Through the eyes of William Tinka

Q: Your story is especially interesting – from dishwasher to guide, and long days spent self-teaching about nature. What triggered your passion for nature and for the guiding profession?
A. My love for nature and being from this wildlife-rich region, it was my passion to be articulate and to be able to explain the protection and conservation measures to my fellow Maasai community and guest.

Q. What is the most exciting / memorable story / sighting?
A. A leopard trying to steal a kill from a cheetah mother with two cubs.

Q. Why do you love Kenya?
A. It’s my home country, and its host to some of the amazing diversity of African original cultures.

Q. What’s the strangest or funniest thing you have ever been asked?
A. One guest once asked me if zebra meat is striped?!

Q. What makes Saruni different?
A. It is practicing modern conservation with a lot of benefit to the local people safeguarding the future of the Maasai conservancies (Lemek and Mara North).

Q. What is your favorite animal species in the Mara and why?
A. Cheetah, being the fastest land mammal.

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. With education it’s easy, without it, it’s very difficult. Modern life has become easier to balance because of modern communication through mobile phone and internet, I am able to have meetings with my wives everyday on matters concerning family issues and general community work whenever I am needed.

Q. A lot of people don’t know that the Maasai never hunted wild animals. Can you explain why?
A. It was a covenant with our God (Enkai) that the Maasai are the protectors of wild animals, hence the abundance in the Maasai lands to date. Instead we were given cows.