Tipping Guidelines for Mt. Kilimanjaro Trek. How much should you tip? How to tip?
Tipping is normal and expected at Kilimanjaro. This might come as a surprise to many, especially if coming from countries and cultures where tipping is not as prevalent or present at all. The amount of tip is also larger than other treks you might have been on previously. This is because unlike most other treks around the world, trekking on Kilimanjaro requires a big crew. A group of 6 trekkers will have 23 members in the support staff, consisting of the senior guide, assistant guides, cooks and porters.
Let´s talk about tipping! For sure an important topic for all tourists who book a trip to Mount Kilimanjaro. Mostly you might be already aware of tipping recommendations which you already found online or through your local travel agency. But have you ever asked yourself if this tipping (which is by the way a solid part of the income for the local guides and porters) goes really to all of them in a fair way? Unfortunately not every operating company is handling this issue fair. A lot of times tourists get told after the end of the climb to give the whole amount of tip-money to the head-guide who will distribute this money to every crew member later. Well, this is happening but not in a fairway. A lot of times the money you give as a tourist (clients pay this money in USD), will be exchanged into the local currency (TSH / Tanzanian Schillings), then the head-guide or other responsible persons from the operating company give a reduced amount to the rest of the crew members like porters, cook, and assistant-guide. This is not fair because they don´t get the tipping which they deserve. You see this is a really sensitive topic and you might asked yourself now, "ok what can I do against it"? Well, be a curious and responsible tourist! Asked your operator about this tipping process. Unfortunately, when booking the trip through a local travel agency in your home country you might not get a clear answer on this question because they just don´t know. The travel agency only pass the trip to the local operator who is actually dealing with this issue in one way or another. So if you have the chance to try to find out the name of the local operator before booking the trip and asked them about the handling of the tipping. Of course there are many local tour operators who treat their staff well. This companies will answer your question in a transparent way for you. We, from Kilimanjaro Destinations care about our crew members! We are a member of (KPAP) - Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project and agree on their rules and regulations. There is a guideline for tipping, as follows: * 6-10 USD/per Day for Porters/Waiter * 10-12 USD/per Day for Cook and Assistant Guide * 18-20 USD/per Day for the Head-Guide An example: If you are 2-3 people on a 7-day route a recommended tip amount is 200-250 USD per person, depending of course how satisfied you are. We also recommend that you give the tipping-money directly at the end of the trip, we call it "tipping-ceremony". Prepare the money and give it directly to every person in your crew. This is the fairway
of dealing with this issue. Keep in mind that your crew was an important part of your successful climb on the mountain. Be a responsible tourist and care!