Kilimanjaro Tipping and Donations
Most of company recommend tipping your support staff at approved rates in appreciation of the risks and hardships they have endured to promote your security, convenience and enjoyment of your Kilimanjaro climbing quest, and for the encouragement, knowledge and heart-lifting entertainment they have provided en-route.
This is not parsimony on our part, as you would be charged more if they were paid higher wages direct. Tipping maintains the status of many companies in competition with staff of other outfitters. It is a cultural concession which increases the dignity and self-esteem of your support team if they receive a token of your direct personal appreciation of their devoted care.
In your mountain trekking tariff, you have paid for your guides a day in wages, depending on their experience and level of responsibility. Your porters have received equally received remuneration for their incredible feats in transporting your tents, chairs, tables, cooking equipment, food, water, safety equipment and portaloos, through dangerous and inhospitable terrain. You would also find some poor and cheap mountain operators, some even well-know, often underpay their staff, making them humiliatingly dependent on gifts of equipment and tips from clients.
Tips are not dependent on achieving Uhuru Peak, nor even Gilmore Point, but are determined by your opinion of their care, expertise and value in looking after you on your Kilimanjaro trekking trip. Tipping is performed in a kind of ceremonial ritual on return to your Moshi accommodation at the completion of your climb as a gift from the group presented to each individual separately, rather than to the leader, although you may wish to make an extra gift of money or ever welcome superfluous equipment as a personal mark of gratitude for some special victorious enhancement of your Kilimanjaro challenge experience. It is a token of respect to present these monetary gifts in crisp new currency as US dollars.
Tips are collected by an assigned group member and allocated for separate presentation to each support group member when all are assembled for a special farewell gathering. It is most important to your team as a fitting ending to a hazardous shared Tanzanian adventure on Kilimanjaro, and a special mark of their individual worth which they can present to their families as proof of the value placed on their service and the risks they have taken on your behalf.
It is also a singular symbol of their ability to provide for their families in a more spectacular manner than through a regular daily wage, allowing them freedom to indulge in small relative luxuries but rather a necessity considered by trekkers, or much-needed pricier equipment whilst they are demonstrably affluent in experience. Contributing to and sharing in this ceremony at the end of your experience in climbing Kilimanjaro in East Africa adds something to your awareness of local customs and attitudes as you share the joyful moment that marks your mutual recognition of what both sides have given and received.
1. I would recommend below guideline for your recommended tips would suggest each climb group contributes: (Although this will differ in many companies)
$150 for your head guide
$100 to each support guide
$70 for your mountain chef-cum-cook
$50 for your portable loo porter
$50 for your personal porter
$50 to each porter-cum-waiter
$40 to each logistical porter
For extra acclimatization days you add to your climb, you can supplement your tips by 20% per each rest day.
2. A climb group of 4 persons on a Lemosho or Machame Route will have 16 to 19 mountain crew staff most of the time:
4 mountain guides including 1 head guide and 3 support guides – (1 climber : 1 guide ratio)
1 mountain chef-cook
1 portable loo porter
4 personal porters (1 climber : 1 porter ratio)
6 to 9 logistical porters depending your equipment load including waiters-cum-porters who will serve you during your meals.
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