Before climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, most climbers often start worrying about the porter and guide’s tip before the climb starts. They want to know how much it will affect their budget, and to make sure they are paying a good tip. A typical porter on an seven day climb should receive around a $40 tip; a cook could receive about $80; and a head guide could receive $100 or more. These tips are divided by the total number of people in the group, not per person.
A general estimate, for your budget, per Kilimanjaro climber runs from about $175 to $250 per person depending upon the following factors: the number of people in your group, the number of the porters, number of guides, cooks and sometimes the route. It’s impossible to predict an exact tip in advance because it really depends upon how much gear is brought up the mountain and how much weight is brought up the mountain. There is no a de facto standard of tipping for all companies, it’s only a recommendations from organizations, NGOs and the Tanzanian government. Some higher-end companies have seen tips in excess of these recommendations. Some budget companies have seen tips lower than this.
A couple things to remember when tipping Kilimanjaro porters:
Tip directly to the porters, not the guides.
Bring a packet of letter size envelopes to distribute the tip
Determine a tip for each component of your climbing group: the porters, cooks, assistant guides, and the lead guide.
Distribute it on the final morning of the descent usually at Mweka Camp or the Park Gate
Tip in either Tanzanian Shillings or US Dollars
The average Tanzanian makes $40 per month. A $40 tip for difficult work for many days is a great wage and supports the local economy.
Generally speaking, an example of a tips break down like this:
Porters $5 per day per porter
Cooks $8 to $10 per cook
Assistant Guides $8 to $10 per guide
Kilimanjaro Guides $20 per day per guide
Safari Guides $20 per day and per guide
In other words, if you had four porters, 2 assistant guides and 1 lead guide. The total trip would be around $420.
4 porters X $40 = $160 Total
2 assistant guides X $80 = $160
1 lead guide X $100 = $100
Total = $420 / Number of people in the group
Please Note: Tip amounts listed for Kilimanjaro and safari are per group, not per individual traveler. For instance, if four people are on safari, they should each contribute $5/day if they want to tip the driver.