Tipping the Kilimanjaro Experts Way!

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Tipping the Kilimanjaro Experts Way!

Climbing Kilimanjaro is hard enough – without having to worry about tips too!

But, as always, we at Kilimanjaro Experts do our best to make everything as easy as possible for you…

When you’ve receive the guide book and start to read it, you’ll soon come to the realisation that I dislike the whole process of tipping on Kilimanjaro.

However, I do also understand that it’s necessary: even though we pay them some of the best wages on the mountain, the porters still need the extra financial boost that tips give them to help them and their family thrive.

But I nevertheless dislike the whole process, mainly because some trekkers become worried and over-occupied with questions about whether they’ve brought enough money, and what’s the right way to give it to them too.

We also think that it’s wrong that trekkers have to carry US$250-300 with them up the mountain

There have been thefts on Kili (in fact, this problem is increasing), and trekkers shouldn’t have to spend their days on Kili worrying about whether their money is safe or not.

So we at Kilimanjaro Experts have tried to make things as simple as possible for our climbers, while still obeying the strict criteria set out by KPAP (the porters’ charity that looks after the welfare of porters) to make sure there is no funny business going on, and that the guide is not trousering most of the tip money for himself. You can read more about KPAP’s tipping guidelines by visiting their website at https://kiliporters.org/get-involved/tipping-recommendations/.

The procedure we have devised is as follows:

1) Bring US$250-300 per climber (or more if you’re feeling generous or know you are going to rely on the crew more than most climbers). Please bring the money in US dollars cash if you can.

2) Give it to your guide at the briefing.

3) He will then add it all up and give it to our office staff, who will keep it safe.

4) Towards the end of the trek, your guide will tell you how it should be divided (when he’s seen who’s worked hard – and who hasn’t). Normally, the assistant guides and cook get twice as much as the porters, and the head guide gets twice as much as the assistant guides and cook. So if the porters are getting US$50 each, the assistant guides and cooks are getting US$100 each, and the head guide is getting US$200.

5) The money is then returned to you at the final lunch, which you take in Moshi, so you can then distribute it amongst your crew (and get them to sign that they have received it, so there is no misunderstanding).

6) The sheet with all the signatures of the crew and the amount they each received is given to KPAP, so they can also be assured that the money was distributed fairly.

We think the only way we could make this simpler is by collecting the tips from you before you go by, for example, adding it to the final invoice, and then just distributing it to the crew like a wage. Unfortunately, when we’ve tried this in the past we’ve ended up paying tax on it – and the main reason why our crew likes a tip so much is because it isn’t liable for tax. And besides, that really would ruin the whole point of tipping, as you wouldn’t then be able to show them your gratitude by giving them the tips individually.

I hope that’s all clear. So, in summary:

1) Bring US$250-300 per climber (or more if you’re feeling generous or know you are going to rely on the crew more than most climbers). 

2) Give it to your guide at the briefing.

3) You then won’t see it again until the final lunch in Moshi, where you hand it out individually to each member of your crew, having been told how much to give to each of them by your guide. 

4) And that’s it.

As always, please let us know if you have any questions about any aspect of this procedure…