By its very nature, tipping is of course discretionary, not compulsory. But it is an expected part of the way in which business is done in Tanzania and we know that the act of giving of a tip and knowing how much to give, can be very stressful for some of our visitors. Some of our visitors worry about not giving enough, others about giving too much. By following the guidance below, all expectations will be managed: yours, the mountain crew’s and those of future climbers.
Tipping should be an expression of gratitude to those who – hopefully – have made your experience an unforgettable one, and it enables you to directly reward those people. Our visitors come from all around the world, with very different cultural attitudes to tipping. In Tanzania, a tip is of great significance and will be hugely appreciated by the recipient. During your welcome meeting/briefing, you will be advised of the number of guides and the cook who will accompany you on your climb. (The number of porters will only be confirmed once the national park rangers at the gate have checked the quantity of luggage and equipment.) You will be introduced and get to know your porters during your trek. Normally, there will be 2 or 3 porters per trekker.
Realizing that both the process of giving tips and knowing how much to give can be difficult, we provide the following guidance:
Our trekking groups usually discuss the amount of the intended tip collectively and gather all the money together. At the end of the climb, it is a good idea to hold a ‘tipping celebration’ after the last meal on the mountain (this is normally after breakfast on the last day.) Tips can be placed in an envelope and given to the lead guide, who will then distribute them to the team. It is advisable to announce the total amount in front of the group, so that all team members are aware of how much is to be distributed.This tipping procedure conforms to the guidelines set forth by the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project. Easy Travel and KPAP have found this to be the most practical and transparent method for tipping
As for the amount, most trekkers feel that a tip equivalent to about 10 % of the cost of their trek is appropriate. (So, if your trek cost was US$2500, a tip of US$250 from each trekker should be about the right amount to cover the mountain crew.) If your group consists of only one or two trekkers, you might want to give a bit more. An alternative method, which some trekkers prefer, is to give individual tips to the mountain crew members, in which case the following amounts can be used for guidance:
- Mountain guide: $25 US per day/per guide/per group
- Mountain chef: $15 US per day/per group
- Mountain porter: $8 US per day/per group
The above figures are only for guidance and can of course be varied at the trekker’s discretion. They are in line with the advice provided by the Kilimanjaro Porters’ Assistance Project (KPAP), which is committed to fair treatment and welfare of the porters. Gifts of clothes etc are also appreciated by members of the mountain crew.