Our Guides

Guides & Porters

The importance of having competent, high quality guides and porters cannot be overstated when it comes to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
Ascend Tanzania uses local guides, all of whom have received extensive training in first aid, mountain rescue, flora and fauna, and history and are registered with Kilimanjaro National Park (KINAPA).

Fred Namwandu

Chief Mountain & Safari Guide / Founder

Fred Namwandu, the owner and chief safari and mountain guide has a lifetime of experience not only on the mountain, but with the entire Tanzania National Parks system.

He is originally from Mbeya region in southern Tanzania and moved to the Kilimanjaro area more than 10 years ago. He has been working in the area in the tourism industry ever since. Specifically, within Kilimanjaro National Park, he has worked on cleaning crews, as a Rescue Ranger, Park Ranger, porter and assistant guide before becoming a senior guide and starting his own company.

Fred is certified as a Wilderness First Responder and is trained in Emergency Medicine Adult and Child CPR.

Eric Ponera

Senior Mountain Guide

Eric Ponera, one of our mountain senior guide has a lifetime of experience not only on the mountain, but with the entire Tanzania National Parks system. He is originally from Songea region in southern Tanzania and moved to the Kilimanjaro area more than 12 years ago.

He has been working in the area in the tourism industry ever since. Specifically within Kilimanjaro National Park, he has worked on cleaning crews,porter and assistant guide before becoming a senior guide.

Eric is certified as a Wilderness First Responder and is trained in Emergency Medicine Adult and Child CPR

Epaphras Mgina

Senior Mountain Guide

Epaphras Mgina is a full route Kilimanjaro and safari Guide. He is commonly known as “Epa” as a short form of his full name.

He started working as a Kilimanjaro National park ranger in 2002 after 3years of seeing the excitement in the faces of tourist reaching the summit; he knew he wanted to be the one to lead them to the top. Since then he has made more than 100 successful summits with clients from all over the world.

He considers it a blessing to be able to help others accomplish their goals.

Epa is certified with a diploma of tourism management rewarded by Arusha University of tourism as well as Wilderness First Responder (WFR) and CPR attendance expert rewarded by Sentinel outdoor Institute.

Thomas Mallya

Assistant Mountain Guide

Thomas Mallya, is one of our mountain an assistant guide has a lifetime of experience not only on the mountain, but with the entire Tanzania National Parks system.

He is originally from Tanga region, Northen Tanzania. He has been working in the area in the tourism industry for 6 years. Specifically, within Kilimanjaro National Park, he has worked as a porter and waiter on Mountain before becoming an assistant guide.

Thomas is certified as a Wilderness First Responder and is trained in Emergency Medicine Adult and Child CPR.