As the setting for the spectacular Great Wildebeest Migration and a park that’s ideal for sightings of The Big Five, the Maasai Mara is known across the world for the rich safari experience it offers. In a remote corner of the park, Sala’s Camp sits on the peaceful banks of the Sand River. The camp’s head guide, Moses Kaleku, speaks to us about the Maasai and his experience of growing up and guiding there.
It was during his childhood on the Mara that Moses first found the passion that marked out his life as a guide teaching visitors about the land and its game. “I’ve grown up with these animals since my childhood,” he explains, “and through several adventurous occasions, I found a growing passion to learn more and get closer to them.”
His school years were also informative in the growing appreciation for his homeland. “When I went to school I learnt about the importance that they [the wild animals] play, both in the ecosystem and the benefit we get while protecting them. I then decided to go to guiding school.”
Moses has now been a safari guide since 2008, and has worked his way up to being the head guide at Sala’s Camp, endeavouring to make each individual guest’s safari special to them, while also teaching them about the Maasai.
“As a guide I consider myself a teacher, leader and ambassador to the camp, the Maasai and to Kenya.”
“As a guide I consider myself a teacher, leader and ambassador to the camp, the Maasai and to Kenya. We track the animals to give our guests the best possible safari experience. I grew up in the Mara, so it’s something I’ve been doing since I was a young boy.”
Having spent his life on the Mara, Moses describes what makes the national park, and Sala’s Camp, unique. “The Mara is generous, and special, for The Big Five and cats, and the migration is the eight wonder of the world. The culture is unique and so are the people of the land. Sala’s Camp is a really good place for lions, leopards and the few black rhino that can be found in the Maasai Mara.”
Alongside his role as a guide, Moses doesn’t forget the importance of protecting the park for the future generations. “As a guide I play a big role in protecting the environment, wildlife and ecosystem in general, by not doing activities that may change or alter the natural behavior and by not leaving anything behind that would damage the environment.”
“I play a big role in protecting the environment, wildlife and ecosystem.”
“I also work very closely with the Mara Cheetah Project and Mara Lion Project to take pictures and record sightings of all the big cats to help them with their conservation.” Moses has even helped the individual wild animals in times of need. “My most memorable day was when we found a starving lion cub that had been separated from its pride, fed it milk and rescued it.”
When asked what guests should expect from their safari, Moses explains: “They get a wonderful memorable experience. The Maasai Mara has always been my home, so I can show them the animals, the ecosystem and the culture. At Sala’s Camp guests can learn about and appreciate the amazing animals and ecosystem that the Mara has, and go home with an amazing sense of wonder and knowledge of the natural world.”
Moses’ final piece of advice for getting the most out of a safari experience is to just relax and let nature do the rest.