Meet the Mara Camp Guides
At Offbeat Mara Camp all our guides are born and bred Maasai. While people from other tribes may be very good guides, we at Offbeat Mara believe that Maasai guides are the very best! All our guides spent their younger years looking after their family's herds of cattle, sheep and goats on the vast Maasai plains armed only with a rungu (small throwing stick). As such they have developed incredible bush knowledge and amazing eyesight - spotting the big cats from huge distances is their forte!
All our guides are members of the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association (KPSGA) and have taken exams setting the standards for Kenyan Guides.
Offbeat also strongly supports the Koyiaki Guiding School (KGS). This school was set up several years ago to encourage the local Maasai boys into developing their natural guiding skills. At Offbeat Mara we have 3 graduates from the school. We also encourage some of our best staff into guiding and have some 'home grown' guides.
All our guides are Silver rated guides.
Let us now introduce the guides individually.
Joseph Leposo Njapit
I was born in 1976 in Aitong, near to the Masai Mara National Reserve. After completing my education I started working as a waiter, where I also worked part time supervising the garden. I was fascinated by the garden and the many different flowers and plants and this inspired me to learn more about nature. I felt passionate about building on my knowledge of the natural world and in 2004 I was granted a two-year study leave so that I could pursue my passion for wildlife.
In 2005, I joined Koyiaki Guiding School for a one-year internship and comprehensive guiding course. In the school I acquired a driving license and gained first aid skills, but most importantly gained my Bronze Level guiding certificate and attained a credit. After my internship I joined Offbeat Mara Camp, and remain working here today. In November 2008 I sat for my Silver Level Guiding Certificate, which I passed on the first attempt.
My goal as a guide is to conserve and protect our environment and our natural resources, both within and outside the Mara, not just for ourselves, but for the benefit of future generations. It is for this reason that I have always aspired to become a guide.
David Yiampoi Njapit
I was born in 1984 in Endoinyo Erinka in the Masai Mara. I completed my Secondary school education in 2003. It has always been my dream career and my passion and enthusiasm for guiding ensured that I passed my KPSGA Bronze Level.
In 2006 I joined Koiyaki Guiding School to further my guiding studies. Along with guiding I was also trained in first aid and driving skills. This allowed me to pass with a 'distinction'. After a one-year internship at KGS I joined Offbeat Mara Camp in 2006 and took my Silver Level Guiding Certificate, passing on my first attempt in 2008. I am married to a Maasai lady and my family numbers 30. My passion and aim is to continue to expand my guiding knowledge and go on to pass my Gold Level guiding certificate. I want to build on my capacity to conserve our natural heritage without compromising our future generations.
In November 2010 I visited the UK with Piers – talking in many schools in England and Scotland and even going on the London Eye. I also spent ten days in California visiting schools and past guests
Kimani Kesue Kirokor
I am 35 years old. I was born at a place called Talek on the outskirts of the Masai Mara National Reserve. Unfortunately I was not given the opportunity to gain a school education, as there are no such facilities where I come from. However, as I have been in the Mara since my childhood, I have gained extensive experience of both the nature and behaviour of wild animals and this has now become my career as a spotter.
I have worked as a spotter since 1997 and I have worked with hundreds of clients and am proud to have given them the opportunity of seeing amazing wildlife.
Josphat Ole Rinka
I was born in 1984 in Naroousara in the district of Narok, which lies to the east of the Masai Mara National Reserve. I was born into a traditional Maasai family and as a child tended young calves. I completed my education in 2001. Whilst I was at secondary school I became the chairman of a wildlife club and developed a great passion for wildlife conservation.
My first job was as a room steward at a lodge in the Mara. In 2005 I joined Offbeat Mara Camp as head room steward. During this time I became very eager to learn about guiding and with the help of Piers and the other guides in the camp I passed my Bronze Level Guiding Certificate in 2007. I now work as a guide and am delighted to have achieved this major goal in my life. In 2012 I became a Silver guide – now we are all silver guides at the camp.
I was born in 1968 in the town of Talek. Unfortunately, like Kimani, education was not possible where I grew up. I instead started working in 1986 at a camp in Mara Rienda starting off as an Askari, in charge of security before training as a spotter. Wildlife and Nature have always been very important to me and I have always been passionate about the conservation of animals, especially ones native to the Mara. I joined the Offbeat family in 2000 as a spotter and have been working here ever since.
Levi was educated at Olposimuru School in Narok and finished there in 2006. Whilst at school Levi became interested in the flora and fauna in the Masai Mara and was voted in as chairman of the Four K club. This position allowed him to develop both his knowledge of wildlife and his ability to communicate that knowledge eloquently. His passion for wildlife led him to enroll at Koiyiaki Guiding School which he graduated from in 2012.
Before joining Offbeat Mara full time, Levi did an internship for three months with Joseph Njapit showing him the ropes. Levi says he looks up to Joseph and wants to emulate him by also passing his silver guiding qualification first time round!>
Levi has a big passion for birds and says he is looking forward to sharing his knowledge about the extraordinary variety of birds (over 400 species) found in the Mara with guests.