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Kilimanjaro Porters – Their Crucial Role and Rights

Mount Kilimanjaro rises to an elevation of 5,895 meters above sea level, making it the highest freestanding mountain in the world and the tallest on the African continent. Kilimanjaro boasts five different ecological zones, each adding to its unique beauty. Three peaks are found on the mountain: Mawenzi, Kibo, and Shira.

Porters on Mount Kilimanjaro

Porters are instrumental in the success of most hikers who climb Mount Kilimanjaro. They provide assistance by carrying additional luggage for hikers while on the mountain, which includes tents, sleeping bags, food, medical kits, oxygen bottles, cooking utensils, and other items that you may not have in your backpack.

Porters also provide assistance on the ground. They typically advance ahead of the group to prepare everything before your arrival, including pitching tents and ensuring cleanliness. They also offer encouragement to climbers throughout the journey to the summit.

The best way to show gratitude to porters is by tipping them after the climb. Tipping is not mandatory, and individuals should tip according to their budget. There is no specific amount for tipping porters, but it is advisable to carry your tip with you as you trek the mountain.

Hiring a porter during your Mount Kilimanjaro hike is another way to support the local community, as most porters come from villages at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro. For many of them, being a porter is a full-time job that helps them support their families.

Porters on Mount Kilimanjaro are recommended to carry a maximum of 20 kilograms of luggage. Porters’ daily wages are usually around $8, although some companies pay less than this amount. It is essential to conduct a background check on the tour operator you plan to use for your Kilimanjaro hike.

Regrettably, some porters work under adverse conditions and cannot afford good-quality shoes and other hiking gear, often exposing them to hypothermia or even death during extreme cold weather. Most porters do not have formal contracts with the companies and can be found around the park headquarters, seeking hikers who can hire them.

An organization known as the Tanzania Porters Association was founded to improve the working conditions of porters on Mount Kilimanjaro. This organization has played a vital role in establishing rules and regulations for hiring porters on Kilimanjaro.

The Tanzanian Porters Association has set rules to ensure that porters receive a minimum wage, enjoy good sleeping conditions, carry a specified maximum weight, receive proper food during the hike, and adhere to the recommended number of porters per trip and per person.

In conclusion, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro alone, without the help of porters, is nearly impossible. They enhance your journey’s comfort and make trekking easier, enabling you to achieve your goal of reaching the highest point on the African continent. You can book your tour with a company that respects and treats porters well to contribute to the well-being of Mount Kilimanjaro’s porters.


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