Rubondo Island Guide, Habibu Hamadi Kissio, shows Anton Crone another world.
The second time I met Habibu was on a guiding course in Tarangire National Park in Tanzania. The course was for Asilia Africa’s new guides and there were many experienced guides there like Habibu, knowledgable folk who had studied nature for much of their lives and a few guides who were quite fresh. As a travel writer and occasional guest of game parks, what I enjoyed most about the course was the focus on enhancing the guest experience, interpreting the sights, sounds and scents of the wild so that guests are left, not only with an indelible appreciation of the wild, but a thorough understanding of it. It was a collaborative exercise and while the youngsters had many questions to ask, there were always answers, things the older guides didn’t need to look up in a book but expounded on from memory; anecdotes and analogies that were expressions of love for nature. Habibu is one of these guides. We would often stop at the sight of the smallest creature to learn more about it, something most tourists pass up in favour of seeing the big five. I used to be this type, but that completely changed when I first met Habibu.