It is common to tip your mountain crew after climbing Kilimanjaro. The decision on how much you tip your crew should be based on the quality of service that you received - not if you reached the summit or not as this cannot be guaranteed. Make your decision on how well the guides, cooks and porters served you while you were on the mountain. The standard tipping amounts PER GROUP is 20USD/day for guides, 15USD/day for cooks & waiters/toilet porters, and 10USD for standard porters. In addition to that you might also think about donating equipment that you don’t need anymore after your climb.
Each group will have one Lead Guide that is responsible for the whole crew. There is generally one assistant guide per three clients. Every group will have a cook, a waiter for all meals and toilet porter. The total number of porters depends on the selected route, the number of days and the total weight of all items needed. Generally, there are two porters per person on the Marangu & for climbing Mount Meru, and three porters per person on all other routes. However, the porters/client ratio is larger for small groups. Make an effort to know your guides and porters and their roles if possible. They will be happy to be recognized as they all have their individual roles for your successfull climb.
Below are some guidelines on how much to tip your staff on a full eight day climb, provided that their service was satisfactory. These figures are the total tips given for your total group.
Tipping guidelines per Group per day:
Lead Guide: 20 USD
Cook: 15 USD
Waiter (for meals): 10 USD
Toilet Porter: 10 USD
Porter: 10 USD (number of porters depend on total luggage)
Example: 8 Days / 6 climbers / 20 Crew Members (number of porters depend on total luggage)
1 Lead Guide: 160 USD
2 Assistant Guides: each 160 USD
1 Cook: 120 USD
1 Waiter: 80 USD
1 Toilet Porter: 80 USD
14 Porters: each 80 USD = 1.120
20 Total Staff: 1.880 USD
/6 clients: 313 USD per client
It is against company policies for guides or porters to discuss tips during your climb. Unless there were special circumstances that justify higher tips, please try to stay close to the guidelines above.
Tipping Ceremony on Kilimanjaro on the last day (after summit)
We will explain to all details of the Tipping Ceremony in briefinf before your climb. The ceremony will take place on the last night on the mountain, after the summit day and before arriving to the departure gate of Kilimanjaro National Park. The Lead Guide will assemble the entire staff to say a word of thanks. Each crew member signs a tip receipt which we review after every climb to enforce fair and proper payment. Tips can be made in US Dollars (USD) or Tanzanian Shillings (TSH). It is very important that US bills are not older than 2002, as they are not accepted in the country. It is very helpful to organize a well estimated amount of USD before arrival, as exchange rates may vary and differ a lot.
Donation of Clothing & Equipment
You might consider donating your clothing and equipment to the climb team in addition to tipping them after your climb. Remember that the staff climbs Kilimanjaro many times a year and can go through their clothes and gear rather quickly. You can be straight forward to ask if something is needed and then donate it individually. Your donation is of great assistance to these individuals, many of who are unwilling to spend their money on material goods they consider a luxury rather than a necessity. They will appreciate your generosity tremendously. Avoid giving items to your guide for distribution to porters. Donations should be given directly to individuals they are intended for, perhaps those with the greatest need or who were of particularly good service.
Tipping for Safaris, Hotels and Restaurants
The suggested tips for the safari are 20 USD to 30 USD per day for the guide (who is also the driver). So for instance, in a five day safari the guide can be tipped 100 USD to 150 USD total from the entire group (not per individual).
Small tips (1 USD / 2000 TSH) may be given to hotel staff or drivers for their service, however this is not customary. It is also not customary to leave tips at restaurants.