By Anwynn Louw, Digital Marketing Assistant
Charles Matara knows what it takes to follow your dreams. Having first joined the Asilia family as a trainee guide, he is now a fully qualified walking guide and the head guide at Kwihala Camp. Born and raised in Arusha, Charles started his guiding career with Asilia in 2016 and has since spent a year working through the foundation guide training course and learning the ropes as a trainee guide. His passion for walking led him to join the walking guide training programme in 2018, and after completing a minimum of 120 hours of experience and being mentored by a senior guide, he reached his goal and is now a qualified walking guide as well.
“Becoming a guide was hard-won, one of my mentors used to say becoming a guide is similar to the wildebeest migration; while all the animals partake in the journey, not all of them make it to the end.” – Charles Matara
Described as gentle, calm, and extremely knowledgeable, Charles is well-travelled. His beginnings as a driver-guide in overland trucks before he joined Asilia has allowed him to see and explore many of Africa’s wonders and areas. Crossing Africa by road has also made Charles quite a skilled mechanic, which is always a bonus when out in the bush! If you’re travelling with children, Charles is great at keeping the little ones engaged and entertained.
In addition to getting to know Charles, visitors to Kwihala can explore Ruaha National Park, Tanzania’s largest national park and one of Africa’s best keep secrets.
The park is a key area for conservation due to its internationally important wildlife populations. It forms an intersection where the eastern and southern African eco-regions meet, resulting in an abundance of wildlife species. Ruaha is also a critical habitat for lions and elephants, it boasts a healthy population numbering in excess of 10,000 elephants and 10% of the world’s lion population is found in the national park.
Ruaha is a birder’s nirvana, it boasts endemic species such as the Tanzanian red-billed hornbill and serves as an important habitat for a few critically endangered vulture species.