Mount Kilimanjaro is the shining beacon for visitors all around the world. Mt. Kilimanjaro Climb is the long-cherished bucket list goal of every hiker/mountaineer and adventure-loving sole. It evokes a deep sense of appreciation and humility towards our relationship with nature. And Kilimanjaro Porters plays a vital role in Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing. For it is practically impossible to Climb Kilimanjaro without Porters.
On the mountain, Kilimanjaro Porters take care of your every need so you could concentrate on your Kilimanjaro Climb. Imagine waking up in freezing Kilimanjaro mountain camp to see a friendly face offering a much-needed coffee in hand. Every day, after climbing nearly 15,000 feet, when you finally reach your campsite tried to your bones, a warm meal and a comfy bed are waiting for you. All thanks to the Kilimanjaro Porters. They work tirelessly to keep you safe, hydrated, fed, and sheltered, during your entire Mt. Kilimanjaro Travel.
But sadly, Kilimanjaro Porters are often neglected. Many Tours operators in Kilimanjaro are guilty of violating their human rights. Most of them are overworked and underpaid. Yes, things are changing now, their situation is improving with time. Now there is a set weight limit, fixed minimum wage, and other important benefits for the welfare of Kilimanjaro Porters. But we still have a long way to go.
Kilimanjaro Porters; The True Heroes Behind Your Success
In reality, without the assistance of Kilimanjaro Porters, you won’t be able to reach the Kilimanjaro Summit. At least not within your desired time…
Every morning after you leave the camp to start your Kilimanjaro Hike, our porters stay back to wrap up the camp. After that, they rush to the next camp at a much faster pace carrying all your stuff and camping equipment (which is really heavy) to reach ahead of you. There they set up camps, prepare meals and boil water all before your arrival.
They carry all your gears from camp to camp, cook for you, keep you warm and comforted. They make your life easy and stress-free so you could concentrate on your Kilimanjaro Climbing. In case of emergencies, the porters work in the Kilimanjaro Rescue team too.
How Many Porters Do You Need To Climb Kilimanjaro Safely?
On average, you’ll need a minimum of 2 to 3 Kilimanjaro Porters (per head) to Climb Kilimanjaro successfully. Ideally, a larger group requires less porter. And if you take the Marangu Route you can easily get away with about two porters per hiker even less if the group is larger. That’s mainly because the Marangu Route has huts not tents.
As per the rest of the Kilimanjaro Climbing Routes, you’ll require at least two to three porters per person.
Kilimanjaro Porters Right
The Kilimanjaro Mountain is filled with many tragic stories of Kilimanjaro Porters succumbing to exhaustion and exposure. Even after doing all the hard work more often than not, they are unable to feed themselves and their family all due to the greed of some budget tour operators who don’t pay them properly. In fact, maximum Kilimanjaro Porters survive on the tipping on a daily basis.
So, as a climber, it is your responsibility not to encourage those greedy tour operators to exploit the porters. Ask the right questions before hiring a tour company. Choose an ethical company that cares about the well-being and safety of its employees.
NGOs like the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP) fight for Kilimanjaro rights. They work tirelessly to ensure the Kilimanjaro porters have fair wages, good treatment, as well as proper educational opportunities.
Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project; KAPA
KPAP was founded to improve the poor working conditions of Kilimanjaro porters. The primary focus of KAPA is to improve the working conditions of the porters by:
- Lending adequate mountain clothing to porters free of cost.
- They advocate for fair wages, fight for their rights, and demand ethical treatment by all tour companies climbing Kilimanjaro.
- Facilitate educational opportunities and necessary medical facilities for the mountain crew.
Kilimanjaro Porters; Weight Limit
Every climber in Kilimanjaro is allocated one porter to carry their duffel bag from each camp to another. But How Much Can A Porter Carry? Well, keeping Kilimanjaro Safety in mind the KAPA has decided the weight limit for each Kilimanjaro Porter should not exceed 15 kg (32 lbs) per duffel bag excluding your sleeping mat, tent, food. So as a responsible climber it is your duty to make sure your Kilimanjaro Gear List doesn’t contain anything heavy or unnecessary.
Also on behalf of Jerry Tanzania Tours, we urge you to kindly bring a waterproof soft duffel bag as our porters carry your duffel bag on their heads and shoulders. However, there are some Kilimanjaro Porters who are still asked to carry more weight than their preferred limit. So, make sure you’re not encouraging them.
Kilimanjaro Porters Tipping
Kilimanjaro Porters walk to the Kilimanjaro national park gate every day in search of livelihood. Because that’s where many budget operators pick up the porters for your Kilimanjaro Hike.
Some tour companies don’t even pay their porter properly, especially on budget Kilimanjaro climbs. As a result, these Kilimanjaro Porters rely solely on your daily tips to feed their families.
Correspondingly, you’ll be expected to tip a litter higher during your Kilimanjaro trip. Even after that, your porters are likely to end up with very little money in their hands. And the sad truth is very few climbers are aware of this.
Besides, we suggest you not pay all the tips accumulatively to the Kilimanjaro Guide to further distribute them to the porters. Because in all likelihood, the porters may see little if any of the money.
According to KPAP, every Kilimanjaro Traveler should budget about:
- Per Lead Guide – $20-25 USD per day
- Per Assistant Guide – $15-20 USD per day
- Per Cook – $15 USD per day
- Per Porter – $10 USD per day
How To Climb Kilimanjaro Responsibly?
While it’s up to the tour operator to do their part in paying fair wages to porters, you also play a significant role. As your responsible choices have the power to make a positive impact on the life of Kilimanjaro porters.
Here’s what you can do to ensure the fair treatment of Kilimanjaro Porters:
- Choose one of KPAP’s “partners in responsible travel” companies.
- Plan your tipping budget ahead of your Kilimanjaro Trip and be sure to tip directly to the porters.
- If you can interact with the porters when there is downtime, show them your appreciation for their help.
- Stick to the weight restriction, plan your Kilimanjaro Gear List accordingly.
- Visit the KAPA website to learn more about their work.
It’s true that more often than not, the Kilimanjaro Porters are not paid their due. So, do your part in helping to ensure porter rights and in the process make your experience more enjoyable?
At Jerry Tanzania Tours, we’re committed to the fair and ethical treatment of all our staff. We take full responsibility for their welfare and are supported by KAPA as well. Jerry Tanzania Tours ensures that both you and our porters have a safer and more enjoyable climb.
Let us help you find a better, more Ethical Kilimanjaro Climbing Package. To know more visit our website today.