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Come Drive with Me

Often the first smile that welcomes our guests when arriving in Nairobi belongs to Angama Safaris driver guide, John Thuku. With his hearty laugh and ever-joyful demeanour, he shares a typical day in his life
Above: Imagine this smile greeting you as you arrive in Nairobi

I believe that every morning you should wish yourself a good day ahead. And that is exactly what I do as I wake up to trigger positive feelings. My wife then leads our family in prayer for guidance, protection, and blessings.

Next, it’s time for two full glasses of water and breakfast of a cup of soup or porridge and two boiled eggs. Before leaving the house, I check my phone to see if there are any last-minute updates or changes that I need to be aware of, get ready and make my way to the Nairobi office – about a 30-minute drive away.

The Nairobi branch of the Angama family
When he's not smiling, he's organising

Arriving at our operations base in Wilson Business Park, I check my emails to view the programme for the week, with Quinter, one of our Travel Planners, on hand if I need any further clarification. I update the whiteboard with our guest pickups for the week and share a photo of it with the Angama Team through WhatsApp. If there are no transfers, I assist the lodge with any items they may need collected or delivered.

Thuku's biggest passion is food and he knows all the best places to eat, like Cultiva Credits: Cultiva

Otherwise, my day is filled with taking care of Angama Safaris guests – the best part of my job is engaging with them. I think it’s important to learn more about them: do they want to talk; do they have questions; or are they tired and want to just relax and enjoy some silence? I do love the talkative ones though – I ask them what they like about Nairobi and what their expectations are.

There is so much to see and do in Nairobi – it's worth fighting the traffic

In any job you will face challenges and mine is certainly Nairobi’s infamous traffic. Sometimes our guests want to know the exact time they will arrive at their destination. I always do my best to tell them, but Nairobi traffic can be unpredictable. In my job, the words “I don’t know” cannot exist. A question must have an answer – so I always do my utmost to make it to the destination in the time I give guests. I am a problem-solver by nature and always do my best to make sure our guests are happy.

Thuku is fondly known for his big heart and even bigger appetite

My favourite spot for lunch is just around the corner from the office at Airport Lodge, Portview, or at one of the “Little Kempinski’s”. My favourite is fish with ugali, and as I don’t eat much in the evenings, I like to make sure I have a good midday meal. Most days I usually work until around 7:30pm.

When I get home, I spend time with my family: we sit and talk. I don’t know how to fully express it, but I really love to laugh. I am a big fan of old-school cartoons like Tom and Jerry and the Pink Panther. I watch these shows before heading to bed at 10:00pm.

No one better to welcome you to Kenya and send you off on your safari

I love my job because it enables me to provide for my family through delighting our Angama guests. There is no greener pasture I am looking for: this is it.

Filed under: Inside Angama

Tagged with:

Angama Safaris , Angama Team , Nairobi

About: John Thuku

John Thuku's contagious smile and bubbly personality have been greeting Angama guests in Nairobi right from the start. He knows Nairobi like the back of his hand and delights in sharing stories with everybody he meets.

Browse all articles by John Thuku Meet the angama team

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