Selous Safari Company was established in 1988. 34 years later we are raising a glass to ten of our amazing team members who have been part of the team for over 20 years. Collectively these incredible ten individuals have clocked 253 years of service at SSC all together.
Mwalimu Ally, Head Chef at Siwandu has been with us the longest. With over 29 years of loyal service, Mwalimu knows everything about running a kitchen, far off the beaten track. This talented chef is super creative when it comes to preparing excellent meals and sometimes he has to think outside the box when ingredients are unavailable or, when catering for specific dietary requirements. With finesse and creativity, he impresses our guests with delicious meals. He loves to study recipe books and enjoys learning from celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver. When he is not in front of a stove at Siwandu, he spends time with his family.
David Benjamin has been an office assistant based at the SSC head office for nearly 28 years. He makes sure our documents, goods and parcels are delivered where needed, connecting all the dots between SSC and various different stakeholders. Being an extremely timely person, the worst part of his daily routine is unexpected delays. This can lead to working overtime, which he does with a smile. David is married and has five children. When he is not spending time with his family he loves listening to religious hymns, watching sporting events and enjoys exercising.
Ndawai Divai joined the maintenance team in 1992 at Ras Kutani, one of SSC’s original beach properties. When Ras Kutani was repurposed in 2020, Ndawai joined the Rhino Lodge team. With almost 28 years of experience at SSC, he is game for all the challenges that involve maintenance, but he says the most challenging part of his job is working with live electricity. Ndavai has four children, three boys and one girl and he enjoys spending time with them at his farm in Dar es Salaam.
If you have been a guest at Siwandu you will probably have many fond memories of your encounters with Mohamed Muhunyunga. This incredible safari guide with his warm smile and contagious laugh has been a valued member of the Selous Safari Company team for over 27 years. In 1994, Mohamed joined the team at Siwandu as a ‘room attendant’. Here his passion for tourism and wildlife ignited and he soon began studying the local flora and fauna, so he could share his knowledge with the guests he was looking after. Seeing his amazing positive outlook and potential, the Selous Safari Company sponsored him to attend a training course and he obtained a certificate in Tourist Guiding. Mohamed is one of our most experienced, senior guides. One thing you might not know about Mohamed is his passion for giving back to his community. When he is not working he teaches the children from his village all about the trees, birds, animals and the environment. By doing so, he passes on his love for nature and encourages the children to protect the environment we live in and our wildlife.
Festus Njogoro is the backbone of Selous Safari Company. Without him we are not really sure how we would survive. He is our General Manager’s right hand and has his pulse on everything that is important in the day to day running of our company. He also plays a vital part in managing the reservations department. Festus is always available to assist anyone on the team if there is a problem or a question and handles any guest emergency. He loves spending time in the countryside with his wife and two children. He reads novels, cycles, tends to his garden and fixes up vehicles. A real hands-on man, he is not afraid to tackle any tasks by himself and admitted he only calls on an expert when there is a real crisis. Over the past 27 years he has been with us, he has learned a lot, but believes that ‘playing by the book’ is one of the biggest life philosophies that he carries with him wherever he goes.
Hassani Kitimla has been looking after all our guests at Siwandu for over 25 years now, making sure that they are safe when they move around camp in the early morning or after dinner when it is dark. He loves striking up conversations with our guests during this time, answering any questions they may have. The most challenging part of Hassani’s job is to be vigilant at night when there may be elephants, lions, leopards and hippos around. He always has his ear to the ground and knows exactly what animals are passing by and when. When he is not in camp, he spends time with his family and looks after his farm and animals with great care.
Said Issa Mkumba is the trainee assistant camp manager at Siwandu. Over the past 24 years Said worked his way up, having joined as a waiter, promoted to Head Butler and then transitioned to guiding. During this time, SSC noticed he had great potential and immediately started training him for a managerial position. Said plays many different roles, making sure the camp runs smoothly. He is passionate about nature and loves sharing his knowledge with others, teaching them everything is important, from the smallest insect to the biggest elephant bull. Said strives to surpass all of Siwandu guests’ expectations and sometimes this can be hard. Siwandu is located far off the beaten track and you have to be creative when things are not going exactly to plan. Said is married and has three boys. He loves taking his kids to Dar es Salaam where they will go to the beach and have lunch together. He also enjoys spending time with his friends.
Twenty-two years ago Nickson Mtambo joined our team as a young graduate. His main role as assistant accountant is to take care of the daily maintenance of SSC’s accounting records and helps to prepare financial management reports. A real team player, Nickson really enjoys the camaraderie amongst his colleagues in the finance department where everyone works together to ensure work is completed in a precise and timely manner. During month end, deadlines are always tight, but with years of experience and with the support of his team he gets things done in time. During his spare time, Nickson loves watching the news, plays football and enjoys keeping fit and healthy.
Mashaka Juma, our Head Chef at Rhino Lodge, is a passionate cook and a dedicated family man. Selous Safari Company immediately recognised his talent when he was first employed at Ras Kutani an impressive 29 years ago. Since then he had the opportunity to lead the kitchen teams as head chef at Selous Safari Company, camps Jongomero and Siwandu. When Rhino Lodge was added to the SSC portfolio he was appointed as Head Chef and has impressed our guests by scoring rave reviews for his delicious buffet meals. Chefs know preparing buffet-style meals to perfection, that is catering for a large number of guests consistently well, is no easy task. Juma’s favorite recipe is lemon and herb-crusted chicken. When not in the kitchen cooking up a storm, he enjoys spending time with friends and family. This dedicated family man likes to help his wife at home and spend time with his three children. Juma particularly enjoys seeing the resident buffalo herd a.k.a. resident lawnmowers, pass through Rhino Lodge to graze.
Everyone at Selous Safari Company is fond of charismatic Emiel Mkwizu. Officially he is our Relief Manager, but unofficially he helps wherever there is a need. With a wealth of knowledge of daily operations at all our camps, Emile leads, teaches and coaches the camp teams, greets and briefs guests, inspects rooms and grounds, oversees maintenance jobs, deals with accounting issues in camp and ensures that policies and procedures are duly followed. A real people’s person, Emile loves to interact and host guests. The hardest part of his job is when there are difficult guests, but he is a great diplomat and ensures every guest is happy and well taken care of. He misses his family when he is traveling between camps, but makes up for that by taking them out for a picnic when he is home. He looks after his parents, loves to sing in church, reads novels, and enjoys farming. Emiel has been with us for over twenty years, making him an invaluable part of our family.
We are extremely proud of our team and believe in one big happy family. Without them SSC would not be the company it is today. We’d like to thank them for their commitment and support during the past twenty to thirty years.