Great Rift Blog

My Trip to Mbeya

Posted by in Colman | November 10, 2016
My Trip to Mbeya

My apologies for not posting in a couple weeks.  Recently I made a trip to Mbeya from Moshi, via Arusha.  It was October 1 when we started in Moshi early in the morning at 5:30am.  I used a local bus from Moshi to Mbeya.  It was great.  We arrived in Mbeya very late, past midnight at 00:45am.  On the way there are great view.  One which was great was Mtera dam.  The dam was between Dodoma and Iringa.  Also the landscape between the two towns is great.  Also the landscape of Iringa town was great too.

In Mbeya town also the landscape it was great.  I spent some days in Mbeya visiting my friends and relatives.  On October 7 I start to go to the mountain Rungwe.  From Mbeya to the main Rungwe gate takes 3 hours by local bus.  On the way to the gate there are lots of big farms of tea.  It was really beautiful.


At the gate we needed to register.  Normally people they use two days to climb it.  The first days they use to look for Kipunje monkeys.  Then the next day they go to the summit.  But for me, I use only 9 hours up and down, but I did not manage to see any Kipunje monkeys.  The landscape is great.  Also there are lots of difference flowers on the way to the summit.  There are plenty of rose berries.  I really enjoyed the hike.

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The next day I go to Tukuyu town.  I stopped there for traditional dance festival.  It was really nice with lots people.  The festival was from October 8 – 9.  I spent 2 days in Tukuyu town.

Then I proceeded to Matema Beach on Lake Nyasa.  From Tukuyu town to Matema beach it takes almost 5 hours.  The beach was great.  Very cool not and not too many people.  The water is really warm.  I really enjoyed the swimming.  I had a great view of sun rise from Blue Canoe Safari Camp.


This was my trip to Mbeya in October 2016.  This is a trip that I can arrange for you if you are interested in exploring Tanzania beyond the typical Kilimanjaro and safari options.  A trip like this will get you off the beaten path and to experience much more of my beautiful country.  I look forward to your comments and questions.

Marangu Day Trip

Posted by in Day Trip Options | October 03, 2016
Marangu Day Trip

My hometown is Marangu, a short trip from Moshi.  There is a lot of things to experience in Marangu and I would like to share some of them here with you.

If you were to visit Marangu we would leave Moshi around 9:00 am.  It is about a 1 hour drive to our first stop, which is a very large baobab tree.  We would stay here for about 15 minutes.  This tree believed to be about 75 years old.dsc_9122

After the baobab tree, we would travel for about another hour where we will stop to visit an ancient cave and a traditional Chagga house.  Chagga is one of the two main tribes in Tanzania, the Masai being the other one.   We will also see local coffee processing, and sample the local coffee.  Here we will also have a local lunch.  This stop would be about 3 hours.




After lunch, we would drive about 20 minutes to Ndoro Waterfall.  We would stay here for about 2 hours where we can swim and take pictures.


Finally we would drive about 20 minutes to the Chagga Museum.


After our museum visit, we will return to your hotel in Moshi.  If you think you would like to add this day trip to your Kilimanjaro climb and safari, please let us know when you are booking your trip.


Isa – Our Assistant Guide

Posted by in Kilimanjaro, Mountains, Staff | September 22, 2016
Isa – Our Assistant Guide

ISIHAKU ISSA SAID (Isa) is our Assistance Guide.  He was born in December 1985 in the capital city of Tanzania; Dodoma.  He grew up in the village near the city called Bahi.  He started primary school in January 1995.  He completed standard seven in September 2001 and in January 2002 he started secondary education.  In 2005 he completed his secondary education, all in Dodoma.  After secondary education he moved to Kilimanjaro.  He did not perform very well in secondary education so he did not get the government sponsor.  On 2006 he joined to the college of tourism in Moshi, called INTEL TRAINING CENTER.  This college is the best college for tourism training in Moshi.


Isa and his family.

In 2007 he started to work as a Porter on Kilimanjaro.  When not working with us at Great Rift, he works with other companies.  In 2009 he applied for the licence to lead clients on Kilimanjaro and Meru, and 2010 he got the licence.

