MEET OUR Mountain Guide:
Emanuel Geofrey Mbuya

Tanzania - emanuel geofrey mbuya standing - mountain guide emanuel mbuya
Position: Mountain Guide
Date of Birth: 12th June 1982
Place of Birth: Arusha, Tanzania.
Language Spoken: English, Swahili, and Spanish.
Number of years in the travel industry: 19 years, four years as a porter,15 years as a mountain guide.
Number of years working with Easy Travel: 1 Year

About Emanuel

I was born in Arusha in a village called Sanawari, where my parents used to live before they moved back to the small village of Msea in Marangu when I was just two years old. From six years old, I went to the Marimeni Primary School until, in 1997, I passed the exam required to attend the Mwika Secondary School, where I stayed until 2001. At the age of 15 years, when I was still in secondary education, my father had an unfortunate accident. At that time, I could not afford to pay for my school fees, but I was determined not to quit high school because I wanted to keep pushing myself to study. Instead, I tried to find a way to fund the school fees, as my father was still in the hospital with his hospital fees to pay.

To solve this problem, I decided to meet up with my uncle, a mountain guide, and ask him if I could climb Mount Kilimanjaro with him during my holidays, and he agreed. However, my mother refused, saying I was too young, and despite getting some relatives to try and persuade her, she still refused. Nevertheless, I decided to go on the mountain without her permission, climbing via the Machame Route. This was very, very tough. I was young, and at that time, there was no limitation on the weight that a porter was allowed to carry – sometimes, this would be more than 30kg. Luckily, I managed to complete this trek, and I came back safely. When I returned home, my mother cried when she saw how tired I was.

Finally, she relented and accepted that I should continue to climb the mountain. Further treks undertaken during the school holidays helped me to get enough money to pay for my father’s hospital fees. It also helped me to pay for my school fees.

When I was in the fourth year of secondary school, I met a German female in one of the trekking groups who inquired why I was doing this tough job at such a young age. When I explained to her that I had to do this job to get some money for my fees, she was so sad, and at the end of the trip, she insisted on paying my school fees and the rest of my father’s hospital bill. He had undergone surgery, which I could pay for due to the help I got from the German guest. After I finished high school, I did not pursue any further education but instead went to Arusha to find another job. This wasn’t easy, so I decided to find another relative in Arusha who was also a guide. With his help, I started hiking again as a porter in 2003.

I saved enough money for the fees to attend Mount Meru Wildlife College in 2004/2005. After that, I heard a training course was being conducted at Kilimanjaro National Park, and I managed to join that. Luckily, I was chosen as a mountain guide and passed the course in 2006. That is my story of how I became a mountain guide. Since then, I have worked with many different, small companies, but then I decided to join Easy Travel and Tours because it is a company that treats its crews exceptionally well and also pays them very well compared to those companies I had worked with before. I am proud to be a mountain guide for Easy Travel and Tours.

Favorite Park in Tanzania

My favorite park in Tanzania is the Serengeti National Park because of the amazing wildebeest migration. This migration of over one million herd animals starts from Serengeti National Park and rotates continuously up to the Maasai Mara. Wildebeest, zebra, and antelopes are followed by watchful predators such as the lion and the hyena. When the migration returns to the Serengeti plains, this is the main highlight of the many things I love about this park. The predators hang around with their cubs, and you can witness the wildebeest giving birth. It is an incredible spectacle, the most amazing thing that I have ever seen in my entire life!

Favorite Route

My favorite route is the Lemosho Route, which trekked over eight days

Favorite Food

My favorite meal is ugali with fish. This is a local Tanzanian meal that most people like because it is both healthy and affordable. Ugali is easy to find anywhere you go in Tanzania. Enjoy it with any vegetable, milk, or meat – and it will still taste good!

Favorite Hobby

My favorite hobby is hiking because it makes my body fit. Exercise is good for my profession. When I am in town (back at home), I do not get the opportunity to exercise much. My physical health gets better when I am hiking. Hiking also allows everyone to see incredible scenery and the chance to bond with different people from all around the world.

Favorite TV Show

My favorite TV show is watching football on the sports channels. My favorite team in the local Tanzanian league is Simba Sports Club, and in the English Premier League, it is Arsenal. When they win their matches, I feel very happy!

Favorite Singer/band

My favorite singer is Bob Marley because I enjoy reggae music. My favorite Bob Marley song is ‘Africa Unite,’ because he sings about how all African countries should be united.

14 Questions and answers with Emanuel

For many, a Kilimanjaro trip will be full of surprises due to the views and incredible scenery on the mountain. Kilimanjaro is the highest, climbable, free-standing mountain in the world. It does not need technical skills to climb, but it is hard and challenging, especially on the last day. The view from the top is incredible, with the spectacular sunrise, the glacier, and the snow extending across the mountain’s high areas. I am sure that every trekker will never forget this experience!

