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, join us as we introduce our guide—Everest Mboya and ask him 23 questions in a quick fire round:
1. What is your name and surname?
My name is Everest Thomas Mboya.
2. Tell us a ‘lil bit about yourself – family, where you grew up etc
I was born at Shiri Matunda village at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro where I also took my primary education. I attended Moshi Technical College where I completed in 1986. We are four in our family and I am the last born. I am married and a father to four kids; all girls.
3. What languages can you speak?
I speak Chagga as my native language but I also speak Kiswahili and English.
4. Do you have any nicknames?
I do have a nickname “Uhuru” given by my parents as soon I was born because I was born when Tanganyika got her independence in 1961. Uhuru means independence.
5. How long have you been a tour guide?
I have been working as a driver-guide for more than 20 years now.
6. Do you remember your very first trip you lead as a guide?
Yes, I do. My very first trip I lead as a guide was in 1991 when I was driving a Land Rover 109 series. I had 4 guests on board with a safari cook as this was a camping safari. I was very excited than the clients so all of us were very new to the bush. On the way to Matete campsite, I got lost so arrived at the camp at around 8:00 p.m. The clients, myself and the chef worked together to mount the tents and cook dinner. I will never forget this safari.
7. Where does your passion for wildlife come from?
I grew up in the village where there was river. We had a small farm near the river where olive baboons and black faced vervet monkeys used to come and eat crops at our farm. My parents were normally sending me to chase them away. Instead of chasing them, I enjoyed staring at them and even fed them more from the farm. It took my parents long time to realize that when they sent me to chase the baboons and monkeys I didn’t but feeding them instead. When they knew it, I was punished severely, and I was never sent there again. Since then, I came to realize that wild animals are part of our heritage and we should take good care of them as well.
8. What is a typical day in the life of Easy Travel safari guide like?
My typical day in the life of Easy Travel as a safari guide is to make sure, whether I am on safari or not, I am punctual, and the safari vehicle is in great condition all the time. Vehicle equipment as per the checklist are all in proper condition. When on safari, I have to make sure that I have happy clients always by maintaining punctuality, expanding my guiding knowledge, and make sure the interactions with guests are as fruitful as expected.
9. What is your favorite part of Tanzania and why?
Apart from other touristic attractions, Tanzania has national parks, game reserves, game controlled areas and wildlife corridors which are scattered countrywide. My favorite part of Tanzania is in the bush regardless of the specific location. I grew up at the foothills of the forested area of Mount Kilimanjaro and also spent a year in the bush during national service term. Since then I got acquainted with the bush and no doubt, bush has become a part of my working stations.
10. Do you have any hidden talents?
Throughout the time I have been a guide, I have driven different types of the vehicles as technology keeps on changing from time to time. This has given me an opportunity to discover that I am also the excellent motor vehicle mechanic. I can listen or smell the engine and diagnose the problem if there is any!.
11. Is there a particular lesson or story you love to teach your guests about regarding nature or your culture?
Yes, I do have one lesson I would like to share with my guests about preserving the nature. Among many others, I would teach them not to feed the animals, they should not litter inside the parks, they should use the bathrooms at the specified public places or on the lodges or camps. The disadvantages of feeding the animals are; they will develop a behavior of being dependent and not hunt for their food, they may be contaminated with various diseases. The disadvantage for littering waste material in the parks is environmental degradation in general.
12. What was your scariest moment as a guide?
Being in the bush for several years, I thought I was very experienced in everything until I encountered the scariest moment as a safari guide. It was in 1998 when I was in Tarangire National Park. Two elephant bulls were fighting each other to compete for the female elephant. As a result, one was injured and overthrown. In retaliation, it turned to chase every single thing that appeared in front of him. I and several other guides who were watching the scenario started panicking and drove away to avoid the injured gigantic elephant bull. Unfortunately, it hit hard one of the cars and destroyed the entire front part of the vehicle. The good thing is, nobody was hurt due to this incidence and soon park rangers arrived and evacuated the guests and their safari guide
13. What is your favorite animal and why?
Being in the bush for several years, I thought I was very experienced in everything until I encountered the scariest moment as a safari guide. It was in 1998 when I was in Tarangire National Park. Two elephant bulls were fighting each other to compete for the female elephant. As a result, one was injured and overthrown. In retaliation, it turned to chase every single thing that appeared in front of him. I and several other guides who were watching the scenario started panicking and drove away to avoid the injured gigantic elephant bull. Unfortunately, it hit hard one of the cars and destroyed the entire front part of the vehicle. The good thing is, nobody was hurt due to this incidence and soon park rangers arrived and evacuated the guests and their safari guide.
14. What is the one question you get asked the most?
Given the time that I have worked as a guide, I have travelled with many kinds of clients. Old and young, families and couples, men and women, famous and non-famous clients, experienced and first timers, easy to handle and difficult people. From all the group of people mentioned-above, I have come across many questions from them. The one that I get asked the most is; how long have you been working as a guide?
15. What is the one thing that travelers must remember to pack for their safari?
In my early years as a guide, I did not know so many things, but I thank God today I have vast experience for safaris here in Tanzania and East Africa. I remember being stung by tse tse fly in Tarangire, so I would recommend that travellers must bring with them insect repellents.
16.What advice do you have for people who are going on safari for the first time?
I understand how it feels to be on safari for the first time. The advice I would give to people who have been on safari for the first time is; not to make noise once they spot an animal, not to be over excited and to follow the instructions I give them from time to time.
17. Which Tanzanian dish do you recommend travelers must try when they visit?
Apart from the cash crops like coffee, sisal, tea, pyrethrum, cotton, in Tanzania we grow food crops as well. These are such as maize, beans, sunflower and millet. One of the local dishes that I would like to recommend to travellers is stiff porridge or polenta with beans. This should be taken without using cutleries. Cut a reasonable piece of polenta, make it round and make a hole in it and dip into beans sauce. This type of menu is easy to prepare and mostly used in schools and military camps. It is considered to be a very strong recipe too as polenta contains carbohydrates and the beans are rich in proteins.
18. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I read books, watch TV and spend time out with my family.
19. Are you a cat person or a dog person?
I am a cat person.
20. If we open your cellphone’s music player, what song would we find was last played?
When I purchased my cellphone, I had not realized if it has a music player. Thanks to my daughter who downloaded for me the songs that I like. If you open my cellphone’s music player, the last song played would be “Africa Unite” from the album Survival by Bob Marley & The Wailers. I was inspired by the live show by Bob performed at Rufaro Stadium in Zimbabwe.
21. What is the last photo you took on your cellphone?
On the last photo taken on my cellphone appears the male lion in Serengeti National Park. I saw it on my way to Ngorongoro and both I and my guests had a brilliant photo shot before we left Serengeti.
22. Do you have a favorite joke you’d like to tell
We have a local brand beer here in Tanzania known as Kilimanjaro Safari Lager. I sometimes joke my clients whenever they are looking for a beer while here in Tanzania. It goes like this “If you can’t climb it drink it” This means that even if there has not been enough time or prior arrangements to climb the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, at least we have a beer to quench the thirst.
23. Lastly, if you could give travellers one reason why they have to visit Tanzania in their lifetime, what would it be?
Apparently, I have thousands of reasons for travellers to visit my country. If I could get a chance to give at least one reason for travelers to come to Tanzania, I would not hesitate to say that Tanzania is very safe country.