Leader profile: Samuel Mosha, Mount Kilimanjaro
I am one of the Kilimanjaro old-timers. I was born in Marangu village at the base of Kilimanjaro in 1955 and my working life has been guiding on Kilimanjaro. I started leading trips in 1999 and I admit that at that time I was not as good a guide as I am now. This improvement is due to the regular training sessions that I’ve attended over the past 10 years.
My family is not very big by African standards as I have only four children who are all in school. The first-born is in secondary school and the other three are still in primary schools. Ever since I started working on Kilimanjaro, I have met a lot of Exodus clients and tour leaders. I particularly remember Rich Marsden from the pioneering times on the Rongai route when we were using a machete to open up the bush on day two of each trip. In those days less than 150 people went up the route each year. Working with Richard I learnt how to coordinate the whole trip and particularly the skills needed to handle clients from different backgrounds, be their friend and boss and most importantly ensure their safety at all times. All these skills were put into good use when Exodus started having trips without a British leader. I treasured working with Exodus groups and saw clearly that I have made a lot of friends, helped thousands of Exodus clients achieve their dream of reaching the summit, and most importantly I have had the income that means I can cater for all my family’s needs.
“My group leader, Samuel Mosha, had climbed the mountain many times before. He was absolutely brilliant - friendly, inspirational, helpful and always prepared to take time out to answer questions he must have heard a million times before.”
“Our chief porter was a guy called Samuel (Sam'well). Samuel admits to being 52, has been working on the mountain for 33 years and his father was a porter before him (there's speculation his father or grandfather was Hans Meyer's porter) and when you first meet him you think he has the easiest job in the world compared to the porters who carry the heavy loads.
Then you realise that he has his finger on everything that is going on - he's orchestrating everything so that when you arrive you have the best campsite positions. Food is ready and hot. Everyone is fit and well and happy. And you all know exactly what is going on, what you have to do and can relax knowing you're being looked after.
And Samuel MADE my trip. He undertook the additional 3-hour round trip to Uhuru Peak when he could easily have said: "no, it's too late". He carried my bag for me to make sure I made it. He scree ran me down the mountain when I developed a headache and started feeling sick (I had been on the go for 10 and a half hours by this point!). He made sure that I, and everyone else in our party, were safe and well.
Other members of our party have similar stories about Justin, Akundo, Richard and Nicholas, the other guides in our group and how they went out of their way to personally help them reach the summit. And from ordinary porters to the helping porters to the chef, to the assistant to the assistant to the assistant head porter - all of our crew were fantastic and surpassed our expectations.”