MEET OUR Mountain Guide:
Joseph Jeremiah Mapima

Tanzania - joseph kassian mapima standing - joseph mapima
Position: Assistant Mountain Guide
Date of Birth: 21st February 1988
Place of Birth: Morogoro, Tanzania.
Language Spoken: English and Swahili
Number of years in the travel industry: 10 years in the travel industry, one year as a porter, and nine years as a guide.
Number of years working with Easy Travel: Since June 2022.

About Joseph

I was born in the Ifakara district in the Morogoro region of Tanzania. As a child, I lived with my mother, two brothers, and one sister in Mlabani Village. I went to the Miembeni Primary School from 1997 until 2003 and then moved to the Arusha region to live with my uncle. There I studied at the Einoti Secondary from 2004 until 2007 before attending high school at the Enyuata Secondary School between 2008 and 2010. The subjects I studied were history, geography, and economics.

After that, I taught history and geography part-time for two years at the Enyuata Secondary School. This earned me some money and enabled me to apply for a Kilimanjaro training course in Moshi while I was still teaching. In this course, I did both theory and practical training, and I passed, which meant that I was awarded a license as a full route guide. However, I did not have the experience to work as a full route guide, so I started as a porter for one year to learn about the routes and the challenges on Mount Kilimanjaro. After my experience as a mountain porter, I joined the Institute of Accounting in Arusha from 2012 to 2015 to study for a bachelor’s degree in accounting. I was able to complete the bachelor’s degree. However, while I was studying, I went from my position as a porter to an Assistant Mountain Guide.

I worked with several different companies after that in the capacity of an assistant mountain guide. I knew about the excellent reputation of Easy Travel as a great company, and so when a friend informed me that Easy Travel was recruiting, I applied for a job. This was a lifetime opportunity for me.

I am married and live with my wife and my two children. My son is called Brian, and he is now five years old, and my daughter is called Trice and is only two months old.

Favorite Park in Tanzania

My favorite park in Tanzania is Kilimanjaro  National Park. This park is beautiful and famous for Mount Kilimanjaro, with snow and glaciers at the top.

Favorite Route

My favorite route is the eight-day Lemosho route. 

Favorite Food

My favorite food is rice and beans. This is the main food we grew up with, and I always had it at home. Rice is full of carbohydrates, and beans are a source of protein, both of which are good for my health.

Favorite Hobby

My favorite hobby is reading books on history and geography. This increases my knowledge and allows me to understand new things.

Favorite TV Show

I enjoy watching documentaries on National Geographic, as it is great to learn about other places around the world through these programs.

Favorite Singer/band

My favorite singer is Michael Jackson. This is because his songs were often about the reality of the African people. His music teaches people many different things.

14 Questions and answers with Joseph Mapima

The Kilimanjaro mountain crew members help each other and cooperate as a team. On the mountain, they carry heavy luggage and ensure the trekkers enjoy their time. While the crew carries heavy equipment, they still always help the trekkers and teach them many things about their culture, and they are friendly and very welcoming.

The mountain is beautiful, especially when you look at the glaciers, such as the Diamond glacier, which are huge. Walking on the ice and snow at the top is incredible when walking in the lower elevations is sunny and hot. The sunrises and sunsets seen from above are quite beautiful. Walking on the crater rim, where you can see down on each side, is a different and unique experience. Glaciers are on one side, and on the other, the crater. Stars can be seen from the top. With all the challenges you go through, it is unbelievable when you make it to the top. Most people do not believe that they can make it.

My favorite route is the Lemosho route, taking eight days. Lemosho is a route on which most trekkers make it to the summit: the success rate is high compared to other routes. The main reason is that it is good for acclimatization. It allows you to climb high and then sleep low, which helps trekkers avoid developing altitude sickness. The trekkers on this route can see all three peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro: Shira, Mawenzi, and Kibo. On this route, you see many flora and fauna found in Kilimanjaro. You can see different sides of the mountain. The mountain looks like a pregnant woman lying down from the western part!

Easy Travel is the best choice for trekkers to climb Mount Kilimanjaro because it is well organized, from the airport pick-up to the hotel stays, to the mountain itself, and throughout the trek. The equipment and food preparation are well organized and of high quality. Easy Travel provides good accommodation to the trekkers on the mountain with good mattresses and tents. Easy Travel takes health and safety very seriously, with all crew members trained to do the right thing. The mountain crews check each trekker’s medical condition every day. If there is a problem, it will be solved before it gets too serious. 

My favorite month of the year to climb Kilimanjaro in August, as it is during the dry season. Most trekkers are afraid of rainy conditions, so we recommend that people travel in August when there is less possibility of rainfall. Rainfall on the mountain may cause a negative mindset and prevent trekkers from summiting. So, if you travel in August, you can be comfortable and have a positive mindset to submit. 

