MEET OUR SAFARI DRIVER GUIDE: Gerald Elisha Mollel
I first realized I wanted to become a guide when I was still young where I used to live adjacent to Mount Meru Forest. We used to see animals there all the time: monkeys, birds, antelope, dik-dik… we were enamored with them. My father also used to take me and my sister to Mount Meru Game Sanctuary where there are dozens of different species of animals. Whenever we went to the sanctuary, we were led by a local guide who gave us explanations of all the species. I was completely motivated by these experiences, and it pushed me to study guiding courses so I could explain to visitors about the different wildlife and attractions in Tanzania.
After I finished my secondary school in 1985, I got my driver’s license and applied for a post at a Tanzanian game tracking company where I got experience driving clients to Maswa Game Reserve, Kigozi Game Reserve, and Selous Game Reserve. During this phase of my career, I learned about animal footprints, tracking, and different habitats. The company I worked for at the time referred me to study tour guiding after they saw my interest in tracking and learning about the animals’ lives. I joined the Mount Meru Tour Guiding College for six months, learning about guiding ethics, birds, animal behavior, wildlife management, customer care, and hospitality. After this, I was an official safari driver guide!
I came to work for Easy Travel after moving to Arusha – they were a medium-size tour company that were growing well while still keeping a personal touch on the tours they run. They had an excellent company culture, good team spirit, and were great with scheduling. My favorite thing about being a guide is simply being able to see the nature and animals that our country is blessed with. This truly makes me feel like an ambassador for my country towards our guests and visitors – we give them incredible memories of Tanzania.
The most challenging part of being a guide is keeping your knowledge sharp – whenever a guest travels with me, I’ve got to make sure I can answer all of their questions as best as I can. Sometimes, they will ask a trick question or two (but I can usually spot those). Finding animals can also be difficult. Even though I have decades of experience, animals can be unpredictable – while they should be in a specific place, they can often be somewhere completely unexpected!
I have been described by my community and my working environment as polite, quiet, and friendly – I try to bring as much peace and harmony as I can to the world, and I hope that comes across. I am a father of five children, three girls and two boys. Two of them are adults but the younger three still live at home with my wife and me. We live in Ilboru Village in Arumeru district, Arusha.
Favorite Park in Tanzania
My favorite is Arusha National Park. This park offers different activities like trekking, game viewing, canoeing, horse riding, and walking safaris which all offer unique experiences for visitors. Arusha National Park is also close to Arusha and Moshi and nestled between two airports: Kilimanjaro and Arusha. It is one of the more easily accessible parks and is excellent for day visitors from either Arusha or Moshi.
My favorite animal is a waterbuck. These are antelopes that are found in most of our national parks. The most interesting part about them is the way they can defend themselves: they have an ‘antipredator device’ in which they can produce grease on their fur that emits a smell that wards off predators. The predator is thus unwilling to hunt them unless they have no other means of food
My favorite food is Loshoro or Olohoro (in Maasai), which is the traditional food of our tribe. It is boiled maize mixed with yogurt milk, which is very easy to cook, healthy, and can last a long time before going bad. Many pastoralists carry extra Loshoro when they are trekking with livestock on long journeyske.
My favorite hobby is definitely watching Liverpool Football Club play! When I’m not shouting at the TV when they’re playing, I love agriculture. I have a small field near my home where I can grow vegetables for my family and also sell when we produce extra.
Favorite TV Show
I like to keep informed about global events, so news channels are probably my favorite.
Favorite Singer / band
I’m a big fan of country music (Don Williams and Jim Reeves) and reggae (Bob Marley and Luke Dube).
10 Questions with GERALD
Visiting Tanzania is the trip of lifetime because the country is blessed with attractions and events that happen nowhere else in the world. I also believe that Tanzania is a peaceful country – while there are conflicts all over the world, Tanzania is a place of mixed cultures, language, and tribes, but a place without violent conflict. We all live together in harmony and share the land we love. Visually, we have the tallest mountain in Africa, Kilimanjaro, as well as the incredible Serengeti National Park which plays host to a huge array of animals, including the Great Wildebeest Migration.
My favorite tour that Easy Travel offer is nine-day safari below. This is a flexible tour where guests can enjoy many of our best national parks without feeling rushed.
Day 1: Arrival Day and overnight Arusha.
Day 2: Game drive in Arusha National Park with walking safari.
Day 3 & 4: Game drive in Tarangire.
Day 5: Game drive in Lake Manyara National Park.
Day 6 & 7: Game drive in Serengeti.
Day 8: Half day Serengeti – overnight in Ngorongoro.
Day 9: Crater tour- Arusha/departure.
There are so many moments that clients don’t expect to experience, but when they see how magical safaris are, they are simply speechless.
Habar gani? – “How are you doing?” – This is a common greeting
Asante sana – “Thank you very much” – This is a polite phrase of appreciation
Safari njema – “Have a safe journey” – This is a special quote to say to someone wishing them well
My capability to smell different kinds of animals from a distance as well as making the sounds of different animals.