We would be nowhere without the amazing group of porters, cooks, assistant guides and lead guides that have become our friends and the people we rely upon to make us look good at what we do. We can take some credit for picking these great people, but we have to give them the credit for their hard work and passion.
We support our staff by making sure they are treated with respect and worth. Many companies neglect their porters and cooks, treating them badly and not properly feeding them. Our management team is made up only of guides, so we know the value of the support staff.
Expectations of our staff:
High Safety Standards – Our highest priority is your safety at all times. We have earned the trust of our many clients around the world. Our guides have the highest Wilderness First Aid certification and retrain every three years. They must stay up-to-date on altitude illness and how to treat it. Our guides monitor your health daily.
Professionalism – Our guides are professionals. They have chosen this as their profession and take their skill maintenance and development seriously. They monitor all aspects of a trip, including those functions performed by other staff, to make sure the quality shows in your experience.
Expert Ability – Our guides have been working on the mountains and in the parks of Tanzania for a long time. They are trained and acclimatized to the mountains and have expert knowledge of the savannas and lake areas. They know how to make you comfortable, keep you safe, inform you about the flora and fauna, and fix the equipment as needed.
Knowledge of the Terrain – Our guides are expert interpreters. They know the animals, plants, climatic zones, and geology of the areas they guide in.
How we treat our staff:
- Our staff are paid a set wage, which means they do not have to rely entirely on tips for payment.
- Our staff are paid more than the standard compensation on Kilimanjaro.
- Our staff are paid immediately upon completion of a trip.
- Our staff are paid tips in a fair, transparent manner.
- Our porters have the proper gear and equipment to handle the mountain. Their clothing, sleeping bags and tents are sufficiently warm and/or waterproof.
- Our porters are fed three nutritious meals per day, in adequate amounts, of their preferred local foods.
- Our porter loads are limited to 20 kgs. The porter to client ratios we utilize are sufficient to handle the equipment needed. If more porters are needed for a party, we will add more.
Our Management Team
Aristarick Benard Swai grew up beneath Mount Kilimanjaro. He worked through the ranks of porters on Kilimanjaro to become a certified lead mountain guide. Aristarick is dedicated to professional guiding in Tanzania. He strongly supports responsible practices and company values that look after the porters and cooks, who make the trek up the mountain possible. Aristarick currently manages the ground operations in Tanzania and guides on Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Meru, and on safaris in the Tanzanian parks. He is a published author of a book about the mountain and spends his time developing tourism in his country.
Georgia Newsome worked as a guide for backpacking, kayaking, and canoeing for various adventure companies for over 20 years. Growing up in the New Forest, in England, Georgia developed a love for nature and the outdoors. First visiting Canada in 1989, she immediately knew she had found her home. She moved to British Columbia, where the Canadian wilderness spoke loudly to her passion for adventure and activity as well as nourishing her with its natural beauty. Also a physical education teacher and trained physiotherapist, she has a strong desire to share her passion for the outdoors with others. In 2009, she founded Coastal Bliss Adventures Ltd. with partner, Gary Ward. Gerogia is an SKGABC Level 3 certified sea kayak guide, a Paddle Canada sea kayak instructor, a certified canoe instructor, and a fencing and archery coach.
Gary Ward, MS, MBA found a passion in the Canadian wilderness for experiential education that led him to guide wilderness trips with teens. Gary worked in experiential education in the UK and the US for six years. Since returning to Canada in 2005, Gary spends his time teaching and guiding tours. Over the years, he has led trips in BC, the UK, Greece, Italy, and Egypt. Along with Georgia, Gary founded Coastal Bliss Adventures in 2009. Gary is an SKGABC Level 2 certified sea kayak guide and an ACMG certified Assistant Hiking Guide.
I was impressed by Aristarick, one of our guides. He was very helpful, motivating and knows a lot. Thanks to him we made it to the top.
It was clear from the start of the expedition that Ari was very professional indeed. Above all though was his passion for Tanzania. If you are planning a trip to Tanzania for a trek up Kilimanjaro or a Safari, then I highly recommend this guy. He will look after you very well indeed.
Ari of Kilimanjaro Bliss was an amazing host. We had signed up to do our climb to the top of Kilimanjaro with Kilimanjaro Bliss and got so much more than we expected. Ari and his crew took great care of us on the seven days that we took to get to the top and back down again. The food was incredibly delicious and the crew were awesome. It was an amazing adventure and we made it back a day early, so we decided to do a safari to Tarangire National Park.
We were blown away with the great lengths the team went through to, not only make us comfortable, but make us feel like royalty. Meals were better than I have had in 5-star restaurants. Although summit day was tough, the journey getting there will be what I remember best. I miss the team already!