Our Guide Hamisi Shares his journey, from porter to guide
Hamisi guide

For Hamisi Bakari, hiking has always been a passion. Growing up in Tanzania, he explored the local hills and mountains, nurturing a deep love for the great outdoors. Having been born and raised around the Kilimanjaro region, Boma Ng’ombe town to be precise, and just 30 minutes from Moshi Town and the mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro loomed large in his imagination, a personal goal waiting to be conquered. However, in the late 2000s, the only pathway available was through employment as a porter. Government regulations mandated that hikers ascend the summit with a guide or under the umbrella of a tour company.

Hamisi Bakari

Bomang’ombe is a low-density village that has formed around an ancient market on the main route that connects Moshi and Arusha. It is located in the Hai District of the Kilimanjaro Region in the northern part of Tanzania. In Swahili, its name implies “enclosure” for cattle, which is referred to as “Ng’ombe.” Boma is another word for village. There is a distance of fifteen kilometres between it and Kilimanjaro International Airport. It is the primary economic and administrative centre for the Hai District, and it is expanding at a tremendous rate: wherever you look, property is being fenced, and new residences are being constructed. On Saturdays and Wednesdays, a newly established bank, a modest motel, and a market that has been relocated are now open for business. There is a wide selection of stores and companies located along the trunk road as well as on the adjacent streets. In Boma, as it is more often referred to, the offices of the Hai local government are located, and there is also a brand modern hospital. The majority of the roads are still unpaved and in poor shape, even though there has been expansion. Traditional agriculture is still practised by a significant portion of the people in the Hai District. This includes the cultivation of maize, millet, beans, and vegetables, as well as the herding of cattle and goats. There is still a relatively low income for households. Due to the increasing expansion of the town, there is currently an issue with a lack of available water. Before the increase in demand, Mount Kilimanjaro provided an abundant supply of high-quality water; but, due to the increased demand, the availability of this water has become inconsistent.

The Porter’s Path: Undeterred by the limitations, Hamisi saw an opportunity for adventure and financial stability. Joining a tour company as a porter, he embarked on the arduous journey up Kilimanjaro. The seven-day trek presented myriad challenges, from navigating steep terrain to grappling with altitude sickness. With over 100 climbs under his belt, Hamisi became intimately acquainted with the mountain’s trails and tribulations.

Transitioning to Guide: Driven by a desire to improve conditions for porters and enhance the hiking experience for travellers, Hamisi transitioned to the role of guide. In the late 2000s, porters faced uncertainty regarding income and tips, prompting Hamisi to advocate for change. By becoming a guide, he gained the opportunity to lead climbers safely to the summit while advocating for fair compensation and improved working conditions.

Leading the Way: As a guide, Hamisi assumes responsibility for the well-being of his team and the travellers in his care. Each day begins with informative briefings, ensuring hikers are equipped for the journey ahead. From overseeing campsite logistics to providing emotional support, Hamisi orchestrates a seamless experience for all involved.

Evolution of the Industry: Over the years, the landscape of Kilimanjaro tourism has undergone significant transformation. From traditional guidebooks to digital platforms, the advent of technology has revolutionized how travellers plan and book their adventures. Hamisi, recognizing the shift, adapted his approach, embracing digital marketing to reach a broader audience.

Challenges and Rewards: Despite advancements, challenges persist. Ill-prepared travellers, unaccustomed to the rigours of mountain hiking, often underestimate the journey’s demands. Hamisi recalls encounters with climbers ill-equipped for the trek, emphasizing the importance of adequate preparation and realistic expectations.

Many climbers rate Hamisi highly and even after climbing Mount Kilimanjaro the speak highly of him as evidenced in the nice reviews and kind words that they give. See more reviews here. 

Reviews about HamisiSummiting Success: Yet, amidst the trials, there are triumphs. The summit of Kilimanjaro represents the culmination of months of preparation and days of physical exertion. For Hamisi, witnessing travelers reach the pinnacle of Africa’s tallest peak is an unparalleled joy. Each ascent reaffirms the transformative power of perseverance and the indomitable human spirit.

A Shared Journey: In the company of diverse travelers, Hamisi finds camaraderie and mutual respect. From cultural exchanges to shared moments of triumph, the journey up Kilimanjaro fosters bonds that transcend borders and languages. Every climb, every summit, is a testament to the resilience and determination of the human spirit.


About Author



Leave a Reply