My favorite route is the Lemosho Route because the mountain’s western part has beautiful scenery. Also, the route gives you a real challenge from the beginning, preparing the body for the big hike on the last day. The challenge continues on Day 2, and this route also helps with acclimatization compared with other routes, which are gentle and do not give sufficient time for acclimatization.
The experience provided by Easy Travel is exceptional and gives a high level of service which most of the other companies do not provide. They supply high-quality tents and take good care of the mountain crew and trekkers. I recommend Easy Travel and Tours if they want to come trekking or enjoy a safari, as they are the best company in Arusha, Tanzania.

My favorite month of the year for climbing is August because this is a ‘dry season’ month – and it is warm. In the daytime, there is plenty of sunlight and less possibility of rainfall. During the night, the sky is clear and starry. This is why I recommend trekkers climb Mount Kilimanjaro in August.

My favorite section of Mount Kilimanjaro is the Barranco Wall because of the amazing scenery and the exceptional view of the peak, especially from the top of the Barranco Wall. It is a challenge to climb the wall. Most of the trekkers arrive at Barranco Wall and get scared because it seems impossible to climb the wall. In the beginning, it feels like that, but in the end, they manage to get to the top. At the end of each climb via the Lemosho route, I ask the trekkers, ‘Which was your favorite part?’ – and they always answer, ‘The Barranco Wall.’
Most trekkers do not expect the toughness of the challenge, especially on the last day (summit day), because this is the steepest and coldest time. Also, the altitude creates many challenges for the trekkers due to the lack of oxygen at 5000m elevation and above. People think the climb will be easy in warm conditions because it is south of the Equator. But as they climb, especially towards the summit, they realize it is perhaps the hardest thing they have ever experienced – and maybe the coldest.
The Maasai tribe is one of the most famous tribes in Tanzania. They have a unique, traditional, and very different way of life. The Maasai live in the northwest part of Tanzania. The Maasai are one of the tribes that migrate from region to region, always looking for fresh green pasture for their cattle. They are famous worldwide for their dance and ‘jump,’ performed by young unmarried males called ‘morans.’ They say the Maasai originally came from the northern part of Africa, then headed down to the central part of Africa, crossing Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, and finally ended up in Tanzania. They then settled around the Ngorongoro Crater, looking for green pastures.

‘Jambo,’ means ‘hello.’

‘Hakuna Matata’ means ‘no problem.’

‘Lala Salama’ means ‘sleep well.’

I hope the trekkers will be (pleasantly) surprised by the passion, knowledge, and service I provide during the trek. As I have 15 years of experience as a guide, I will always ensure that they will be in safe hands and hike safely. I try to be humorous, and I always like to be happy. A trek with me will – I hope – be enjoyable.
First, you need to train very well physically and mentally. Although not ‘technical,’ Kilimanjaro is still not the easiest mountain to climb. Trekkers must be physically and mentally ready for this challenge. Most trekkers will have prepared by running, cycling, or hiking hills to make their bodies ready for their Mount Kilimanjaro trek. Training in the gym is also recommended. Also, trekkers need to train for their descent. I have been working with trekkers for a long time, so coming down can be challenging. Trekkers must prepare for the cold, altitude, and lack of oxygen. This is most challenging on the last day. Trekkers must train for the effects of a lack of oxygen by hiking high and then sleeping low or using the oxygen chamber to maintain their oxygen levels.
I have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro 296 times as a mountain guide since 2007. I have climbed with all ages of climbers, the oldest being 86 years old and the youngest only seven years old. All managed to reach the summit with my guidance! I have also accompanied blind and disabled trekkers on the Marangu Route – and they managed to reach the top!

The altitude is one of the main challenges, as the lack of oxygen causes problems such as getting tired, becoming sick or sleep deprivation. When trekkers reach high altitudes, especially above 3000m, they start experiencing symptoms such as tiredness, headaches, breathlessness, nausea, stomach problems, or a lack of appetite. Many of these side effects are caused by a lack of oxygen. These things all make Kilimanjaro a big challenge!

Adopt a positive mindset. Please focus on that you are going to Kilimanjaro and will make it! Sometimes you can advise trekkers to use Diamox as a prevention. But trekkers should also drink more than 3 to 4 liters of water and other liquids such as juice and soup, which will help them. (Diamox can hide signs of altitude sickness.) I recommend that trekkers eat well and sleep well during the hike.

Problems can occur when trekkers choose to ignore the advice given to them by their crew, even though the crew members are hugely experienced.

On one occasion, a trekker repeatedly ignored my advice despite being unwell. In fact, halfway up the mountain, we had to get him to sign a disclaimer, as he was so obstinate and insisted on continuing.

One morning, when I went to wake him up, he did not respond – in fact, he was unconscious, and we had to carry him down the mountain. Fortunately, after reaching base camp and then Moshi, he recovered fully. But his stubbornness could have been fatal.


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