MEET OUR SAFARI DRIVER GUIDE: Edward Julius Nyaki
I first realized that I wanted to be a guide when I was a kid. My uncle had a few wildlife books that I was fascinated by – it motivated me to learn more about animal and bird behavior. I decided then that I wanted to be a tour guide to help other people learn about the animals and birds I found so interesting.
After secondary school, I joined the Mount Meru Institute of Tourism and Travel Management, where I took tour guiding courses for the next two years. I learned a lot during my studies like animal behavior, birds, reptiles, habitats, ecosystems, customer care, hospitality management, and environmental management that included park rules and regulations. I was rewarded with a certificate soon after I completed my course and joined a driving school for three months to secure my driver’s license. From there, I became a driver guide.
I chose to work for Easy Travel because they are, essentially, a company that understands the value of good people and good equipment. They always make sure their staff are taken care of and give back to the community. They also know how important the safari vehicles are to the experience, so they make sure that each vehicle is properly serviced before trips.
My favorite thing about being a tour guide is when my clients are enjoying themselves and having positive experiences here. We are essentially Tanzanian ambassadors to them, and when they have great experiences with us, they become Tanzanian ambassadors back in their home countries. The biggest challenge to being a guide, however, is having to deal with the conditions of the parks. Tanzania wants to keep nature natural, so we don’t have a lot of tarred roads in the national parks. When it becomes rainy or the ground becomes soft, sometimes it can be difficult to get around, especially if you’re not in a safari vehicle.
People describe me as a charming, polite, caring, and friendly guy – and I hope you’ll see that too! I have been married to my wife since 2011 and we have a son, Morris, who is 9 years old and in primary school. I live with my family in Sakina, Arusha. We love the place we stay because it is a cool area with a lot of trees for oxygen and a nice canopy to shade the sun.
Favorite Park in Tanzania
Serengeti is my favorite National Park. The scenery of Serengeti is beautiful and very supportive of game drives as animals can be seen from afar. Serengeti is also one of the most famous parks in Africa and the world, so it makes me very happy to see Tanzania on the world stage in Serengeti.
Wildebeests are my favorite animal. Wildebeest livelihoods depend on water and green grass, which is why they are so migratory – they are constantly on the move from one food source to another. Wildebeests are also known as a “spare part animal” because each part of their body resembles another animal’s body part. Their faces look like grasshoppers, their necks like zebras, their chests like horses, and their horns like buffalo. I really like to see these combinations!
My favorite food is banana with beef stew because it is a local dish which I always ate when I was a child.
My hobby is boxing – I like training, practising, and watching boxing. Floyd Mayweather is my favorite boxer from the USA and Hassan Mwakinyo is my favorite from Tanzania.
Favorite TV Show
Boxing matches and shows about boxing
Favorite Singer / band
My favorite singer is the legend – Bob Marley. His songs talk about real people, and they can inspire unity not just in African communities, but the world at large.
10 Questions with EDWARD
I think that Tanzania is the trip of a lifetime because of many different reasons. Tanzania is, first and foremost, magical when it comes to wildlife resources and natural landscapes. It is a place unlike any other just to look at. But what really makes Tanzania incredible is its people – we have over 120 tribes, different languages, customs, cultures, and religions, but there is no strife – no conflict. I truly believe Tanzania is the best country in the world.
Probably the first time I visited Ngorongoro – it wasn’t necessarily any animal’s actions, but rather to see the mixture of the Maasai people, their domestic animals, and the wild animals all around them. To see all this working together in harmony was truly incredible.
I really like this tour below – it gives a mix of culture and nature in your itinerary. I also really like the Kondoa rock paintings on a personal level!
Day 1: Arrival at JRO – overnight in Arusha.
Day 2: Drive to Kondoa rock painting then overnight outside Tarangire.
Day 3: Game drive in Tarangire.
Day 4: Game drive in Lake Manyara (optional Maasai village visit).
Day 5: Game drive in Serengeti.
Day 6: Full-day game drive in Serengeti.
Day 7: Half-day game drive in Serengeti- overnight in Ngorongoro.
Day 8: Crater tour – Zanzibar/Departure.
I think the reason Easy Travel is best for guests is their organizational abilities – they have over 35 years’ worth of experience in running safaris, so they know exactly what to do for clients who are visiting Tanzania. They make sure that everything is taken care of from the vehicle to the schedule to the accommodation and any detail in between.
I’ll admit that I don’t have a favorite month to tour. I go on tours with clients all year round and each part of the year holds its own special qualities that makes it unique.
I love the whole cycle of the Migration, but I think the most exciting part of it must be the Mara River crossing from northern Serengeti to Masai Mara reserve in Kenya. You can see a lot of crocodile hunting happening while the herd is crossing the river.
Most of the people don’t expect to see elephants coming close their safari vehicle, but they definitely will. Elephants are curious and will often come right up to the vehicle to inspect it before moving back into the bush without causing problems.
I think the Maasai people are very interesting. Their ways of life are totally different from other people, and it makes them a very famous part of Tanzanian culture. One of the most interesting things is that they don’t eat any vegetables, fruits, or white meat. They only eat red meat, milk, and even animal blood.
Asante – Thank you
Karibu sana – You are very welcome
Habari yako – How are you?
I’m a good imitator of animal and bird sounds.