By Stuart Butler
Do you ever wonder what it takes to become an Asilia guide? The charming personalities that take our guests on game drives and teach them about the bush are an integral and often unforgettable and inspirational part of the Asilia safari experience.
Frequent Asilia Africa collaborator, Stuart Butler, is a writer, award-winning photographer and the author of various Lonely Planet guidebooks to East and Central Africa (he also writes guidebooks for Lonely Planet, Rough Guides and Bradt to South Asia and the Himalaya region). Stuart has been travelling and working in Africa for more than two decades and in 2015 he and a Maasai friend, Josphat Mako, walked for five weeks across a part of the Maasai lands of Kenya in order to gain a more in-depth understanding of the impact of contemporary lifestyles, conservation, political pressures and tourism on the Maasai and the wildlife of the region. This project was covered each week, right here on our blog in the ‘Walking with the Maasai’ series. For more information on this project, the forthcoming book, Once We Were Lions, and the photo exhibitions and speaking tour see the website www.walkingwiththemaasai.com
From mid-March until mid-April 2016 Stuart will be joining Pietro Luraschi (Head Guide & Head Guide Trainer) and Tony Reumerman (Head of Group Training) as a ‘fly on the wall’ at one of their wildlife guide training camps in Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park. Our wildlife and safari guides are considered among the best in the business and Stuart will be sending back regular reports on what it takes to be a top-end safari guide with behind the scenes candid views, informative blog updates, photo galleries and short videos.
Over the course of the next month Stuart will interview aspiring guides and training staff, he will learn how to track wildlife, cater to a client’s needs and partake in bush walk training, fly-camping experiences and balloon safaris. He will also profile some of the larger then life characters who call Tarangire home: the elephants and baobab trees, the lions and some legendary safari guides.
Follow Stuart Butler on the road to becoming an Asilia Guide
Part 1 – Introduction