The Team

Said Makacha – Head Mountain Guide


Said Makacha is Wanderlust’s head mountain leader, with an easy-going nature and good mannerisms, Said is an enormously experienced guide with more than 16 years of experience, having started his guiding career leading groups of climbers up the difficult Western Breach route.

He also took part in the making of David Breasher’s Imax movie epic, Kilimanjaro where they spent over 30 days exploring and filming in every corner of the mountain. A certified first responder, Said has attended several courses on wilderness medicine and technical mountaineering. He knows how to deal with altitude sickness and is very passionate and responsible about his job.

Said has scaled Kilimanjaro more than 300 times and has led groups from two to fifty people of ages ranging from fourteen to seventy.

We are much more than adventurers!

Our team in Canada does research work and develop wonderful trip ideas and perform behind the scene work that make your trips memorable. They bring passion and deep knowledge of their expertise in our core destinations and it makes all the difference to your experience.

But we know that the real standouts of any Wanderlust trip are our dedicated trip leaders and native local guides, who will open the doors to new cultures for you. They do not simply run trips but have a thorough understanding of the company’s mission, its core values and the overall business. What’s more, they also take care of all the minute details of a trip from start to end, so that you can savor the moments all the way.

Our resident leader team who accompany our trips as Group leaders are experts in their respective fields— they are wild life enthusiasts, naturalists, art historians, award-winning writers and film-makers and adventurers—who have a remarkable appetite for fun, possess great people skills and gifts for sharing their knowledge and introducing you to their favorite hobby, places, and people you won’t find in any travel guide.

The native tour guides are exceptional people who live in the countries you visit, because we feel strongly that no one can show you the true soul of a place better than an insider. They have a wonderful command of local history, culture, and nature, and you can also depend on their resourcefulness and skills in a local setting. But what you will love about them most is their sense of caring, their good humor, and the way their passion for their homeland enhances your own appreciation for it.

Wanderlust Destination Experts, Trip Leaders & Guides

Expedition Leaders and Travel Experts make the difference between a rewarding trip and a truly special adventure vacation of a lifetime. Quite simply, Wanderlust leaders are celebrities, lifelong travelers, passionate adventurers who have achieved the finest of adventure accomplishments and they are the best in their specialty.

Meticulously recruited and selected, this group of highly motivated and trained professionals brings a set of personas that raise the bar in providing you an outstanding travel experience. They are passionate about the places they share with our guests, and they radiate an irrepressible enthusiasm that can’t help but infect those who travel with them. As mountaineers, polar explorers, endurance athletes, naturalists, wildlife photographers, travel writers and environmental educators, their knowledge deeply enriches the experience of those who see the world through their eyes.

While many of our leaders are scholars or professionals working in a variety of disciplines, they are also chosen for their good nature, excellent group dynamics and people management skills. Many of our guests are veterans of global adventure travel and are knowledgeable, sophisticated and independent.

Wanderlust trips are their obvious choice because we employ the best expedition leaders in the business. In the world of expert-led adventure travel, Wanderlust leaders set us apart from the rest.


Sam Kisonga

Born in the Southern highlands of Tanzania, Sam is an exceptional Kilimanjaro mountain leader; calmly assured, pragmatic and in control. He is a professionally trained and a certified Kilimanjaro guide and attended numerous courses and training on wilderness first aid.


Said Makacha

Said is a friendly and enormously experienced mountain guide with more than 16 years of experience in guiding clients on Kilimanjaro. Having started his guiding career leading climbers up the tough Western Breach route, he now enjoys leading Wanderlust’s clients on all three routes the company promotes.


Rob Chekwaze

Rob, a native Tanzanian, certified Wilderness First Responder, a keen naturalist and a climbing guide with over 10 years experience climbing on Kilimanjaro and leading Tanzania Safaris in which he possess a vast knowledge of the guiding business. Rob is based in Arusha, Tanzania and heads Wanderlust’s Kilimanjaro climbing and safari operations.


Dianne Whelan

Dianne Whelan is an award-winning Canadian filmmaker, photographer, author and multimedia artist residing in Garden Bay, BC. In April 2010, Whelan traveled to Nepal and Mount Everest Base Camp to direct and shoot her award-winning documentary film 40 Days at Base Camp. According to the Nepalese government, Dianne is the first woman to shoot a film on the world’s highest mountain.


Susan McLoughlin

Susie is an adventurer with a wild heart! A marathon runner, cross country skier, a mother and a travel personality clearly on the move! A resident of Campbell River community in the Vancouver Island BC, Susie is a passionate wilderness traveler with experience in the remote continents of Antarctica and the Artic.