My favorite part of Mount Kilimanjaro is the Barranco Wall. The Barranco Wall is by the Barranco Camp. It is found on the Lemosho Route on Day 4. Its elevation is 3900m above sea level. Barranco Wall is where if you are afraid of heights, you must slowly conquer your fear and climb to the top with both hands and feet. Sometimes it is a similar experience to climbing to the summit because all you can think about is passing through this landscape and getting to the top. After you finish the Barranco Wall trek, you have achieved something amazing because the summit is not as challenging as this tricky point.
Some are surprised that it proves to be one of the most difficult things they do. During the trek, you might not expect to get good food; however, Easy Travel provides fresh and hot food. Easy Travel provides enough healthy food, allowing trekkers to be satisfied according to their dietary requirements. There is also plenty of food for the crew (chefs, porters, and guides). The weather may change drastically on the mountain at any time, and it can change from being sunny to windy, cold, rainy, or even snowy. 
My favorite culture in Tanzania is the culture of the ‘Maasai’ tribe, which is very famous in Tanzania. The Maasai is an ethnic group living in Tanzania and Kenya. They originate from North Africa, close to Ethiopia, but were forced to migrate to East Africa to search for green pastures for their animals. Their economic activities are to keep cattle. Kenya was green but not enough for all of them, so they crossed the Mara River to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro area, where they settled before going to other places in Tanzania. The Maasai is the only tribe that properly preserves their culture, such as setting the family responsibilities according to age. All children before circumcision are tasked with feeding the cattle and milking the cows. They collaborate with the women. The moran (warrior) is responsible for protecting the community and cattle. The elders solve disputes and make big decisions concerning their community

Jambo, which means ‘hello.’

Mambo, which means ‘what’s up?’

Poa,this is a response to the above, and it means ‘I am fine.’

Most mountain crew members originate in the northern parts of Tanzania, such as Arusha, Moshi, and the national parks in the Northern Circuit. However, I originate from the sea-level regions in Southern Tanzania (specifically, the Morogoro region). I can still climb and cope with the altitude without any problem. I am also from the ‘Wapogoro’ tribe, whose main activity is agriculture and growing crops such as maize and rice.
Hikers must prepare themselves by packing the correct amount of appropriate mountain gear. To deal with altitude changes, hikers can use altitude pills that help them acclimate. Physical exercise, such as jogging, walking, and running, is recommended to prepare for the climb. Mental preparation is particularly important. You are going to climb the highest freestanding mountain, and you will come across challenges. You must have strong willpower and believe that you can make it. It is crucial to follow instructions and advice from your mountain guide because he can assist you in making it to the top. 
I have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro more than 100 times since 2013, using all the available routes. I can climb two or three times a month, depending on how busy it is and in which season. The hardest route is Umbwe, but the Machame route is also challenging.

There are many challenges involved when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.  Altitude Sickness: you can develop altitude sickness due to ascending rapidly, which means you are walking too fast for the body to adjust. Altitude sickness can be evident from the following symptoms:-headaches, a loss of appetite, nausea, or vomiting. You need to walk slowly and take your time.

Walking long distances: normally, on Kilimanjaro, the shortest distance is 5km a day, but usually, it is about 10 to 11km per day. This does depend on the route and the overall number of days taken.

Weather changes: wind and rainfall can be a challenge. If one lacks sufficient or appropriate gear, this won’t be easy to manage. The weather can also affect trekkers, crew, and equipment. It can also cause mountain sickness. Sometimes the weather may change so badly that the trekkers can no longer continue.

Hikers must ensure they always walk slowly during the trek. This will give you time for your body to adjust from low altitude to high altitude. Also, you do not overuse your energy. Do not compete with others; follow the pace your body tells you to use.

Hikers must ensure they have been prescribed altitude pills by their doctors. These help the body to adapt to the high elevation. The more you use these, the more they help you avoid altitude sickness.

Drink enough water during the hike—a minimum of three liters daily. You walk long distances, the sun is strong, and you can dehydrate. This can make your muscles weak. So, to avoid this, you need to be hydrated and drink enough water.

Always cooperate with the mountain guides; Mountain guides will advise and instruct you according to your health and physical condition. This will increase your chances of making it to the summit.

Trekkers must be fully transparent about any problem, health condition, or medical background, and this information must be shared as soon as possible. This helps the mountain crew to prepare and plan well to get you to the top. It would help if you were honest about everything when on the mountain.

I had to face the challenge of altitude sickness when I encountered a trekker who was not open and honest about his medical background and was affected by altitude sickness. I was informed at the elevation of 5756m that his medical issue (Diabetes), and the crew had to begin an evacuation from that altitude to the bottom on the same day; this was life-threatening to the trekker concerned. 


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