We believe in the empowerment of women and equal opportunities for all. The outdoor and tourism industry in Tanzania is predominantly a male dominated environment - as well the whole society in Tanzania and other African countries generally is. We want to create change and enable young women the same opportunities that their brothers have. We want to gift them with a chance at living a different life with more choices than their mothers have had.
We value safe working environments for our team and supporting each other through every day. We believe in the fair treatment of our staff and in paying them above average wages.
In Tanzanian society the majority of family responsibilities are still taken by women. Day after day they do their best and work hard to feed and care for their children, parents, elderly and needy relatives. By providing meaningful and well paid work we are able to support the women in our community and inspire them to aspire to a life they may never have dreamed of.
Senior Mountain Guide
The Team on the Mountain
. . . and many more
She needed a hero, so that´s what she became
My name is Eliakeney Njau, but everybody calls me Ekeney. I am 30 years old, founder and senior mountain guide of Kilimanjaro Wanderwomen Tours. Since I was 19 "Kili" is my workplace. As a guide I have summited over 70 times with my clients - and many more to come!
I want to inspire you to become your own superhero. Together we can do anything. Let the mountain mirrow your power!
I grew up in a small village called Machame at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro. I am the youngest of 10 children in my family, we belong to the Chagga tribe. My father passed away when I was 14 and his inheritance, some farm land, was distributed among my brothers. Women inherit nothing in our society. I was still in secondary school and couldn´t study at first, because I had to support my mother. She did not have a profession and after being a widow she took any job she could get within the hard farm work. She never lived for herself, she fought for her children and also for me. She made it possible for me to finish High School at 17 and afterwards even do a course as tour operator at college. I am so grateful to her because my older brothers wanted me to get married instead. In our society it is believed until today that a woman has to get married early and should not be independent. But I am not only the youngest in my family, also I am the rebellious one who aspired a different pathway in life.
After graduating there weren’t many opportunities available to me as a girl, so I decided to work as a porter on Mount Kilimanjaro. I started when I was 19. My first climb was very hard for me and I thought I couldn´t make it, only with the support of my fellow porters I made it to the top camp, still thinking I will not be able to do this a second time. But after recieving my first own salary (from which I bought my mum her first mattress) I knew it was worth it and I continued. After saving up money for several years I could attend Mweka, a Wildlife college and gain my certification as a Mountain Guide at the age of 26. After working hard for various other companies among the male colleagues, including sad experiences like not being paid, I had the vision to create my own company - one that empowers women, provides fair treatment and gives them choices and opportunities.
I have always loved my job and where it takes me. Every time I hike, I feel deeply connected to myself, my team, my clients and nature. Each journey teaches me new things, helps me to learn, explore and grow from different people and their cultures. I am blessed to be able to do what I am doing. Being a mountain guide has helped me take care of my basic needs not only for myself, but also my family and society. It gives me freedom of choice to be able to live life the way I want and not how others with less opportunity are forced to. It makes me so happy that I can help not just myself but fellow women and those who need it in society too.
When I look back on where I came from to get here today, it brings me such joy and motivation. This work has changed so many people's lives including my own. It is inspiring to see women from all over the world reaching their goals and owning their freedom and power. Join me for a journey so I can bear witness to the beauty within your soul and experience too!
My name is Julia Mantey. I am 53 years old, mum of two grown up daughters, passionate mountain lover, and now founder and manager of Wanderwomen Kilimanjaro Tours. For me it´s a privilege to support these strong and amazing african women. I am here to answer all your questions and plan your once-in-a lifetime-trip with you.
I grew up in Germany with a single mum. I remember how she struggled, but our lives were so privileged compared to those of african women. I was supported to get education and become economically independent. I had the freedom to choose my profession, get married or not, have children or not, where I want to live. So 20 years ago I moved to Spain with my family. Today I enjoy the freedom to travel to Tanzania as often as I can, even as solo traveller.
How we met
I met Ekeney in August 2021 as a mountain guide when I summited Kilimanjaro thanks to her loving help. I suffered altitude sickness, but with her warm support and incredible positive attitude I happily made it up to Stella Point.
During our trek we had so much fun, learned from each other about our different lifes in Africa and Europe. I was very touched by the problems that women in Tanzania are still facing. And I was truly impressed by Ekeney´s story, her power and endurance. Twice more I visited her and she showed me more of Tanzania´s stunning nature, wonderful people and shared her vision with me. Besides being a role model for young women, she had already started a few years ago to lead and train some women of her village, who work now with her on Kilimanjaro as porters, cooks or guides. However, she remained dependend on being hired by companies run by men and paying unfair salaries. After the pandemic hit tourism in 2020 the economic situation has even worsened. In Tanzania women like Ekeney don´t have the means to start their own business. Because I share her vision of women empowering women I decided to support her dream in order to help more women escape the vicious circle of poverty and oppression. So in December 2022 we founded Kilimanjaro Wanderwomen Tours.