Isa has attended different First Aid training which was organized by KINAPA (Kilimanjaro National Park) in 2012, 2014, and 2016.

In 2014, Isa was married and now he has one daughter.  He lives in Moshi with his family.  People like to call Isihaku as Isa for short.  Isa started with us at GREAT RIFTS MOUNTAINS AND SAFARIS in January 2015.  Isa likes Machame and Lemosho Route.  He is full route mountain guide, and works as both an Assistance Guide and full Guide depending on how busy we are.  Also, Isa goes to safari as safari guide.  Isa has a lot of experience and much to tell if you climb with us!

Colman, an African Mountaineer – Part 3

Posted by in Colman, Kilimanjaro, Mountains | September 16, 2016
Colman, an African Mountaineer – Part 3

As I promised, one more post of some Kilimanjaro stories.  I hope you enjoy them.  I will tell a sad one and then some happy ones.


Colman on the summit with a group of British clients.

Another story happened in 2006 when I was with a group of 2 Swedish guys.  We climbed via Machame Route, but planned to summit via the Western Breach.  I was not used to summiting through the Western Breach.  Normally I was used to summiting via Kibo Hut or Barafu Camp.  I had already heard a lot about the Western Breach from other guides, about the rock falls.  Some clients had already died there because of rock fall and some porters and guides had already lost their legs and arms on that route.  It was really scary.  But I have no choice because the clients they chose to do it.  After arriving at the Lava Tower I tried to explain to the clients about the rock falls, but they say we do not care and that they want to climb via the Western Breach.  They say they do not like to climb via Barafu.  They told me if I don’t climb via Western Breach it was ok, they will go down and they will ask for refund, because my employer at the time promised they will climb this route.  So I have no choice.  We stayed at Lava Tower and then the next day we go to Arrow Camp.  From Lava Tower to Arrow Camp is not far, only one hour.  We had lunch and then we rest.  I did not go to sleep.  I was talking with the porters.  Later I saw another group of four clients.  They were coming up from Shira Hut to Arrow Camp.  We had the afternoon walk and then we come down for dinner.  It was early dinner at 5:00pm.  They want to sleep early because they want to wake at 2:00am and start summiting.  That was their plan, it was not my plan.  After they told me that, I told them no we will wake up 4:00am and departure it will 5:00am.  I had that plan because it was more safe if the rock fall you can see it and you can avoid it.  After I told them they agree with me but not 100%.  Instead of going to sleep they go to chat with the group of four clients from America.  The American group has a plan to leave at 2:00am because they want to have a sun rise at the top.  The Swedish guy they come to me and they want to leave with the Americans at 2:00pm.  They say Colman, we want to stick with our original plan to leave at 2:00am.  I was so confused now.  I just say no we will leave 5:00am.  They go back to sleep in their tent.  At 1:30am I hear the Americans are ready to start to go.  They leave at 2:00am.  Our Waiter, he goes to wake the guys at 4:00am.  The guys they say they do not want anything for breakfast and they are ready to leave.  The Waiter tells me so I wake up and I pack everything and I go to the guys to say hallo to them.  But they do not respond.  They were angry with me.  I told them lets go.  After two hours of walking we hear people making noise.  I try to look at the top but I cannot see anything.  I it was too cloudy.  I told the guys to have rest and drink water but they say no and keep going up.  I want to have a break because I want to know what is going on.  But they say no.  After fifteen minutes I hear something coming down.  I look up to see it was rock and it was not far from us.  The rock was coming down on the right side.  I told the guys to stay on the left side.  The guy they were so scared.  The noise now it was not far. I told them to have a break and drink water.  We moved from the trail and stood on the big rock.  I looked at the top and saw the group of people coming down and they were carrying somebody in their hands.  We waited until they came near us.  Now I started to recognize them.  It was the American group guides and the three Americans.  After they see us, they stop and they want help.  We asked them what has happened.  They said at 4:30am on the way up they had a break for water, but before starting to drink they heard something like rocks coming down, but they can’t see which side it was coming through because of clouds and darkness.  By headlight they can’t see far away so the three American guys and the two guides moved to the right, but the other guy was peeing on the rock so he was late to move to the right.  The rock hit him on the shoulder and he fell down and hit his head on the rock.  There was lots of blood starting to come out.  They tried to use everything they could to stop the blood but it did not stop.  That was what they told us.

