MEET OUR Mountain Guide:
Gedi Nada Sai

Tanzania - gedi nada sai standing - gedi sai
Position: Assistant Mountain Guide
Date of Birth: 12th August 1976
Place of Birth: Shinyanga, Tanzania.
Language Spoken: English and Swahili
Number of years in the travel industry: 12 years, six years as a porter, and six years as an Assistant Mountain Guide.
Number of years working with Easy Travel: 12 years

About Gedi

I was born in the Dutwa Ward of Bariadi district, in the Shinyanga region of Tanzania. My family was not wealthy, and I was the sixth of eight children. Together, the ten of us lived in Dutwa, and the family got its income through agriculture. Specifically, this was through cotton and maize plantations. I attended the local Isuyu Primary School from 1986 to 1992. And at the weekends, I used to help my family with farming once I was 16 years old.

I then moved to the Serengeti district for my secondary education, attending the Serengeti Secondary School from 1993 until 1996. At this time, I lived alone in a rented room. I completed my studies until the fourth form but did not pass my examination, so I could not continue. I then returned to Shinyanga, where I stayed for around seven years, helping my family with farming.

After that, I married, became independent, and lived with my family. I have five children, three sons, and two daughters. We live in Arusha City, so I moved to find a better career.

I did various jobs until I saw some of my fellows climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. This made me apply for a job at Easy Travel as a porter. I was 32 years old when in 2010, I climbed for the first time via the Lemosho route. I continued to trek the mountain for six years as a porter, with the last three years as a summit porter.

Then in 2016, I attended Mweka College to do their course to become a Mountain Guide. I got my Mountain Guide license and became an Assistant Mountain Guide, and Easy Travel successfully promoted me. Easy Travel is a good company that ensures that all its guides are committed and capable of giving a good service to the trekkers.

Favorite Park in Tanzania

My favorite park in Tanzania is the Kilimanjaro National Park because it is home to Mount Kilimanjaro, which has an elevation of 5895m and from which I earn my living. The unique thing about Mount Kilimanjaro is that it has five distinct zones; starting from the bottom, we have the cultivation zone, forest zone, moorland zone, alpine desert, and summit. Kilimanjaro has a rich diversity of plant species and birds, and caves are among the other attractions. 

Favorite Route

Lemosho route, walked over eight days.

Favorite Food

My favorite food is called ‘Ugali,’ a stiff porridge. It is made of maize flour, ground from maize. To make it, boil water, pour the flour into the hot water, and stir with a wooden spoon called the ‘mwiko’ until it becomes firm. You would eat this with vegetable or meat stew, which keeps the body strong during the day.

Favorite Hobby

My favorite hobby is watching football on the sports channel because even when I am stressed, it helps me feel much better. I prefer to watch the English Premier League; my favorite team is Manchester United. 

Favorite TV Show

My favorite TV show is the Tanzania channel which shows all about the different attractions of our beautiful country – all the different regions and the tourism in the country. From this, I have learned many things about the other national parks in Tanzania.

Favorite Singer/band

My favorite singer is Diamond Platinum, a Tanzanian Singer. His songs are related to our community and interpret our country, inside and out, through his songs.

14 Questions and answers with Gedi

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is unique; for example, there is the flower known as the Impatiens Kilimanjaro, which grows only on this mountain at an altitude of 2500m. You can find it on the Machame and Mweka routes, which grow yearly. Other interesting things to trekkers include mosses, such as ‘old man’s beard,’ which can be seen hanging on the trees, especially in the forest zone on the Machame and Lemosho routes.

My favorite is the eight-day Lemosho route because this route has a real diversity of plants, flowers, and birds. It is on the western side of Mount Kilimanjaro and is the longest route, with seven camps from the gate to the summit.
Easy Travel is the best choice for trekkers who want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro because they take great care of their crew and trekkers. The equipment quality at Easy Travel is excellent, including good-quality tents, mess tents, tables, chairs, mattresses, etc. All their guides are mountain professionals with excellent experience, and they do an excellent job because it is their passion. Easy Travel also pays a fair wage for their crew (cooks, porters, and guides).

