WHY WE ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT WHAT WE DO
Kichaka Expeditions epitomizes the Africa of time gone by. The miles and miles of empty space which makes this continent so breathtaking. The Ruaha is a remote and untouched paradise, far away from the hordes of vehicles and extensive road networks that exemplify the more famous Parks in the North of Tanzania. Moli and Noelle, the company founders, fell in love with Ruaha's extreme isolation in 2007 and knew they would never leave.
Truly wild areas are getting harder and harder to find, and Tanzania can count itself blessed for the amount of wilderness it still possesses compared to other African countries, and the personification of this is the Ruaha National Park. With a deep passionate interest in conservation and Wildlife, All of us at Kichaka strive to assist in ensuring the protection, enjoyment and continued survival of these areas.
Andrew, more affectionately known as ‘Moli’ was born in the U.K in 1979 but moved to live in East Africa when he was 1 year old. His family lived near Nairobi in Kenya and he spent his whole childhood and school days there. Already developing a huge interest and love of anything that wiggled, walked, crawled or flew (except Hippos of course!!) Due to his constant visits to some of Kenya’s extraordinary wildlife areas, Moli decided to head to the UK to pursue a degree in Zoology.
On returning to Africa and completing an 18 Month study of Mongoose he decided to make a life in the wilds of Africa. Moli began his professional guiding career in the mighty Masai Mara Game Reserve of Kenya and slowly began to develop a keen interest in walking safaris so spent 2 years in South Africa to gain walking and firearm training before heading back home to East Africa.
Slightly disillusioned by the 'commercialist' nature of some of Kenya’s Parks he followed in his mentors footsteps to the South of Tanzania in search of true wilderness. He found more than he bargained for and has made this area his home sine 2005, conducting walking Safaris in both the Selous Game Reserve and the Ruaha National Park. In his first year in the Selous he easily walked well over 4000Km, a distance greater than walking from Nairobi to Cape town and 8 years later is reputed to be one of the most experienced walking guides in Tanzania.
In an effort to improve guiding standards in Tanzania, Moli spends a significant amount of time with guide training around the country. In his time he has trained numerous walking and driving guides as was all National Park personnel.
More recently Moli and his partner Noelle have started off Kichaka Expeditions, their proposed ‘home’ for the long term future
Noelle was born in San Francisco, California, USA. Originally destined to become a ‘city girl’, perhaps the growing up with 7 brothers and 3 sisters made her yearn for ‘quieter’, more isolated pastures. Armed with a degree in Anthropology, Noelle set her sights on Africa and arrived on her shores in 2007. Her mission was to study the cultures of the Masai & Hehe people. She was based in Iringa town, not too far from the boundaries of the Ruaha National Park.
An unexpected and quick weekend visit to the park stirred something inside her and it immediately dawned on her she wanted to spend the rest of her life here and vowed to return. True to her word, Noelle was working in a lodge in the Park 3 months later and slowly acquired the much needed bush experience required to survive in the industry. Excelling at everything she did, Noelle soon found herself assisting in running one of the Park’s most prestigious, luxury camps which is where she met her partner Moli. She then developed a huge passion and interest in nature and conservation and is a ‘city girl‘ no more! Lost in the wilds of Ruaha she applies herself to anything she can and has developed her skills in nearly everything from cuisine and menu design to wildlife photography and movie making.
Recently she has started up Kichaka Expeditions with her partner where she is the backbone of the operation, tirelessly trying to overcome the logistical hurdles which present themselves in this remote land as the team on a daily basis, move the entire camp from one location to the next and have it ready for the guests return in time for lunch.
Jacques joined the Kichaka team in June 2016 and has never looked back. One of the few remaining typical ‘old school’ guides left on the continent, he received his training in Zimbabwe at the time where their standards and stringency were absolutely second to none and by far the best on the continent. Born in South Africa but from Zimbabwe origins, Jacques has had an outstanding career in the bush. The family had farming origins which wetted his appetite for the outdoors from a young age and he has been involved with the bush in some form ever since, from field research in herpetology and mammalogy, curator of animal orphanages, camp construction, weapons instructorships as well as weapons specialist on several Hollywood movies, diesel mechanic, bush pilot and to top them all, a first rate walking safari guide. He is truly become our “Jacques of all trades” and has even managed to build his own airplane and been guide and host to the likes of Michael Douglas and Val Kilmer on some of his previous movie projects.
Like the rest of us and perhaps the key ingredient, Jacques has a true passion and love for unspoiled natural wildernesses which are getting harder and harder to find in some parts of the continent. So he jumped ship and where else to end up but the mighty Ruaha National Park where he can wander for days on end without seeing another Human Being.
A valuable asset for Kichaka, Jacques has been an unstoppable character since his arrival, his unbounded enthusiasm for nature is highly contagious as he leads guests through the Park. Not to mention his sublime hosting skills round the evening fire as he recounts stories from a bush career spanning an impressive three decades.
- David Attenborough -
"An understanding of nature and what's in it is a source of not only curiosity but great fulfillment "
IN THE PRESS
Ben Fogle -Ruaha episode
"New Lives in the wild"
Moli and Noelle were humbled to be selected to appear in "New Lives In The Wild" a British reality documentary where presenter Ben Fogle spends time and interviews those who have largely shunned civilization for a life in the wilds.
"Top 10 best value
safari camps in africa"
Kichaka Expeditions made it as #1 for the best value property in Africa!
"the 50 best safari holidays"
Another great feature for Kichaka listed as one of the top 2 destinations in all of Africa to visit for walking! Make sure to scroll to the "walking" section and the "best guides" section to see a write up on our very own Moli!
"top 5 new safari guides"
Wow! Our very own Moli is listed as one of the top 5 guides in Africa to watch!
Conde Nast Traveler
"Ruaha's secret safaris"
Immerse yourself in the text as you read about the thrilling adventures of what a Kichaka Expeditons Safari is all about!
"Moli magic" in Mpululu
Have you ever wondered what a safari with Kichaka Expeditions would be like? Engross yourself in this gripping day-to-day report from one of our recent expeditions to the untouched corners of Mpululu!
“However, any silence is filled by Andrew "Moli" Molinaro, the Kenya-born manager, an animal aficionado of such enthusiasm that, somewhere, a wildlife channel is surely missing a khaki-kitted presenter."
-Chris Leadbetter, The Independant