MEET OUR Mountain Guide:
Charles Frank Mtambo 

Tanzania - charles frank mtambo standing - mountain-guide  charles-mtambo
Position: Assistant Mountain Guide
Date of Birth: 24th February 1995
Place of Birth: Moshi, Tanzania
Language Spoken: English and Swahili
Number of years in the travel industry: 11 years, five years as a porter, then six years as a guide
Number of years working with Easy Travel: 8 months from June 2022

About Charles  

I was born in 1995 in Moshi Majengo Hospital in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania. I originate from the Bondei tribe, from the coastal region of Tanga. My parents were born in Tanga but then moved to the town of Moshi in the 1980s for better job opportunities, and they have lived there since then until the present day.

My education began at the Majengo Primary School in 2002 and continued until 2007. Next, I attended the JK Nyerere Secondary School in 2008 and stayed there until 2012. My first experience on the mountain was in 2012 when I was still only 17 years old. I climbed as a porter, which was a difficult experience because I was young. After that, I studied a course about animal health for three years and obtained my diploma in 2016.

In 2018, I joined a short Mountain Guide course at Mweka College. From that year on, I worked as an Assistant Mountain Guide. I got married in 2019, and my wife and I had a daughter called Tinagrace, in 2022. In June 2022, I started to work with Easy Travel, and I have continued to work as an Assistant Mountain Guide with them until now. My experience has been very educational, and I have learned many things during this time with Easy Travel. I am proud to be part of their mountain crew.

Favorite Park in Tanzania

 My favorite park in Tanzania is Kilimanjaro National Park because it is where I earn my income and get valuable work experience. This park allows my body to get exercise and to be physically fit, thanks to the trek.

Favorite Route

My favorite route is the six-day Machame route 

Favorite Food

My favorite food is chicken with rice. I love this food because when I was young, my mother would prepare this meal for us. For its preparation, you boil the rice; for the curry, you boil the chicken with different spices.

Favorite Hobby

My favorite hobby is painting and drawing pictures. This has been one of my talents since I was in primary school. I also can play different musical instruments such as the guitar, drums, or piano. I play all kinds of music, such as traditional or reggae.

Favorite TV Show

I do not like watching television, but occasionally I watch animated movies or cartoons when I am tired. This makes me relax and refreshes my mind. My favorite cartoons are the Lion King and Peter Rabbit and other animations.

Favorite Singer/band

My favorite artist is actually from Kenya and is called H_Art the Band because of how they play their instruments. Overall, I love all kinds of music from various singers or bands.

14 Questions and answers with Charles

First of all, climbing Kilimanjaro is a trip of a lifetime because of the sheer beauty of Mount Kilimanjaro. You can find different vegetation zones on the mountain. The first is the cultivation zone, where you can find the Chaga tribal people, the residents who plant crops on the foothills, such as bananas, coffee, and beans. The next zone is the rainforest zone, which is all green due to the tall trees and bushes. Here, you can hear the voices of birds and animal calls. You can hear waterfalls in this zone and the forest’s silence. Another zone is the heath and moorland zone, where you walk in open spaces and find only small bushes or trees. You will walk under direct sunlight as no more tall trees are here. Also, the Alpine desert zone is where you walk through broken rocks and open spaces. In this zone, you also walk under direct sunlight. The last zone is the Arctic zone, where you walk to what is known as the Roof of Africa. On this day, it is an achievement to walk for many hours, overcome tiredness and reach the top; this makes it an unforgettable trip.

My favorite route for the climb is the six-day Machame route. Many trekkers should consider selecting this route because it is good for acclimatization. You can climb to a higher point and then sleep at a lower elevation. It helps to avoid mountain sickness. The path does not have many rocks or obstacles. This route is also safe as a climb for beginners. 
Easy Travel is the best choice for trekkers to climb Mount Kilimanjaro because they provide exceptional service to their trekkers from arriving at the airport until the mountain trek is completed. The way they care for the trekkers and crew members is excellent. Its core values are to give the best service and care for the trekkers regarding their safety. Also, the crew members know how to cooperate very well with each other and work as a unit. They have high respect for each other.

