Mountain-guide james-tabula
By Developer
Published February 7, 2023

MEET OUR Mountain Guide:
James Makoye Tabula

Tanzania - james makoye tabula standing - mountain-guide james-tabula
Position: Mountain Guide
Date of Birth: 15 July 1982
Place of Birth: Bariadi district, Simiyu Region, Tanzania
Language Spoken: Swahili, English, and Sukuma (tribal language)
Number of years in the travel industry: 17 years (2004 – present day), two years as a porter, and 15 years as a mountain guide
Number of years working with Easy Travel: 8 years (2014 – present day)

About James

I am now 40 years old and finished my primary education at the Dutwa Primary School in 1999. Then in 2000, I began my secondary education at the Bariadi secondary school, graduating there in 2003. Afterward, my uncle took me to Arusha City, as he was working from there as a guide at that time. I started working as a porter for two years, and later I joined the Mweka College to enhance my guiding knowledge. I graduated in December 2006 and immediately started working as a guide.

Having married in 2008, I have since been blessed with four children. My first-born daughter is 12 years old, my other children are seven and four, and my youngest is only one month old. I love my family, and we live together in Sinoni in Arusha.

I have worked with many different companies in the tourist sector, but I would proudly say that I have achieved what I wanted to achieve since I joined Easy Travel in 2014. My wish is to have many more years with this company!

Favorite Park in Tanzania

My favorite park is (of course!) the Kilimanjaro National Park, located in the Moshi Region. This park includes the whole of Mount Kilimanjaro above the tree line and the surrounding montane forest. Several interesting animals are unique to Mount Kilimanjaro, such as aardvarks, blue monkeys, duiker, servals, and galago (bush babies). On top of that, the experience of the companionship of other hikers on the trails up the mountain makes this a special park.

Favorite Route

My favorite route up Kilimanjaro is the six-day Marangu Route

Favorite Food

My favorite food is ugali, a Tanzanian’ stiff porridge’ with barbequed beef. This meal is very nutritious and provides me with extra body energy. In the environment that I grew up in, I can say that I could have this meal five times a week, and I enjoy it as I can also prepare it myself.

Favorite Hobbies

My hobbies are singing and dancing. I enjoy singing my tribal songs and dancing to all the traditional songs. I enjoy singing these tribal songs because it reminds me not to forget my culture and beliefs. 

Favorite TV Show

My favorite TV show is the news, especially the BBC News channel, because it is an international broadcasting channel that covers the whole world. Watching the BBC, I can keep informed about what is happening in other parts of the globe.

Favorite Singer / band

My favorite band in Tanzania is the Msondo Ngoma Music Band, a wonderful live band. I enjoy listening to them, listening to their voices, watching how they use their instruments, and enjoying all the action.

14 Questions and answers with James

Kilimanjaro is truly the trip of a lifetime because Mount Kilimanjaro is situated in the Kilimanjaro National Park in Tanzania at an elevation of up to 5,895 meters. This is the highest peak in Africa. Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcano and has three volcanic cones, which are known as Shira, Mawenzi, and Kibo. While climbing Kilimanjaro, climbers will experience five fascinating ecological zones: the cultivation zone, the montane forest, the heather zone, the Alpine desert, and the Arctic zone.

My favorite route of Easy Travel is the Marangu Route, which is over six days because on this route, you ascend and descend following the same path. On this route, you also shelter in cabins with facilities such as a bed, solar power, and flush toilets.

The Marangu Route also has certain unique attractions, such as the Kifunika Historical Site and the Zebra Rock, which is famous for having stripes like those of a zebra. The Saddle area is also the only part of the sandy mountain floor. This route is also famous as the route taken by the first man to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

Easy Travel is the best choice for trekkers because the guides provided by the company are knowledgeable, with much experience of all the routes. These guides have also achieved advanced medical training by becoming Wilderness First Responders (WFR), enabling them to detect altitude sickness and to know how to treat it.

Easy Travel porters are safety-trained, and the mountain teams are equipped with good-quality tents, portable toilets, and hiking gear. The health and safety of the trekkers is the company’s priority, and their trained mountain chefs ensure that the climbers get full nutritious meals. They also cater to special diets, such as gluten-free, pescatarian and fruitarian.

My favorite time for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is between June and December because this season’s weather is dry with clear skies, making it easy to appreciate the sunrise and sunset and the magnificent views. The sunshine in these months makes the climb very enjoyable.
My favorite part of Kilimanjaro is the Barranco Wall because it is a unique place where people must use their hands to climb. From far, it looks like there is no path, and it seems impossible to climb. But once you reach it, it is much fun, and no technical climbing skills are needed to be able to climb it. It is great to reach the top of the Barranco Wall and enjoy the truly spectacular views.
Not many climbers who take on the Kilimanjaro challenge expect to encounter the existence of historical sites such as the Kifunika historical site. The variety of the five ecological zones is also a surprise for some.
Tanzania has an amazing culture with around 125 ethnic groups, each with its language, culture, and beliefs. The Sukuma culture is my favorite of these Tanzanian cultures. These people come from the southern part of Tanzania, and they are a tribe that lives socially and which cares for all people regardless of which nation they are from. They make their living by cultivating crops and keeping livestock. The Sukuma’s native food is ugali with milk and potatoes because they believe this meal strengthens them and prolongs human life.

Pole pole, which means ‘slowly, slowly

Karibu, which means ‘welcome.’

Safiri salama, which means ‘safe journey

Guests will be surprised to learn that I am a gentle person and love learning. I never get fed up with learning. I like to share whatever I have with others because by doing so, I fill my heart with joy.

I would advise them to exercise daily because climbing a mountain such as this demands that a person is physically fit. Whenever you do exercise, you should increase the amount of exercise each day to prepare your body for the hike.

Also, I would advise climbers to maintain their health and have nutritious meals as part of their daily routine because they build up their muscles by eating healthy food. Also, climbers must drink enough water, between 3 to 4 liters daily, because 75% of a person’s body is water. When climbing a mountain, the human body is dehydrated, so the body needs to have enough water to give a good chance of a successful climb. Eating plenty of fruits is also a good idea because fruit is a great food for strengthening the body.

I have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro many times but have not kept a record of the exact number. In 17 years, I have successfully ‘summited’ approximately 265 times since I started work as a guide. I wish to climb Kilimanjaro for many more years as a guide: my biggest achievement is guiding hundreds of trekkers to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.

One of the big challenges when on the trail is when there is heavy rain. Once it rains heavily, the temperature changes and water flow passing down the trail can make walking very difficult.

Poor or insufficient equipment can make climbing difficult because of the tough mountain environment. Some areas have heavy snow, which can be cold and rocky underfoot. Proper, strong footwear is also essential – without that, climbing can be very difficult.

Climbing a mountain is not a competition; it should be seen as enjoyable! To avoid altitude sickness, I would advise climbers to walk slowly because it helps them to inhale and exhale properly. This helps people to adapt to higher elevations.

I would further advise everyone to eat balanced food and to sleep well. Getting enough rest is important, as this will help avoid altitude sickness. Also, I advise people to drink water to hydrate their bodies because much water is consumed when climbing.

The major challenges on a trek are caused when a climber gets ill, especially in some of the more remote parts of the mountain. In some places, a helicopter cannot reach a stricken climber, and it cannot be easy to provide immediate assistance to the trekker in these locations.

When climbers fail to provide us with full medical information in advance of the climb, this can also pose a challenge. At certain altitudes or with a sudden change in the weather, climbers can become affected. It can only be at that point that we discover existing medical conditions of which we were unaware. Knowing these conditions in advance is best to adapt as necessary.


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