23 Questions With Our Safari Guide: Gerald Mollel
Easy Travel could not be what it is today without our incredibly passionate and trustworthy guides. We might even go so far to say that we have the best guides in all of Tanzania. And since you will be spending most of your time on safari in the company of our guides, we thoughts we’ll introduce you to them. So, join us as we introduce our guides and ask them 23 questions in a quick fire round:
- Active - Trekking
- Before You Go
- Cultural & History
- Know Easy Travel
- Nature and Wildlife
- Romance & Honeymoon
- Small Group Tour
Meet Gerald Mollel!
1. What is your name and surname?
My name is Gerald Elisha Mollel.
2. Tell us a 'lil bit about yourself – family, where you grew up etc.
I was born in 1965 at Ilboru Village, Arumeru district in Arusha Region. I am the second born in the family of 6 children. I grew up in Arusha where I also took my primary and secondary education. I am married and a father of 4 children: 2 boys and 2 girls.
3. What languages can you speak?
I speak a Maasai language which is my mother tongue, Kiswahili and English.
4. Do you have any nicknames?
Yes. I do have a nickname "Mjomba" which is a Swahili name for uncle. I had this name from one of my colleagues I once worked with who, when we first met, decided to call me the name as we did not know each other before. So, from there everyone in the office kept calling me "mjomba". To date which I do not have a problem at all as I am friendly to all staff of different ages.
5. How long have you been a tour guide?
I have been working as a guide for more than 20 years.
6. Do you remember your very first trip you lead as a guide?
Yes. I do remember the very first trip which I lead as a guide. It was when I travelled to Serengeti and I was not able to locate the road to the camp located in Southern Serengeti. I lost almost 2 hours and I tried the best I could the way. I got lost because I went to show my guests a cheetah and could not find a way back. I really panicked but when looked back and saw a certain hill which we normally use a land mark, that is when I recognized the proper directions to the camp. In those years, there were no proper roads particularly in Southern Serengeti
7. Where does your passion for wildlife come from?
In my village Ilboru where I was born and grew up, I use to see the baboons and monkeys especially when I used to herd my father's cows for grazing. When I was a little boy, our father used to take us for a family trip to Usa River game sanctuary which had different kinds of wild animals. I therefore developed interest to be a guide from a local guide from this game sanctuary. So, when I completed my secondary education, I joined a tour guide college where I studied different aspects to becoming a safari guide.
8. What is a typical day in the life of Easy Travel safari guide like?
The typical day begins by reporting timely to work. I check a safari schedule, followed by a thorough check of the safari car to make sure that it is clean, and all mechanics done. I normally engage myself with the mechanics to check the vehicle and further learn on how to solve small problems like auto-electric, fuel system and all stuff to do with bolts and nuts.
9. What is your favorite part of Tanzania and why?
My favorite part of Tanzania, is the northern part of Tanzania. This is because of the weather being conducive. It has fertile land for farming, rich in great landscape like Mount Kilimanjaro, Mt. Meru, Oldonyo Lengai, Great Rift Valley and abundant wildlife.
10. Do you have any hidden talents?
Yes. Apart from being a guide, I liked and was trained to be a school teacher.
11. Is there a particular lesson or story you love to teach your guests about regarding nature or your culture?
Yes. It's all about culture. Being a Maasai, I will teach my guests on how to grow up to be a warrior. In Maasai culture, we have different classes of people in the community classified by their age. There are young warriors in the age of 14 to 30 years, Junior warriors from 30 to 40 years and Senior warriors from 40 to 55 years and from 56 years onwards it's in group of elders. In the traditional ceremonies, even food or drinks are served according to these ages groups. There is one interesting fact in the Maasai culture, for instance, when they slaughter a bull during the ceremony, they distribute different parts of meat according to ages. The soft parts like liver and neck, are normally given to the elders. Ribs are given to senior warriors and front legs are for the young warriors and hind legs are for senior warriors while women are normally given the offal and the back part.
12. What was your scariest moment as a guide?
My scariest moment was when I encountered a python near my tent during one of the camping safaris. I was very terrified as I had never seen it before. The following day, I did not sleep in the tent and instead I spent a night in the car. :)
13. What is your favorite animal and why?
My favorite animal is waterbuck. This is because they have a natural way to protect themselves from predators. They have ability to produce an odor that is very smelly and can make the meat tasteless. This method is known as an anti-predator device. So, many predators normally avoid them and would only hunt them when there is completely no other means to get food.
14. What is the one question you get asked the most?
Throughout my job as a guide, I have come across many questions from my clients. One of the common question I get asked is: When is your next trip?
15. What is the one thing that travelers must remember to pack for their safari?
From the long list of items to prepare before coming to safari, I recommend they must not forget the repellents as some people are so sensitive when stung by an insect.
16. What advice do you have for people who are going on safari for the first time?
I understand that their expectations might be so high. So, I would advise them to adhere to the cultures of the locals and laws of the country. This way, they will be comfortable and get a chance to interact with locals and enjoy the wealth of culture and nature that Tanzania holds.
17. Which Tanzanian dish do you recommend travelers must try when they visit?
I recommend the travelers to try out "Loshoro" This is a Maasai favorable food recipe whose ingredients are boiled maize grains and mixed with sour milk. If well prepared, this food can even last for 7 days and still maintain the mouthwatering taste! It is normally kept in a calabash thus can be a drink and at the same time as a food! As it can stay for such a while without becoming stale, it can be served to a visiting guest when you do not have time to prepare another food.
18. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
In my spare time, I read the wildlife books and watch TV.
19. Are you a cat person or a dog person?
I am a cat person.
20. If we open your cellphone's music player, what song would we find was last played?
I am in love with country music inspired by the late Jim Reeves. The last song you would find last played is "This world is not my home" by Jim Reeves.
21. What is the last photo you took on your cellphone?
The last photo I took with my phone has cheetah with its Thomson Gazelle prey.
22. Do you have a favorite joke you'd like to tell?
It is always enjoying moment when we joke. My favorite joke would be to ask how many stripes does zebra has. Many people fail to answer this question but in reality, it has only 2 stripes i.e. black & white!
23. Lastly, if you could give travellers one reason why they have to visit Tanzania in their lifetime, what would it be?
Indeed, my lovely country Tanzania has all that makes travellers want to visit here. I do have one reason to emphasise why they have to visit here, and that is the mass movement of animals moving on earth (the Serengeti Great Migration) which cannot be witnessed anywhere else on earth.
Looking to join Gerald and the team on an experience of a lifetime? Contact us today and start planning a trip that will offer memories to last a lifetime. Want to learn more about our guides? Check out our other interviews here.
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