Sitting around the camp fire at Siwandu with Emiel is captivating – his stories, his warm character and his zest for life are all infectious. Born and raised in the Eastern Arc Mountains, which are adjacent to Mkomazi National Park, Emiel’s love of the bush began at a young age as he spent lots of time with his Grandfather, who was a Chief and traditional hunter. From leaving school in 1992 he worked in the northern circuit with Huddersfield New College, WWF and WCS as a research field assistant, guide and driver. But in 1998, Emiel visited Selous and his great passion for the southern circuit began and joined Selous Safari Company in 2000 after graduating from the College of African Wildlife Management Mweka. Since then he has worked as Head Guide and Assistant Manager at Siwandu, Jongomero and Ras Kutani. Emiel is currently based at Siwandu but as the company’s Relief Manager, guests might be hosted by him at any one of our camps.
Noah Sichone is from Dar Es Salaam where he studied Business at university. He gained experience in several businesses before joining Selous Safari Company in 2006. Since then he has gained insight across the organisation, having worked at Head Office in Dar Es Salaam in the Logistics department, and the Jongomero camp in the Ruaha National Park. He is currently the Camp Manager at Siwandu. Noah is married to Haika and they have 3 children, Vanessa, Vivian and Masiath.
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.
Mwalimu Hassan Ally
Mwalimu's childhood was in Kimbiji, the local village to Ras Kutani and after completed his secondary education in Kigamboni in 1991, he was emplyed as a casual labourer with Selous Safari Company to help build Ras Kutani. Once the camp was completed and opened in 1992 Mwalimu was taken on as a dishwasher and from there was promptly promoted to assistant cook, showing a culinary flair and a passion for new dishes. He was trained by visiting overseas chefs from UK, America and Kenya and became Assistant Head Chef before his last career leap to Head Chef in 1996 after being trained with a UK chef and also completing his Service excellence training. Mwalimu is currently a very treasured member of our Siwandu team and when he's not dazzling guests with his love of the BBQ or his fantastic skill in dish design, he has two children and is currently busy building a new family home!
Born in Dar es Salaam in 1989, Christian inherited his love for wildlife from his uncles, who were safari guides. Their stories of the bush inspired him to go to Arusha after completing school, studying various wildlife courses and learning French, which he now speaks fluently. In 2010 he moved back to Dar es Salaam in order to get an official qualification. That certificate allowed him to start work as a safari-guide and he has not looked back. Since then he has guided in Saadani National Park & Ruaha National Park (at our camp Jongomero) before moving to the Selous Game Reserve.
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.
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.