MEET OUR Mountain Guide:
Roland Alex Kimath

Tanzania - roland alex kimath standing - roland kimath
Position: Mountain Guide
Date of Birth: 14th October 1993
Place of Birth: Arusha City, Tanzania
Language Spoken: English and Swahili
Number of years in the travel industry: 9 years, five years as a porter, four years as a guide.
Number of years working with Easy Travel: Since 2014

About Roland

I was born in the Mount Meru Hospital in 1993 in Arusha City. At first, I lived there with my parents, two younger sisters, and brother, but then we moved from Arusha to Shinyanga in the north of Tanzania. I attended the Kambarage Primary School in Shinyanga from 2000 to 2007 and the Buwangija Secondary School from 2008 to 2012.

I returned on my own to Arusha City when I applied to study at the College of Wildlife Management in that city. I studied there between 2013 and 2014 on a one-year course in mountain guiding. During my education at the college, I had my first practical mountain experience. This was also when I joined Easy Travel and Tours. At the start, I climbed as a porter for six days on the Machame Route. I started at first by working among the porters who have remained at base camp since I was still a beginner. My first experience was physically and mentally difficult because I was unprepared for the challenge. After that, I slowly got used to the trek, climbing all the different routes. After my trainee porter experience, I became a proper porter, escorting trekkers to the summit. I completed my course and was granted my mountain guide license. And I gained some really good experience!

I can say that I have learned many things so far during my time with Easy Travel and Tours. Firstly, I got very good mountain guide experience and learned how to survive in the tough environment of Mount Kilimanjaro. I discovered that Easy Travels’ mountain crews work cooperatively, sharing their experience. I love my job very much!

Favorite Park in Tanzania

My favorite park in Tanzania is the Kilimanjaro National Park, which is obviously where you will find the legendary Mount Kilimanjaro. This amazing mountain has no fewer than three peaks, namely Shira, at an elevation of 3750m; Mawenzi, at an altitude of 5100m and Kibo, at 5895m. Visitors to this park will experience the incredible scenery and the various vegetation zones as they ascend the mountain.

Favorite Route

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

Favorite Food

My favorite food is rice and beans, which in Tanzania is known as ‘wali maharage.’ I love this meal because it is healthy and cheap.

Favorite Hobby

My favorite hobby is not a hobby at all – it is to be a tour guide in Tanzania! I love sharing my deep knowledge of my country with everyone. I am especially knowledgeable about farming and, of course, being a tour guide. My specialty is Arusha City, and Mount Kilimanjaro, of course!

Favorite TV Show

My favorite show is the Watoto Show. This is a local show about children’s competitions, which I like to watch.

Favorite Singer/band

My favorite band is the Malaika Music Band, a South African band that sings African music. My favorite song is ‘Malaika,’ which is a song about the life of an African woman.

14 Questions and answers with Roland Kimath

Climbing Kilimanjaro is the trip of a lifetime because you get to experience so many amazing things up on the mountain. You meet different people each time you climb and spend time with the crew, who are local Tanzanians. But these local Tanzanians can be from many different tribes and cultures, so I can get to know a lot about them and an insight into their daily lives and diverse culture.

You also experience local food on the trek, such as ‘macharali,’ a stew of bananas and potatoes. This healthy meal is made of natural foods and is recommended for trekkers. You also drink local coffee or tea with your daily meals and eat local porridge.

Mount Kilimanjaro also gives opportunities to the local people to make a living, either through the various farming and plantations on the lower slopes or by employing the porters and guides who go up the mountain.

My favorite route is the Lemosho Route, which is over eight days. This route, being longer, gives trekkers more time to acclimatize. It also offers amazing views from many points along the route. The weather conditions on this route are also different compared to other routes: for example, there are a lot of open and flat areas, so that it can be windy. The camps are relatively close to each other.

Easy Travel is the best choice because they are committed to delivering exceptional service to their crews and trekkers. The entire crew (cooks, porters, and guides) has a deep knowledge and experience of the treks. And they are all motivated and passionate. Easy Travel is among the best companies in Tanzania.