The Swedish guys say no more climbing.  We need to go down to help them to rush the wounded guy down because the three Americans and their guides were looking tired.  We take off our t-shirt to wrap the head of guy because lots of blood was coming out.  Me and my Assistance Guide carried the guy for one hour and we passed him to the Swedish guys.  They carry him for half an hour and they pass him to the American guys.  We did this down to Arrow Camp.  At Arrow Camp there was nobody there.  We took a five minute break and we start to go down to Lava Tower Camp.  It takes us only thirty.  At the Lava Tower we met a big group of fourteen Americans.  The guy could not talk any more.  The group of fourteen American they checked him and they said he was dead.  Our gear was covered in blood.  It was now 11:00am.  We got some tea and soup and some snacks from the group of Americans.  The guides of that group prepared food for their porters who then carried the body with their hands to Shira Camp.  The group of fourteen Americans changed their original plan to climb to the summit via Western Breach and now they planned to go through Barafu Camp.

On my side it was really hard because the Swedish guys now they want to go through Barafu and summit from there.  I told them its ok, but the problem is our tent were already down to Mweka Hut and there is no more food with us, only snacks.  The three American had no plan to climb anymore, so they gave us a lots of dry food, snacks, biscuits, etc.  The group of fourteen Americans told us to stay with them until the time we meet our porters.  The problem was now we needed more time on mountain – 2 more days.  I told them they will have to go pay extra money and also they needed to change their plane tickets.  I told them if they are ready I was ready too, but they say no.  I give them a plan to stay at Lava Camp and start at 3:00pm to go to the summit via Western Breach then after the summit we will go directly to the hotel.  They agreed but they look scared in their eyes.  We eat dinner with the American group at Lava Tower and we go sleep in their tents.  Me and my Assistance Guide give our sleeping bags to the Swedish guys and we share sleeping bags with the American porters.  We wake up at 2:30am and we start to climb at 3:00am.  We climb up and at 7:00am we find a hat on the trail.  It was the hat worn by the American guy who get died.  We take a break at that point and we pray and then we go to the summit!  We arrive at the summit at 9:00am.  We start to go down to Mweka Gate at 10:00am.  We arrived at Mweka Hut at 4:00pm where we met our porters.  We then went down to Mmweka Gate arriving at 7:00pm and then went to our hotel.  The Swedish guys thanked us a lot for leading them very well, otherwise they would have gotten into the accident with the Americans.

Another story happened in April 2012 when I was with three guys from South Africa.  We climbed via Machame route.  During the briefing one day before we start to climb I notice something.  One of the clients, his name was Frans and he cannot speak properly.  I did not want to ask why so I finish my briefing and I go home.  The next day, the day we start to climb, I notice another thing, Frans he cannot drink or eat properly.  We arrive at the Machame Gate and we register and start to climb.  At the Machame Camp I ask one of the guys what happen to that guy.  He told me he had cancer on his throat and that cancer killed his voice, and made the whole mouth numb.  Also he told me he used to be a pastor before and he was travelling to different countries.  Because he was not eating and drinking enough he was very weak.  Always we arrive at the camp very late.  The last day, summit day, we start together but after one hour we separate the group and I stay with Frans.   The Assistance Guide goes with the other two guys.  I climbed with him up to 5200m and we met the other guys as they are coming down.  They advise him to go down and he agrees because he really looked tired.  We go down to Millennium Camp and we camp there for the evening.  Frans explains to me that his dream is to climb Kilimanjaro before he dies.  Because his doctor told him he will die within 1 year.  He says although he did not make to the top, he was very happy because he made his dream before he died.  It was really amazing to me how this man managed climb Kilimanjaro while he can not eat 10 full spoons of food in one meal.  He cannot drink even one litre of water per day.  I learn something from that trip.  NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE.  THE ONLY THING IS TO PREPARE YOUR MIND.  After two years I received the book from the two guys.  The book was written by Frans before he died.  The book was called SUPERNATURAL CULTURE, LIVING FROM ABOVE.  He mentions me in that book and I am so honored that he did.


