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Meet Benson Maina, our cheerful and passionate guide who has been with us since 2017. Born 32 years ago in Lolldaiga, Laikipia – he became passionate about wildlife as a boy after his relative invited him to Borana which was then a ranch during school holidays and he would enjoy the scenic drives with wildlife all around him.
“In high school during field trips sponsored by the Laikipia Wildlife Forum I enjoyed the day trips to Ol Pejeta which were very educational. After High School I worked briefly with the British Army near my home area and started buying books about wildlife and the environment.
“It is then that I realized that I wanted to be a tour guide. I pursued a certificate in tour guiding and then got a bronze certification by KPSGA. Due to lack of job opportunities I became a taxi driver in Nairobi,” says Benson.
He got a chance to work at the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and was deployed to their base at Ithumba, Tsavo. He was newlywed and had a young child and living far from his home was not ideal so when a three month job opening at Laragai materialized for a guide, he went for an interview and succeeded in getting the position, and from a 3 month contract he is now a full-time guide.
The first guests he guided were the sons of the owners and their friends and they enjoyed the trip. He trained himself as a mechanic and to date he services all the vehicles at Laragai.
“Every game drive at Laragai is different, the freedom that the wildlife have is amazing and there is no interference from the people around and it is a very exclusive experience – I witnessed a lion and cheetah clash recently and it was epic. The cheetah was not injured luckily as we have very few of them left.”
“I have witnessed a giraffe being taken down by 22 lions but sadly I didn’t have guests to enjoy the spectacle wit. At Borana we have one of the biggest prides of lion in Laikipia and they have become specialists at taking down big game like giraffe and buffalo. Last month the lions took down 4 buffalo,” says Benson.
Borana is one of the successful rhino sanctuaries in East Africa – from 22 translocated rhino a few years ago they now have over 50 with some crossing over from the neighboring Lewa conservancy. Security in the area has been stable due to the overall security of the conservancy, Benson explains.
“I am happy that the local Maasai community appreciate conservation and they are benefitting a lot from Borana. 90% of the jobs have been taken up by the community and education, health, women, water projects have been initiated,” concludes Benson.
Laragai House is available for exclusive use and is ideal for families or groups. Contact us via the following email and telephone number.
+254 (0) 712 579 999