Matthew Lyimo: One of our local leaders for Kilimanjaro
I was born in 1975 and completed secondary education before attending a short tour guide course. My first work on Kili was in 1996 and I clearly remember my career development. I started working as a porter and was in some of the first Exodus groups in 2000 and 2001. On-the-job training improved my communication skills, and in 2003 I successfully passed my chief guide licence. I remember working with Jim Eite (now Exodus’ Head of Product) when Jim was leading Kili trips. I observed from Jim how important it is that the chief guide / leader is self-motivated at all times and takes responsibility for all aspects of the trek.
These are skills I have since learnt and I put into practice myself. I love the fact that I was given the role of being the chief guide when Exodus pioneered the new Northern Circuit route in 2008; I really appreciated doing this different route and showing Exodus clients the quieter side of Kilimanjaro. I am determined to continue my rise within Exodus by reaching level 1; the highest payment level awarded to the very best guides who are consistently excellent, can lead any number of clients on any route and manage any number of porters. To reach this goal I will continue with further training and hope also to get the chance to attend the American training course running in Kenya called ‘NOLS’ (National Outdoor Leadership School).
The great thing about Exodus is that they value us as individuals, a rare thing in Tanzania where good employment is not the norm and mistreatment of staff is unfortunately commonplace. With Exodus we are treated fairly, courses are run to develop our skills, promotion happens from within the company, and we have plentiful work so do not need to look anywhere else. This means our children’s future looks bright, asante sana.
See feedback from our clients on the Kilimanjaro Climb - Northern Circiut reviews page
Two clients who travelled in 2008 stated:
'Well Matthew was our guide, very capable, trustworthy and friendly, very in tune when some of our group were affected by altitude sickness, was able to advise and sort us out as well as ensuring that were o.k. and we were going to make it' - John Merrick
'Mathew, what can we say! Mr smiley, a clever subtle way about him, always close by with a sharp eye, he missed nothing and asked everything. His determination to help get us all to the top was truly genuine' - Nigel Jeffery
To read more about the Tanzania Porter Support programme, please view our Resposible Tourism Project page