Nelson grew up in a small village in Maasai Mara, herding the family’s livestock. On the long days in the bush he became intimately familiar with the wild creatures whose environment he shared. He learned their sounds and behaviors until they became as known to him as his own family, sparking an interest that was to become a passion for wildlife.
In spite of a late start at school, Nelson excelled at academics and rose to the top, even becoming the school captain in high school, where he put his natural leadership qualities to use. Extracurricular interests included traditional Maasai chanting and volleyball, but it was his participation in clubs such as Friends of Conservation and the Wildlife Club that were instrumental in further developing his passion for wildlife and an ambition to conserve it.
After graduating from high school Nelson worked for the Ministry of Health and as a registration clerk, but wildlife and nature were like a siren call, so when the opportunity came in 2008 to attend the prestigious Koiyaki Guiding School (now the Wildlife Tourism College) he was eager to answer that call.
Earning his Bronze Level certification from the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association upon graduation, he was immediately selected by the Kicheche camps to work as one their guides. Kicheche prides itself on the excellence of their guides, and Nelson fit right in. He earned his Silver Level certification in 2013, putting him in the top 2% of guides in Kenya. At Kicheche he fine tuned his guiding skills, becoming a favorite of many of the guests who returned and requested that they be guided by him again. During his tenure there he developed exceptional photography skills while guiding for many photographers, some well-known wildlife photographers like Greg du Toit, Andy Harris, and Paul Goldstein, but also many enthusiastic amateurs who Nelson helped to get great photos through his knowledge and instincts about wildlife behavior and positioning for the best light. Perhaps his best-known guest has been Sir Richard Branson. Even if photography is not your reason for coming on safari, Nelson’s skill will result in the best wildlife viewing on the savanna, not to mention his knowledge of Maasai culture. His knowledge of the birds of Kenya, both by sight and sound, is extraordinary, so if birds are your passion, Nelson is your man.
After 13 years with Kicheche, in 2022 Nelson knew it was time to expand his horizons and bid a fond goodbye to his Kicheche family in order to be available as a freelance guide and spend more time with his wife and four children. While the Mara will always be his home and first love, he is also experienced in many other wildlife areas of Kenya. He maintains a wide network of colleagues in the guiding profession and seems to be known wherever in Kenya his safaris take him.
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