MEET OUR SAFARI DRIVER GUIDE: Gilbert Elisante Mariki
I first realized that I wanted to become a guide during my secondary school when we were visiting different national parks and cultural heritage sites in the northern circuit of Tanzania. I experienced a lot of beautiful moments during these trips and admired the way the guides on our tour informed us about what we were seeing. I just fell in love with the wildlife and nature around us.
After I completed my secondary school studies, I told my brother that I wanted to become a guide. He generously supported me by taking care of my college fees. I took a tour guiding course for the next two years and I was rewarded with my tour guiding certificate after I completed it. I joined a driving school after that and received my driver’s license. I applied for tour guide jobs through several companies in Arusha and I was lucky to be employed as a driver guide with a company in 1998. From there, I developed my guiding career and increased my love of nature!
I eventually began working with Easy Travel. They were an easy choice to make, and I chose to work with them because they are a strong and stable company with more than 35 years of experience in the travel industry. They are always on time and organized and they prioritize their staff’s wellbeing.
My favorite thing about being a guide is when I see my clients happy, satisfied with my services, and they say that they will recommend Easy Travel to their friends back home. I’m even happier when my clients promise to come back to Tanzania! The biggest challenge of being a guide is to make sure I deliver more than what my clients expect to experience on their trip. I sincerely work hard to meet all my clients’ expectations and although there are some factors that may hinder or delay me, I usually exceed their expectations.
My co-workers and the people in my community describe me as a trustworthy person. I have a beautiful family which I started when I married my wife in 2000. We are blessed to have three kids, one son and two daughters. I live with my family in Moshono district in Arusha region.
Favorite Park in Tanzania
Serengeti National Park is my favorite park. When I’m in Serengeti, I have a good chance of seeing many animals throughout the year due to their concentration and its endless plains which supports both short and long-distance viewing.
I like the cheetah because of the following facts: they have a unique body that was built for high speed. Their body grows between 1.1 and 1.4 meters with a long tail to help them balance. Their spines are also incredibly flexible allowing them to bend and make sharp turns while racing through the savannah.
My favorite food is bananas with meat. This food comes from my tribe, and I have been eating it since my childhood. I feel healthy and satisfied when eating this food.
I like to watch football. I’m a big fan of Manchester United in the EPL and Simba Sport Club in our local league
Favorite TV Show
like to mainly watch football and news channels too.
Favorite Singer / band
My favorite singer is Diamond Platnumz because he is always releasing hit songs.
10 Questions with GILBERT
Tanzania is an incredible destination to relax and pull yourself away from modern life. This is because Tanzania has many natural destinations that range from beautiful national parks to authentic conservation areas to the incredible beaches of Zanzibar. Tanzania is also fantastic because of its diversity and how we are able to live together in peace, happiness, and harmony.
I have seen a lot of memorable things, although the most incredible thing I can share was one day at Tarangire, I saw a leopard nursing her cubs. I liked this experience because leopards are solitary and sometimes mysterious animals, so it was very rare to see such an intimate moment with them.
Easy Travel offers different incredible safari itineraries, but my favorite tour is the 9-day program that includes a visit to northern Serengeti for viewing the Migration when it is crossing the great Mara River:
Day 1: Arrival and overnight in Arusha hotel.
Day 2: Drive to Tarangire park for a game drive and overnight.
Day 3: Drive to Lake Manyara for a game drive with the option of a village visit for a cultural experience.
Day 4: Drive to central Serengeti for a game drive.
Day 5: Drive to north Serengeti for a game drive.
Day 6: Full day game drive in north Serengeti.
Day 7: Drive back to central Serengeti for an afternoon game drive.
Day 8: Half-day game drive in central then drive to Ngorongoro for overnight.
Day 9: Crater tour – Departure.
Easy Travel is the best choice for the guest because it provides the best service and safe travel to clients. They only employ the most experienced, knowledgeable, and friendly drivers who truly love the nature they are showing off to the clients. Attention to detail is very important to Easy Travel and they want to make sure you have a memorable trip.
All months are good to travel to Tanzania, but August is my favorite month. It is in the dry season so game drives are beautiful, and animals can be easily seen in big numbers. During August, the Great Migration is in northern Serengeti crossing the Mara River to Maasai Mara game reserve.
My favorite part of the Great Migration is the Mara River crossing which traditionally happens between late July and October every year. I like this part because you can see intense animal actions which attract all kinds of nature lovers to the park. This is a world-famous event that put Tanzania on the map for lots of foreign tourists and is one of the seven natural wonders of Africa.
Most people who come to Tanzania don’t expect to see too many wild animals, but during their safari they end up seeing so many wild animals they lose count. The animals also come very close to their vehicles, others are sleeping in the middle of the road, and others move in close to accommodations during the night!
In Tanzania, we have more than 120 tribes with different cultural backgrounds and traditions. I like to visit the Datoga the most. They use local tools and methods for blacksmithing, which make very interesting and strong tools that can help people with daily activities.
Karibu Tanzania – Welcome to Tanzania.
Habari gani – How are you?
Safari njema – Safe journey!
My secret talent is mechanical prowess. I like working with cars, so people are often surprised by my ability to fix them. I also sometimes help at garages in Arusha.