Mkuyu Guide School
Mkuyu Guide School can be found in Tungamalenga, the last village on the road towards Ruaha National Park. The school is locally run and attracts young people from all over Tanzania who aspire towards a career in the safari industry. With a minimum of resources the school has already seen lots of young students come to learn about the bush and tourism in Tanzania. Paul Tickner Safaris has worked with founder Leonard Fidelis since the school began in 2013.
A big thank you to Tandala, Kichaka, Kwihala, Mdonya, Jongomero, Ikuka, Hilltop, Wildlife Connection, WCS, STEP and all the other camps and NGOs who have taken on students from Mkuyu.
When local people start to see the benefit to their livelihoods of having a national park like Ruaha on their doorstep, the goals of conservation become a lot more achievable. Tungamalenga and neighbouring villages see a lot of crop raiding by elephants during the harvest season and local pastoralists also frequently lose their livestock to hyena and lion, understandably this situation creates animosity towards conservation areas. As a safari company, it is our responsibility to foster the development of local communities and help them live sustainably with wildlife.
In 2017, we sponsored Alex Kidunye to attend Mkuyu Guide School for 6 months. Alex is the youngest of 9 children, his father died when he was young and he couldn't finish secondary school because of financial constraints. We met Alex in his home village of Kitisi, the poorest in the area, and after telling him about the guide school; Alex wasted no time in visiting and talking to the students and staff there and quickly decided it was the place for him. Alex has a passion for the wildlife he has grown up around and a desire to learn, he also sees the potentials of tourists coming to see what the area has to offer.
Big thanks go to an anonymous donor who sponsored Vumilia Mgesi to attend Mkuyu Guide School. Vumilia is also from Kitisi village and recently graduated from the local secondary school and has been looking for an opportunity in tourism. Like a lot of Tanzanians, Vumilia's favourite animal is the giraffe (the national animal of Tanzania).
Dec 2017 update: Alex has started his first job at Jabali Ridge, here he is in his smart new uniform! Hongera sana!
In 2018 ourselves and some kind benefactors are sending more students to Mkuyu, pictured here with their field guides and binoculars (not enough of these!)
Ruben Yotham from Songea, Aneth Msemwa from Njombe, Saum Athuman from Songea, Donald Changaa from Mufindi. And James Halula, pictured with his father, who is a local Barabaig and wants to attend Mkuyu so he can teach his people more about wildlife and reduce lion killings.
If you would like to help; by sponsoring a student, or otherwise please contact us.
You can find updates from Mkuyu at our blog.
Click here for information about conservation projects working around Ruaha and Tanzania.