One of Kenya’s most distinguished safari guides, Paul was born on the northern outskirts of the Maasai Mara game reserve. He grew up herding cattle on the savannas, where he grew to know the bush and its flora and fauna intimately. Yet his childhood passion was aimed at becoming a safari guide one day, and during this period, he developed the necessary knowledge and skills for that endeavor, such as tracking, recognizing spoor, and identifying animal behavior and alarm calls.
Paul has a particular interest in leopards and has worked with the BBC Natural History film unit since 2006 as a specialist leopard tracker and consultant for the BBC’s Big Cat Week and Big Cat Live programs. He also took part in shooting the BBC documentary “The Truth About Lions” in 2009, as well as helping Disney Nature during the filming of African Cats in 2009-10.
Paul also had a keen eye for studying birds as a child, a pursuit he has nurtured ever since. He is a specialist East African birder and currently conducts research into vultures in the Maasai Mara in conjunction with the National Museum of Kenya’s Department of Ornithology and the Peregrine Fund. He is a major activist in the arena of vulture conservation.
Paul has worked as a guide in the wilderness areas of Kenya and northern Tanzania for some 20 years and is one of just 20 Gold Level (highest ranking) guides in Kenya. He helped set up the first training school for safari guides in the Serengeti, has been involved with training guides in Rwanda, and is a director of the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association (KPSGA). Among all these commitments, he still finds time for his first love: guiding guests through the natural wonders of East Africa.
Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:
"Can't say enough great things about Paul! He was a great guide and went out of his way to make sure everyone was well taken care of and felt important and values. He did a great job sharing photo tip as well. You can tell he loves what he does. He shared many fun stories and had a great amount of knowledge. He never seemed stressed or harried although I'm sure he had much to take care of behind the scenes. He worked extremely hard to make sure that some of the group was given easier treks after one person had to miss 2 treks due to illness. He also offered to switch rooms with my travel companion and myself after we were given a room with no door to the bathroom (was a handicapped room). He made sure the group was cohesive. I'd love to travel with Paul again sometime in the future. Keep him!!"
"Paul was very tuned-in to how each traveler was feeling and took great measures to ensure each was enjoying the experience to the max of their capabilities. He was warm, friendly, knowledgeable, and a great leader to be around. Although he made it look easy, I know there must have been loads of behind the scenes effort on his part. He made this adventure a truly memorable experience for me...and he did a GREAT job in negotiating easy treks for my group!!"
"We absolutely had a wonderful trip due to Paul. His knowledge of the area helped plus he gave amazing photo tips for all levels of photographers. We could not have asked for a better leader."
L. De Boer & R. Muzyka
"Paul is an exceptional leader! He is very knowledgeable, can spot wildlife from a great distance, helps you understand the challenges these animals (and the various ecosystems) are facing as well as can explain cultural issues. In addition, he is a great photography leader because he understands how to position the vehicle, intuitively understands what kind of photo you are going for and he helps you achieve amazing photography moments. We are planning to come back to Tanzania specifically because of the fabulous time we had with Paul. We will be requesting Paul for our next private trip!"
"Wow! Paul was so professional and incredibly knowledgeable. He knew so much about the animals and birdlife. He was a great spotter. He went out of his way to give attention to every traveler's needs and their comforts. We learned SO much this trip, and I applaud Paul's knowledge as well as his ability to Juggle all our needs. Bravo!"
"Paul Kirui was outstanding. His passion, pride and joy for his country and the animals combined with his professionalism, helpfullness, and his outstanding knowledge was contagious. His humor and lyrical explanations are so much a unique part of him; it was a pleasure to just listen to him!"