Malaki Samwell Saningo
I was born loving wildlife and all the wonder of birds, plants and the landscape of Tanzania. My life first began in the northern region of Tanzania Ioliondo area where the amazing Ngorongoro Conservation Area lies. Both my parents, also Maasai, were also from Ioliondo. Coming from a pastoralist tribe, I was taught from an early age valuable Maasai practices of tending and herding our livestock that consisted of goats and calves. This meant, I spent most of my days learning about wildlife in the Ngorongoro and Serengeti-including the “Big 5” and their behaviors, birds, reptiles, insects, plants, weather, water sources.
My favorite uncle taught me bush skills that enabled me to survive in these harsh environments. I learned to track animals, their migration routes and feeding habits, the ecology of the land and how to recognize important celestial navigation points. My love for this natural world expanded to the point of wanting a more formal education in order to support myself and eventually a family.
I left the village at 21 yrs and travelled to Arusha and met a friend who helped me land a job as a porter on Kilimanjaro. No kidding, this was tough! With no weight limits for porters at that time, it was not unusual to carry loads of 70 lbs or more. I did this for 5 years. But my dream for more education along with the idea I could support a family in the future as a wildlife guide spurred me on.