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Kilimanjaro Porters – Improve Working Conditions

Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project is an initiative of the International Mountain Explorers Connection, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based out of Boulder, Colorado in the U.S.

There focus is improving the working conditions of the porters on Kilimanjaro. They do this by:

Lending donated clothing at no charge for the porter’s use while working on Mount Kilimanjaro.

Providing classes for the benefit of the porters such as English, First Aid, HIV/AIDS Awareness, and Money Management.

Educating the public on proper porter treatment.

In our experience, we have found that these practices may be common:
1. Porters pay a $5-10 bribe to the guide to hire them for the climb.
2. Porters receive half of the recommended minimum salary.
3. Porters can be forced to carry loads heavier than the government limit.
4. If porters are not tipped directly by the client, most likely they will not receive the full amount.
5. Porters may receive only one meal a day.
6. Porters’ sleeping accommodations can be overcrowded.

Please consider the following guidelines when choosing a company to arrange your climb up Kilimanjaro:


Wages – A porter should be paid 6,000Tsh/day for the Marangu route and 8,000Tsh/day for all other camping routes.

Loads should not exceed 25 kilos – A Porter should carry 20 kilos for the company and 5 kilos of their own gear.

Porters receive the full amount of tip intended for them – Tipping each crew member directly is the best method to ensure this.

Porters should have proper clothing, sleeping equipment, and shelter

Porters are provided with food and water – Porters should be given adequate water and at least two meals a day while climbing Kilimanjaro.

Number of crew should stay consistent throughout the trip – Before your climb find out how many are in your crew and get to know them.

Sick or injured porters are properly cared for – An ailing porter should receive the same treatment provided for a sick climber.

During your climb, we advise you to:

Ask at your climber briefing the number of crew that will be working with you. At least 3 crew/1 climber is standard for the camping routes.

Inquire as to the wages the company pays their porters. The minimum wage is 8,000Tsh for the camping routes and 6,000Tsh for Marangu Route.

If you are at the scales when departing the gate, take note of the weight of the bags. The porter should carry 20 kg for the company and 5 kg of his own gear in his daypack. Comment to the guide if you notice that the company bag is greater than 20 kg.

Request to meet your crew at your 1st camp. You can write a list of their names which can be used later when tipping them.

A good quality company will have a tipping procedure in which you are certain that the crew receives the full amount of tip intended for them. We recommend tipping each crew member directly at your last meal if such a system is not in place.

After your climb please help us by completing our Post Climb Survey on their website Your impression of the tour operator can significantly help our work.

The KPAP office is located on the J.K. Nyerere Road in front of the Kilimanjaro Backpackers Hotel (formerly Hotel Da Costa). Please visit our office to receive more information.