MEET YOUR GUIDE: RAPHAEL, FROM A MORAN TO A TOUR GUIDE
Date published: 16/02/2018
Date published: 16/02/2018
From a Moran, to a Tour Guide. Led by his love for wildlife, Raphael Rotiken ditched Moranism and became a Tour Guide with Hemingways Ol Seki Mara Camp. Dressed in his traditional regalia, with his profound knowledge of wildlife and his impressive driving skills, Raphael embarks on his guiding sessions with a big smile. We love him and our guests love him.
Find out more about this passionate tour guide.
Q: Who is Raphael?
I am a young Maasai warrior, which I have converted my traditional way of life of killing lions and other activities to become a conservationist of both flora and fauna, which doesn’t mean completely changing someone’s life. I am being driven with the passion of being a guide and conserving what we have now for our future generation.
Q: Do you have a Nickname?
Yes i do. Our guests started calling me Raffy and it stuck, plus I like it.
Q: When did you become a guide and what made you choose this career path?
I became a guide in 2011 when I was 20 years old, as a professional guide. However, i started practicing it when I was in high school by participating in wildlife clubs and naturalist.
Q: What are some of the challenges you have faced during your job as a guide?
The challenges that i have been going through as a guide specifically within the Mara are many especially from human-wildlife conflict, to loss of habitat and degradation for some animals and this means a lot in changing a whole cycle of life in any given ecosystem in the whole world. The locals have been sharing the same piece of land with wild animals and that has resulted to both loss of wildlife and human life. Recently we had an incident of locals poisoning lions as a result of the lions killing cows and as a result, many animals died including hyenas, jackals and thousands of vultures.
Q: What has been your experience so far as a guide at Ol Seki Hemingways?
My experience so far has been great. I love my job. Working here makes me see that there is hope for our wildlife. For instance, currently there’s an increase in the numbers of elephants compared to 15 to 20 years ago. Thus, more conservation areas would be established.
Q: What are some of the things that you must carry during your guide sessions?
The car which is a land cruiser is my office. I have to carry with me essential equipments whenever am out on drives like wheel spanner, Jack binoculars and a first aid kit.
Q: If you were not a tour guide, who would you be?
If I was never a tour guide, I could have been a ranger just to participate in a way to preserve the nature.
Q: If you were an animal, which one would you be?
A LEOPARD!! These animals are quite interesting once you learn about them. Leopards live entirely on their own. And since they can hunt and kill prey up to three times their size, they do not need to live in groups to be able to feed themselves regularly. They are self-sufficient. Leopards also do not stay in one place for long. They rarely stay in one area of their home territory for more than a few days at a time.
Q: What would you like to tell potential clients to Hemingways Ol Seki?
Ol Seki Hemingways is a great place to stay during a safari. It is beautiful, luxurious and strategically located in Naboisho Conservancy, where you will experience the real meaning of wildlife. Apart from Game drives, we also offer other interesting activities including Guided Walks, Community Visits, Balloon and Horseback Safaris among others.
Parting shot: Unless we practice conservation, those who come after us will have to pay the price of misery, degradation and failure for the progress and prosperity of our day.
What's in Watamu: Whales and snakes, ocean and forest, creeks and sultanates and endless beautiful days.