MEET OUR Mountain Guide:
Selina Doday Hayshi

Tanzania - selina doday hayshi standing - selina hayshi
Position: Assistant Mountain Guide
Date of Birth: 6th February 1992
Place of Birth: Karatu, Arusha, Tanzania
Language Spoken: English and Swahili
Number of years in the travel industry: 8 years, one year as a porter, seven years as a guide
Number of years working with Easy Travel: Since June 2022

About Selina

I was born in Karatu town, Arusha, Tanzania, and lived in the village of Changarawe with my parents, five brothers, and two sisters. First, I attended the Changarawe Primary School from 2000 to 2006, followed by the Chaenda Secondary School between 2007 and 2010. After this early education, I studied Early Childhood Education at the Sila Education Trust College.

Then, I moved from Karatu to Arusha to find a better job. This was when I started to climb Mount Kilimanjaro as a porter. It was 2015, and I was only 23 years old. My first experience was on the Londros Route, accompanying 12 trekkers. Among the crew of men, six of us were female porters, and we were each carrying 20kgs just like the men. This experience was very difficult because it was my first time carrying 20kgs and my belongings. This was very tough and made me doubt myself, but I still made it.

After that, in 2017, I went to the College of African Wildlife Management to attend the one-month course to be a mountain guide. I got my mountain guide license and started working as a mountain guide on Kilimanjaro.

I already knew about Easy Travel because I used to meet their crews on the mountain. When I heard from a friend that the company was recruiting, I applied for an interview and was delighted to get the job as an Assistant Mountain Guide.

Favorite Park in Tanzania

My favorite park in Tanzania is the Kilimanjaro National Park. This is where you can find Mount Kilimanjaro near the equator, with amazing glaciers at the top.

Favorite Route

Lemosho route, walked over eight days.

Favorite Food

My favorite food is Machalari, a dish that comes from the Chaga tribe and is a mixture of banana and meat. I love this meal because it is easy to cook!

Favorite Hobby

My favorite hobby is traveling because I love nature. At times I have lived near conservations and parks such as Ngorongoro and Manyara, and I have loved traveling since I was young.

Favorite TV Show

My favorite shows are on the Safari Channel because I learn many things about our country, culture, and national parks.

Favorite Singer/band

My favorite singer is Rose Muhando, who sings gospel music. I like listening to her because of my own beliefs.

14 Questions and answers with Selina Hayshi

Climbing Kilimanjaro is the trip of a lifetime because there are many amazing things on Mount Kilimanjaro. First, there are three peaks called Shira, Mawenzi, and Kibo. The Cathedral is a special area on the mountain where the Chaga people worship. You can see glaciers that never melt. Mount Kilimanjaro crosses the equatorial line, and the glaciers remain on the top. You can climb this huge free-standing mountain without any technical knowledge.

My favorite route is the eight-day Lemosho because if you choose this route, you will enjoy great views of all three peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro. Shira Peak is at an elevation of 3900m, Mawenzi Peak is at 5100m, and the final peak is called Kibo, and at 5895m, this is the summit. It is also known as Uhuru, which means ‘freedom,’ and was given this name after Tanzania got its independence.

Easy Travel is the best choice for trekkers to climb Mount Kilimanjaro because of the great service it provides to trekkers. Easy Travel provides excellent food for trekkers and crew members when up on the mountain during the trek. It takes great care of the crew (chefs, porters, and guides). It is also committed to looking after the porters’ rights through its association with KPAP, the organization for porter welfare.
My favorite month of the year for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in July. In July, it is the dry season, and this makes the trek easier. You can get better views compared to the other months, much better than in the rainy season. Due to the cloud cover, you cannot see so much during the rainy season. In July, it is not so cold compared to other months. Also, the trekkers can accomplish their dreams of summiting because there is less chance of rainfall.
My favorite part of Mount Kilimanjaro is the northern part. When you pass through the northern part, you can see flora and fauna on the way, right from the starting point. You can see the Impatiens Kilimanjaro, Impatiens Cedeviola, Giant Senecio, Lobelia Decemi, and other species known as everlasting flowers, such as Maery Johanas. You can also see tussock grasses and animals such as colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, jackals, buffalos, and small antelopes. The so-called Cathedral is on the same route, where the ‘Chaga’ people worship. You can see all three peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro, and also you can see valleys such as the Karanga Valley.