My siblings and I when we were young.

I told a lot of stories about the hardest parts of my climbing.  Also I have the other side of happiness.  The day I was real happy after a climb, it happened in 2012.  I was with two families from Canada.  They were friends.  They were with young boys and girls, the boys they are 7-8 years old and the girls they are 12-14 years old.  We climbed via Marangu route.  At the beginning of the trip I was worried about the boys because they were so young.  It is very hard to notice sign of mountain sickness in the kids.  But as the days go, the boys and the girls they become strong.  Even more than their parents.  The last day to the summit I was thinking it will be hard, but it was easier than I was thinking.  We start at 12:00 am and we arrived at the summit at 6:00 am.  On the way down it was easier too.  We arrived at the gate and we celebrated there.  That group was different from other trips because on that trip there were kids and it was a family trip with two families and all of them they made it to the top.  The guides, we are happy when our clients all make it.

There are lots of stories, good and the bad ones.  But I cannot mention all of them here.  When you come and climb with us, I will give you more stories if you would like to hear them.

There is one more thing I want to share.  It happened in September 2009.  I married Anna.  She was a tailor.  She makes the dresses for woman and sometimes she makes trousers for men in the country side.  She has a dream to be a big designer in our home town.  She still works very hard to fulfill her dream.  In June 2010 we get our first daughter (Editha) and January 2012 we get our second daughter (Anitha).  Editha she is in standard one and Anitha she is still in baby classes.  We work very hard every day for our daughters to get them a better education in a better school.

Thank you for reading.  Please leave a comment if you enjoyed my stories and share with your friends who you think might like them too. picture0006

Colman, an African Mountaineer – Part 2

Posted by in Colman, Kilimanjaro, Mountains | September 07, 2016
Colman, an African Mountaineer – Part 2

I thought I would share some more stories from guiding on Kilimanjaro.  I have many I would like to tell, but I will only tell some here.  I will tell some stories in the next two posts so it is not too long.  Then I will write about many other things.  These are other stories I remember during my time climbing.  I hope you enjoy them.


This is me as a young boy.

It was 2007 I had two clients from different countries, one from Germany (man) and the other from America (woman).  The woman weighed ~150kg.  She was a big lady.  We were climbing via Marangu route on a five day trip.  Normally a group of two clients would go with one guide and one assistance guide.  At the Marangu Gate the German guy says he will stick with the Assistance Guide so I stick with the lady.  It takes us thirty minutes at the gate for them to sign in then we start our climb at 10:00am.  The German guy arrived at Mandara Hut at 2:30pm, but the lady and I, we arrived at 9:30pm.  It was so slow after each two steps we made a stop.  After we arrived at Mandara, we had dinner and she went to sleep.  I was thinking she was going to give up because she was real tired.  But the next day I go to check her in the morning and she was sitting on the bed and she was smoking.  It was the first time to see her when she was smoking.  She did not even tell me she was a smoker.  I asked her how she was doing.  She says she was ok and she was ready to try again.  She had breakfast and we started to climb at 8:00am.  We arrived at Horombo Hut at 11:00pm.  The good thing for her was that she did not smoke on the way.  She smoked only at the camp.  The next day we started to go to Kibo Hut at 7:30am.  We arrived at 10:00pm.  We didn’t sleep.  We ate dinner and we started to go summit at 11:00pm.  We arrive at Gillman’s Point at 11:00am (normally we get there about 04:00am or so).  Then we go to Uhuru Peak arriving at 2:00pm.  We take photos and then we start to go down.  We arrived at Kibo Hut at 9:30pm.  No sleep because we have to go Horombo and we arrive there at 3:00am.  We register and we go to sleep until 8:30am.  We had breakfast and we start to go down and arrive at Mandara Hut at 7:30pm.  Then we called the rescue car.  We arrived at the Marangu gate at 9:30pm.  We got our certificates and then we went to the hotel.  She was really happy after getting her certificate and then the next day we had a celebration at the hotel.  This was one of the hardest trips of my all my trips on Kilimanjaro.  But great for her because it shows that anyone can be successful and she really tried hard.

