The Kilimanjaro Mountain Porters
The Kilimanjaro Mountain Porters, and the guides are the good folks that get the people, like the hikers, to the top of the mount Kilimanjaro. Depending on your group size or the number of people you are traveling with, there will always be porters that will be available to help you while trekking, and these will always correlate with the number of visitors climbing Kilimanjaro. The hikers will always have about four support porters, and all of these are available to help the visitors or climbers achieve their goal of reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro Mountain.
All other hikes up Mount Kilimanjaro involve camping excursions, except for the Marangu route, which offers hut accommodations. This requires carrying everything up the mountain, including tents, tables, and chairs, as well as cooking equipment, kerosene gas, and, frequently, toilets. Kilimanjaro porters perform this demanding task. This article discusses Kilimanjaro porters and guides. Specifically, how you may help create a more moral outcome and what the Kilimanjaro porter welfare system looks like.
The Overview of Kilimanjaro Mountain
As a result of the growing appeal of mountain trekking, Mount Kilimanjaro has grown to play a large role in the economies of Moshi and Arusha. Locals from these areas have rushed to the mountain in desperate need of employment as a result of the rising popularity of climbing Kilimanjaro. Local and international tour operators have developed as a result. Tanzania has a high unemployment rate, so there is no shortage of people willing to do anything to make some money, however meager.
How are the porters doing in the Kilimanjaro Mountains?
The Kilimanjaro National Parks Authority (KINAPA) has put rules into place over the past few years to better control the mountain and the behavior of tour companies. Yet, the market for porters and guides is still insufficiently regulated and vulnerable to abuse. As a result, many local businesses frequently fail to pay their employees the minimum wage imposed by Kinapa. Some just pay their porters $2 to $3 each day. Let that sink in for a moment. Carrying about 20 kg of your gear up a very tall and risky mountain is less than the cost of a Starbucks coffee! In an ideal society, porters and guides would be required to receive a certain wage that was strictly monitored. Tipping on the Kilimanjaro is normal and expected, but it can be difficult to figure out how much to give each member of the support team because this is not the case. There is a ton of helpful information about the welfare and health of porters available from the NGO Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project, which is led by Karen Valenti (who does an amazing job).
What can you do to support the guides and porters on Kilimanjaro hiking safaris?
Before starting your climb, you will meet your guide and porters. Porters, on the other hand, are less likely to speak fluent English than guides. Porters transport all of your gear (other than your daypack) and the necessary climbing gear for you (tents, cooking equipment, food, water, etc.). Up to 20 kilograms are carried by each porter on their head or back! Yes, 20kg. Some tour companies cap the amount of luggage that porters can carry at 15 kilograms. Due to new laws, guides and cooks are only permitted to carry the weight of their equipment. Porters rush ahead of you and your guide to each Kilimanjaro campsite so that they can set up everything for your arrival (tent assembled, food ready, etc.). The porter team is overseen by guides, who are also in charge of making sure you have a fun and safe trip. Most have completed numerous Kilimanjaro summit attempts and have received comprehensive training in mountain first aid.
What is the ratio of support staff to trekkers?
Three porters and two guides are typically assigned to every climber, although the number of cooks and assistant guides varies depending on the number of climbers.
Here are some examples of typical ratios:
- 1 climber, 1 guide, 2 or 3 porters, and 1 cook.
- 2 to 3 climbers: 1 guide, 5 to 6 porters, 1 chef, and 1 assistant guide.
- 4-5 climbers will be accompanied by 2 guides, 8–9 porters, 2 cooks, and 1 assistant guide.
- Two guides, 11–12 porters, 2 cooks, and 2 assistant guides will be leading 5–6 climbers.
- 7-8 climbers: 3 guides, 14–15 porters, a couple of chefs, and a couple of assistant guides.
- 9–10 climbers, including 3–4 guides, 17–18 porters, 2–3 cooks, and 2–3 assistant guides.
Note that statistics can change based on the tour provider you choose. High guide-to-client ratios are a sign of the top businesses.
What percentage should you give the Kilimanjaro guides and porters?
As was previously indicated, gratuities are expected on Mount Kilimanjaro.
We’ve supplied formulas and worked examples for figuring out how much money you should set aside for tips. I recommend merely using this as a guideline.
Our figures are 10–20 percent higher than many other online tipping estimates. This is so that everyone who can afford to climb Mount Kilimanjaro for fun will also be able to afford to tip their support staff a little bit more.
These are appropriate tipping amounts. These are the figures not per climber but per group.
- Each primary guide costs $20–$25 per day.
- $15 to $20 per day for each helper guide.
- $15 a day for each cook?
- $10 USD per day per porter
When should I pay the tip to porters or guides in the Kilimanjaro Mountain?
After you have reached your final checkpoint and signed out with the authorities, tips are typically given after your Kilimanjaro trip.
Unless otherwise instructed, it is normal to pay tips separately in separate envelopes (some tour companies suggest you pay your lead guide, who then re-distributes the money). Please inquire about the recommended method from your trek operator.
Additionally, some guides advise leaving your tips at the final supper on the mountain. We advise deferring tipping until after your walk unless your tour organizer specifically requests it.
Additional actions you can take to promote the well-being of Kilimanjaro porters include: making sure the trek organizer you select is a KPAP member. By doing this, you can be certain that the porters on your journey receive good care, the right supplies and food, and a fair wage.
In addition to tips, you can give some of your equipment to porters after your hike. It helps a lot to have a water bottle, a warm beanie, or a pair of gloves.
You can get help setting up a scholarship from the Kilimanjaro Guide Scholarship Foundation. These scholarships cover everything from full-year programs to 8-week “rainy season” courses. Africa Adventure Vacations will give you all the advice you need on how to climb the Kilimanjaro Mountains safely and how to pay the guides and porters who will assist you.