Bringing with him years of experience in the safari tourism industry, Moses is a humble man brimming with wisdom and knowledge of his craft and of the natural world. Having met Leonard in their early days as safari guides, Moses offers a complimentary style of teaching at Mkuyu that broadens the range of perspectives and pool of experience that the students have to draw from.
Caring for the natural world is important to Moses. At any time, he will passionately engage you in discussion and debate about the moral and ethical implications of human worlds living and sharing space with non-human worlds. It is something that he feels strongly about, and he is constantly reminding Mkuyu students of their responsibilities as educators and ambassadors for future generations.
While Moses enjoys getting to know individual plant and animal species, he tends to focus more on ecosystems and connected communities. For every species, he is always asking "what is your role in how things work?"
LEONARD 'Bubaa' / 'Baba Bufalo'
The founder and life-blood of Mkuyu Guiding School, Leonard is an inspiring person to know. His broad smile and upbeat attitude is motivating, making him a wonderful teacher and leader. Students fondly refer to him as either 'Bubaa', a colloquial Swahili word meaning 'faster' because of his unwavering energy and passion, or as 'Baba Buffalo' in reference to his role as father or Mkuyu and his buffalo-like habit of drinking large quantities of water!
Leonard began the Mkuyu journey from humble roots as a safari guide. He became intimately acquainted with Tanzanian wildlife and realised the importance of the animals and ecosystems. From there, he began training guides at tourism colleges before finally planting the seeds of Mkuyu Guiding School.
Leonard is a keen birder, it is difficult to find a bird call that he doesn't know by heart! At every turn in the bush, his skills and knowledge are immediately and astonishingly apparent. Despite this, he remains a humble soul and is always open to new learning and experiences for himself and his students.
Even after class has finished, you can guarantee that you will find Morris either looking through a book or examining an insect, plant, or bird somewhere in the surrounding bush. He is a hard-working teacher who draws inspiration from his own interest in the bush and the life it contains. If there is something Morris doesn't already know, he will make it his mission to find out!
When Morris isn't teaching at Mkuyu, he is usually trekking around Tanzania! Most recently, Morris was a trek guide for Raleigh International where he had the opportunity to put his skills as a guide into full gear! During the trek, Morris led volunteers from all over the world through various sites around Tanzania.
Morris is a great contributor to Mkuyu. The students regularly draw from his guiding experience and look up to him as an inspiration for their own future achievements.
SARA 'Mama Simba'
Sara is a volunteer assistant at Mkuyu, where she periodically teaches environmental philosophy, ethics, and English language. She is currently undertaking a collaborative research thesis with Mkuyu Guiding School involving Tanzanian environmentalism and more-than-human geographies at Mkuyu.
Sara's background is in environmental science and management. In 2013, she conducted a 12 month study of population relationships between freshwater invertebrates, platypuses, water rats, and water birds in mining, national park and Aboriginal landscapes. She has since been involved in studies of Australian birds and bats, conflict assessment with wombats and flying foxes, and elephant movements and conflict mitigation in Zambia. Her current work is with Australian & African indigenous knowledge systems within more-than-human geography.
Currently, Sara works as a university tutor in Sydney, and a counsellor for students from refugee, autistic and mental health backgrounds.
Usually surrounded by children, Innocent surely lives up to his name! He glows with energy and enthusiasm, especially when it comes to nature and animals, and is a young man deeply in-tune and connected to the bush. There is no end to his passion for the world around him.
Among some of the first students to be trained at Mkuyu, Innocent immediately resonated with the values and goals that Leonard expressed and decided to stay on at the school as a teacher. His belief in what Mkuyu stands for and hopes to achieve is unwavering.
Like his own teacher, Innocent believes strongly in continuing to provide guidance and support to students beyond Mkuyu and into their employment, ensuring higher rates of long-term success. To Innocent, Mkuyu is a place that gives hope to young people, who may not have had hope before, and this is something that is both important and special to him.