MEET OUR Mountain Guide:
Daudi Jackson Kibona

Tanzania - daudi jickson kibona standing 1 - mountain-guide daudi jackson kibona
Position: Assistant Mountain Guide
Date of Birth: 1st July 1990
Place of Birth: Songwe, Tanzania.
Language Spoken: English and Swahili.
Number of years in the travel industry: 13 years, four years as a porter, then nine years as an Assistant Mountain Guide
Number of years working with Easy Travel: 1 Year

About Daudi

I was born at the Isoko Hospital in the Songwe region of Tanzania and lived with my parents and elder brother. My education began at the Mtula Primary School in 1998 and afterward at the St. Mbagatuzinde Secondary School. Both schools are located in the Songwe region. After I completed my early education, I stayed at home for about five months, helping my parents while waiting for my results.

After that, I moved to the neighboring region of Mbeya because I wanted to pursue a career in tourism with further education at the Molovian College. For one year, I studied on a mountain guiding course. I was living alone in Mbeya during this brief period.

Then I moved to Arusha City and lived with my friend while I was undertaking a three-month field course on mountain climbing. My first experience of an actual climb was when I was 22, working as a porter. I climbed on the Machame route for six days, and although I was one of the porters who remained at the base camp (so, just before the summit), it was still a difficult experience because it was the first time I had climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.

In 2012, I was already a very experienced porter and continued my studies on the mountain guide course. This two-month course was run at the Mweka College in the Moshi Region. I was very happy to receive my mountain guide license and worked with several companies after that, gaining valuable experience.

I currently live with my wife, who is from the Iringa Region, and my four-year-old daughter, who is called Glory. We live in the Kimandolu district of Arusha City.

After getting married, I heard that Easy Travel – a big company – was hiring new guides, and I applied. I succeeded in my application and became a mountain guide in May 2022. Since then, my time has been very educational because Easy Travel provides thorough training for all its mountain crew members. This is the best company I have worked with so far.

Favorite Park in Tanzania

My favorite park in Tanzania is the Kilimanjaro National Park. Kilimanjaro National Park has amazing animals, birds, vegetation, and Mount Kilimanjaro itself! Mount Kilimanjaro is the world’s biggest freestanding mountain. It is a mountain close to the equator but with enormous glaciers. Mount Kilimanjaro has different fascinating vegetation zones, according to the altitude.

Favorite Route

My favorite route is the Lemosho route, which is trekked in eight days.

Favorite Food

My favorite meal is rice and green bananas. This dish is known as ‘machalali’ in my native tribal language. It is cooked with beef and vegetables but with bananas as the main ingredient. I love this dish because it is the staple dish back home.

Favorite Hobby

My favorite hobby is playing and watching football. My brother and father played back home, so I joined them.

Favorite TV Show

My favorite show is the WWF show which is a show of wrestling competitions. I feel happy when I see the competitors jumping and fighting! 

Favorite Singer/band

My favorite singer is Celine Dion. I like listening, singing, and dancing to her songs. 

14 Questions and answers with Daudi

Mount Kilimanjaro became a national park in Tanzania in 1976, opening to the public in 1978. Kilimanjaro is among the seven wonders of the world. It has six different routes: the Lemosho, Machame, Marangu, Rongai, Umbwe, and finally, the Mweka route, which is only used on the descent. 

This mountain has five zones. Each is interesting. The first zone is the cultivation zone where the locals live, and they earn their main income from agriculture, including the plantation of crops such as coffee and bananas.

The next zone is the rainforest zone, where you can find animals such as jackals, Colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, and blue monkeys. You can also find birds in this region, such as the turaco and various doves. 

The heath and moorland zone is the third zone, with trees like the Giant Kilimanjaro, Lobelia Decamia, and Plateau. Birds found in this region include the sunbird and Alpine chat.

The Alpine zone is the fourth zone, with birds like the lammergeier, striped black and white alpine chat, and the black and white raven.  The last zone is the summit zone, from 4600m to 5895m. This is where you can find snow and huge glaciers. 

