Meet Abdul Karim - Head Guide at Sanctuary Olonana
Abdul leads a team of six dedicated guides in the Masai Mara. After working as a naturalist for many years he joined Sanctuary Olonana seven years ago.
What is your most memorable game drive?
It was when I saw a female hippo saving a drowning baby wildebeest at a river crossing during the migration of 2010. Memorable!
The herds of thousands of migrating wildebeest in the Mara had started moving back into Tanzania and our guests had been treated to some large river crossings. Recent rains in the Masai Mara had made it more difficult for the animals and the crossings were quite dramatic.
One unforgettable incident was where a mother wildebeest and her calf struggled across the river. With the strong current the mother got separated from her calf and watched helplessly as her baby was swept away. A female hippo was watching nearby, and to everyone's amazement, she came to the calf's rescue and pushed it gently to the river bank. The young gnu was reunited with its mother, who was waiting anxiously at the bank. Maternal love can be so strong it even surpasses species boundaries!"
This touching story was featured in media across the world including The Metro newspaper in the UK, showing that Olonana Camp is perfectly located to catch the drama of the migration... and what makes Africa such an incredibly exciting destination!
Abdul in The Metro
What made you want to be a guide?
My father was working with the wildlife services and from an early age he started taking me out with him on safari. I loved nature from a tender age; I decided to have a life sharing my knowledge with people around me.
Safari means journey Swahili
What makes a good game tracker?
A good game tracker has to have a passion to deliver and also bear in mind that safety is paramount.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
My job is fun throughout! I love it when I facilitate a wild and cultural experiences for our clients.
Masai village visit
What three items do you always pack for a safari?
Actually I pack more than ten items. A good pair of binoculars, books for checking sightings, drinks for rehydrating and refreshing. Also the vehicle has to be in tiptop condition.
What is your favourite animal and why?
Elephants are my favourite. They are objective in their life and very sure of themselves.
What is your favourite season?
Guiding in the Masai Mara is fun and has different seasons. Rainy seasons are fun for birders and flowering blossoms with many butterflies and plenty of other beautiful insects. After the rains we have the great migration which is very dramatic.