Many bewildered tourists are always nervous about tipping on Mt. Kilimanjaro. Of course, it’s important to be fair, and to have a good idea of the standard tip allowances to plan for your budget. But many tourists, especially Americans, are so nervous about tipping on the mountain that it tends to consume them — and has sometimes got the best of them.
Remember, and I can’t stress this enough. Tip based on if you received good service and you enjoyed the people.
-Do not feel obligated to tip if the service was sub-standard.
-Do not feel obligated to tip if the guides and porters told you how poor they are.
-Do not feel obligated to tip if the porters told you their employer wasn’t paying them enough.
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Tip only if you enjoyed your trip, the service was good, and you enjoyed the people with you. Do not discuss the tips with the guides or the porters until the end of the trip. Hand out your tips, directly to the porters and guides. Do not give all the money to the guide and have him disperse it. Disperse the money yourself.
In general, here is an outline of tips on the mountain.
Guides: $10 per day and up!
Assistant Guides: $6 to $8 per day and up
Cooks: $5 to $7 per day
Porters: $5 to $6 per day
This is not per person in your group. This is a one-time tip. A typical porter on a seven day Machame climb will receive about a $30 to $35 tip, a cook could receive about the same, and a head guide could receive $70 on up.
Some climbers have failed to realize that, if you have a big group of porters, guides and cooks, it will for sure increase the budget of your trip. But if it’s divided up by the group, then it’s not that big of an expense.