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The other Face of Kilimanjaro

Inside the porter

About the project

Suivez nous:

A Jean-Benoit Gamichon and Marc-Grégor Campredon  documentary.
52 minutes / Video HD /  Budget : 21 900€

What does it tell ?

David loves Kilimanjaro, the sensation of cold and smooth when he touches the snow. However, it is out of necessity that he climbs regularly to the top. When his father died when David was only 15, he had to quit school and start working to help his family at home.

Not speaking English, the only work that David can get in Moshi is carrying gear and luggage to the top of ‘Kili’. Every journey he carries a bag of twenty pounds (20 pounds? Or 20 kilos?) up to Barafu Camp, at 4800melevation, so that tourists do not miss anything on the mountain.

His salary, when he has one, is not bad, but the work is irregular and difficult. Tourist agencies seem only interested in their customers. Whatever happens, tourists have to leave Tanzania with the feeling that on Kilimanjaro, there is no problem ‘hakuna matata’. However porters are often mistreated with a disturbing indifference: too little food, no equipment, no real shelter, and often carrying bags that are too heavy.

Mountain guides, who are often brothers and cousins of the porters​​, participate fully in the exploitation, often accepting bribes to ignore the actual working conditions. Some go so far as to take a portion of the porters’ tips and wages themselves.

This film aims to presentthe other side of Kilimanjaro, which is not seen or understood by tourists. In order to do this, with the help of a few companies and guides who really feel concerned about the working conditions the Kilimanjaro porters are subject to, we lent David one of our cameras during 6 months  to help us record this documentary with the hope that it will help change the future of their profession and every day life.  

Statement of purpose ? by Marc-Grégor

For me, Africa is a wild land, uncharted territory! During my first trip to Tanzania, I immediately wanted to climb Kilimanjaro,  influenced by the adventure novels of Jules Verne, Kessel or Hemingway ...

During my phase of preparation, I discovered that Kilimanjaro had become a big tourist attraction. With so much traffic, the easiest and most popular route is called the Coca-Cola route. This global recognition is seen in the fact that there are so many films on this big climb and the men and women who have succeeded to overcome the challenge to climb Kilimnajro.

In the shadows of these exploits the porters work and carry out their everyday lives: David, Philip, Godwin, or Harry have told us "their Kilimanjaro". These touching stories expose a different side of tourism ‘on Kili’ that is rather dark.

The tourism industry is important on this continent with 50 million visitors per year, generating one out of ever twenty jobs. As always, the development of this industry is done with disparities in treatment for those involved. There are good examples such as Rwanda with their Mountain Gorillas which generated $200 million to contribute to the improvement of schools, roads and infrastructure.

In neighboring Tanzania, the model is symptomatic of a corrupted Africa where hyper individualization motivates some people to raise money for their own profits at the expense of their brothers. The system is well made and protects the tourist from an awareness that would ultimately be fatal to corrupt officials.

Every trip to Tanzania, as elsewhere, our presence will have a direct positive or negative result. Providing you with Africa even for a brief travel, you become an actor in the disparities and inequalities. Being ignorant does not change the situation; in fact to be aware and be responsible is a must.

By recounting the daily lives of the porters, we hope to inspire future travelers to commit to fair and responsible tourism:
With great adventures, great responsibilities. 

What are the funds for?

Filming began in March 2012 and ended in September 2012. It has now been one year since we implemented our idea in meetings,  interviews, shooting and assembly. As a result, our project is about to be completed.

We've managed to finance it with the total investment of people working on the film ... Unfortunately we can not completely finalize without your help!

If we get € 2500

Fund the translation and the subtitle  
Fund the sound mix of the film
Paying the speaker for voice recording and recording fees

If we get more than 2500 €
Fund the color calibration
Fund the soundtrack

We are in the final stretch and we really need you.

Nous sommes dans la dernière ligne droite et nous avons vraiment besoin de vous.

About the project owner

Jean-Benoit Gamichon
Director, Editor, He principally works on informational films for internet and television. Passionate about travel, this project is an opportunity to express himself artistically with a country he loves.

Marc-Grégor Campredon
Photographer, assistant director of documentary films. After various trips, he created Esprits d'Aventures  to create unique projects that echo his social and political concerns.

Esprits d’Aventures

Esprits d’Aventures is a non-profit association under the Parisian law 1901, who’s main goal is to help and accompany other nonprofits in the creation of contents such as photographs or videos. 

Our partners are individuals or associations who are developing humanitarian projects all over the world who need to communicate, share, publicize their missions on the internet or at conferences in order to obtain more visibility, impact, and support.