Tipping is an expected and highly appreciated component of your Mt. Kilimanjaro trek. It should be an expression of satisfaction with those who have assisted you throughout the expedition. Tipping is one of the most direct ways that you can have a positive economic impact on the East African community. Although it may not be customary for you, it is of considerable significance to your guides, assistants, cooks, and porters, as an important source of and supplement to their income.
During the welcome meeting the CEO can confirm to the travelers the total number of guides and cook but not porters, the total number of porters will only be confirmed once all the luggage and equipment are checked by Kilimanjaro national park rangers at the gate. Normally 2-3 porters per hiker.
You are not introduced to the porters at the gate because there is no enough time and when you arrive at the first hut or camp on Day 1 the staff are busy and travelers are tired. On Day 2 of the hike, travelers will have enough time to meet everyone when they arrive at the hut or camp.
Upon completion of your climb, it is ideal to have a tipping ceremony with the crew at the last meal on the mountain. Tips should be placed in a group envelope and a member of the climbing team can hand the envelope directly to the Lead Guide because there are many people to share the tips with. It is encouraging to announce the amount in front of the group to ensure each crew member knows the total amount.
A method that’s popular is for everybody to contribute 10% of the total cost of their trek towards tips. So if you paid US$2000 for your trek, you should pay US$200 collectively for your crew. (If there were only one or two of you, it would be better to pay slightly more than 10%.).
A realistic amount for a trip of 5-7 days length would be between 200-300 USD per climber for tips. Here is a suggested amount per trip:
5 days on Mountain, common tip amount = $200-250
6 days on Mountain, common tip amount = $225-275
7 days on Mountain, common tip amount = $250-300
***Please note that these are only guidelines and tips can be based on personal opinion
If paying each crew member individually, you can use the following chart as a guideline:
Tipping guide in USD (or equivalent in local currency) per group per day spent on the mountain:
Per Chief Guide: US$10-15 per day
Per Assistant Guide: US$8-10 per day
Per Cook: US$7-$10 per day
Per Porter: US$5-8 per day
Gifts, in addition, are also appreciated – e.g. warm clothing or footwear.
These are mere guidelines, and you may wish to alter them if you feel, for example, a certain porter is deserving of more than his normal share, or if your trek was particularly difficult.
information provided by G Adventures www.gadventures.com/faqs/kilimanjaro-trek