In high school I already knew that I wanted to be a safari or wildlife guide. I grew up in the remote bush, and loved it. When we were in town (Nairobi) I would long for the bush.
As I grew up, I started to have a little more freedom to go visiting the wilds of Kenya on my own, with friends, or to do some organized tours. Many of these experiences were treasured experiences.
One such tour sticks out in my mind. My best friend at school was Chuck. Chuck and I shared two great passions, sport and the bush. My parents lent us their Land Rover for a few days while they were in town. Chuck and I set off for Tsavo National Park.
We drove out of Nairobi on the Mombasa road. That road was insane. The poor design of the road meant that the trucks heading from Mombasa Squeezed the hot tarmac into a molded shape. Mombasa is a very important port, not only for Kenya, but also several land-locked countries in the interior, such as Uganda. It was a crazy road, and you had to keep your wits about you.
Once in the park we drove to the self-catering place we were staying. It was such fun. We had buffaloes outside almost constantly, in huge herds.
Each morning we were there, we would head out early. We did our best to stay away from the crowds and get off the beaten track.
We had amazing wildlife sightings, took photos and talked way into the night, while listening to lions in the bush. We got amazing views of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Those experiences have had a big influence on how I operate tours today. More personal, more about creating the emotional attachment to the experience of the African Bush.