Exodus Travels’ New Documentary Shines Spotlight On Mt Kilimanjaro’s Female Porters
Exodus Travels has released a new 22-minute documentary, Ngumu, which tells the story of the female
porters on Mt Kilimanjaro through the trekking experience of Team GB Hockey
champion and Olympic Gold Medalist, Crista Cullen. In Tanzania the Swahili word
for porter is ‘Ngumu’ which translates to ‘tough.’ The documentary raises
awareness of the challenges and advancements of women on the mountain and
promotes the growth of the female workforce.
set out to experience what these women do each day and to experience life as a
female porter – carrying a 20kg bag on her head, and a small pack on her
back, as the locals do.
part in a journey that took me out of my comfort zone and into an environment
where I felt personally both mentally and physically challenged was incredibly
rewarding. It was exciting to be a part of a female team breaking down gender
barriers and proving that the only thing that really matters is resilience,”said Cullen. “Charitable
work has always been close to my heart and I feel I have a responsibility to
bring attention to causes that help women to reach a better equilibrium,
especially in Africa. Exodus’ initiative is a great vehicle to bring better
standards of living to hardworking women in Tanzania and it is our hope, even
Exodus has operated the Kilimanjaro treks for over 30 years.
Female and male porters are considered to be the backbone of these climbs,
allowing travellers to reach Kilimanjaro’s summit in comfort. As part of one of
their charitable initiatives, the Porter Project, Exodus provides sponsorship
programs to locals, which includes first aid courses, English tuition and a
guide training course. This year, Exodus sponsored two female porters to
complete the Mweka Guide Certification Course.
we first started women were behind and if there was a lot of men it was very
intimidating because they thought we couldn’t do the job. This led to negative
comments and gave us a hard time,” said Alicia Peter, one of the porters. “Now
it’s different as we carry 20 kilos just like the men and we complete the job.
We all work together to achieve the same goal as one team.”
Adventurers can help support the porters of Kilimanjaro and take
on their own challenge to reach the summit on these routes with Exodus Travels: