Peek into the Life of a Kilimanjaro Guide

Peek into the Life of a Kilimanjaro Guide

Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and one of the Seven Summits.  It was the most challenging hike we have ever done both physically and mentally.  We are ever grateful and thankful for an amazing team of guides and porters.  There is no doubt without them we never would have made it!  On the anniversary of this life changing hike, we give thanks to the over 25 member crew that supported us day and night.  Take a peek into the life of a Kilimanjaro guide with us.

Peek into the Life of a Kilimanjaro Guide

These questions were answered by our head guide Emmanuel Moshi who consulted with the other guides and porters for some of the answers.

When did you start as a porter? How do you get picked among a large amount of people that want to be porters?

I started as a porter back in 2005, I was picked up among the large group since I had interest on the mountain and this urge was way back since I was a little boy.

Peek into the Life of a Kilimanjaro Guide

How long is the whole process to head guide?  

The process of being a head guide, you have to undergo a training which is organized by the Tanzania National parks and once you fulfill the course you get the license to be a guide. PS: English is a must!  Having another language  is an added advantage.

 Peek into the Life of a Kilimanjaro Guide

How long do you think you will be a guide?  Is there any age cut-offs?

Due to my passion of being a guide I would love to work as I can. There is no age cut off as long as you are physically fit.

Peek into the Life of a Kilimanjaro Guide

What tips do you have for hikers coming to do Kilimanjaro?

Well I will highlight that, being physically fit, have positive minds towards the  mountain that will make your trek easy.  Make sure you got enough mountain gears; always listen to your guides.

I agree with Emmanuel on this but I’m not sure I would ever call Kilimanjaro an easy hike!

Emmanuel keeping an eye on Frank as he passing by the challenging kissing wall on Kilimanjaro

RoarLoud Tip: Top 10 Most Useful Items for Kilimanjaro

What changes have you seen over the years on the mountain?

The glacier has decreased its now melting due to the global warming and they say after 15yrs it will no longer be there.

Peek into the Life of a Kilimanjaro Guide

The glaciers were incredibly beautiful, hearing that they may be gone one day is very sad.

What is the strangest thing you have ever seen or wildest story?

I have encountered craziest thing like people getting naked at the top once they reach Uhru peak.  This is not stranger but so overwhelming, I have taken a couple and they proposed at the top. Taking blind and amputee people [on Kilimanjaro] they made it to Uhuru peak.

Peek into the Life of a Kilimanjaro Guide

On our hike our friend Randy Pierce hiked to the summit Kilimanjaro- he is completely blind.

The best and worst part of the job?

My best is when I get clients to the top and they recommend me to others. My worst is when they don’t make it to the top and sometimes the natural calamities hindrance such as heavy rains, speedy winds.

Peek into the Life of a Kilimanjaro Guide

Your favorite time of year for hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro and why?

My favorite time of the year on the mountain is June, July and August, still busy and the weather is good, not much rains .

Peek into the Life of a Kilimanjaro Guide

What do you do on your free time and vacations?  Do you hike outside of work?

On my free times, mostly I get invites and travel abroad, visit friends and family. I don’t hike outside of work but I would love to if I get the chance.

Looking for a great New England hike?

If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be and why?

U.S.A I just love it

Peek into the Life of a Kilimanjaro Guide
Steve and I rocking the RoarLoud t-shirts!

Kilimanjaro is not just a mountain but an experience to learn from.  Our team of 11 has been forever changed by the experience, we will always be a Kili family.  Thank you to Emmanuel, Veda, Godlizen, Singer, Steve and the whole Climb Kili team – Asante Sana.  We may have left the mountain but Kilimanjaro will always be in our hearts.

Peek into the Life of a Kilimanjaro Guide

See more of our Kilimanjaro Adventures:

Anticipation of the summit- Day 5

Barranco Wall day on Kilimanjaro

Hiking into the Moorlands

Note a discount was provided by ClimbKili for our trip. All opinions expressed are my own. Mention RoarLoud when booking and receive a rental credit.

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Peek into the Life of a Kilimanjaro Guide

Peek into the Life of a Kilimanjaro Guide
Travel Notes & Beyond

About Cathy

Cathy (aka “Wildcat”) is not your typical travel/adventurer. Whether it is traveling across the globe or exploring her beloved White Mountains of New Hampshire, this mother of 4’s curious nature has led her to find adventure everywhere she goes. Her blog was first started to chronicle the training and journey to the “Rooftop of Africa” – Mt. Kilimanjaro. Since that time, has expanded to highlight everything connected with the unique and fascinating adventures a Wildcat can find. She shares with her readers tips, advice, and encouragement to find their strength and inner “ROAR”.
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25 Comment

  1. It is so good to see a post recognizing the guides who take us through challenging terrains and are responsible for our safety and security.
    Prasad Np recently posted…October 2016 Calendar Desktop WallpaperMy Profile

    1. They really are the best, couldn’t have done it without them!

  2. What a great opportunity to do this interview. Nice to have a peak into Emmanuel’s life. He’s seen so much from the couple getting engaged to the blind and amputee people. Very cool.

