Safari driver Gerald M
By Easy Travel
Published May 21, 2022

MEET OUR SAFARI DRIVER GUIDE: Gerald Elisha Mollel

Tanzania - gerald 1 - Safari driver Gerald M
Position: Driver Guide
Date of Birth: 22 August 1965
Place of Birth: ): Arumeru district in Arusha, Tanzania
Language Spoken: Kiswahili, English, and Maasai
Number of years in the travel industry: For 30 years, since 1991
Number of years working with Easy Travel: 25 years, and hopefully many more to come!

ABOUT GERALD

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.

Favorite ANIMAL

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

Favorite 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.

Favorite Hobby

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.

I have been fortunate to see and experience a lot of rare events in my experience as a tour guide. One thing I will never forget was in northern Serengeti. We stumbled upon a female mother elephant very close to the road with her newborn baby. She was very upset that we had come so close, so she chased us down the road, trying to attack us for about 50 metres. Once she had chased us far enough away, she went back to her baby.

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.

I think Easy Travel is the best choice for touring Tanzania because they prioritise guest comfort. We use new vehicles that are regularly serviced and equipped, we provide safari necessities like Wi-Fi, coolers, binoculars, extra cushions and blankets for cool morning safaris. Aside from the ‘things’, the best part about Easy Travel is the people who work there – everyone is attentive and caring from booking to departure.
My favorite time to travel is from mid-February to mid-March. It is the rainy season at that time, so the vegetation is green and attractive. This is also the season where many species are calving, like wildebeest and zebra, so you will see a lot of predator action as they try to pick off newborns on the plains.
My favorite part of the great migration is when it is on the southern plains of the Serengeti. When they are in the south of the park, you can see about 2.5 million wildebeest and more than 500,000 zebras grazing in the plain. This is during calving season as well, so each day about 8000 new calves are born for the next four weeks.

There are so many moments that clients don’t expect to experience, but when they see how magical safaris are, they are simply speechless.

The culture of Tanzania is so diverse and interesting. There are so many different cultural practices and traditions that drive the daily lives of people in Tanzania. For example, I love the way Maasai are protecting their culture for centuries without being attracted to adapt the outside/western culture. Most of the Maasai have no formal religion, but they believe in local gods under big trees or mountains.

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.

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