Through the eyes of Joshua Mesengas

Q. Your story is especially interesting – from Waiter, and long days spent self-teaching about nature. What triggered your passion for nature and for the guiding profession?
A. Since a young age, growing up in the Masai Mara and living every day so close to the wildlife around me, I have always been intrigued by nature and felt a deep connection to the animals that I share this beautiful land with. This inspired me to learn more about my environment, giving me the opportunity to share my passion with others through guiding.

Q. What is the most exciting or memorable story/sighting?
A. The first time I saw a leopard kill an impala and drag it up the tree. I was amazed by its strength and agility, as I never thought he would be able to get it up the acacia, as the leopard was larger than the impala. 

Q. Why do you love Kenya?
A. Kenya is incredibly beautiful, with its stunning landscapes, variety of wildlife and rich cultural diversity.

Q. What’s the strangest or funniest thing you have ever been asked?
A. I have so many, but I think the one that stands out the most, is when a guest asked me if warthogs were small rhinos that were still growing.

Q. What makes Saruni different?
A. For me, it is their commitment and support of the community and involving guests so they feel immersed in the area they are visiting, so when they leave they have really experienced this place.

Q. What is your favorite animal species in the Mara and why?
A. How can I choose just one! But if I have to then I would say the cheetah, because it’s the fastest animal in the world and when it runs, it has such power and beauty.

Q. What does it mean to be a Maasai in today’s modern world? How do you balance traditional way of life and modern way of life?
A. It is important to respect the old ways but embrace the new. I am proud of my heritage and feel that finding a balance between the two is important.

Q. A lot of people don’t know that the Maasai never hunted wild animals. Can you explain why?
A. The reason why the Maasai never hunted wild animals is because they don’t believe in eating their meat, only ruminant animals.  All our food needs are taken care of through our cattle. We eat the meat, drink the milk daily, and drink the blood on occasion. Bulls, goats, and lambs are killed for meat only on special occasions and for ceremonies. The exception being the lion, a symbolic animal for us, which we killed as it is part of our rite of passage ceremony but this tradition no longer takes place.