The Mountain Lioness

The Mountain Lioness Scholarship

 The Mountain Lioness Scholarship

The literal translation for the Swahili word Ngumu” is “tough”. This is a common word we use to describe the courageous, trailblazing female porters that defy social stigmas to work alongside their male counterparts and climb to the top of Africa’s highest mountain, Mt. Kilimanjaro.

For years, female porterage has formed a vital component on our Kilimanjaro treks. And just one year on since we shone a spotlight on the life of Ngumu women, the Exodus Travels Foundation are now welcoming the next chapter of their ongoing Kilimanjaro Porter Project.

To celebrate these remarkable female porters and to inspire other women to get their qualifications to climb to the roof of Africa, we’re committed to sponsoring 30 women over the next three years, through the Mountain Lioness Scholarship, with the help of our partners, Robertson Outdoor Bursary.

The scholarship itself was named after Lucia Kivoi, nicknamed “lioness”, because of her pioneering spirit as a Senior Guide and woman who helped to spearhead the acceptance of female porters on Kilimanjaro. Our project helps 30 women take five crucial modules taught over a three-week period, to help them gain their Guide License, so they can become a guide in Mt. Kilimanjaro National Park.

Covering Mountain Ecology, First Aid Emergency Care and Wilderness Rescue, this training provides women with the essential guiding skills to become fully certified. Becoming a porter may be all in a day’s work to some, but it's a life-changing occupation for each and every woman on the mountain. It offers them a stable income so they can help support their families and pay for their children’s education in the communities surrounding Kilimanjaro.

As of the start of 2022, we’re proud that 18 of our Lionesses have graduated our Scholarship programme and obtained their Guide License to take travellers to the summit of Kilimanjaro. You can find out more about their story here.

If you would like to get involved and show your support for these incredible women who continue to makes strides in Kilimanjaro, a donation of just £20 will cover one day’s guide training for each of our 30 awardees, and whatever you contribute, Exodus Travels will double your donation in kind.

To find out more about how you can donate and make a difference, please click here.

Exodus Travels Foundation

Our Foundation enables us to extend our vision of harnessing the positive power of travel for the people and places we visit. Thanks to the generosity of our clients and partners, we support many community-based projects in hard-to-reach destinations. Read more about our Foundation’s work here

Ngumu- The Women of Kilimanjaro

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