Friends of Amala – Know Your Guide: Nathan Losaru
Whilst on safari, a great safari guide can make or break a safari. As your window into the wild, your guide is tasked with conveying all the wonderful sights and sounds of the wilderness to you. The best guides possess phenomenal multi-tasking abilities; keen eyes and sharp ears, a wonderful sense of humour and a captivating storytelling ability are just a few qualities required to truly bring to life this oftentimes once in a lifetime experience.
Nathan Losaru has one of the most diverse backgrounds of perhaps any safari guide. After completing his education, he trained to be a Nursing Officer in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. After four years, he started to yearn for the great outdoors and went to work for a mountain climbing company, leading to his climbing Kilimanjaro – Africa’s tallest mountain – over 50 times!
Coming down off the slopes, and after a short stint as a trainee guide, he realised that his passion was to pursue a life in the bush. He joined Nomad Tanzania in 1999 as a cook, before becoming the headman at one of Nomad’s mobile camps in the Serengeti. In 2005, he joined Nomad’s annual guide training event, and that was it. He started out in the Selous, part of Tanzania’s Southern Circuit, but before long he was guiding full-time in the Northern Circuit where he has become one of the go-to-guys for the latest news on the ground.
I was lucky enough to be guided by Nathan a few years ago while exploring the wilds of northern Tanzania, traversing overland through the popular ‘Northern Circuit’: Tarangire National Park, the Ngorongoro Crater and across the length of the Serengeti National Park. We still keep in touch today, as I eagerly await his latest sightings from the bush. Nathan recently took the time to answer a few questions about his work as a professional safari guide.
1. What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is the moment when you head out for a game drive looking for animals, and then sitting with them to watch and appreciate the way they interact with their environment.
2. What, if anything, is the most challenging part of your job?
The most challenging part is when you have two groups of different nationalities with different needs and expectations! And they don’t know each other – it is then my job to make sure they can all relax into the adventure, and all get to see and experience what they came to get out of their safari.
3. Can you describe an exciting wildlife encounter?
My most exciting animal encounter was a giraffe giving birth and hyaena came before the calf dropped, grabbed it, pulled out the calf and ran away with it. It was so harsh but an incredible thing to witness.
4. What is your favourite animal, or one you love to spot whilst on safari?
I love leopards, they are so beautiful. They can be difficult to spot but when you see one it really does take your breath away.
5. Having guided across Tanzania, which is your favourite park and why?
I have guided in parks all across Tanzania, but the Serengeti is my favourite place because of the number of animals you can see, especially the migration and river crossings.
6. What advice would you give to anyone going on safari to Tanzania for the first time?
For first time visitors, I would recommend the Northern Circuit which is Tarangire, Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti. These national parks are so varied in landscape and wildlife, and there is so much to see. You can also interact with local Maasai while at the crater which is always a highlight for my guests.
7. How has being a safari guide changed your perspective of the world?
Being a guide has changed my life a lot because I have had the opportunity to meet people from all over the world, learning about their culture and it has also given me the opportunity to travel out of Africa which has been a dream come true.
8. How can ordinary people interested in wildlife conservation best help contribute to efforts on the ground?
The best way for ordinary people who are interested in wildlife conservation to contribute is by making sure that they choose the right safari operators to journey with to Africa. A good safari company like Nomad makes sure that the tourism dollar goes to the right place, and that it is the people living on the borders of our national parks that see the benefit of animals and nature, and will therefore be invested in keeping it safe.
As part of Nomad’s efforts to raise awareness in local communities on the importance of washing hands properly, their guides have been sharing their favourite wildlife facts while “washing” their hands for the recommended 20 seconds. Nathan kicked off the campaign here:
Nathan guides for Nomad Tanzania, one of the pioneers of safari in Tanzania, and one of the leading safari operators across East Africa. Their portfolio of luxury camps and lodges, located in some of the most remote corners of Tanzania, emphasise a high quality, authentic safari experience. If you are interested in visiting Tanzania and Nomad’s camps, please feel free to get in touch with us!