As the rains in northern Tanzania began tapering off and vibrant life in the bush had reached an ultimate fervor before the dry season kicked in, it was the opportune time for guide training. I had always cherished the days spent in the bush in a simple camp, just a duffel of clothes, a flashlight, my binoculars, and a trunk full of learning resources where the focus is on learning and discovery rather than delivering an experience to guests. However, this year’s guide training was a little different, and instead of me solely providing training, the development of my own team of guides and guide interns was now my long-term responsibility. The abundance and diversity of what we call “charismatic wildlife” are incredible in this country, especially in northern Tanzania. It is all too easy for guides to hide behind the wow factor. You don’t have to watch many David Attenborough documentaries to learn that nature is full of wonder. There are weird and crazy things going on – let alone on the savannahs of East Africa; therefore, it was also my goal to get the guides and interns intimate with the smaller things and ultimately walk safely in the bush. Most safari veterans will conclude that walking in the bush is the ultimate way to get intimate with the wilderness, and with Entara’s focus on experiences, it is natural that we would prioritise walking.
Firearm safety training
Practicing safe handling of weapons
Exploring the workings of a diesel engine
Finding elephants on a morning walk - Ethan Kinsey
Tracking elephants - Ethan Kinsey
Developing muscle memory - Ethan Kinsey
Our incredible guide team

We began the training season with some self-guided learning and preparation for the Global Big Birding day. First, the guides and interns headed out on early morning jaunts to different habitats, recording the bird species and developing their own lists. Next, a day was spent exploring the workings of a diesel engine and drive-train together with a mechanic. Next up, the interns and guides attended Wilderness First Aid courses gaining valuable skills & certification in dealing with potential medical problems.


From there, we headed to Randilen WMA (where our new Olkeri camp will be opening in a few weeks), where we set up a simple base camp and began an intense introduction to firearms safety and handling and a walking safety course. Then, rising with the dawn chorus of birds, we headed out on diversity walks, birding, tracking, and interpreting. Inevitably, as is the norm in Randilen, no sooner had we left the safety of camp than we would come across a buffalo or elephant sign leading us into the invaluable lessons on observation, approach, and, if necessary, evasion.


Returning to camp for a late breakfast, we would spend the rest of the day reviewing theory and practicing safe handling of appropriate rifles for walking. Finally, as is tradition on safari, our days would end around the campfire discussing the day’s events, watching the milky way and the skies constellations move across the sky.

Shooting Practice - Hagai Zvulun
Team work - Ethan Kinsey
Guide team - Marko Potot
Appreciating the little beauties in the bush - James Nassary
A nesting Barbet found on a walk - James Nassary
Tracking elephants on a morning walk - Ethan Kinsey
Elephant catching our scent - Rufina WIlliam
Guides on the move - Marko Potot
Our classroom in the bush - Ethan Kinsey
Campfiire discussions - Ethan Kinsey
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