If you have climbed Africa’s highest mountain, you will know first-hand just how amazing Kilimanjaro’s Porters are, but sadly, Tanzania’s unsung heroes are often treated poorly by unscrupulous climbing companies, who do not provide them with adequate clothing, sufficient food or a fair wage.
Fortunately, there are organizations out there such as KPAP (Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project) and IMEC (International Mountain Explorers Connection), who are trying to help by implementing a Partnership for Responsible Travel Program that all Kilimanjaro Climbing companies are encouraged to join.
The program is designed to ensure that all porters are treated correctly, and that they receive fair wages of at least $10 per porter per day (many companies offering cheap Kilimanjaro climbs pay them less than $3 per day), proper clothing and equipment, proper shelter and sleeping bags, at least 2 meals per day, and maximum loads of 20kg.
While everyone has a budget, choosing a cheap Kilimanjaro outfitter will not benefit the local community, and you could find your porters climbing in minus degrees with nothing more than shorts and sandals. So look out for KPAP and IMEC registered tour operators, and give these magnificent people the respect and wage they truly deserve…