My Kenya – Q&A with Peter Ewasa, guide at Borana
How long have you been a guide?
I have only ever been a guide at Borana Lodge. I have been guiding clients here for six years.
When did you know you wanted to become a guide?
I grew up in a very poor village in Lake Turkana and once I finished high school I knew my mum wouldn’t be able to afford to send me to college. My uncle, George, worked at the stables at Borana so I went to visit and asked for a job so I could try and save money for the college fees.
I ended up staying with Rose and Tony Dyer and working in their garden. They asked me how they could help and I explained my passion to be a guide. They gave me books to study – Rose was an expert on botany and birds, while Tony focused on zoology. In 2013 they taught me to drive a 4×4 before I attended driving school in Nanyuki. When I returned, I joined the team at Laragai House (private house on Borana) to start my training. In 2015 I did my Kenyan Professional Safari Guide Association bronze and this year I completed my silver award. I am aiming to do my gold in 2022.
How was your first wildlife drive with clients?
I remember the exact day, the 23rd December 2013. I took clients out on a wildlife drive by myself for the first time. It was the opportunity I had been waiting for.
What’s the best bit about your job?
I love going on wildlife drives. We always see something new and I enjoy teaching my guests about animals they may have not seen before. I also like learning something new, I do it with passion.
What is your favourite animal?
The elephant. They are more human-like, they help each other and I find it heart warming to see how they grieve for their family members when they die.
What is your favourite spot on Borana?
I like the eastern side which is the best area to see leopard. But for a sundowner, Airstrip Hill where the view is great and during the dry season we often see many animals.
Do you have a family?
Yes, I met my wife here at the lodge. She was doing a three month internship. We have a son together so I love going home to them during my time off.
Do you think he will follow in his father’s footsteps?
He is only four at the moment, but he loves nature. It will all depend on his dream and what he wants to achieve.
What is next?
In the next 10 years the dream would be to achieve my gold award. Maybe one day I will be an independent guide and take clients on private safaris in Kenya with my own vehicle.
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I worked at Lerai camp… Now Lewa Safari Camp as a guide. Every morning when I was not on duty, I would drive to Rose and Tony Dyer’s home to collect milk, cream and oranges. Over the period, friendship developed, and both Rose and I would spend good time birding around their home. That formed a critical foundation for my birding passion. Great article. It’s my birding knowledge that substantially helped me pass my Kenya Professional Safari Guide Gold,…making it one of the only 26 Kenyan guides with Gold accreditation. Borana is a great place!!