Thanks to his appearances as a presenter on the BBC wildlife program Big Cat Diary, Jackson Looseyia is one of Kenya’s best-known guides. His charm and easygoing nature are underpinned by an intimate knowledge of his Maasai homeland.
Jackson Looseyia was born in 1967 in the heart of the Maasai Mara. He grew up surrounded by wildlife and from an early age found it a source of inspiration. Tracking wild animals is in his blood – he comes from a long line of master hunters and trackers. Jackson’s father was a famous hunter who was imprisoned for eight years. On his release he became the quintessential poacher turned game-keeper and was appointed head ranger in the Southern Mara. As a young man Jackson’s father took him into the bush for six months of training. As a young man, Jackson quickly rose to become one of the first Maasai guides in the Mara and is now a partner in a leading Mara safari business and an established private guide.
Jackson answered a few questions for us on his experiences as a guide.
When and why did you become a guide?
I became a guide in 1987 but I have loved the wilderness since I was a kid. My late father introduced me to the beauty of our wildlife when he was guiding and tracking himself in the Maasai Mara.
Your most memorable experience as a guide?
There are thousands of memorable experience, this is an unfair question! Nevertheless in the middle of the Wildebeest Migration I do treasure a day I can follow the wildebeest more then 20 kilometers and take in the all predator activity that is involved in this great wildlife journey, it’s immense.
Safari moment you were most thrilled to have helped a client experience?
On safari the most thrilling moment is when I have a chance to show and explain the role of the small things that play such a big role in the ecosystem; beetles, bees, termites, grasshoppers.
Top 3 favorite properties?
Top 3 favorite national parks?
Your favorite trip?
A trip from the Maasai Mara to Amboseli and the Chyulu Hills, through to Tsavo and ending at Malindi.
Somewhere you have always wanted to take guests but never have?
What’s on your bucket list?
On my wish list of counties to travel to are Rwanda, Brazil to see the Amazon river and rain-forest, Australia to see the Tasmanian Devil and Israel to visit the historical sites.
2 things you always tells your guests to bring when traveling?
The most important thing I advise guests to bring a pair of binoculars that are light enough to bring on a walk and a good camera.
2 things you think guests should know about Africa (or Kenya)?
In Kenya I would remind my guests that animals are great but if you talk to the people they will talk to you and you will never forget cultural experience. They should also have patience,book enough days to allow you to experience Kenya, not just to tick the “Safari” box.
Camera or binocular recommendations?
I am a Nikon man but Canon is equally good. Lens should be 28-300mm for Nikon and 80-400mm Canon,
I also use Swarovski binoculars (8 x 32) because they are light to take on walks, the same applies to Lica.
Do you have a specialty?
I specialize in big cats.