    1. The guides and porters made it possible for us to succeed, we owe them so much thanks! His life as a guide is full of adventure most definitely!

  3. Rob says: Reply

    What a great interview and an awesome guy. When are you going back? Maybe give him another story and go renew your vows on the mountain….
    Rob recently posted…Surprising China: a westerner’s misconceptions disprovedMy Profile

    1. He is great, all the guides and porters were. I’d love to go back- we would have to get married to renew our vows:)

  4. Awesome and great interview! They are professional tour guide and porter.

  5. Priya says: Reply

    What an amazing crew, so glad you took the time to recognize the people who make these hikes possible.

    1. They are on our mind all the time and we stay in touch. I wanted to share some of their story as they are the true reason we made it.

  6. Hi Cathy,
    How cool! Amputees and blind folks reaching the top. Awesome. I reckon you need to be fit mentally and physically to do this hike. As for the Kissing Wall, I get it 😉 Brilliant time. And fun to get into the minds of these inspired guides. Rewarding and thrilling and sometimes hyper challenging work they do. This post brings me back to countless nature shows I saw on Kilimanjaro as a kid. Thanks for sharing.
    Ryan Biddulph recently posted…1 Eye-Popping Analogy for Boosting Your Online Profits QuicklyMy Profile

    1. Thanks Ryan, the guides certainly are incredible! All of Tanzania was like being in a nature show, such a great experience.

  7. Anisa says: Reply

    Yes I think people take these porters and guides for granted sometimes unfortunately. They have such a hard job. So is the kissing wall the most challenging section of the hike? Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard

    1. The kissing wall is a little intimidating but the most challenging was heading to the summit at midnight until sunrise!

  8. Anda says: Reply

    Wow, hats off to you, Cathy for doing this hike! What a great accomplishment. I can only imagine how challenging this must have been. However, this must have been such a great experience. I wish I’d be able to do this…
    Anda recently posted…Landsort, the Little Swedish Village That Time ForgotMy Profile

    1. Thank you Anda. I highly recommend hiking Kilimanjaro, it is a life changing experience.

  9. Kreete says: Reply

    Awesome post as I am planning a trip there my self in the near years. Did you all summit? I will be pinnng this so I can return to your blog later and read more about your amazing trip! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Out of our group of 11, 10 made it to the summit. It is a life changing experience that I highly recommend.

  10. Wow, what a challenge and what an accomplishment! I found your interview fascinating, great article!

    1. Thank you Jim:)The guides and porters truly helped us achieve our goals!

  11. Clare says: Reply

    Hi Cathy
    What a great insight into the life of your guide and how proud he must feel to have done the interview! These guys work so hard, and are often not given the recognition that they deserve. Hiking up and down that mountain, day in and day out. They put up with grumpy tourists, sick tourists and take it all with a smile.

    We are used to reading all the “records” set on Kilimanjaro: most records are held by guides or porters on Kilimanjaro – whether it be the youngest or oldest person to reach the summit – it’s the Tanzanians that don’t get into the record books!

    During some research I actually read a fascinating story about Hans Meyer’s guide Yohani Lauwo. This chap agreed to accompany Hans Meyer’s expedition in 1889. Dressed only in blankets to keep him warm, he summited with Hans Meyer. He went on to guide expeditions on the mountain for over 70 years, and eventually died at the age of 125. What stories he must have been able to tell!

    Clare recently posted…Cool Kilimanjaro Facts you Need to KnowMy Profile

    1. Thank you for sharing that! Incredible, they truly are the inspiration and driving force that get so many of us to the summit.

  12. What an amazing experience. One that must really change your outlook. It is a great blog to read about the guide and how they really helped you on the trek, It is a great opportunity to show off the extremely hard work they all do. I don’t think I could do the climb once let alone everyday!

    1. The guides and porters are incredible, I can’t imagine how they do that hike as often as they do! They really are the reason so many people succeed on such a challenging hike.

  13. […] give thanks to the porters and guides who helped us have summit success- read about them here Read about our climb of Mount Kilimanjaro starting […]

  14. […] This is a perfect quote for our experience on Mt. Kilimanjaro, we relied on our group of friends for encouragement every day.  The guides and porters truly helped us reach the summit with emotional and physical support the whole 7 day journey.  We thank the guides and porters for all they did in this blog. […]

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