Meet Your Guides: Mohamed Mbaruku

Written by Thomson Safaris

After every safari, we hear from guests that their guide was amazing, and that he “must be the best” guide we employ. At this point, we’ve heard this about every single guide running our trips in Tanzania!

We know that highly-skilled, friendly, attentive guides can make the difference between a good safari and an unforgettable one; that’s why we’re so honored to be able to work with so many amazing individuals, such as: 

Mohamed Mbaruku

Obviously guests can call you Mohamed, but we hear you have another name you sometimes go by.
Yes! Papa Wemba. [laughs] You can call me either one, I’ll answer to both.


You didn’t grow up around here, did you?
No, I’m from Tanga. It’s on the coast, just across the water from Pemba [an island near Zanzibar]. So I got to visit the beach a lot when I was younger!


Do you have a big family?
Big enough! My wife and I have four kids; the oldest is 25, and the youngest is just five years old. They keep us busy!


What’s your favorite thing about being a guide?
I’ve been working with Thomson guests for 26 years now, and my favorite thing has always been talking to new people. They teach me things about their lives, and I teach them things about mine. We learn from each other.

Mohammed with family safari guests

Mohamed with family safari guest

And where’s your favorite spot to take the guests?
Serengeti National Park, hands down. It’s so big, and you can go anywhere you want in the whole park, so it’s never crowded. I especially like looking for chui there [Swahili for “leopard”].


Is that the animal you most like to see when you’re out?
Yes, but I’ve seen so many, that at this point, I’d rather see more honey badgers. I’ve only seen them a few times in all the years I’ve been guiding, so it’s very exciting for me to spot one.


What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen on safari?
One time I saw an elephant walking by, and he…well, he pooped. [laughs] Then another elephant came up right behind him and ate it. I’d never seen anything like that before…and I hope I never do again!


What would you tell a traveler thinking of coming on safari?
That there’s so much to learn; come, see the wildebeest, see our beautiful national parks, and learn something new!


Mohamed has been a guide for a long time,
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