One of the biggest concerns – and question that I receive the most – are when and how to tip on Mount Kilimanjaro.
The best method for tipping is to discuss with your group – maybe after your summit day – how much you are going to tip each person. You should tip based on their value on the mountain – and do not feel obligated to tip if they did not give you proper service. You should figure out a tip for each porter, each cook, each assistant guide, and the lead guide.
When the group comes up with how much they plan to tip, they should all put the money together into one pot, and then distribute it on the final morning of their descent, usually after breakfast and after all the bags are packed. You can also distribute it at the end of your climb, but it can sometimes be chaotic and full of other people at the gate.
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When you distribute the money, it’s best to hand the money to each person, and thank them for their help on the trip. Do not give the money to the guide and ask him to distribute it. However wonderful, nice, and trustworthy he seems, sometimes the full amount does not get back to the porters and the porters want to be tipped directly. If you do give it to the guide, announce to the porters how much should be distributed per person.
If you have a really big group and are carring lots of money for tips, it’s good to bring envelopes and seperate all the money in advance. It causes less confusion.