Supporting the fair and ethical treatment of Kilimanjaro porters


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Established in 2003, the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP) is a legally registered Tanzanian not-for-profit organization. Our Mission is to improve the working conditions of the porters on Kilimanjaro. KPAP is not a porter membership organization, or a tour operating business, and we do not collect any fees from porters or climbing companies. KPAP is an initiative of the International Mountain Explorers Connection (IMEC), a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based out of Boulder, Colorado in the United States.

Promoting Socially Responsible Kilimanjaro Climbs

Those who have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro know that porters are the backbone of the trek. Many climbers may not realize that porters can be ill-equipped, poorly paid and have improper working conditions. KPAP’s focus is improving the working conditions of the porters by:

  • Lending mountain clothing to porters free of charge
  • Advocating for fair wages and ethical treatment by all companies climbing Kilimanjaro
  • Encouraging climbers to select a climbing company with responsible treatment practices towards their crew
  • Providing educational opportunities to the mountain crew

KPAP is a not-for-profit organization largely funded by donations from conscientious individuals in the climbing public who support responsible treatment practices. Please consider donating to allow KPAP to continue this important work.

Porters on Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro is a unique travel experience and a once in a lifetime adventure for tens of thousands of climbers every year.

When climbing Kilimanjaro, an extensive team of mountain crew – guides, cooks and porters – provide specially trained support throughout the climb to assist you in reaching the summit.  The porters, who carry all of your food and gear, are the heart and soul of your mountain experience. Without their strength, dedication and hard work, you would not be able to enjoy the magnificence of Kilimanjaro.

A Kilimanjaro trek requires a significant financial commitment. The cost to climb Mount Kilimanjaro includes government park fees for the conservation of the mountain, VAT taxes, and the operational expenses to support the climb. Climbing on the cheap often means lower wages and inferior working conditions for porters. The International Mountain Explorers Connection has created the Partner for Responsible Travel Program to recognize tour operators committed to fair treatment practices of their crew.

Whether you are a climber, local tour operator, travel agent, charity group, porter, cook or guide, the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project needs your assistance to advocate for and safeguard the fair and ethical treatment of all porters.