MEET OUR SAFARI DRIVER GUIDE: Ombeni Moses Alfayo
When I was in primary school, I was inspired to become a guide by my brother, a guide himself, who was always talking about his clients and telling us stories about who he had met, where he had been, and what touring the national parks were like. Some clients even stayed with us and brought us small gifts like books, pens, and chocolates. It was very obvious to me that I wanted to be a guide just like my brother.
After secondary school, I went to Nairobi College and took a tour guiding course for three years. In college, I learnt about animal identification, behaviors, habitats, birds, plants, historical sites, and East African culture. We were also trained in the ethics of tour guiding, first aid, customer care, hospitality management, and Spanish. Once I finished college, I joined Kilimanjaro driving school and secured a license for myself within two months.
I worked as a freelance guide at first to build up my experience before applying to bigger tour companies. After this, I was officially hired by Easy Travel in 2013 and have been happily working with them ever since! I really enjoy being able to work with a company like Easy Travel – they prioritize their employees and genuinely want to give all their guests incredible experiences and are willing to put in the extra work to do so. They also give back to the community in Tanzania as much as they can.
In my career so far, I think my favorite thing has been to meet people from all over the world and learn about them and their culture. While I love being able to give them knowledge about my own country, culture, and experiences, I truly get a thrill to learn about other places and people too. Being a driver can be challenging though – the roads through the national parks can be slippery and wet in the rainy months because we want to keep the parks as natural as possible for animal life to flourish. It’s not uncommon for a car to become stuck sometimes when it is rainy, which is why we are trained in mechanics and car servicing so we can get moving again!
People tend to describe me as a charismatic guy – what can I say? I like to have fun! I have a beautiful wife who I married in 2016 and we are blessed to have two children. I really love my wife – she encourages me to work hard, and she always helps me achieve my goals. We live in the Moshono district in Arusha.
Favorite Park in Tanzania
I think that Tarangire National Park is my favorite because of the landscape: it has many beautiful hills, swaps, and baobab trees that are simply iconic. Going on game drives in the dry season in Tarangire is also appealing because there is a high concentration of animals including the African elephant and some big predatory species like lions and leopards. The bird population in Tarangire is always incredible too.
I like to watch football, play golf, and listen to music. I’m a big fan of the football teams Manchester United in England and Simba Sport Club in Tanzania.
I like to eat a dish made with banana and meat that is called machalari in Chagga, my tribal language. It is a traditional food that we eat from a young age in my culture, and I have always loved it.
I like to watch football, play golf, and listen to music. I’m a big fan of the football teams Manchester United in England and Simba Sport Club in Tanzania
Favorite TV Show
My favorite thing to watch on television is the National Geographic channel. It really helps me understand the nature that is part of my job as a driver guide, but also exposes me to different habitats and animals in different parts of the world. Through this channel, I get to learn about all the other incredible natural sights in the world.
Favorite Singer / band
My favorite singer is a guy from Tandale A.K.A Simba, officially known as Diamond Platnumz. He is a hardworking guy from Tanzania who started from nothing and now is very successful. His story encourages me to work hard and believe that I can be very successful too.
10 Questions with OMBENI
Tanzania is an incredible and beautiful country and there are so many things that make it a great place to visit. One of my favorite aspects of Tanzania is that it is known as the ‘island of peace’ in Africa. It is free of conflict, tribalism, and has a low crime rate. Tanzania also has a plethora of different tribes and practices with a rich cultural history. To cap it all off, Tanzania has some of the most naturally spectacular landscapes in the world: the white beaches of Zanzibar, the Ngorongoro crater, and the highest mountain in Africa, Kilimanjaro.
Once in Serengeti National Park with my clients, a cheetah actually jumped into my car through the open roof and stayed in the corridor of the car for about 10 minutes. I briefed my clients not to panic and stay calm – I then left the car, opened up one of the passenger doors, and the cheetah casually walked out and wandered off into the bush. It was crazy.
My favorite tour is the 10-day one below which usually goes on between late July and September. With this tour, clients get to explore the major parks in northern Tanzania and get a taste of our culture too.
Day 1: Arrival and overnight in Arusha city.
Day 2 & 3: Game drive in Tarangire.
Day 4: Game drive in Manyara Park with the optional visit to Masai village.
Day 5: Lake Eyasi for Hadzabe and Datoga excursions – Overnight in Ngorongoro.
Day 6: Morning Crater tour – Overnight in Ngorongoro.
Day 7: Drive to central Serengeti for a game drive – Overnight in central Serengeti.
Day 8: Drive to the north for the Migration viewing- Overnight in north Serengeti.
Day 9: Full day game drive north Serengeti- Overnight in north Serengeti.
Day 10: Fly out to Zanzibar or to JRO for the departure flight.
Easy Travel is great because they truly provide good value for money. Their service is incredible, and each person in our team is committed to providing a great experience for the guests who travel with us. Our vehicles are serviced regularly, and we very rarely have to deal with problems that we haven’t already thought of and fixed ahead of time.
Although all months have their appeal for going on safari (based on the different experiences offered), my favorite time to travel in Tanzania is in August. It is summertime and the land dries out, meaning that the driving is easy, and animals are easily spotted around the parks.and therefore a lot of babies can be seen… as well as predators in action.
The wildebeest crossing the Mara River is my favorite part of the Great Migration cycle. I like this part because it marks the end of the cycle in Tanzania when the herds cross into Kenya. Also, it is a good time to spot crocodile actions along the Mara River.
A lot of clients I talk to don’t expect to see too many animals. I think they think they will only see a few. However, there is such an abundance of animal life in our parks they leave feeling like they have seen an incredible number. Not just that, but they also will see them in dynamic events – running, feeding, hunting, and mating – it is not just an animal sleeping on the savannah.
There are several cultural practices that I like, but I prefer the practices of my tribe, the Chagga. Chagga people teach their communities the value of money and the value of helping people make money and provide for their community. It is a community that thrives off of productivity, achievement, and goal-setting.
Karibu Tanzania – Welcome to Tanzania.
Habari yako – How are you?
Safari njema – Have a safe trip/safe flight.
I think I have sixth sense. I can predict something and after some time it will happen just the way I predicted.