MEET OUR SAFARI DRIVER GUIDE: Richard Allen Gurisha
I realized that I wanted to become a guide because I was inspired by one of my brother’s friends who used to work as a one. Whenever he returned from safari, he would tell us stories about wild animals and how he enjoys being out there on his quests. He would always show us photos of elephants close to his vehicle and he always spoke about what a meaningful job it was. From there, I was inspired to become a guide. After school, I joined a vocational college, and took my motor vehicle mechanics course for two years. I worked as a mechanic in Arusha for a few years, but I decided I wanted to expand my horizons. I was a good driver, and I knew that safari vehicles needed repairs. I joined the tour guiding college and I finally began learning about being a professional guide. While at the college, I learnt about ornithology (birds), botany (plants), mammalogy (animals), tour guiding ethics, customer care, and hospitality management.
Once I was qualified, I learned Italian (I could already speak Kiswahili, English, and my native language, Pare) and worked for a couple of different touring companies. About nine years ago, I got hired by Easy Travel, and I have been working for them as a driver guide going all around Tanzania to this day! I was drawn to Easy Travel because it is locally owned and knows the community well. They truly want people to have incredible experiences in Tanzania, and they put their heart and soul into each tour. My favorite thing about being a guide is being able to meet different people from different parts of the world and getting the opportunity to learn different things about their cultures. The biggest challenge about being a guide is making sure I meet my guests’ expectations. We hold ourselves to a high standard, so I want them to leave Tanzania with unforgettable memories. I have been told by previous guests that I have a great sense of humor, but you are more than welcome to find out for yourself! My wife Pendo and I have been married for 14 years now and we are blessed to have three children. We all live together at Maji ya chai.
Favorite Park in Tanzania
It is difficult to say, because each park has its own beauty. In terms of the landscape, Tarangire is my favorite. In terms of the animals and actions you can see, Serengeti is number one.
African hunting dogs, or African wild dogs are my favorite. They have this admirable team spirit and work together in hunting and social life. They all live together in a group and work together to raise puppies.
Ugali (polenta/maize meal) with fish. This is a common food among our tribe and keeps us healthy and strong.
Keeping fit, listening to music, and reading the news. I like jogging especially during mornings and evenings just to keep my body fit and active.
Favorite TV Show
Tanzanian safari channels are my favorites. This helps with my career, as it helps me to see different attractions that are found around our country. I get inspired with the ways they present their events and news. This channel also does a lot to market our heritage for people who are watching while on holiday. It has also encouraged our local population to travel around Tanzania for tourism as well.
Favorite Singer / band
Msondo Ngoma is a local band that was established many years back. They are a really great live show and they have been releasing music regularly for years.
10 Questions with RICHARD
Visiting Tanzania is the trip of a lifetime because of its abundance of wildlife. It is the home of the Serengeti and the Great Migration, the only mass movement of animals that has remained on the planet. A full quarter of the land in Tanzania is reserved for wildlife. The people of Tanzania are multicultural with around 120 different ethnic groups and their own culture and language – but we live in peace and are brought together by one language. Tanzanians are also the friendliest people in the world. Tanzania offers not just safaris to visitors, but all kinds of different experiences.
I enjoy a tour that touches all northern circuit parks, like the one below.
Day 1: Arrival and overnight in Arusha city.
Day 2: Game drive in Lake Manyara (optional walking safari).
Days 3 & 4: Game drive in Serengeti National Park.
Day 5: Half-day Serengeti and overnight in Ngorongoro.
Day 6: Crater tour – Overnight in Tarangire.
Day 7: Game drive in Tarangire- Arusha/departure.
Easy Travel is a company which has been in this industry for over 30 years, so we know what you are coming for and what you expect from us. Our entire ethos is about making the experience as easy and comfortable as possible for the client – it’s even in our name! By travelling with Easy Travel, you are also helping the community and people with special needs – Easy Travel always reserves some profit to give back to the community.
I find animal sacrifices fascinating. Within the Maasai, if they go long periods without rain, they believe there is something wrong and their local god isn’t happy. Therefore, some of the elders in the village will sacrifice a bull or sheep in a sacred spot and carry out the ritual hoping their prayer will be answered.
Jambo – “Hello” (English) – “Ciao” (Italian)
Asante sana – “Thank you very much” (English) – “Grazie mille” (Italian)
Karibu sana – “You are welcome” (English) – “Benvenuto” (Italian)
Guests will be surprised with my talent of singing! All you have to do is ask! I can sing many different songs from artists inside and outside of Tanzania.