In 2010 I lead a blind woman on Kilimanjaro.  It was June 2010 when I got a text from Deby.  She was a tour operator from South Africa and owned the tour company called Normadic Adventures.  She wanted me to lead 2 clients from Britain.  The lady was 57 years old and the guy that was with her was Peter, he was 60 years old.  We climbed on Rongai Route.  On the first day we started from Nalemuru Gate to Simba camp.  Peter lead her by having her put one hand on Peter shoulder and the other holding a stick (blind people stick).  Peter explained everything to her about the flowers, the trail, and every day at the camp he will help her with everything.  In Simba camp we discussed it with Peter and we agreed I will lead the lady during the day, and Peter he will take all responsibilities at the camp.  We did this up to the School Hut.  We had a private summit were we started late in the morning at 5:00am.  We arrive at the summit at 12:00pm.  She was very happy.  She touched the board at Uhuru Peak and she started to cry.  After a photo, we went down and had lunch at Kibo Hut.  Peter says he wanted to go to Mawenzi Tarn Hut to see the view of Mawenzi Peak on the other side and the lady and I would go down to Horombo Hut via the saddle.  On the way down to Horombo the lady started to complain about the trail.  She says that it was very easy and she want to do something harder!  I told her there is no other trail!  We arrived at the Horombo and took her to her tent.  After half an hour, Peter arrived and she complained the same thing.  Peter kept laughing.  The next day we go to Marangu Gate.  At gate we got our certificate and then we went to the hotel.  The lady says she will come back to climb Kilimanjaro via Machame route and she wants to climb Lava Tower and Barranco Wall and she wants me to be her guide when she come back.  I hope one day she will come back.  She is an amazing lady!


Linda on the summit with me.

Next week I will tell of one tragic story and one happy story.  I hope you will continue to read my stories.  Please let me know what you think of them in the comments and If you would like me to write about anything specific about my country or Kilimanjaro or anything!  Asante sana.  Thank you.

Colman, an African Mountaineer – Part 1

Posted by in Colman, Kilimanjaro, Mountains | September 01, 2016
Colman, an African Mountaineer – Part 1

My name is Colman Temba and I am the owner of Great Rift Mountains and Safaris based out of Moshi, Tanzania, at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro. I would like to share my story with you so that you can learn about me and my company. My hope is that one day, maybe you will travel to my beautiful country. I guide on Mt. Kilimanjaro as well as other mountains here in Tanzania. I also provide safaris and many other trips and services in East Africa. We have started a new blog and I plan to make a new post every week so that you can learn more about my country, culture, and company and how we can help make your Afrikan dreams come true. In this first post you will read about how I became a mountain guide. Each week I will post information about our staff, my beautiful country and our services that we can offer if you visit East Africa with us. I look forward to your comments and please share so that others may enjoy them as well.


I was born in Marangu, Tanzania on December 25, 1979.  I grew up in the countryside with 4 sisters and 3 brothers.  My father was a farmer and business man.  He bought and sold cow, goat and sheep skins.  My mother was also a farmer.  On our farm we grew a lot of banana, maize, and coffee.

I started primary school in January 1989 when I was 9 years old.  Primary education takes 7 years and I completed it in 1995.  I completed secondary school in 1999 and advanced secondary school in 2002.

I started climbing Mount Kilimanjaro when I was 14years only.  I did a lot of climbs as a Porter and then eventually as an Assistance Guide.  When I was in secondary school I worked for the Marangu Hotel.  After completing my advanced education in 2002, I started the guide licensing program for Kilimanjaro.  In 2003 I received my Guide License and in I started to lead trips as a mountain Guide in 2004, working for Zara Tours for 10 years

In 2009 I guided a couple on Kilimanjaro.  His name was Chris Kopp and his wife.  We became friends and stayed in touch.  In 2010, Chris came back to climb in Mt. Meru with me.  For me, it was always my dream to start my own guiding company so in 2012, I ask my friend Chris if he could help me because I did not know how to make a website and I worried that people may not trust an African company because my English is not perfect.  Chris agreed to help me and in 2012 I open my own company with my great friend from Canada Chris Kopp.  Our company was under name of KILI-CLIMBING but in 2014 we changed our name after expanding our services to other mountains and safaris in Uganda, Rwanda, DR Congo and Kenya.  Our company name is now GREAT RIFT MOUNTAINS & SAFARIS.  Now I am working not just as a mountain guide, but at the chief organizer in Africa for GREAT RIFT MOUNTAIN & SAFARIS COMPANY.


