Malaki Samwell Saningo
I was born loving wildlife and all the wonder of birds, plants and the landscape of Tanzania.
My life first began in the northern region of Tanzania Ioliondo area where the amazing Ngorongoro Conservation Area is located. Both my parents, also Maasai, were also from Ioliondo. Coming from a pastoralist tribe, I was taught from an early age valuable Maasai practices of tending and herding our livestock that consisted of goats and calves. This meant, I spent most of my days learning about wildlife in the Ngorongoro and Serengeti. This included the “Big 5” and their behaviors, birds, reptiles, insects, plants, weather, water sources.
My favorite uncle taught me bush skills that enabled me to survive in these harsh environments. I learned to track animals, their migration routes and feeding habits, ecology of the land and how to recognize important celestial navigation points. My love for this natural world expanded to the point of wanting a more formal education in order to support myself and eventually a family.
I left the village at 21 years old and traveled to Arusha. Here, I met a friend who helped me land a job as a porter on Kilimanjaro. No kidding, this was tough! With no weight limits for porters at that time, it was not unusual to carry loads of 70 lbs or more. I did this for 5 years. But my dream for more education along with the idea I could support a family in the future as a wildlife guide, spurred me on.
With the money I saved from being a porter, I enrolled in Guide School at the College of Tropical Center in Arusha. While there, I learned more about natural history, science, camp management, geology, ecology, birds and guiding skills. I also had to learn English in order to be a guide so I taught myself, translating words from Swahili to English with a dictionary. Two years later I graduated with both a diploma and certificate allowing me to professionally guide clients. After Guide School, I worked for various safari companies working from Arusha to the national parks.
Not satisfied with what I had, I joined a well-known company in Arusha and received intensive training on savannah ecology, birds, botany, First Aid, physiology and guiding skills. I eventually became their Head Guide.
I truly love nature, so now I spend most my time in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro where I follow lion prides, cheetahs, leopards, rare black rhinos and elephants. By naming them, I have come to understand more of their unique animal behaviors and life strategies. This helped me to work with top photographers and famous safari groups including the National Geographic Society.
I have a beautiful family –my wife and four lovely children. We reside in Arusha.
Wishing to share my knowledge with visitors from all over the world.