We were one of the first safari operators in Tanzania to insist that our guides be Tanzanian because it simply didn't make any sense to explore the Serengeti with European or South African guides.
Best decision we ever made! In addition to superior wildlife spotting skills, this team of guides offers local insight that can’t be found in guide books.
Our senior naturalist guides are all Tanzanian, born and raised, and have a minimum of 10 years experience in the field.
More than leaders, spotters, and wildlife experts, they are diplomats - true ambassadors for Tanzania. They can't wait to share their country's treasures with you.
Meet some of our Head Guides in the videos below!
Meet more of our remarkable leaders:
Charles has been a Thomson guide for more than 20 years. His prior experience as a senior ranger in northern and southern parks makes him an excellent travel partner. Travelers appreciate his enthusiasm for African wildlife and his stellar tracking skills.
Kileo, as his travelers call him, has worked as a guide in Tanzania for more than 30 years. His extensive experience makes guests feel secure deep in the African wilderness. The moment you meet him, you know you’re in good hands.
Leonard has worked in various roles at Thomson for 14 years. He is passionate about Tanzania’s history and its people, and has a keen eye for spotting elusive wildlife. Leonard believes that no matter how much you know, there’s always more to learn. His charm and wit capture travelers right from the start.
Freddie’s easygoing nature, extensive knowledge, and great sense of humor make him an excellent travel partner. He’s happy to answer any questions—so don’t be afraid to tell him what’s on your mind.
Harrison worked as a Thomson mechanic for years before becoming one of our expert guides. He has been a guide now for 13 years. His willingness to teach and enthusiasm for Tanzania enriches our travelers’ safaris from start to finish.
Hashim has worked with Thomson in various positions since 1998. His outgoing personality makes travelers feel comfortable right from the start. He loves Tanzanian geology, botany, and wildlife, and he’s happy to share this love with everyone.
James was born and raised in Arusha and has been a part of the Thomson team in various roles for more than 10 years. His uncle was a safari guide, which inspired James to learn about local wildlife and improve his English at a young age. He loves exploring the bush with travelers, especially on foot.
Johnny Rio (as his travelers call him) was born and raised in the village of Sakila, located on the outskirts of Arusha. Growing up on a farm, he began learning about local wildlife at a young age. His patience and fun-loving personality make him a big hit with kids and adults. On some safaris, travelers share a meal with John’s family
Kumbi has been a part of the Thomson team—first as a mechanic, then as a guide—for about 25 years. His bright smile and love for Tanzania are contagious. He’s enthusiastic about sharing his homeland with travelers.
Mohamed has been a part of the Thomson team in various roles for 25 years. His fun sense of humor and substantial knowledge on Tanzania are the reasons both kids and adults love traveling with him. He’s quick to tell a joke or crack a sneaky grin.
Mustapha became a part of the Thomson team in 2005. His laidback, fun-loving personality makes traveling with him a delight. He loves talking to travelers and sharing his knowledge on his country’s history and wildlife.
Ojukwu, born and raised in Arusha, descends from the Maasai tribe. He is knowledgeable about the oral history of the Maasai people and delights in sharing his knowledge with travelers. His gregarious nature makes him a fun travel partner. And, he’s easy to pick out of a crowd—he’s so tall!
Contract Assistant/Head Guide/Mentor
Peter was born in Mwanza, located on the shores of Lake Victoria, and has been a part of the Thomson team for more than five years. He specializes in local flora and fauna and delights in sharing his knowledge with travelers.
Phanuel was born in Arusha to the Maasai tribe and has worked in various roles at Thomson for 20 years. He loves having fun on safaris and talking about local history and culture. He has a gentle nature and keen sensitivity toward travelers. He looks forward to making new friends with each departure.
Robert has been a part of the Thomson team since 1998—first as an Assistant Guide, and then as a Head Guide. He’s been in the travel industry for years, making him a seasoned traveler and exceptional leader. And his laugh is unforgettable.
Samson joined the Thomson team in 1990, where he worked as a camp assistant, driver, and guide. Samson offers a wealth of information to travelers on everything from wildlife to Tanzanian cultures. He believes every safari is a grand adventure and an opportunity to observe the evolving behavior of wildlife. Ask him to speak the African “click” language!
Willie joined the Thomson team in 1980 as one of our first employees, and he leads many of our affinity trips. He offers an impressive breadth of knowledge on Tanzania and unparalleled experience exploring the bush. Travelers love his enthusiasm for Africa and consider him a teacher, leader, and friend.
Abu has been a part of the Thomson team for 20 years. He began as a cook and worked his way up to Head Guide. He has participated in many leadership courses, but it’s his sense of humor and dedication to travelers that make him a big hit, especially with families.
Casmir grew up in Arusha, where his passion for African wildlife began on visits to national parks with his father. He has worked in the travel industry for 10 years and offers an extensive knowledge of the bush. He enjoys sharing his love of Tanzanian people and cultures with travelers.