Mkomazi Guide training

This year’s annual guide training took place in Mkomazi National Park. Every year, excluding Covid time, our guides, Elia, our GM, and Wes, one of our Directors, try to go to a new location to do the guide training. Guide training is a mixture of reviewing our current practices, emergency protocols, sharing knowledge with each other, and learning from experts. Below is a summary from the guides themselves;

After the first day of the training went well, the following day was as good as well. We left Mkomazi Cottages at 7am after breakfast. Everyone was very excited and early morning we heard the call from Verreaux`s Eagle Owl near the Cottage. We saw more birds on the drive and was very lucky to see that same Owl near Mkomazi wilderness Retreat camp. We continue all the way to Mbula area where the Tourist Rhino Sanctuary was. On the way we saw some Gerenuk and lesser Kudu. That was lovely!

We got to the Rhino Sanctuary and had a chance to hear the history of the area and the source of that sanctuary. We were then taken to the sanctuary and saw one Rhino very close. We then drove to Vitewini view point where we had our picnic lunch. It was a nice place with great views of the park!

After our great observation of the area, we drove to Mkomazi Wilderness Retreat camp to have a look. It was a marvelous place with amazing views! We passed to Babu`s camp but no one was there and so we drove back to our Cottage while watching some animals and bids on the way. we got to camp at around 7pm, had few minutes to shower before we heard the History of the park from group B. it was very nice to have time to talk and hear from David Maige from Tanapa, who answered lots of our questions about different parks and learned a lot from him about geology of the park. We also heard about wild Dogs from Group C and that was lovely. It was time for dinner and everyone went to bed happily.

The next day we had an early wake-up when the sky was partly clear and partly covered with the white clouds  and had breakfast at 7.00am and started our tour and learning expedition at 7.30am. We were accompanied by the epic teacher Mr David Maige. We drove a little bit and saw an animal foot print which we eventually identified and concluded to be Hyena foot print. Again we drove a little bit and heard birds voices and saw Green Wood Hoopoe that were female and male with a nest in the Baobab tree cave. It was a fascinating invent  to see them getting in  and out of their nest. It was a quite beautiful morning as we drove again for a short distance and saw a skid-dish female Lesser Kudu. It is a beautiful animal with some stripes and rare to see.

It was then time to explore Mkomazi View budget tented camp. We were welcomed but its staff did not look Professional and did not have any dot of hospitality. Director and General Manager had an opportunity of seeing their accommodation facilities.Soon as we left this place, we saw the most beautiful and rare to see, Violet wood hoopoe. It was a fascinating thing.

It was noon and left to Babu’s tented Lodge. It was somehow a nice place though looked like not operated for a while. We enjoyed nice views of Mkomazi valley and staff’s hospitality. It was time to explore Mkomazi airstrip. It was also a nice place and well maintained.

We were hungry and thirst and therefore drove straight to Wild dogs Sanctuary where we stopped for lunch and had an opportunity of seeing  16 Wild dogs in captivity. It was an amazing experience to see how they feed. Attendant did grab large pieces of beef and threw one by one and were captured by some of the dogs that were able to jump higher than others.  It was not their official meal so did not matter about who got the food or not as half an hour later they were to get their full meal.

It was late afternoon and had another opportunity of driving to Tourism rhino project. That was a breath taking adventure invent.We had an opportunity of seeing many rhinos with their babies at the closest distance ever being.

We spent enough time at this spectacular and shocking place with lots of dramas, rhinos snorting, smelling and few occasions chasing some our trip participants. Some of us whim-pies had to climb trees and the courageous ones were able to hide behind trees close to the water holes to get the best photos of the black rhinos at closest proximity. It was an amazing and unforgettable experience. Thanks AE Directors for arranging such a wonderful training and adventures. We will never forget.

It was another great day the sky was clear at Mkomazi National Park, we woke up and had breakfast around 7:30 after breakfast we had class of leadership where by we learned a lot about leadership skills (working as a team and give room to everyone to share their opinions) which was very helpful and knowledgeable to each of us. After the class at 10:24 we depart to Arusha on the way we stopped for lunch, we had chicken, nyama choma, ndizi and ugali which was marvelous everybody loved the lunch. The weather was very warm during the day after lunch we started our drive to Arusha it was a pleasure to have this trip which was very unique