As I said I was born in the countryside and grew up there, the life there it was real tough.  I grew up in the village called Mmbahe near the Marangu Gate on Kilimanjaro.  The land there is real small.  Each family they have less than 0.5 hector.  Our family had about 3.5 hectors.  Our land was not in one place though and the distance between one farm to another it was about 0.5 km.  So at the age of 5 years with my brothers and sisters we were used to helping our parents on the farms.  Our duties were to carry manure from our home to other farms.  It is a real hard job.  Some days in the evening we would go to the forest to collect the firewood.  Everything in the countryside we carry it on the head.  Normally I would be a watchman because my parents they used to go to the farm in the morning and they come back in the afternoon.  My brothers and sisters would go school in the morning and they come back at 4 pm, so almost all the day I was lonely.  Every Saturday and Sunday it was great days to us because there was no work and no school so I get enough time to spend with my sisters and brothers.  They use to teach me how to count and how to read.  They do that because I was not able to go to kindergarten school because I had to stay home.  This is all about my child hood age between 5-9 years old.  It was not fun at all.

At the age of 9 years old in January 1989, I started primary school.  It was a big day in my life.  It was the day I got the chance to be with other kids for a half a day.  On that day I was looking smart in my uniform: khaki short pants, white shirt and red free flops on my feet.  That is the day I start my new life in that school.  The first two years I was happy.  I never missed a school day.  I was used to school in the morning and we go home at 12:00 pm so I would eat lunch at home.  I started to feel bitter when I started standard (grade) three.  I then go to school early in the morning and we go back home at 4 pm.  At school there was only one meal.  We would have porridge in the afternoon, and the other meal we get it in home at 4 pm.  I did not like that style so after 3 months I started to escape class.  3 months was enough to make me hate school because it was not fun anymore.  Some days I escape class for hours and we would go to Marangu Gate on Kilimanjaro to beg wazungu (white man) to give us sweets, chocolate, and sometimes they give us pens.  Sometime we would escape class and go to the river which was near our school to swim.  As the times goes by and when I was in standard (grade) five I was so famous at Marangu Gate everybody knows me, especially the Guides.  One day, it was Monday I remember at Marangu Gate, I met one Guide.  His name was Onesimo.  He told me to help him with his rucksack up to Mandara from Marangu Gate.  He promised to pay me some money.  I went with him not because he will pay me, but I know I will get chance to beg wazungu for sweets, chocolates and pens.  But after arriving at Mandara, he insist I stay there and then the next day to go with them to Horombo.  They promise it will at Horombo and I will get lots of sweets, chocolates and biscuits.  After arriving I was really tired and had a headache.  They give medicine (asprin, panodoi) and then I get to sleep.  In the middle of night they bring dinner for me, and then I sleep till in the morning when they gave some breakfast.  I asked them if I could stay with them for their rest day at Horombo and they agree.  It was a good day and I got lots of sweets and chocolate from the clients.  I did not even eat the lunch because I was full from sweets.  The next day I asked them to go with to Kibo Hut.  They agreed.  This is how I started to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.  On the way down, the clients they gave a really good tip plus a lot of sweets and Onesimo gave me the full salary of a Porter.  I was really happy.

After the climb I came back home.  At home I got harsh punishment from my father because he was really angry at me after people told him I was on the mountain.  My mom she was worried too.  They forbid me to go there again.  But when I was standard (grade) seven I climbed two more times.  In 1995 I complete standard seven.

