Safari driver Adrian
By Easy Travel
Published May 12, 2022

MEET OUR SAFARI DRIVER GUIDE: Adrian Augustino Mkay

Tanzania - adrian safari guide - Safari driver Adrian
Position: Driver Guide
Date of Birth: 21 December 1965
Place of Birth: Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Language Spoken: Kiswahili, English, and Pare
Number of years in the travel industry: 21 years
Number of years working with Easy Travel: 19 years

ABOUT ADRIAN

I realized I wanted to be a guide about 25 years ago through my grandfather, who was a professional hunter back in his youth. He would tell us stories about the animals, their behavior, and his adventures stalking through the bush. At that time in my life, we lived at Pare Mountain with blue monkeys, bush babies, and hundreds of different bird species. My grandfather was fascinated by nature and would explain everything he knew about the animals, giving us their scientific names and even their names in our tribal language. I became inspired to help teach others about our nature as well.

After I finished my secondary school, I joined a teaching college where I was selected by the government to study for two years. After finishing, I then kept up my desire to work with wildlife and joined the Mount Meru guiding college in Arusha. At college, I got the opportunity to learn about both wildlife and customer care through courses like guiding ethics, hospitality management, animal behavior, habitats, plants, birds, physical geography, and all the national parks in Tanzania. While at the college, I also got my driving license. After completing my studies, I started out working as walking guide at Momela Lodge to gain experience. After that, my career as a driver guide started up properly.

Arusha is a big hub of safari/tour guiding companies because it is so close to a lot of the most famous attractions in Tanzania. However, I chose to work with Easy Travel and have been working with them for 19 years. Easy Travel, to me, is a company that truly cares about their staff’s welfare and want to do as much as they can to help the people they work with. They also see themselves as ambassadors for Tanzania to international clients, so they put in the extra effort to make every trip something memorable.

My favorite part about being a guide is being surrounded by the nature of Tanzania. I really enjoy our country’s nature and I take extra effort to preserve it by adhering to all the sustainability regulations of each park. I also help my clients to understand and practice them for the betterment of future generations here. However, sometimes being a guide can be challenging. Animal movement is so wide and varied in these big parks, so sometimes it can be difficult to find certain animals that clients are very excited to see.

People describe me as a co-operative guy who is always keen to help out. I have been married to my wife for 27 years now and we are blessed with three children – two sons and one beautiful daughter. My first son is 27, my daughter is 24, and my youngest son is 20. I live with my family at Usa River, Arumeru district in Arusha.

Favorite Park in Tanzania

My favorite national park is Tarangire National Park. Tarangire has a very interesting ecosystem with a beautiful landscape. It is this landscape that provides a perfect sanctuary for both birds and land animals. Tarangire also has a huge elephant population that contributes heavily to the spread of diverse plant species in the park, since elephants have a poor digestive system that results in heavy plant germination.

Favorite ANIMAL

I love all wild animals that live in Tanzania for different reasons. I think the one that stands out amongst all of them would be the cheetah. Cheetahs are incredible – they’re the fastest land animals in the world and can run up to 112 kilometers per hour! They also have an incredibly successful hunt rate at 85-90% success compared to under 50% that the other big cats have.

Favorite Food

My favorite food is makande with beans. This is a traditional food made up of half-grained maize cooked with beans. It is a very easy dish to cook, can be eaten at any meal, and does not use a lot of fuel or require a lot of effort to make.

Favorite Hobby

I always like to find tasks to keep me busy – I don’t like staying idle after work. I have tried cultivating a garden recently and I also work with my community to help clean up our neighborhood on Saturdays.

Favorite TV Show

It may be stereotypical, but I like safari channels. Nature and wildlife television helps me out in my career as I can learn even more through watching TV in my off-time. It’s also interesting because I can learn about places and animals that are off the beaten path, making my clients’ trips better.

Favorite Singer / band

My favorite band is Juata Band. They are a local band from Dar Es Salaam. They write and perform music that is about our culture and traditions, and I respect them a lot.

10 Questions with Adrian

I truly believe that Tanzania is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. It is rich in culture, wildlife, diversity, and natural splendor. There are so many events and places that are not able to be replicated anywhere else in the world like the Wildebeest Migration or the Ngorongoro Crater. We also have 120 tribes within Tanzania that live together peacefully without conflict or tribalism.
One day in Tarangire, I saw a lion giving birth. I felt very lucky to have seen this – lions are notoriously secretive animals so being able to watch a lion give birth was very rare. When a lion is ready to give birth, she will go into a cave or a dense patch of bush while surrounded by other lionesses in her pride who provide security and support for the mother. They will stay there for about three or four days until the cubs are ready to move.

My favorite tour is the 6-day safari below:

Day 1: Arrival and overnight in Arusha.

Day 2: Game drive in Tarangire.

Day 3: Game drive in Serengeti.

Day 4: Game drive in Serengeti.

Day 5: Ngorongoro.

Day 6: Crater tour – Zanzibar.

I like this itinerary because it allows you lots of time to visit some of the most beautiful and famous northern circuit parks. It also provides the opportunity to visit either Mto wa Mbu or a Maasai village for cultural experiences.   

 

Easy Travel is fantastic for clients because they want to make sure each trip is a trip of a lifetime. With this in mind, they put all their effort into making sure each detail is considered – the vehicles are regularly serviced, safety is paramount, and management is incredibly effective. There is rarely a situation that Easy Travel has not already considered and has a solution for.
March is my favorite month because the Migration can be found in the short grass plains of the southern Serengeti and northern Ngorongoro. It is calving season for the wildebeest and zebras and therefore a lot of babies can be seen… as well as predators in action.
The Mara River crossing in northern Serengeti is my favorite part. I really like this because it has a lot of drama: you can see crocodiles hunting the wildebeest when crossing the river to Maasai Mara game reserve.
A lot of clients have pointed out many moments that they did not expect to see before travelling to Tanzania but come to realize that Tanzania has more than what they were thinking. Most of the time, this has to do with the sheer number of animals they will see, but this can also be applied to our diverse cultural heritage.
I admire a lot of different cultures in Tanzania. Each of them has their own unique and beautiful practices. For example, the Chagga tribe is a famous tribe which has spread to every region of Tanzania, but their origins are on the slopes of Kilimanjaro. They have a strong culture of supporting each other in every aspect of life, and this has inspired me a lot. I try to live my life in a supportive, giving way based around community living, just like the Chagga tribe does..
Karibu sana – You are very welcome.
Jambo – Hello!
Karibu – Welcome.
I like walking around in the evenings and sitting with elderly people to hear stories about their lives.

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