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Jacob Sasini, butler at Rhino Valley Lodge

Who is Jacob Sasini?

I am better known as Oldisi Sasini. I am 40 years old and I work as a butler at Rhino Valley Lodge, which is located in Tsavo West National Park. I also double up as the main security detail here.

What does your job involve?

My job description entails taking care of guests’ luggage once they arrive and being their tour guide sometimes during their game drives. The most important one is the security detail. At night, here at the lodge seeing as we are in the heart of the park, it could get dangerous. We are in the wild animals’ territory, thus personal security of guests is priority here. I escort guests to their rooms at night after the lights go out.

How did you become a butler?

I started by just being a tour guide at Tsavo East Park in 2002 at Ndololo area. After working for a few years, I landed in Tsavo West in 2005. Since both establishments belong to the same group, it was easy to change locations and I adapted fast. It has been an amazing job in the last 16 years.

Tell us more about Rhino Valley Lodge.

The hotel is located in the middle of Tsavo West National Park, so it is convenient for guests after they tour the hilly park. Rhino Valley also boasts a serene location loved by guests. You could look at it as dining and sleeping in the wild because we do not have high-towered security walls hence the need for us to escort guests to their rooms at night.

Any challenges at work?

One challenge is the difference in languages. We get visitors from all over the world. Communication at times is quite the task, as I have to struggle to communicate with strangers in their native languages. I know just a few foreign words, so most of the time, I need a translator.

What are some of the highlights you have had as a butler so far?

I derive a lot of joy from seeing the Wazungus satisfied and happy after I show them around and to their rooms at night. The interaction from different people has also built me. The co-operation with guests has been seamless.

What do you like best about your job?

I get to see wildlife every day and I don’t pay for it. It is one of the perks of being on the job. For newcomers to tourism, no job is too small as long as you derive fulfilment from pleasing your clients. We hope the tourism industry will continue to flourish, so we need more butlers across the country.

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