January 1996 standard seven exam result came out and I did not perform very well, so I did not get a government sponsor.  But some of my friend they got it, and some of friend who come from wealthier families, they went to private school.  I was really disappointed because all of my friends were going to secondary school.  I tried to explain to my father that I want to go private but in that moment, my father was not good in term of finances because one of my brothers was at private school, one of my sisters was at private school, one sister was at nursing school, and one of brother he was at carpenter school.  So financially he was not good.  He told me to wait at home for until next year.  I agreed with him to wait but later I came up with an idea to climb for some trips to get the fees for six months, and the other six month I will climb again on the big holiday of June-July to finish the fees for whole year.  I explain it to my father and he agrees but not by 100% because he did not like me climbing as a Porter.  I managed to work on my plan and I succeeded to get the fees for the first six month.  I did the same in June-July.  So I was paid for the first year. The other year my father managed to pay by himself.  I climbed only to get money for pocket money and buy books, pens, and exercise books.  By that time I was mature enough, I knew the importance of studying very hard and the money I paid for the fees on the first year by myself, it made me study very hard.  Always I did very well on my exams.

In 1999 I completed my secondary education and in 2000 I got sponsored from government to go study Advanced education.  For two years, the place I had to go to study advanced education was far away from my home.  It was about 24 hours by bus from my home.  At that place things were different from my home town.  They had lots mosquitoes and the food water was different.  The water was not good for drinking (not safe to drink).  Every month I had to go to the hospital three to four times.  If it was not malaria, it was typhoid.  For the first year it was really hard.  In the second year, there was a big change as I was used to everything now; the water, food.  Now I have to go hospital only one time after 3 months.  In 2002 I completed my advanced education, and in 2003 my advanced secondary education exam results were out and I did not perform well enough to get government sponsor.  This time I had to go university or college and it was really expensive.  Its almost $2000 per year and my family would not be able to sponsor me.  I cannot even sponsor myself, so I decide to go back to work on the mountain.  In June 2003, I applied for Mountain Guide licence and got it in December 2003.

In January 2004, I started to climb as a Mountain Guide with ZARA Tours company.  At the beginning it was really tough to go on the mountain three time per month (high season) and one or two times in the low season.  Later after one year I started to get used to it. I used to lead a lot of Germany groups and a few American groups.  Normally there are lots of Americas in December.  Later in 2009 I started to lead Korean groups.  My biggest group to lead was 35 clients.  It was a Korean clients.  30 of them made it to the summit Uhuru Peak.  @ made it to Gillman’s Points and 3 of them they made it to Kibo Hut.  I worked with Zara for almost 10 years.

There are lots of things I remember during the time I was working with Zara Tours, but there are two things which I cannot forget in my whole life.  The first thing happened when I was with group of five clients.  Two of them from Germany, two from Spain and one from Belgium.  We climb via Marangu route.  The first day from Marangu Gate to Mandara Hut was ok.  The problem started on the second day when we went to Horombo.  The Belgian guy started to complain about the water bottle which he forgot in the hut.  We were already half way and he wanted us to go back to pick it up.  We told him it was far away but he did not understand and it took us almost 2 hours to explain to him.  He finally agreed to go to Horombo.  After we arrived at Horombo we got the rooms in the hut but the Belgian guy he refuse to stay on the cabin.  Also he refused to eat dinner.  We watched him until 11:00 pm, and then he fell asleep in the dining hall.  So we had to watch him until in the morning.  In the morning we reported him to Park Ranger. The Ranger spoke to him and suggest for him to go down because he was not mentally ok.  But he refused to go down.  The other four guys, they refused to walk with him on the trail, so we had to separate the group.  I stayed with the Belgian guy from Horombo to Kibo Hut.  We did not talk. I tried to speak with him, but he did not respond.  At Kibo Hut we gave him a hot lunch that he only at half of.  He did not eat dinner.  We started to go to the summit at 11:00 pm.  Still I was with the Belgian guy.  The other guys were with my Assistant Guide.  We summited (Uhuru Peak) at 6:30 am.  There were lots of client who are in the line waiting to take a photo and the others are celebrating.  I was going to the toilet and drinking water and eating something.  Later I tried to look for the Belgian guy, but I did not see him.  I start to run down to looks for him.  I go up to Stella Point and then to Gillman’s Point, but I did not see him.  I decided to climb again to Uhuru Peak.  I did not see him.  I met the other group of 4 clients and spoke with their Guide.  I took two guides to help me find the guy.  We separated into three groups; one to go down to Barafu Camp, one to stay at the summit to look in the rocks and the other to go down to Kibo Hut.  I went down to Barafu Hut.  When I arrived at the Barafu Hut, I looked in every camp and I spoke with the Rangers at the station, but I did not find him.  So I have to go again to the summit.  On the way up I look behind every rock but I did not find him up to Stella Point.  At Stella, I met the Guide who we left at the summit to look for him.  The only place which we did not look it was at Crater Camp.  We walked down into the crater and started to look in the rocks.  We finally found the guy on the rocks in the crater.  He was really tired.  No strength.  He was not mentally fit or able to make decisions.  We gave him water but only managed two sips.  We carried him on our hands up to Stella Point.  We managed it, and then we called rescue from Barafu Camp.  They start to climb up and we carry him down.  After 2 hours we meet the rescue team and now it was almost 11:00 pm.  They helped us carry him and we walked to Barafu Camp.  We then put him in the stretcher and we got more rescuers.  We started to go down to Mweka gate and arrived there at 10:00 am.  We got an ambulance and we arrived at the hospital at 12 noon.  The guy was admitted there.  This was my hardest day in my life of climbing.  45 hours with no rest, no sleep.  That was a really hard day.

