About the Chada Katavi guides in Tanzania
Well, I'm sitting here at the wonderful Chada Katavi Tented Camp in Katavi National Park in front of the camp fire with Serena Mason, Chada Katavi's chief interior designer, as well as Chada's senior guides Mohammed, Anafi, & Samuel. We're soon to have dinner, but before we do I wanted to get to know the faces behind the camp, and get a real understanding of what the senior guides and staff do at and around the camp on a daily basis.
One issue of particular interest was regarding the camps high/low season and what actually happens to the staff during the wet season. During the wet season, the entire month of March to the beginning of June, Chada Katavi closes its doors for business. As a result, most of the staff are posted to one of its sister camps/lodges, located in such areas such as the Serengeti National Park, Mahale Mountains National Park and Selous Game Reserve. This way, the staff can provide the much needed help to the other camps/lodges, as well as earn the important money for their families.
Also during the close season, and on an annual basis, the staff are enjoy training. This is a great opportunity to refresh their knowledge and to continue to build their skill set. The staff at Chada Katavi as well as its sister camps and lodges pride themselves on having some of the most experienced and knowledgeable guides and staff in East Africa. The senior guides, chefs, and general staff enjoy their annual training in different parts of the country and the location of their training changes every year, but it is generally located in one of the protected areas within Tanzania, i.e. Serengeti National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, Tarangire National Park, Selous Game Reserve, etc.
This down period is also an opportunity for all staff members to visit their friends and families. A vast percentage of the staff are originally from Arusha, Karatu and the surroundings areas. Many of the staff might not get to see their loved ones for 2 to 3 months in the high season, so this is a great opportunity to spend time with them even if it means travelling much of the country to do so. Also, during this period a number of the staff checkup on their own small businesses and help out the workers that they employ and/or they travel back to and help out on their family farm/plantation, thus bringing in important money during the off season.