Kilimanjaro Guides and Porters

Kilimanjaro porters and guides are the people who make your dream of getting to the top of Mt Kilimanjaro come true.

They will carry all your gear to the top. This means tents, tables, chairs, cooking utensils, gas bottles and often toilets.

Before you begin your climb you will meet your guide and porters. Typically guides can speak good English, porters a little or not at all.

Porters carry all your gear (excluding your daypack) and all the equipment you need on your climb (tents, cooking equipment, food, water etc.). Each porter carries up to 20kg on their back or head.

Porters always go ahead of you and your guide to make sure they get to each Kilimanjaro campsite before you and have everything setup for your arrival (tent assembled, food ready etc.).

Guides are responsible for managing the porter team and ensuring you have a safe and enjoyable hike. Guides are fully trained in mountain first aid, and have many Kilimanjaro summits under their belt.

The average ratio of support staff is 3 porters for every climber, 2 guides for every 4 climbers, and the cook and assistant guides vary depending on numbers:

Clients12345678910
Guide1111111111
Assistant Guide0111222333
Cook1111111111
Porter571013161922252831
TOTAL CREW8121620252933384246
Malaika Travel ratio of support staff per climber

Tipping on Mt Kilimanjaro is not compulsory, but is expected for all of the hard work from the crew to make your trip nice and enjoyable.

Below is an example of how much you might want to tip based on the group size. Tipping amounts are per group, not per climber:

  • Main Guide – $25 per day | Assistant Guide – $20 per day | Cook – $15 | Porter$10

For an 8 day Lemosho route trek the total tipping value per group and climber would look as follows in USD ($):

No. CLIENTS12345678910
TOTAL TIP7201,0401,2801,5201,9202,1602,4002,8003,0403,280
TIP PER CLIENT720520427380384360343350338328
Tipping values in USD ($)

Tips are usually paid on the last day in the morning when all of the staff will sing and dance for you. After this ceremony you can pay your tips to your guide or individually to each person.