My favorite route is the Lemosho; I walked for over eight days. When you climb the Lemosho route, you can see many animals in the forest, such as monkeys. You can also see birds such as the turaco. You will also see the three peaks of Kilimanjaro called Shira, Mawenzi, and Kibo Peaks. You get great views of Mount Meru, which is inside the Arusha National Park and the second-highest mountain in Tanzania. You can also get the chance to see the Ngorongoro Highlands and Oldonyo Lengai, which is a volcanic mountain near Lake Natron.
Easy Travel is the best choice for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro because it provides the best experience for trekkers and crews. The company carries out training with its crew members.

My favorite month of the year for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is in October. October is a summer month, and the weather makes seeing the mountain’s attractions easy. It is one of the months with a high summit success rate. The Lemosho route in October is my preference.

My favorite part of Mount Kilimanjaro is the montane forest, where you see blue monkeys, white and black colobus monkeys, and vervet monkeys. Flower species such as Impatiens Kilimanjaro and Gladiola will be seen here. Another of my favorite parts is the summit, where you can see the biggest glaciers and the famous ash peak. You can also see Mount Meru when you reach the top.
For many, it is a surprise that Mount Kilimanjaro has glaciers and ice at the top, even though it is located in the equatorial region. There are changing trails and landscapes depending on your climbing route and area.  
My favorite culture in Tanzania is that of the Hadzabe tribe. These people are located in the Lake Eyasi region. I like how they dance and speak, and their daily activity is hunting birds and the Thompson’s gazelle. They are real hunter-gatherers and dress with little clothing material made of monkey skin. I visited, hunted, and danced with them while traveling with my friends to their region. 

Trekkers should learn some of the common Swahili words, such as:

‘Jambo,’, which means hello.

‘Hakuna Matata,’, which means no worries.

‘Mambo Vipi?’, which means hello, and how are you?

I am among the crew members who can carry up to 20kgs of luggage and equipment while hiking to the top. Another thing that will surprise trekkers is to learn that I am one of the few men from the southern region of Tanzania who has found a job as a guide in the northern part. Though the Songwe region (where I come from) is at a high elevation, it was still challenging for me to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

Every trekker must ensure they are physically fit by doing exercises such as jogging and running. This helps your body to become stronger and your breathing to improve. It is another way of strengthening your lungs.

Preparation of your gear is very important such as having a good sleeping bag, rain gear, and good shoes for hiking. Having the right clothing material for climbing to the summit is essential.

It is important to have your prescribed medication (if advised by your doctor), such as Ibuprofen and Diamox. Having the right snacks, which give you energy and strength, is also sensible.

I have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro more than 50 times since I was 24. I have trekked all the routes. Although I struggled to reach the summit my first time as a guide, I managed to get to the top by having a positive mindset and working hard.

There are many challenges during a Mount Kilimanjaro climb. Getting to the summit is the hardest part. You can face medical issues such as headaches, vomiting, and diarrhea. Loss of appetite is common due to the high altitude, a new experience for most bodies. Due to insufficient or inappropriate gear, you can also feel very cold during the summit part. When descending from the summit, most trekkers feel like their legs are not working properly.

My best advice to hikers is to ensure you share how you feel with your mountain guide about anything, for example, mountain sickness. This will help you to sort out any problem at the earliest opportunity. Do not hide how you feel!

Another important piece of advice is to care about your health and prioritize your safety. Life is more important than forcing yourself to trek to the top if you are not feeling well or your health conditions are abnormal.

There are many challenges I have faced. Some areas are difficult to pass through due to the landscape and graduation of the trail. Some trekkers cannot pass or become afraid of some sections, such as the Barranco Wall, which can be slippery and is effectively a high wall that must be climbed.

Some trekkers or crew members become sick during the climb to the summit, and if this happens, the crew members have to go back down. This means the luggage weight increases for the remaining crew members who are still responsible for taking the rest of the trekkers to the summit.


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