John Deere Muleka is a bit of a renaissance man. A mechanic, artist and highly skilled guide he can turn his hand to just about anything. With a career spanning 25 years and including guiding as diverse as the early days in South Luangwa, white water rafting on the Zambezi, Busanga PLains, Lower Zambezi and now with us here at Kaingu, there are not many aspects of guiding that he hasn't done! A leopard expert and a polished tracker and ethologist he is very talented. He is unfazed by safari experts and in fact the more the challenge the more his skill shines through.
Best described as Mr Adventure. A highly skilled canoeist and an athlete he is who you want by your side when you get into trouble (which is perhaps why he is often with Gil). Kaingu's longest serving guide he has grown as we have grown. In the last few years he has attempted and attended more and more technical training and exams and his skill growth has been phenomenal. He has a unique dry humour that is loved by guests and a very caring nature. He also makes excellent pork belly snacks and enjoys cooking on island canoe trips. A very professional and tireless individual.
Israel Kayombo Kayombo. He is far cleverer than his male model looks and charm would have you believe! A very solid individual who is well liked by guests and staff due to his bubbly nature and unflagging enthusiasm. He does sometimes loose track of what day it is, but that is why we love him! He is at home on land, on water and is rapidly acquiring John and Kaley's enthusiasm for canoeing. One of the highest scoring candidates in the Kafue guides exams, he is going places rapidly and says that he wants to one day write a book about guiding. If it is as filled with as much humour as the author then it will be a cracker.
Boyd started working in Kafue National Park 31 years ago! And hasn't really ever left. Starting as a barman he did 5 years as a trainee guide and transfer driver and 20 years now guiding. He resides in Mumbwa where his businesses are substantial – a shop, a large farm and a maize mill. We are delighted to have him with us here and hope that this is the first of many happy years here at Kaingu. He and JohnD have been friends for years. Boyd has 12 children. Outside of actual guiding he says he still enjoys farming and as part of being a guide he enjoys meeting new people, sharing ideas and learning about other countries. I would describe him as a “solid citizen”. An upstanding person, mature and sensible. He is a real addition to the team.
Where to start? Kebby approached us after putting himself through the first course at the national guide training institute at Nyamaluma. This four month course has launched his guiding career and we are currently employing him as a trainee (until he gets his driving license). He is very confident in front of crowds and cameras and is a complete history and culture enthusiast. Star of the three part home video (The forefathers trilogy) he can literally talk for hours and hours about Ila culture and the old days. His enthusiasm and passion is wonderful to see. John, Kaley and Israel are not only training him but are delighted at his boat washing/coolerbox packing/guest waking up abilities! We are glad to be putting back into the local communities by hopefully launching the career of Kebby (who is from the nearby villages), and hopefully he will be part of our team for many years. Another fledgling author, Kebby is hopefully going to capture a lot of olden culture and beliefs before they disappear. An absolute character.