at the camp jumped into the vehicle and drove to make sure this guy was safe. We luckily found him safe but also in a panic mood, he was trying to run back to the camp without his trousers.
13. What is your favorite animal and why?My favourite animal is dik-dik. This is because of its social behavior whereas they leave in pair for a life time. In case one dies, the surviving member will remain alone for a life time. The other thing is, this animal marks the territory and remains at the same place for a long period of time.
14. What is the one question you get asked the most?I travel with many clients of different backgrounds and all have different questions. I also sometimes travel with families, couples, a group of teenagers and clients with advanced age too. So, the questions would differ from one group to another. One of the questions I get asked the most is how long have you been working as a guide?
15. What is the one thing that travellers must remember to pack for their safari?Normally the travelers must remember to carry with them a valid passport prior to depart home.
16. What advice do you have for people who are going on safari for the first time?Being on safari for the first time is fantastic indeed. I do have the advice for them which also important for others as well but at least for the first time I would tell them to take extra care of their valuable items such as passports, cameras, ATM and credit cards.
17. Which Tanzanian dish do you recommend travellers must try when they visit?Food is as well important part during the safari. Although, the lodges and camps serve both international and local cuisines, I would advise travelers that must try the stiff porridge commonly known as “Ugali” in Kiswahili served with barbeque accompanied by local vegetables.
18. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?In my spare time, I do enjoy reading books including guide books, novels and educational materials. I also enjoying talking to friends and share the news current world events.
19. Are you a cat person or a dog person?I am, and I have always been a dog person!
20. If we open your cellphone’s music player, what song would we find was last played?When I was in primary school, I participated in Ngoni traditional ngoma competition in our district. I wish the traditional music could have been uploaded in high technology devices such as laptop computers, cellphones and iPad. Otherwise, the last song which would be found last played is “Mwanza” done by the late Remmy Ongalla. Mwanza is one of the Tanzanian lake zone regions found near Lake Victoria, so the singer penned the song to portray the beauty of the region, its generous people and the weather. His music was a fusion of Congolese rhumba and the Tanzanian cultural dance
21. What is the last photo you took on your cellphone?On the last photo that I took with my cellphone, appears my son with his mother. He will do everything to be near his mother all the time.
22. Do you have a favorite joke you’d like to tell?If you opt for a budget camping safari, please make sure you do not take into the tent all kinds of sweets, cookies or biscuits because if you do, when you unzip the tent to go out to the washroom, you are likely to kiss the hyena’s wet nose!! This is because they can smell but cannot get inside the tent thus waiting for someone to come out.
23. Lastly, if you could give travellers one reason why they have to visit Tanzanian in their lifetime what would it be?Tanzania holds the treasures of the rarest precious stone named Tanzanite because it is only found here in Tanzania.