Rare Africa Travel was born in the heart of Arusha by the admiration and passion for the local nature of a Tanzanian.
Micheal Shotii was born and raised in the Maasai village of Lolkisale. One of six children, Michael led a typical Maasai life as a cowboy and farm worker, but dreamed of becoming a safari driver-guide.
In 2006, Dale and Paula Strickland went to Tanzania on a photo safari and met Michael who was working as a camp boy at the Niatolia Camp, a nice rustic tented camp located in a remote area in the Tarangire Conservation Area. During their last night in camp Michael joined them around a campfire – a chance meeting that changed everyone’s life. It was Michael’s answer to one question that set in motion a new relationship. “What are your dreams for the future Michael”. To which he replied, “I want to be a driver-guide and I want to see California.” The next day, group pictures were taken and good byes were given, but it was obvious that everyone’s hearts were deeply touched from this chance meeting.
Over the next six months Dale and Paula kept track of Michael and learned more details about his life, and ultimately sponsored Michael through driver-guide school and helped him to purchase his first safari vehicle. Since that fateful meeting at the Niatolia Camp, the Stricklands have been on numerous safaris with Michael, who has also visited the United States several times. Michael also married a beautiful Chagga lady named Winnie, and the two honored the Stricklands by naming their first born son Dale, and their daughter Paula.
In 2017, their youngest son Aaron, his wife Tiffany and two of their grandsons, Spencer and Owen joined Dale and Paula on safari with Michael. After the 2017 trip Aaron, Michael and Dale decided to launch a new joint venture.