Catching up with Elly, Sayari's front of house manager

By Asilia Africa | 14 September 2020

We are thrilled to introduce you to our awesome Elly who is the front of house manager at Sayari. Having worked in numerous African countries managing safari camps, we were thrilled to welcome her to the Asilia family last year. Elly loves working in the bush because of the peace and quiet and of course, the wildlife. Scroll down to read more about her life – her early morning routine is something we should all adopt!


What is your favourite animal?

As you can see from my necklace, it is without a doubt the rhino. First of all, it’s so difficult to find them here in the Serengeti so when you do come across one, it feels like a gift just for you. They’re also such big, gentle animals and the females form such a strong bond with their calf – I just love them. The elephant is a close second. Again, their size takes my breath away; you never realise how big they are until they’re right up close to you. I also love the family bonds they have and their emotional intelligence. In some respect, they’re a little bit like us.


What is your favourite animal encounter?

There’s not one encounter that springs to mind, but every single time I see a baby elephant, no matter how many times I’ve seen them before, I will always stop to watch. I love it when the baby is tiny, maybe only a few weeks or months old, and they’re dwarfed by their gigantic mothers. I also find it hilarious watching the babies trying to use their trunks to eat grass even though they don’t have any control over it yet - they are just too cute.


What has been your favourite country to work in?
I’ve been lucky enough to work in many different countries but my favourite place to work is my home, Tanzania. The scenery, the people, the wildlife is just amazing and there is so much to see and experience. I’ve now worked in Tanzania for longer than anywhere else and I enjoy it more and more each year.


Have you always wanted to work in hospitality?

When I was younger, I used to pretend to host my parents and siblings for dinner, so I always knew that I wanted to work with people in that capacity. In my first year of university, I wasn’t enjoying the course I was doing at the time, so I changed to hospitality and immediately knew that this was my passion. I have now been managing lodges and camps for 10 years and I love how varied the job is; no one day is ever the same and of course, being based in the bush is a dream come true.


What is it that you like about the bush?

I love the endless space and the quietness. In the morning you can hear the birds singing and in the evening, you hear the lions roaring. You can breathe much more easily here than in the cities as there’s no pollution. It’s all peace and quiet.


Tell me about your morning routine.
Every morning, I wake up early and I do a little bit of exercise, I also listen to a motivational speech – I find that it helps to focus my mind for the day. After that, I choose one song, turn up the volume, have a shower, dance around and then I’m ready for the day and all the challenges and rewards it may bring. That’s my secret to life!


What is your biggest achievement?

Firstly, I am very proud to be where I am now in my career. I have been lucky enough to work with some of the leading safari companies in East Africa and the knowledge and experience that I’ve gained throughout my career is endless. Working with Asilia has definitely made me grow as a person and I am who I am today because of my life in hospitality.

Secondly, I have a 16-year-old daughter who I am immensely proud of. She wants to become a doctor so she can help people. I know that she wants to work with some of Africa’s most vulnerable people to ensure that they have access to medicine for curable diseases or illnesses, like malaria. She takes after me in her passion for looking after people but in a slightly different way and I couldn’t be prouder of her.  


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