Looking back at my first trip to Kilimanjaro one of my biggest surprises was the size of the tip and the size of the crew that managed the trip. Most of my previous trekking experience prior to Kilimanjaro was in Nepal and the Andes where tips of $40 to $80 are the norm so the idea of a $200 tip takes some mental adjustment.
One reason tips are bigger is the size of support teams on Kilimanjaro. Keep in mind your tip is going to be divided among the entire team so actual tips per a team member need to be considered. A ten person group climbing Kilimanjaro will be supported by a team of 40 consisting of 4 head guides, 3 assistant guides, 3 cooks and 30 porters. Contrast this to the Everest Base Camp trek where the same group of 10 would only be supported by a total crew of 6 consisting of 2 or 3 guides and 3 or 4 porters. You might be wondering if such a large team is really required (does it take a team of 9 to get just two individuals up the mountain?). A simple fact is that this is how things happen in Tanzania and for better or worse the Tanzania National Park Service has regulations in place that lead to the perpetuation of the practice.
We pay our support crew competitive salaries and you should keep in mind that a tip is something extra on top of this. Tips are always optional and should be dependent on good service. We recommend the following minimum tips. Larger tips are always appreciated but our staff will be more than happy if you follow these recommendations –
Tipping Recommendations on Kilimanjaro;
|Head Guide:||$15 per day|
|Assistant Guide:||$10 per day|
|Cook:||$10 per day|
|Porter:||$5 per day|
It gets a little complicated to calculate the tips for larger groups so we provide the following suggestions.
How should I give tips on Kilimanjaro?
We recommend that you give the tip directly to each individual member on the final day of the climb. If you prefer you can tip just the porters and cook while on the mountain and tip your guide and assistant guide at the farewell dinner.
How does TrekkingHero handle tips?
If you do some quick research on Tripadvisor you will note that many climbers have a bad experience with the tipping process. This happens as most travel agents in Tanzania just resell services and have little incentive to provide customers a good experience or ensure the ground team is taken care. TrekkingHero pays its staff fair wages and we employee our guides on a permanent basis. Everyone on our team knows that providing climbers with the best experience is the best way to build our company in the longterm. Our tipping recommendations were developed with the support of the entire team.