Porter Treatment and Tipping Guidelines

KPAP advocates for the following porter treatment standards:

  • Porters are paid a minimum of 20,000Tsh per day, the wage amount accepted by the porter unions in 2015
  • Salaries must be paid within 2 days of the descent of a climb
  • A transparent tipping procedure so porters receive the full tip amount intended for them
  • Loads carried by the porter should not exceed 20 kg for the company excluding porter’s personal kit
  • Porters are provided with three meals per day and of an adequate portion
  • Porters have proper shelter conditions and sleeping equipment
  • Porters are outfitted with proper gear
  • Sick or injured porters are properly cared for

Tipping

While we realize that tipping may not be a common practice in all countries and cultures, it has always been a customary tradition on Kilimanjaro and plays a part in the financial compensation for the crew on the climb. The crew wages are a basic amount and the tip complements these to provide a living wage. Recommending tip amounts is challenging because the minimum wage is not enforced so there are varying salary amounts being paid.

If you climb with an approved Partner company, KPAP evaluates and validates the tipping procedure and you can follow the Partner company’s recommendations. KPAP monitors the tipping transparency on every Partner company’s climb to help ensure that each crew person receives the full amount of tip.

When climbing with a Non-Partner company, we highly recommend tipping each crew person directly. If you choose to give the full tip to the guide to distribute, please announce the total amount in front of the entire crew and the tip amount each crew member is to receive. The guide should repeat this in English and Swahili so that all can understand. It is also recommended that this be written down and signed by the client in case of a dispute between crew members.

tents on Kilimanjaro

Kindly note that there may be specialty porters on your climb with positions such as waiter, camp crew, toilet porter, summit porter, medical porter. It is ideal if these porters receive extra compensation for their additional responsibilities beyond a regular porter.

Tipping Procedures

Climbing companies should share tipping guidelines and a transparent distribution procedure before you begin your climb. You should also be informed of the number of crew that will be assisting you during your climb at your Climber Briefing. If your company does not provide this information, please ask them. This information will help you know the amount of tip before the climb.

We encourage you to meet your crew at your first campsite to ensure you have the number of crew promised by the company. You can write a list with each crew person’s name and refer to this list at the end of the climb when you distribute tips.

porters walking in the forest on the mountain

The practice of kirunje can exist on Kilimanjaro.  This occurs when extra porters are present at the tipping ceremony who did not actually work on your climb.  The aim is to obtain extra tip money from the clients.  We encourage you to know the exact number of guide/s, cook/s and porters supporting your climb.

It is ideal to have a tipping ceremony to acknowledge and thank each crew person. Tips can be placed in individual envelopes with the climbers giving them directly to each person. We highly recommend tipping each crew person directly to ensure that the full amount of tip is received by the crew member.

Uhuru Peak from the air

Remember: If the price seems too good to be true, it is!

Please keep in mind that the lower the costs of a climb, the higher the probability that an operator may not be providing the proper treatment standards, such as the minimum salary and food amount. As a result, well-meaning individuals and organizations inadvertently become part of exploitation by not realizing that the lower climb price is at the expense of the crew’s welfare. By climbing with an approved Partner company, you can be certain that the crew are receiving the proper care.