Our guests rave about Mike saying that he is “without a doubt THE BEST GUIDE EVER” and mentioning how their trip was more memorable because of him. We love hearing such wonderful comments about our guides and are happy they are providing guests with the best experience possible. More than a few guests refer to Mike as not only their guide but now their new friend. We spoke with Mike to find out more about his backstory and what drives him and inspires him to make such a positive and lasting connection with our guests.
JAS: How long have you been a guide?
M: I have been a guide for the last six years, l worked for a small park in Harare before joining Jenman African Safaris where I have been working for 5 years.
JAS: Where is the most interesting place you’ve been?
M: The most interesting place l have been to is Victoria Falls but l can also say the Okavango Delta in Botswana and the Namib Desert in Namibia are quite interesting places.
JAS: What do you usually do when you when you have time off?
M: I read, exercise, meet up with friends and family, and l also do some volunteer work for my community.
JAS: What was the best compliment you’ve received?
M: ‘Mike will tailor your African experience to what you want out of sightseeing and safari. He was one of the best highlights of our experience’.
JAS: What have you learned from your travels through Africa?
M: I have learnt to be patient, in Africa, we say “Haraka haina baraka“ meaning “Hurry, hurry, no blessings”. I have learnt to take my time and enjoy every moment and l also pass the same concept to my clients and they always thank me at the end. I have also learnt to be tolerant to others regardless of our backgrounds, how we think and mostly the service that l give to others is the rent l pay for my room here on earth. I always do my best to represent Africa.
JAS: What is something you will NEVER do again?
M: I do not have any regrets but l will never oversimplify things on tour because different things have different meanings to different people, my job is not just about knowing facts l always turn those facts into something bigger and present a clearer picture to all my guests. I will never be complacent.
JAS: What is something you hope your guests remember or “take away” from their trip to Africa?
M: The memories of the people, cultures, the animals, and the geological variations of Africa. When the physical journey is over it does not mean that the journey itself has finished. They have had unique and thrilling experience with animals and people and that stays with them.
JAS: Why do you think conservation is important?
M: It is important because l believe every species has the inherent right to exist. Future generations should be able to enjoy all species. I also believe that we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next generations.
JAS: How do you make guests aware of conservation?
M: I tell them about responsible tourism and the impact of their actions on the environment. I am also careful of my actions so that l can lead by example. I usually provide statistics on different animal and plant populations, this helps them to understand conservation in a practical way.
JAS: What animal best represents you, and why?
M: A Honey Badger because I am passionate and resilient. I am a fierce competitor and l am not afraid to go after what l want.
JAS: If you had to choose only 3 adjectives to describe yourself, which would you choose?
M: Ambitious, confident, and conscientious.
JAS: If you could take only three items with you on a safari, what would they be?
M: A bottle of water, a camera, and a reference book. A wide-brimmed hat and binoculars will actually be necessary as well.
JAS: Can you describe a typical day in your life while you are on tour?
M: It’s always an early start, waking up at 5.30a.m. I first browse through my itinerary for the day and then l brief my clients about the day before we leave for the main activities. I will always try to make an extra effort to follow what is on the itinerary for the day. Before we break for lunch everyone should be satisfied with the areas covered. At the end of the day l debrief my clients and before dinner l brief them on the next day’s activities. My day usually ends at around 9: 45 p.m. Lastly, I review and revise on the day’s details and look forward to the next day.