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 guides and ask them 23 questions in a quick fire round:
Meet Ombeni Alfayo
1. What is your name and surname?
My name is Ombeni Moses Alfayo
2. Tell us a ‘lil bit about yourself – family, where you grew up etc
I was born in 1987in Moshi in Kilimanjaro Region where I also attended both primary school between 1994 and 2001. I passed very well and subsequently selected to join a public secondary school from 2002 to 2005. Thereafter, I joined a college of tourism in Arusha where I took tour guide course in 2006. I was born the second in our family of 3 children.
3. What languages can you speak?
I speak Swahili which is our national language, English and Spanish.
4. Do you have any nicknames?
Yes, I do. I usually introduce myself to my guests as “King of Serengeti” which they like a lot. This name was originated from one of my guests that were very pleased with how I drove them throughout Serengeti endless plains and never got lost the way!
5. How long have you been a tour guide?
I have worked as a guide for the past 6 years.
6. Do you remember your very first trip you lead as a guide?
Yes. My very first trip was a 60 days long trip through 3 different countries of Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania. It was both a diving trip and photographic safari for a Spanish group. It was a bit challenging for the local people I met whom did not speak neither English nor Kiswahili. However, we got to learn different culture from the places we visited. It was my first time to use GPS as I was new to the places I visited. At the end of the trip, I felt like I did safari 8 times. The guests became good friends of mine as they enjoyed a lot.
7. Where does your passion for wildlife come from?
I started watching the TV program known as “national geographic” which became one of my favorite TV programs. In one of the many actions was a buffalo surrounded and targeted by a pride of hungry lions. A buffalo is quite big in size, so the lions had to apply extra efforts to bring it down. It took them 45 minutes to kill the buffalo, so I was very interested to see it live hence my passion for wildlife began since then.
8. What is a typical day in the life of Easy Travel safari guide like?
Here at Easy Travel we do have a policy to start game viewing as early as at 6. A typical day starts with picking up the guests at around 6 and also depend on which park we are. We stay in the park until mid-morning then take breakfast. After a short rest, we continue with game viewing and take another break for picnic lunch. The remainder of the day will be spent again for afternoon game viewing and sometimes if my guests are contented with game viewing they may ask to go back home for a rest and enjoy sitting by the lobby or swimming pool.
9. What is your favorite part of Tanzania and why?
Northern part of Tanzania, because the weather in northern part is particularly Lushoto at Usambara Mountains. This is the paradise for birds and the landscape is really panoramic! Lushoto is found in Tanga Region where there are also historical buildings some of which were converted to government regional offices.
10. Do you have any hidden talents?
Yes, I occasionally play golf. I once got an opportunity to join in Tanzania national golf team under 18yrs during which I visited some countries in Africa continent like Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda.
11. Is there a particular lesson or story you love to teach your guests about regarding nature or your culture?
I prefer to share with my guests so many stories about nature and culture. The particular one that I would love to share with my guests is the symbiosis between hippo and crocodile. Hypos are grazers. They normally go out for grazing and once they are back in the pool, they leave their waste in the water. The cat fish and worms that are present in the water, feed on the waste and are both eaten by crocodile.
12. What was your scariest moment as a guide?
I remember I was in Ndutu Area, Ngorongoro side with American honeymooners. During the game drive, we encountered a cheetah which jumped on the bonnet of my car and got the eyes looking at me through the windscreen. I was terrified as I thought it was going to break it and get into the vehicle. Well, it later tuned to me a great moment as my guests took this opportunity to take very good photos.
13. What is your favorite animal and why?
I like buffalo a lot. Apart from being a very aggressive animal, I do like the way it cools off its body in the mud. This is known as wallowing where by the buffalo use this method as a mechanism to cool body temperature and to get rid of parasites.
14. What is the one question you get asked the most?
Being in the bush, I sometimes come across fellow driver-guides of Easy Travel. I normally receive this question; How many vehicles does you company have? I usually reply that we are medium-sized company and thus we maintain a fleet of 50 vehicles which we believe it is easier to maintain the quality.
15. What is the one thing that travelers must remember to pack for their safari?
The one thing that I would not hesitate to mention is Camera. This device can save the beautiful memories in form of images and video clips. I also recommend the best brand of Camera which in Nikon. Additionally, I advise the clients not to forget spare batteries and the memory card.
16.What advice do you have for people who are going on safari for the first time?
Safari involves a lot. The guests get to visit different places, meets different kind of people and stay in various safari camps and lodges. To visit the national parks, we all have to follow various rules and regulations of the parks, observe the culture of the people they meet and last but not least important is to put on proper clothing and take necessary vaccinations.
17. Which Tanzanian dish do you recommend travelers must try when they visit?
Travelers are always welcome to try Tanzanian local dish. I recommend Kiburu the local food for the Chagga tribe found in Kilimanjaro Region. This is a mix of boiled beans and banana chopped in small pieces mixed with bicarbonate solution to neutralize the acid from banana and beans. It is then mixed with cheese that add flavor to it.
18. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I spend my spare time reading novels, go to gym and watching TV.
19. Are you a cat person or a dog person?
I like cats because of its resemblance to leopard.
20. If we open your cellphone’s music player, what song would we find was last played?
I actually like the local artist known as Diamond Platnumz a.k.a. Simba. The last song which would be found played last in my cellphone is “Mary You” by Diamond featuring the US based musician named Neyo.
21. What is the last photo you took on your cellphone?
The last photo on my cellphone appears the Giraffe feeding on the flat-topped acacia tree in Serengeti.
22. Do you have a favorite joke you’d like to tell
Yes, it is when I show them an animal and they ask, how did you know that there will be an animal here? My response is; I can locate animals by smelling.
23. Lastly, if you could give travellers one reason why they have to visit Tanzania in their lifetime, what would it be?
Tanzania is an incredible and beautiful country and there are so many things that make it a great place to visit. One of my favorite aspects of Tanzania is that it is known as the ‘island of peace in Africa.
Looking to join Ombeni and the team on an experience of a lifetime? Contact us today and start planning a trip that will offer memories to last a lifetime. Want to learn more about our guides? Check out our other interviews here.