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Our Team
Like the Manchester United team of 1999; like the Australian cricket team of 2003; and like the Dirty Dozen (less Telly Savalas), the Explore Gorongosa team is made up of eleven brave and enthusiastic souls all focused on providing a warm and utterly fuzzy home away from home from the comforts of our luxurious (if a little quirky) tented camp. 

We have a policy to try and hire as many of our staff as possible from within a 50-kilometer radius of the Park.  So far, 10 out of 11 are local - which for us is an important aspect to our Social Responsibility Policy (for more on this see our What is Responsible? page).


Our question for this month is: What animal or bird would you be and why?
(Photo shoot venue: On top of Gorongosa's famous Lion House)


Rui  Maneca 

First up is the first lady of Explore Gorongosa, Dona Beatriz Sande Dembo - otherwise known as Ma Bea...
Beatriz is from Vila Gorongosa and being one of the older and wiser members of the team, takes on the role of camp mum and chief of providing staff meals.  As such, she is quite popular around camp as you can imagine.  After all the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.  When asked about her favourite animal, Bea laughs and says she would like to be an impala - a humble and graceful fit we think for one of the biggest smiles in Gorongosa. 

Rui Francisco Antonio, our camp guard and fearless man of the bush, is originally from Nyamatanda but now lives in Vila Gorongosa.  He would be a bull elephant as he believes the elephant to be the strongest and most impressive of all the animals.  Rui is not the biggest man around but he is one of the strongest men we have ever come across, so perhaps the elephant is an excellent match.

Maneca Pita Langtoine would be our central defender pairing to Rui if we had to create a football team - strong, quiet and dependable, Maneca is a huge asset to our team.  Maneca would be a lion - and with the size of his heart (and his incredible strength), we feel this would be an excellent totem for him.


Bento  Silveirio 

Bento Adriano, from nearby Bebedo village, spent a couple of years at Chitengo before moving on to join us at Explore Gorongosa.  Bento's father was a cook and he wants to follow in his father's footsteps.  He makes a mean Biltong & Blue Cheese Salad and is busy perfecting his favourite Beef Fillet speciality.  Bento wants to be a bird, an eagle preferably.  He likes the freedom having wings provides - knowing Bento these past few months we think he will fly high in life...

Daniel Tembo was a forester in Niassa Province before returning home to Gorongosa and joining our team.  Our resident translator - Daniel can speak English, French, and a bunch of local languages on top of his mother tongue Portuguese.  Daniel would be a buffalo because he feels it would be cool to have few enemies who would bother you...

Silveirio Avariado has an interesting surname (it means broken down, as in a vehicle that goes no more) - something which does not reflect in his nature.  He has huge energy and seems to just keeps going. Silveirio has a special love for birds - having worked for a community project on the Gorongosa Mountain for a few years before joining us.  As such it is no shock that he would be a fish eagle - especially since he loves the idea of being able to fly!


Castro  Quim 

Joseph Zhwake Muponya comes from Vinho village across the Pungwe River from the Park.  Joseph spent some years at school in Malawi before returning home to make a living for his young family.  Joseph wants to be a lion too - but perhaps this is because being the smallest of our team he feels the need to think BIG... He says it is because lions make him happy - with all the lions around camp at the moment hopefully Joseph is very happy!

Castro Domingos Maquina is from Vila Gorongosa and spent some years working on the magnificent mountain of the same name before coming down to join us at Explore Gorongosa.  Castro wants to learn all there is to know about driving and vehicles and their complex mechanics.  His favourite bird is the Green-Headed Oriole.  Why?  Because everyone wants to see one.  Whether this means that Castro is destined for a life of fame or not - who knows, but we wish him luck in his new life as an Oriole...

Quim Eugenio Almeida comes from Canda village on the slopes of the great Gorongosa Mountain.  Quim comes from an impressive family line and has managed to attain a tertiary qualification in administration, something which we are very grateful for.  Quim helps us out with our HR and other related admin and is also pretty funny guy.  No surprises then that he would be a monkey if he could choose any animal - 'they're funny and can climb trees and make funny noises....they're cool.'  Yes, indeed.


Cassius  

Charles Perreira (although no-one calls him anything other than Perreira) is our attached scout from the Park, and what a gem of a man.  Having started working in the Park back in 1972, Perreira has pretty much seen it all, been everywhere, and lost countless T-shirts in the process no doubt.  His smile and laugh is infectious as is his love and interest in the cultural and social history of "his" Park.  He would be a warthog - because he thinks they are cunning and wise despite their funny looks.

And then there was one: the man responsible for holding all the reins and training up our team of local recruits, Cassius Tembo.  Hailing from the island of Ibo in Cabo Delgado Province, Cassius has been a great staff trainer and development supervisor.  He, like Perreira, has a smile and a laugh that would sink a thousand grumpy battleships which is why his choice of animal is somewhat unexpected: 'I'd be a leopard - because they're silent killers...'   (Err, okay - so no sharing rooms with Cassius anymore then.)  Still, he's a great addition to the team and a most patient and reliable training officer.

 
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