Trekkers are amazed at how the crew does their job and how they carry 20kgs with all the equipment and personal belongings. Nowadays, there are female crew members such as chefs, porters, and guides, and they do their work equally with the male crew members. This includes pitching the tents and undoing the tents, as well as fetching water for use at the camps.

People are surprised by the varied landscapes of Mount Kilimanjaro, particularly the clear separation of the zones. These zones are found at different altitudes, and all have something of interest. People are also amazed at the weather changes on the mountain – anything from rainy, cold, sunny, to windy…very unpredictable.

My favorite part about the culture in Tanzania is how the people live in peace and unity. They respect each other despite there being about 125 tribes. Each tribe has its own culture, traditions, and customs, but they still live peacefully and respect each other.

The most interesting culture for me is the culture of the Hadzabe tribe, which can be found in the region near Lake Eyasi. They live in the bushes and forest and get their food through hunting. They also eat the roots of trees and leaves for use as medicines. Also, they have very interesting ways of communicating. For example, if one catches a big animal when hunting, he makes a huge fire so that others can see the smoke and follow it to share the food. They live a very natural life.

Hakuna Matata – which means ‘no worries

Jambo – which means ‘hello,’ perfect for greeting each other on the trek

Mambo means ‘what’s up?’ to which you respond with ‘poa,’ which means ‘cool.’

Guests are surprised to learn that a woman can manage the job of climbing the mountain. Sometimes the entire crew is male, and I am the only woman. Trekkers are surprised, and they ask if I am treated equally. Guests are also surprised to learn that I can carry 20kgs of luggage while carrying my backpack and not tire.

Prepare mentally for the climb. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro can be tough as you encounter several challenges, but we advise you never to give up. You will overcome these challenges and stay positive during the trek. Kilimanjaro is not as hard as you think. Prepare your body physically by exercising, such as jogging and running before the climb. This helps your body to get ready for the challenging climb. 

Pack the right clothes and gear. Clothes and gear for the heat or sun, cold, rain, and wind gear are all important. Due to the nature of the path and trails, appropriate hiking boots are vital.

We recommend that all trekkers have a medical checkup. The doctor should also inform the trekker if they recommend them to climb. Trekkers should pack a first aid kit and include any medicines their doctor prescribes.

I have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro 100 times as a porter and mountain guide in the past eight years. I have trekked all five routes: Lemosho, Marangu, Rongai, Londros, and Machame. There is a difference between a porter’s experience and a guide’s experience. When I was a porter, I would carry heavy luggage, and now I only have to carry my bag. I have got the valuable experience of accompanying trekkers to the summit.

The big challenge of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is the shortage of oxygen at high altitudes. Trekkers can suffer from high altitude sickness, which can cause problems when climbing, problems such as headaches, diarrhea, dizziness, or a loss of appetite. To overcome this, drink at least 3 liters of water daily.

You may get tired, which could be due to coming from a country or region at sea level, making it difficult to adapt to high altitudes. The body can develop altitude sickness and exhaustion very easily.

The weather changes may occur on the mountain suddenly, going quickly from sunny to rainy or windy. The cloud cover can also be a challenge because you have little visibility. Sometimes snow may occur and cover the pathways.

Firstly, you should have a positive mental attitude throughout the trek. Follow the instructions and guidance from the mountain crew. Try not to concentrate on the difficulty of the challenge and focus on how you can overcome it with a positive mindset. You may have a headache, a sign of altitude sickness. Drink enough water, with a minimum of 3 liters a day. Acclimatization is recommended, which means going high and sleeping low, which will help trekkers to overcome the challenges of altitude sickness.

The challenges that I have encountered as a guide are strong weather (wind and rain) which can damage or break the tents. It happened once at Karanga Camp when the wind blew the whole night and caused us to get no sleep.

Another challenge I face is when trekkers suffer from altitude sickness. Some trekkers cannot make it to the top. I must ensure the trekker does not put themselves at risk on the mountain. We must evacuate trekkers suffering from altitude sickness before there is further risk to their life.

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