The other thing that happen I will never forget was with group of 25 clients from South Korea.  We climbed via Marangu Route.  The Tour Leader was Mr. Kim.  Normally in every group of Korean there is one person who speaks English.  We call them the tour leader.  In the group there was a man 77 years old.  He was a professor of environment, climbing with his daughter.  It was a 6 day trip.  We did very well up to Kibo Hut.  At the Kibo Hut we started to go to the summit at 11:00 pm.  6 clients stayed at Kibo Hut.  We started to go to the summit with nineteen clients.  Fifteen clients managed to make it to Gillman’s Point.  Four of them they gave up on the way.  At Gillman’s Point we gave them hot tea.  Five of the remaining 15 decided to go down to Kibo Hut and then proceeded to Uhuru Peak.  We arrived at the summit at 6:30 am.  The clients took photos and were drinking tea.  It took us twenty minutes and then we started to go back down.  On the way down, the older man was not feeling well.  He complained about headache and weakness so we gave him glucose, water, and a pain killer.  Then we arrived at Gillman’s Point.  We took a rest for five minutes.  The man was laying down on the rocks.  We woke him to go down but he did not wake up.  We carried him with our hand and we tried to go down.  But after ten minutes we found the old man had died.  We carried his body in our hands to Kibo Hut, and then we got a stretcher to carry him to Marangu Gate.  We took him to the hospital and then we went to the police station.  It was almost 6:00 pm.  This was another hardest day and bad day in my life of climbing with someone who died in my hands.

There are lots of things I remember but these are the ones that stand out in my mind and I will never forget in my whole life of leading on Kilimanjaro as a Mountain Guide.

In January 2011, I started to work on my dream to have my own tour company.  Nine years of leading as a Guide was enough for me.  I wanted to do more, do it different and better.  It was hard to start it myself as I needed someone from abroad to help.  So what I did was write emails to my friends from abroad.  I told them about my idea.  Some of them they reply to my email saying it was a nice idea but they do not have time to work with me as a partner.  Later in 2012 I got an email from Chris Kopp.  He agreed to work with me as a partner.  Chris was a successful businessman in North America and was a mountaineer also and he agreed to help me.  So in 2012 Chris came back to Tanzania and we started our company called KILI-CLIMBING.  I was still leading trips on Kilimanjaro as a Mountain Guide but I got more responsibilities to lead on safari and became the chief organizer for our company.  I run all operations in Africa.  I did very well with some mistakes since I was new with the responsibilities.  Later in 2014 we come up with the new idea to expand our services to other mountains in East Africa and not only on Kilimanjaro.  So we changed our name to GREAT RIFT MOUNTAINS & SAFARIS.  I am still leading as mountain and safari Guide, and chief organizer for all African operations for Great Rift Mountains & Safaris.  It is my dream I will lead anyone who is reading this short story of my life.  Thanks very much.