MEET OUR SAFARI DRIVER GUIDE: Claus Kassian Nikata
I first realized I wanted to be a guide when I was about ten years old. We would go on trips to different conservation areas and parks to see and learn about animals. On these trips, I was inspired by the way our guide could explain the wildlife and nature of the park we visited. After school, I began working as a mechanic and did maintenance on a lot of safari vehicles in Arusha. I spoke to different guides who noticed my interest and motivated me to learn to be a guide myself. I followed their advice and went to wildlife college where I studied and completed my Certificate of Wildlife. I also studied Spanish for two years.
After finishing my studies, I applied to different tour companies but many of them only wanted experienced driver guides. However, because I had studied Spanish, I got picked up to do Spanish-only tours by a tour company in 2002. Once I gained the experience of going on tours, learning location of different accommodation, and leading game drives, I became experienced enough to gain a good reputation.
My favorite thing about being a guide is seeing animals in their natural habitat. I love our environment and I want to be part of the people who maintain its natural splendour. I also love meeting different people from different parts of the world so I can learn and experience different cultures and customs. I think that the biggest challenge of being a guide is making sure that everyone is happy, and all expectations are met. Sometimes finding many animals at once is a challenge because, even though there is an abundance of animals, our national parks are very big.
I began working with Easy Travel around 2013, and there were several factors that made me want to work with them. They obviously care a lot about their employees, and they provide us with good health insurance and benefits. Aside from that, they are also excellent with organization, communication, and teamwork. Safaris take many people doing hard work to pull off, and Easy Travel is always dedicated to making our guests have the experience of a lifetime.
People tend to describe me as a humble, charming, and entertaining guy. I try to always make jokes with people I meet – even if they don’t always land! I am married and we have three children – two boys and one girl. We are happily living in the Moshono district in the Arusha region.
Favorite Park in Tanzania
I enjoy travelling to all parks, conservations, and reserves that are found in our beautiful country, although my favorite destination is Ngorongoro Crater. Ngorongoro is so unique in terms of the abundance of different animals that are all concentrated in a small area. It is a place where all the Big Five can be spotted in a single visit if you are lucky.
My favorite animal is the dik-dik because of how they mark their territory. Dik-dik live in social pairs for life, so if one of them dies, the other one might commit suicide by facing down a predator.
My favorite food is ugali with chicken. We believe this to be a strong food for both young people and adults
My hobby is swimming. I grew up in a village where we used to swim as kids in the river after finishing our chores. That’s how I developed my love for swimming and when I’m not on safari, I can be found swimming in local pools around Arusha!
Favorite TV Show
I like watching sports. Since swimming is my hobby, I mostly watch swimming competitions for both international and local swimmers.
Favorite Singer / band
My favorite singer is Christian Bella. He is a professional musician originally from the DRC, but he has built his career in Tanzania. This guy has the best voice and always respects our traditions and culture.
10 Questions with CLAUS
Tanzania is one of the most beautiful and unique countries in Africa. It is rich in natural resources and is home to the incomparable Tanzanite. Tanzania also has unique parks with incredible wildlife, like the Serengeti with the Great Wildebeest Migration, and the Ngorongoro Crater, which is known as the world’s largest natural zoo, and, of course, the roof of Africa, Kilimanjaro.
The most incredible and unique sighting I encountered was seeing two leopards fighting in Serengeti. The leopards had a big fight, with one eventually killing the other and dragging it up a tree.
It is very hard to point out the best tour that Easy Travel offers because all their tours are excellent. My favorite is the 7-day tour below. This gives enough time to explore and see all the Big Five.
Days 1 & 2: Game drive in Tarangire National Park.
Days 3, 4 & 5: Game drive in Serengeti National Park.
Days 6 & 7: Game drive in Ngorongoro.
I prefer the short rainy season from November to mid-March. This time is very green, and it looks so beautiful. Animals are very active as there is plenty of food.
I have two favorite parts: the first is the southern part of Serengeti during the wildebeest calving season. It’s always very exciting to see big herds all together with newborns. The other part that I love is when the herd is in northern Serengeti during the river crossing. The migration crossing at Mara River is very exciting, and if you are lucky enough, you can see crocodiles hunting.
Most people don’t expect to see the huge numbers of animals we have in our parks. Some animals even climb up onto vehicles!
One of the most fascinating parts of Tanzanian culture is the Hadzabe tribe. They are very primitive and are still hunters and gatherers that live off the land.
Asante sana – Thank you very much – Muchas gracias
Lala salama – Goodnight – Buena noche
Karibu Tanzania – Welcome to Tanzania – Venido en Tanzania