CLIMB WITH THE EXPERTS!
The policy with porters
Having worked closely with the Kilimanjaro Porters Association Project (KPAP), we have tried to adopt all of their recommendations regarding the treatment of the mountain staff .
The policies include:
- Making sure each porter is properly equipped with decent footwear and warm clothing before agreeing to hire them; those who lack items of clothing are sent to the KPAP office in Moshi, where they can borrow fleeces, boots etc without charge. An inspection of each porter and his clothing is done on the morning of the climb/.
- Making sure the porters are well fed and watered for the duration of the trek
- Ensuring that each porter is issued with no more than the maximum 15kg (plus 5kg of personal items)
- Paying the crew a fair (KINAPA recommended) wage
- Making sure sick or injured porters are evacuated from the mountain immediately, and given the same level of care as trekkers.
- Making sure that the number of porters you start with is the same as the number at the end (except where illness or injury necessitates that a porter return to Arusha for medical treatment), ie no porters are sent down early. This is done so that no other porters end up being overloaded with that porter’s baggage, and so that each porter gets the wages and tips he deserves – which often doesn’t happen if the porter is sent home early.
- Ensuring that the tips are distributed fairly at the end of the trek. Kilimanjaro Experts have put into place a system whereby each group is given a form that states how much they have paid in tips. It is then a simple matter to check with the guide and crew how this was distributed. If you weren’t given one of these forms at the end of the trek then please let us know.
- Encouraging each trekker to get to know their crew. Some porters speak English and will appreciate your efforts to speak with them. The words pole (pronounced ‘polay’) – which translates loosely as ‘I’m sorry for you’ – shows respect for porters after a hard day of carrying your bags; ‘Ahsante’ means ‘thank you’.
The policy on looking after the mountain
- Gas is used rather than using firewood taken from the mountain
- All rubbish is picked up and carried by your crew, then taken off the mountain, rather than deposited at campsites or strewn around the slopes
- Where possible, many of your crew look to pick up any litter that they come across along the way – whether it’s your party’s or not
- The aim of your mountain crew is to leave every campsite and trail as clean – and hopefully cleaner – than when you arrived.
- Apart from the first day, your water is, where possible, boiled, filtered or purified, thus reducing the number of plastic bottles on the mountain.
- It is the policy not to pick the flora nor disturb any fauna that is encountered by your party, but to leave everything for the next group to enjoy.