Gareth Wood

Gareth Wood, the mountaineer cum polar explorer is arguably the most accomplished South Pole adventurer alive. In 1986, Gareth and team members, Robert Swan and Roger Mear, trekked 900 miles on foot, over some of the most forbidding terrain on Earth, to reach the South Pole. They became the first in history to accomplish such a journey without support – no dog teams, food caches, air support, or radio communications. Surviving on a strict high-fat ration including salami, butter, biscuits and hot chocolate, the team successfully reached the pole in 70 days – navigating with a simple compass and sextant.


Meagan McGrath

In 2007 and at the age of 29, Toronto-born adventurer Meagan McGrath became the youngest Canadian Woman to climb the Seven Summits and to achieve both versions of this mountaineering challenge (Carstenz Pyramid version & Kosciusko version). She continues to pursue her dream to climb the highest peaks in the world.


Priyantha Amarasinghe

Pri, as he is affectionately known among his clients and peers was born and raised in Sri Lanka, where he began his career as a guide lecturer conducting tours in Sri Lanka before embarking on an extended 35 year career in adventure travel working in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

Wanderlust Operations Team

Our behind the scene operations people are adventurers & explorers too! You won’t find more avid trekkers, nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts and history buffs than Wanderlust’s team, committed to crafting and delivering the most extraordinary travel experiences that best suit your passion.

Their mission is:

  • To create, fine-tune and deliver most authentic adventure travel experience
  • To listen to our travelers’ interests first and plan our trips that’s best meet their needs

There is absolutely no one more enthusiastic about their mission than our Wanderlust Adventures team here at home in Canada and overseas. We get to travel the world regularly and explore the world’s most amazing sites. In return, we each have a deep desire for helping our guests discover their own inspiring travel experiences.

And, if all that does not keep us motivated, our founder himself is our number one inspiration, a man with many irons in the fire.

Get to know us by reading our bios and viewing our personal profiles!


Said Makacha – Head Mountain Guide

Said Makacha is Wanderlust’s head mountain leader, with an easy-going nature and good mannerisms, Said is an enormously experienced guide with more than 16 years of experience, having started his guiding career leading groups of climbers up the difficult Western Breach route.


Robert Chekwaze – Director Operations, Tanzania

Rob is Wanderlust’s Tanzania Director of Operations, a keen naturalist and climbing guide with over 10 years experience and leading Safaris. He possesses a vast knowledge of his native Tanzania, its history, the people and wildlife.


Priyantha Amarasinghe – Founder & CEO

Priyantha was born and raised in Sri Lanka. Since getting the wanderlust to explore 100+ countries and counting, he claims his first home Sri Lanka as absolutely the most beautiful country in the world

Become a Wanderlust Trip leader

Our Trip Leaders are the best in the business. They are highly educated, passionate about the wild places they share with our guests, and they exude an irrepressible enthusiasm that can’t help but inspire those who travel with them. As mountain climbers and wildlife enthusiasts, their knowledge deeply enriches the experience of those who see the natural world through their eyes. While many of our leaders are chosen for their professionalism, good nature as well as their good grades. Many of our guests are veterans of global travel, sophisticated and independent, but they choose to travel with us because of our leaders’ expertise. In the realm of adventure travel, great trip leaders set us apart.

Below, you’ll find the important qualifications we look for when we hire trip leaders. Please review the following list and apply only if you have the necessary skills and experience.


  • Minimum of five years’ experience leading multi-day tours with groups of 8-16 people
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and passion for wildlife, ecology and natural history
  • Outstanding customer service and communication skills
  • Strong problem-solving ability and capacity to make independent decisions
  • Capable of working long hours for multiple consecutive days
  • High level of integrity, maturity, patience and enthusiasm
  • Current Wilderness First Responder certification
  • Availability anytime of the year to travel to Tanzania

To apply, please email a cover letter describing your interest and experience, and send a resume of your work and education history to


You’ve got the travel bug, you have a passion to go above and beyond to help your customers in an adventure filled career path. Well, you’ve just found the right place! In fact, we are much more, a “work hard/play harder” company. As we grow our business, we always look for people to fit into our happy team of employees who dream about going places and they are pretty much ‘ jacks of all trades’ who could into our type of adventures and live by them.

In a world where the customer is neglected, for Wanderlust employees and leaders, the only boss is “ Our Customer”. And it does not matter if you are a Manager in Operations or an Accountant in our Finance Department, we are one family with one passion – to share with our customers our know-how and provide fair value for their money.

Still want to work for us? Review the available positions below and submit your resume for our perusal to

Even if you do not find the right job in the current openings, we encourage you to keep in touch, write and tell us about yourself and your career ambitions. We will keep your contacts and resume in our database for at least two years and should a position to fit your credentials come up, you will be the first to hear from us.

No Vacancies Available at this time.