My favorite month of the year to climb Kilimanjaro in August. This period is during the dry season, with less chance of rainfall, clouds, storms, or wind. It is a high-season month, so there are many trips, and the crews keep very busy. This is why August is my favorite month.

My favorite part of Mount Kilimanjaro is the famous Barranco Wall. The Barranco Wall requires good physical technique; on some parts, you must scramble and ‘hug’ the rock with your hands. You need to climb slowly to hold on to the rocks and go very carefully. The Barranco Wall takes between 45 minutes and two hours, depending on the trekker’s pace and physical condition. On this day, most trekkers get the true experience of a mountain hike. You pass the ‘Kissing Rock,’ and on this day, it is a very amazing experience for me, my crew, and all the trekkers. After reaching the top of the Barranco Wall, you have a nice view, and most trekkers like to take some amazing pictures. It is an incredible photo point because of the landscape and the cloud cover behind it.
Most trekkers don’t expect the summit climb to occur at night. They ask: ‘Why do we go at night and not during the day?’. The reason is that during the day, there is less oxygen, and during the night, there is more! Another reason is that we want trekkers to arrive at the summit to see the sunrise. Avoiding the strong sun during the day is also good for preventing sunburn and exhaustion. Strangely, avoiding where you are going is better; otherwise, seeing the distance to the summit can be demotivating! It is also good to return to the base camp in the morning and give trekkers a little time to rest and have lunch before going further.
My favorite ethnic group in Tanzania is the Maasai tribe, which has a rich culture. The Maasai dress in unique colors (red or blue blankets) and are famous for their behavior of singing and dancing and the houses they live in, called a boma. A Maasai man can marry more than four wives, and the wealthiest Maasai get much respect from their community according to how many cows and wives they have. A famous meal of theirs is called loshoro, which is made of banana with milk.

Hakuna Matata, meaning ‘no worries’

‘Pole Pole, meaning ‘slowly slowly.’

Mambo, meaning ‘what’s up?’

The guests are surprised that I have been climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for 11 years. After telling them about it, they get surprised because of how I currently look, and they try to imagine how I used to look 11 years ago! It helps them to avoid thinking negatively about their progress and trek. They think positively due to my experience!
Ensure you think positively and do not have a negative mindset that may affect your trekking experience. Drink enough water while climbing, at least 3 liters per day. Ensure that you have all the proper gear to protect against rain and cold, such as warm clothes, good sleeping bags, walking poles, appropriate hiking shoes, sunscreen, sunglasses, and some snacks for boosting your energy on the way up. Be open and share with the crew information about any changes your body experiences or any condition you feel at any time on the trek.
I have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro over 70 times. Since I started to be a guide in 2018 after finishing the mountain guide course, I have climbed about 15 times per year. I started work as an assistant guide for six years with different companies. Throughout my time, I have overcome many challenges, weather changes, and experiences that made me learn many things.

There are many challenges when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. If you do not have a proper crew (chef, porters, and guides), then you will not have a memorable experience. This may cause a challenge, so you should select a good company, such as Easy Travel, that can provide a reliable crew. This will ensure your safety while providing you with a memorable experience.

When some crew members or trekkers get injuries or altitude sickness, this is a major challenge, and weather can also be a challenge if there are storms or high winds, which can cause damage to the equipment (tents). Storms occur during the summit ascent, which can affect the chance of a summit’s success.

All trekkers should walk slowly during the trek to ensure their bodies adapt to the latest changes in environment and altitude. When you walk fast, your body requires more oxygen and more water. This can weaken your body. Everyone must drink much water every day from the start of the trek to avoid headaches and to ensure the body is kept well-hydrated. Keep a positive mindset at all times, even when facing a challenge. Be open and share any changes your body experiences or conditions you feel on the trek with the crew. Climbing high and sleeping at lower elevations is a technique to help trekkers to acclimatize during the climb. Eat enough food at lower elevations before you lose your appetite.

I faced some challenges as a guide when I became sick before finishing the trip. If a rescue is needed, this causes the crew members in the group to evacuate the trekker or crew to a lower elevation. The remaining luggage has to be carried by the remaining porters, which is an extra weight for each crew member. Weather can be a challenge, such as any strong wind which can cause damage to the equipment. This is mostly a challenge for the guides because they must fix the damage while on the trek!

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