My favorite month of the year for climbing Kilimanjaro is July, which is in the dry season. Between July and October is a good time to trek on the mountain. These months have only a low possibility of serious rain or wind. There is also less dust.

My favorite part of Mount Kilimanjaro is the Shira 2 camp on the western side of Kilimanjaro. Shira 2 is a camp that meets with the Londorosi route on the Day 3 of a trek, and on day 4, trekkers on the Machame and Lemosho routes will all meet at this point. They will join and continue their trek to the Lava Tower and the next camp of Barranco. At Shira 2, you can see many other landscapes, such as the Shira Plateau, good views of Western Mount Kilimanjaro, the Shira Caves, and the Shira Camp. 
People do not expect to see the ice glaciers at the top of the mountain because Mount Kilimanjaro is near the equator. The equator region is known primarily as a hot region, so, surprisingly, the mountain gets ice glaciers at the top. These glaciers are slowly disappearing from the mountain due to climate changes. It is not a dead mountain but is known as a sleeping volcano. It is a dormant mountain without any eruptions occurring.

My favorite part about the Tanzanian culture is that of the Maasai tribe, one of the most famous tribes in Tanzania. The Maasai live in the villages of Longido and Ngorongoro alongside the wild animals. They educate their youngsters well before the young men start a family. They teach how to be a good father, preparing for when they become the elders in the family. I think this is one of the tribes with a very rich culture.

The common words I recommend all guests learn are:

‘Jambo’ or ‘Mambo,’ which means ‘hello’ and ‘what’s up?’

‘Habari,’ which means ‘how are you?’

‘Poa,’ which means ‘cool.’

Our guests will be surprised to know about my local tribe, the ‘Sukuma,’ who come from the Mwanza, Shinyanga, and Gaita regions. These regions are known for their cattle and natural resources such as diamonds and gold. We love to eat our cultural foods such as ugali and sweet potatoes. 
My advice to all trekkers on how to prepare to climb mountain Kilimanjaro is to have all the necessary mountain equipment such as proper warm clothes, rain gear (coat and trousers), sunglasses, and firm hiking shoes. Do not forget to check your health condition with your medical doctor before the climb. Trekkers should inform their mountain guide and crew about their health right from the beginning of the trek. I recommend training with exercises such as walking, running, and jogging. If there are nearby hills to do some treks, which include a climb or two, that will get your muscles used to climbing.
I have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro more than 50 times as a guide. My first experience was not that easy because I faced challenges I was not used to. But as I continued with that first trek, I got used to the challenges and overcame them. Now, I am experienced and have trekked all the routes. The most difficult route I do not recommend is the Umbwe route. It is the steepest, most challenging, and most risky route.

One of the main challenges is the weather, especially the wind. The wind can cause great disturbance during the climb or camp. The second challenge is rainfall which can occur at any time and cause considerable difficulties during the climb. This is why we must have the right equipment and gear to protect against the rain. The cold is also another challenge. The cold can be challenging at any time of day or night, so packing the right equipment is important.

Another challenge is the steep and slippery slopes or trails that can make trekkers and crew struggle on the climb. You can get hurt, so we recommend walking slowly and steadily, which will help prevent you from getting hurt. Rushing or walking too fast can cause you harm. 

I advise all hikers to think positively, which is the most important element for a successful climb. Believe that anything is possible, no matter the challenge faced. The best thing is to think,’yes, I can do it.’

Before climbing, you can take Diamox pills which are altitude pills that will help you during the trek on the mountain. On the way to the camp, ensure you have three liters of drinking water and eat well during your lunch break to boost your energy.

When arriving at the camp and after eating and resting, you can exercise by going up a further 200m or so in altitude and then return to the camp. This will help you to adapt and adjust to the altitude changes you will experience the next day. This will help prevent mountain sickness.

You should wear warm clothes at the camp to prevent the cold from penetrating your body. When sleeping in your tent, ensure all tent zips are sealed shut. On the summit day, make sure you wear all the gear as per the advice given by your guide.

I faced the biggest challenge in 2018 when coming from Mweka Camp to the Mweka Gate. I dislocated my knee due to the steep path. I have also found that when trekkers are advised what to wear on summit day, they sometimes ignore the advice. This may cause the cold to go right through to the bones and result in the trekker being unable to summit.


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