Kilimanjaro Tipping Guide
At Trekili Eco Expeditions, we pride ourselves on offering our employees the highest living wages of any trekking company. By way of comparison our guides and porters are paid a good wage by local standards. A seven-day Kilimanjaro porter wage is equivalent to nearly three weeks wage for work in Arusha or Moshi. However, Kilimanjaro has a deeply entrenched tipping culture that involves all mountain operators and their crew. Hence, tipping is seen as a customary practice.
Our Kilimanjaro tipping guidelines were established after consultation with the Kilimanjaro Porter Assistance Project and are intended to give a fair tip to the porters and guides. Please note that these guidelines and approximate figures are intended to assist you in making a choice. You should not feel obliged in any way to tip, or be pressured by any member of staff to do so. It is perfectly acceptable to give more or less than these figures dependent upon your level of satisfaction of service delivery.
Your generous tip has a significant and lasting impact upon improving the quality of life for our Tanzanian partners, providing additional food for their less fortunate extended family members, school fees and clothing and equipment for their children’s education. Additional benefits include saving funds to set up their own small businesses thus enabling self-sufficiency. You should view your tip as a donation to their future.
Tipping Distribution Guideline
The following are a guide as to the daily rates the group as a whole tip each crew member per day ($USD).
- Head guides $20-30
- Safari guides $20-30
- Head cook $15-20
- Assistant guide $15-20
- Summit porter $8
- Camping crew $6-8
- Helping porter $6-8
- General porters $5 per day per porter
To extrapolate, a general porter will receive $5 per day for each day of the trek, i.e. general porter on a 7 day trek-$5×7=$35 shared by the trekking group. If you have 10 porters then the combined tip for the general porters would be $350 divided among all the trekkers in the group. The same calculation methodology applies for all support crew until you end up with a total tipping figure for all members of the crew.
How much should each trekker allow for tipping when planning your budget?
Six night treks …
1 trekker : $US 290-300
2 to 3 trekkers : $US 170-210
4+ trekkers : $US 145-180
Seven night treks …
1 trekker : $US 330-340
2 to 3 trekkers : $US 200-240
4+ trekkers : $US 170-195
Eight night treks …
1 trekker : $US 370-380
2 to 3 trekkers : $US 230-270
4+ trekkers : $US 195-210
Nine night treks …
1 trekker : $US 410-420
2 to 3 trekkers : $US 260-300
4+ trekkers : $US 220-225
Trekkers may find it advantageous if a member of their team holds a doctorate in advanced mathematics due to the seemingly complicated tipping process.
The tipping ceremony
At the final camp, team members will nominate a person to take charge of the tipping process. Tips will be collected from all members of the group and pooled together. Ultimately Tanzanian shillings are best though most guests will travel with $USD. A combination of both is graciously accepted.
We advocate undertaking the formal tipping ceremony and distributing your tips on the last day of your expedition at the National Park gate. Handing each team member his or her tip will instill great pride in a job well done.
Your head guide will call all the crew together at the Park gate and the nominated spokesperson will say a few words on behalf of the group. This will be translated to Kiswahili by the head guide.
The nominated person will then distribute the tips direct by hand to each crew member as per the agreed amounts outlined above.
In reply, it is usual that a member of the crew will express their gratitude and the team will sing a traditional song of congratulation for the teams success on the expedition.