My favorite month of the year to climb is June because it is during the high season. This is also the dry season, so the chance of rainfall is low. You can sometimes see snow falling near the summit. There is less sun and less wind during the daytime, and it is a popular month for trekkers.

My favorite part of the trek is the Barranco Wall. Trekkers experience this at an elevation of around 4000m on either the Machame or Lemosho routes. Climbing the Barranco Wall is fun because once you reach the top of this, you get confidence in how strong you are.

People are surprised at how closely the crews work together rather than in competition. People in this region look after each other, which adds to the experience.
Something I love about the people in Tanzania is how we greet one another and live together. For example, the Maasai Tribe is among the most famous tribes in Tanzania. They originate from the Arusha region, especially around Ngorongoro. These people have a tradition of living together in one house, known as a ‘boma.’

‘Jambo,’ which means ‘hello.’

‘Hakuna Matata’ which means ‘no worries.’

‘Pole Pole,’ which means ‘slowly, slowly.’

Guests will be surprised that mountain crew members might work together for a long time within the same crew. This helps to build great teamwork, which benefits the trekkers’ experience.

The most important advice is to get great mental and physical preparation for the trek. Physical exercises such as running, squats, and cycling are all excellent. Mental preparation involves believing that anything is possible – keeping a positive mindset. It’s also important to give yourself enough time to climb instead of rushing.

I have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro more than 100 times since 2013. I have worked with many different and experienced crew members and met many different trekkers from many countries. Some had never climbed a big mountain, but we could share our experience with them and teach them the best way to climb and reach the summit. We have also met trekkers who have climbed before, and they shared their experiences and thoughts with us – so we learned from them.

First of all, the main challenge is the weather conditions on the mountain, as these can change and bring rain, strong winds, and snow. When there is rain, it becomes difficult for trekkers to reach the summit because their gear gets wet, and it is difficult to get it dry again. As well as making trekkers uncomfortable, the wet conditions mean they can miss out on the view and taking pictures. If the weather conditions become really bad, it is difficult to reach the summit.

Trekkers can sometimes fail to cope with the altitude of the mountain. Some trekkers have never been to a high elevation, as they come from a flat region or country without big hills. To succeed in this climb, trekkers must listen to the advice and guidance given by their mountain guides. Some trekkers have a slow pace and arrive late at the camp each day, which causes the trekker to have insufficient time to rest before the next day’s trek.

Some trekkers can become sick due to the elevation. Sometimes a headache can create doubt in a trekker’s mind, so they think they cannot reach the summit. This negative thinking should be avoided, if possible, as it will affect the trek. Lack of sleep or loss of appetite can also occur due to altitude.

The nature of the trails varies, as there are flat trails and steep sections. Some trekkers have never climbed on steep or even gradually ascending trails. Some routes, such as the Marangu Route, are difficult because a trekker has not had enough time to acclimate.

First, I advise every trekker to drink enough water daily (between 3 to 5 liters). This will help them to have enough oxygen in their bodies. Trekkers must be properly hydrated during the trek. Trekkers must also eat enough food during mealtimes, as this provides strength for the next day. Secondly, I recommend that all trekkers have proper warm clothing to avoid getting cold. Walking at a slow and steady pace is also very important. Taking sufficient time to rest is also crucial, particularly immediately after arriving at the camp. This will help the body to re-energize for the next day. Lastly, never stress about the mountain, which will affect your positive mindset.

The biggest challenges I have faced are when trekkers become sick. This might occur far from the nearest emergency facility, so the trekkers must be taken back down.

The changes in the weather are another challenge. Weather on the mountain is unpredictable, and a sudden rainfall can make the trekkers unhappy, while a strong wind or a hot sun can cause trekkers to become unwell. Also, the altitude can cause a loss of appetite or stop trekkers from drinking enough water. Another challenge is when trekkers do not have enough clothes.


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