Gadmel Kimaro, or “Kim” as he’s known to us, was born in 1967 in the Kilimanjaro region and after successfully finishing his secondary education, he completed his required year in National Service before moving south to Dar es Salaam to study at the College of Accountancy. After receiving his qualification he worked as an accountant for a year in a government organisation before admitting his love and passion for nature would not let him be in an office for the rest of his life! With this in mind he joined Mweka Wildlife Management College in 1990 and after studying for a year he was employed by Ker & Downey as a safari guide in Arusha. After four years he went back to education and a course of animal behaviour and hospitality at Mount Meru Tour Guiding College in Arusha. For the following few years Kim worked in the north as a guide before moving south and joining Selous Safari Company in 1998. Initially be was based in Siwandu as a guide for six years before transferring his talents to Jongomero as Head Guide and the remote wilderness of Ruaha in 2004. Kim’s enthusiasm, generous smile, calm countenance, vast knowledge of wildlife and deep passion ensures he is a beloved and integral part of the guiding team. In 2016, Kim relocated to Siwandu to become the Head Guide - he is enjoying being back in Selous and offering guests the range of game activities we have on offer at Siwandu.
Kandindi is from the Ndengereko tribe, which was originally based in Selous before the area was established as a Game Reserve in 1922, and so the tribe was relocated to Mloka Village. His grandfather was a great fisherman and farmer along the Rufiji River and Kandindi learnt his trade and understanding for the great river from him as he was growing up. After primary school in 1990, Kandindi was chosen with two other students to join Umakuru Secondary School but an education in Tanzania is expensive and due to lack of funds Kandindi could not attend. So he joined his family on the family canoe fishing the waters of the Rufiji for an income. In 1993, Kandindi joined Selous Safari Company as a Security Guard and was further promoted to Room Steward in 1994 but his ambition and great knowledge of the water systems in Selous led him to being trained in-house as a Boat Guide by Mpoto. In 1996, he was afforded a fulltime Boat Guide position in camp.
Hailing from Mloka, Siwandu’s local village, Mohamed travelled to Dar es Salaam in 1980 and studied as a carpenter for two years. After completing his course he remained in Dar to work for four years before returning back to his village to share what he had learnt with his fellow brothers as well as work on the family farm. Selous Safari Company has always supported the local village and through this association Mohamed had the opportunity to join the camp team in 1994 as a Room Attendant. Falling in love with tourism and wildlife he was determined to learn as much as he could so he began by studying the local flora and fauna so he could share his knowledge with the guests he was looking after. Seeing his amazing drive and potential Selous Safari Company sponsored him to attend a training course with Mikumi Vocational Education Training Authority and he attained a certificate in Tour Guiding. With his newly acquired knowledge he returned to camp to have in house training with our Walking Guide at the time, Andrew “Moli” Molinaro until he was ready to take guests out by himself in 2007.
Walking, Boat and Driver Guide
Mpoto has worked for Selous Safari Company for nearly 25 years and due to his vast experience and knowledge is the only member of the team at Siwandu to guide all game activities – by foot, by vehicle and by boat. Mpoto comes from a local tribe called Pogoro and after finishing school he went straight onto the great Rufiji River system as a Boatman. He joined Selous Safari Company in 1990 and the majority of his time he is guiding guests on the Rufiji’s myriad of waterways.
Edmund Mahunga is Siwandu's Senior Chef, after joining the team here in 2007. He brought with him a wealth of culinary skills, expertise and a friendly smile, which he continues to demonstrate every day here in the kitchens. Edmund's passion for food and cooking is clear in every dish he cleverly produces, and creates. Becoming a chef has been Edmunds ambition for many years, and when he qualified in 1992 and his dream was fulfilled. Edmund's creativity and skills come all the way from his home town of Iringa. He is proud to actively practice his Christian faith, and is a popular member amongst his colleagues, always ready to conjure up a new "cuisine creation", and to run a dynamic kitchen team. Edmund was promoted in 2014 to Head Chef at Siwandu.
Holle was born in Matambwe Selous Game Reserve and remained their for his primary education but his biggest learning experience was growing up in the Selous. From a young age he learned about the bush and the animals and developed his passion for guiding. After his secondary education in Dar es Salaam, he went to the The Big Five Institute College in Arusha and received his certificate in tour guiding. Following this he attended training courses at the following companies: Mbega Camp, Lake Manze Camp and the Retreat Safari Lodge; before joining Selous Safari Company in Siwandu as a Driver Guide. Holle loves working in Selous because of the presence of so many different eco systems from grass land and wetland to miombo woodland.
George Tolchard & Emma Wilson
George and Emma met while working together for a renowned safari company in Arusha, Tanzania. George at the time was managing the company’s mobile camp operation in the Serengeti while Emma arrived from her homeland to work within their Head Office. George hails from the small town of Market Harborough, UK but his true passion is Africa and the wonders of the natural world. George has a Diploma in Zoology and is a registered FGASA (Field Guides Association of South Africa) Walking Trails Guide with a Level 2 qualification. Since 2009 George has been living and working in Tanzania and has been involved in many aspects of conservation during his time in the safari industry. He began his career in South Africa where he worked extensively throughout the region in both guiding and management. George is well travelled throughout the continent of Africa but Tanzania remains his true home. Australian born Emma shares George’s love for the outdoors, wildlife and has a great passion for photography of which nature, wildlife and landscapes are her main focus of attention. With a degree in Business and Tourism, Emma began her career hosting guests from all around the world at one of Australia’s most intriguing destinations, Ayers Rock and from there she dived into the African safari industry working in sales, marketing and reservations in both Australia and Tanzania. Together George and Emma managed the private concession of Selinda Reserve, Northern Okavango Delta, Botswana but were desperate to return to Tanzania so soon joined Selous Safari Company in 2016 to manage Siwandu.
Enock, who lives in Arusha, joined Selous Safari Company in June 2015 after guiding for more than nine years in many different reserves and parks including Serengeti, Ngorogoro, Tarangire, Ruaha and Selous. However he is loving his time with us at Siwandu as its "the best location in Selous" with his favourite places being Lake Nzerakera and Lake Manze as guests can view huge herds of animals. Enock is also incredibly passionate about birds and butterflies He studied to be a guide at the Royal Institute of Tourism in Moshi and also attended a workshop in Arusha by Danish anthropologists as well as a special safari course in guiding children. Afterwards Enock attended Loro Colloge of international languages and is fluent in Spanish.