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Emmanuel (Promise) Shayo

Currently living in Tanzania's safari capital of Arusha, Emmanuel Shayo, known as "Promise," is originally from the  village of Marangu, located near the climbing base camp for Mount Kilimanjaro. He grew up in a family of nature lovers and credits his grandfather, a ranger with the anti-poaching unit in Tsavo National Park, as the reason he is a naturalist guide today. In his traditional home, the family slept on animal skins—typically from cow, goat or sheep, depending on what livestock was raised. Promise's grandfather had retired shortly before he was born, and to honor the diligent work he had done to protect the park's wildlife from poachers, he was rewarded with the skin of a male lion that was confiscated during his tenure. He gave that skin to his new grandson to sleep on. He remembers his grandmother telling him the story when he was a little boy, and from it grew a great love of both the grandfather he never met, and of the lions he sought to protect. From very early on, Promise wanted to follow in his grandfather's footsteps, conserving nature, which has pursued in his career as a naturalist guide. 

After secondary school, Promise went to Dar es Salaam to study tourism and guiding at the National College of Tourism, where he earned his  certification as a professional tour guide for Tanzania. After graduation, his first job was guiding from a camp in the Selous Game Reserve, now known as Nyerere National Park. Always intent on furthering his learning, he pursued additional training programs over several years, gaining expertise in leading walking safaris, rifle handling for safety in the bush, boat driving and camp management. Promise has also cultivated a love of photography, recording images of the animals, birds, trees and sunsets that enchant him on safari. Sounds, too, spark his imagination, and one of his favorite safari experiences is listening to the wild in the evening, as dusk moves toward night, the wind blowing softly, lions roaring in the distance and hyenas calling out to one another. 

In case you're wondering about Emmanuel/Promise's two names, it's common practice to bestow two upon a baby born into the Chagga tribe: one is the official name for a child's ID, while the tribal name reflects the special circumstances surrounding one's birth. In his case, "Promise" evolved from his mother's story. As the only girl born into a family of 14 children, she was fortunate to be sent to school, since it was not a priority at that time to educate girls. While she was in secondary school, she became pregnant and had to leave. When her baby boy was born, she named him Sikujua, which means "I didn't know." Others, however, gave a more hopeful nickname to her child, calling him "Ahadi Ya Mungu," meaning "He is God's promise." When Emmanuel started work in the tourism industry, the company that hired him already had five Emmanuels, and they were asked to choose different names to avoid confusion. That's when he decided to use Ahadi instead of Sikujua, claiming the meaning of "Promise" for his life and future. 

Promise has expanded his guiding expertise throughout East Africa and into the Okavango Delta. But he also yearns to travel to new places, one day hoping to see tigers in India, polar bears in the Arctic, the Galapagos Islands—the amazing creatures and places showcased on nature programs.

Upcoming Adventures with Emmanuel:
Tanzania’s Great Migration & Ngorongoro Crater
Pride of East Africa: Kenya & Tanzania
The Great Kenya Migration Safari
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