Easy Travel could not be what it is today without our incredibly passionate and trustworthy guides. We might even go so far to say that we have the best guides in all of Tanzania. And since you will be spending most of your time on safari in the company of our guides, we thoughts we’ll introduce you to them. So, join us as we introduce our guides and ask them 22 questions in a quick fire round:
Meet Frank Mboya
1. What is your name and surname?
My name is Frank Peter Mboya.
2. Tell us a ‘lil bit about yourself – family, where you grew up etc
I was born and grew up in Kifuni village in Kilimanjaro region. I also attended my primary and secondary schools in the same village and later joined a college of tourism in Arusha. We were six in our family but three passed away some time ago, so three have remained. We grew up in the village with our mother while our father spent most of his time working in Tanga at the port where he worked as an engineer. I am married and a father of 2 children, both boys.
3. What languages can you speak?
My first language is Chagga, but I also speak Swahili and English fluently.
4. Do you have any nicknames?
Yes. Both my guests and fellow workmates call me “mabarafu” which means iceman. This name started when I climbed for the first time to the peak because I climbed with open shoes and suffered a lot of feet problems.
5. How long have you been a tour guide?
I have twelve years of experience as a mountain guide
6. Do you remember your very first trip you lead as a guide?
Yes, I recall the trip that I climbed to Mt Kilimanjaro via Umbwe route. The Umbwe route is very steep thus a challenge to me as a guide for the first time. I was very scared because I did not know if they would reach the top. I tried the best I could, and all clients managed to reach the summit.
7. Where does your passion for climbing the mountain come from?
I was born and grew up in the village on the slopes of the Mount Kilimanjaro. I heard many stories about it from our parents and other villagers. The views of the mountain also attracted me very much and soon after I finished school, I started climbing as a porter and this is where my passion for climbing the mountain started.
8. What is a typical day in the life of Easy Travel safari guide like?
I report to work to submit the report of the previous trip and make sure all the equipment is clean and in top condition for the next trip. Then, I receive a briefing of the next clients before I arrange the necessary equipment again. The next thing is to oversee the purchase of all food stuff and make sure all the porters are well informed and have the necessary gears for the climb. Based on the Easy Travel policy, if the climb involves a camping route, we set all the tents, sleeping bags to make sure that all is good. The balance of the day is then spent for a relaxing and saving energy for the next trek.
9. What is your favorite part of Tanzania and why?
I was born and grew up and now working on the north part of the country thus my favourite part. I have come across so many interesting things about the north Tanzania. The Kilimanjaro and Meru mountains, national parks, beautiful scenery, lush gardens around the volcanic mountains, and rivers, coffee plantations and culture of the people dominating this area.
10. Do you have any hidden talents?
Athletics. When I was in school, I participated in the inter-school athletics competition. Having been to the mountain so many times, I have gained breathing ability therefore becoming competent in athletics.
11. Is there a particular lesson or story you love to teach your guests about regarding nature or your culture?
I am the professional mountain guide who shares a lot with my guests. I do have a particular lesson about culture of the Chagga that I would like to share today. I would like to explain a bit the marriage in Chagga culture. Normally it is the man that pays the bride price to the parents of the girls in the form of a local brew about 240 liters, 2 cows, and 1 goat. Prior to the wedding ceremony all the participants share the local brew in a traditional calabash from both sides of the parents to show that two families have now formed a bond. On the wedding day, the man should present a machete to the brother in law and a blanket to the parents. The machete is the symbol of the warrior that has taken a good care of his sister while the blanket is to portray that “I am taking the girl from this family so the for the parents not to remain lonely, I give you this blanket to keep you warm.” After all this is done, you can take the girl to be your wife.
12. What was your scariest moment as a guide?
I remember I was on trip to Mt. Kilimanjaro with five clients through Machame Route. When we were on the way from Baranco to Karanga Camp on the fourth day, one of the porters slipped and fell down while carrying his luggage. He suffered some bruises and remained quiet for about three minutes. His fellow porters and I were very frightened but we all assisted him and took him to the camp where we gave him first aid assistance. When he recovered, two assistants of the porters escorted him down for further check-up at the hospital while the rest of us continued up with three new porters joining us.
13. What is the one question you get asked the most?
My guests always ask me how long it will take from this point to our camp. Before we start from one camp to another, I always brief them on how long we will cover for the day, how they should dress, and what kind of food they should take that day. I always remind them to take enough water to keep hydrated and fresh along the way – I have to apply my guiding skills to keep them going when they get tired.
14. What is the one thing that trekkers must remember to pack for their trekking?
Passport. This is obviously the most important document they should carry with them. It is required not only for the entry to the country but also for the entry to the national park.
15.What advice do you have for people who are going on safari for the first time?
Guests trekking for the first time should bring along the proper gears for the climb, they have to be attentive and listen to the briefing from the mountain guide. They need to do sufficient training before the climb.
16. Which Tanzanian dish do you recommend travelers must try when they visit?
“Machalari” is what I always prefer to recommend to travellers to Tanzania. Machalari is cooked banana mixed with beef stew and vegetables.
17. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I enjoy reading books, watching TV and teaching my children about culture.
18. Are you a cat person or a dog person?
I am a dog person.
19. If we open your cellphone’s music player, what song would we find was last played?
It is the song called “Nibebe” by the Tanzanian gospel music artist Rose Muhando.
20. What is the last photo you took on your cellphone?
The last photo I took with my phone has cheetah with its Thomson Gazelle prey.
21. Do you have a favorite joke you’d like to tell
When we come down from the mountain, with everyone tired, I always tell them we have to go back because we forgot to take pictures!
22. Lastly, if you could give travellers one reason why they have to visit Tanzania in their lifetime, what would it be?
The Easy Travel team offers excellent service and it is indeed the reason I would give to the travellers wanting to visit Tanzania.