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Hassan Mwenjuma

Country: Tanzania

Trips run: Zanzibar & Selous & Safari & Beach Adventure

What is your travel experience/background?
Apart from a week in England and the chance of a lifetime to go and see the World Cup in south Africa, my life has been entirely spent in the Tanzanian bush. I have worked in Selous and Saadani for 18 years and even found my wife in Saadani Village

How long have you been leading trips?
I've been running tours for The Adventure Company for 7 years now.

What are your favourite activities/events on the trips you lead?
Teaching the family groups how to track animals. The Saadani salt flats make a brilliant training ground for studying animal interaction, just by observing their footprints.

What is the best thing about your job?
The tips... No, honestly, as cliched as it sounds, it's the people I meet. It is always a wrench when one group leaves after a week or more of bonding. You always think the next group won't be as nice, but they usually are.

What is the funniest thing that has ever happened on a tour?
We once found a car with tourists broken down in the park. We had hardly seen an animal all morning, which was very frustrating. I asked their driver and found out he simply needed a spanner, which I didn't have in my kit, so I said I would push his car with mine to an easily seen safe spot near the road up ahead. I pushed him and his clients for several hundred metres, but as we neared the road the already nervous clients in his car started shouting to stop. When I did I realised that I was pushing them straight into a pride of ten lions!

In your mind, what is the best place to visit in your country?
Impossible to say. It is an incredible place with amazing wildlife, landscapes and beaches. The people aren't so bad either.

In your mind, what is the most interesting custom in your country?
The Masai life is amazing, even to us Tanzanians. We integrate very easily, but they have no interest in giving up their culture, whilst most of us have changed dramatically.

In your mind, what is the most important phrase to know?
Angalia, kuna simba juu ya mti yule - watch out, there's a lion up that tree!

In your mind, when is the best time to visit and why?
January and February, because the parks in the south are in full bloom and the animals have had all their young.

In your mind, what are the most important items to pack for your tour?
Binoculars

Please come up with a short statement that describes your experience
The more I chat, the more I laugh the less I run. The less I run, the more I sit, the more I chat. At least I'll die laughing.

Please tell us an interesting fact about your region
Tanzania is a union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar and no one has ever heard of the capital Dodoma.

Hassan Mwenjuma