Mount Kilimanjaro Tipping
Tipping is of course discretionary, but is an expected part of the way in which business is done in Tanzania. It counts as an expression of gratitude to those who – hopefully – have made your experience an unforgettable one, and enables you to directly reward those people. Our passengers come from all around the world, with different cultural attitudes to tipping, but a tip is of great significance here in Tanzania and will be hugely appreciated by the recipient. In the course of your welcome meeting, you will be advised of the number of guides and the cook who will accompany you on your climb. (The number of porters will only be confirmed once the national park rangers at the gate have checked the luggage and equipment.) You will be introduced to your porters during the course of your trek – normally there will be 2 or 3 porters per trekker.
We realize that both the process of giving tips and knowing how much to give can be difficult, so we provide the following guidance:
At the end of the climb, it is a good idea to hold a ‘tipping celebration’ after the last meal on the mountain (this is normally after breakfast on the last day) Tips can be placed in an envelope and given to the lead guide, who can then distribute them to the team. (It is
advisable to announce the total amount in front of the group, so that all team members are aware of how much is to be distributed.) As for the amount, most trekkers feel that a tip equivalent to about 10 % of the cost of their trek is appropriate. (So, if your trek cost was US$2500, a tip of US$250 should be about the right amount.) If your group consists of only one or two trekkers, you might want to give a bit more. An alternative method, which some trekkers prefer, is to give individual tips to the team members, in which case the following amounts can be used for guidance:
Mountain guide: $20 US per day / per guide / per group.
Mountain Chef: $15 US per day / per group.
Mountain Porter: $10 US per day / per porter.
The above figures are only for guidance and can of course be varied at the trekker’s discretion. Gifts of clothes etc. are also appreciated.
Visa, MasterCard and American Express are widely accepted in Tanzania, albeit usually with a 5% surcharge, but note that American Express and Diners’ Club cards are not accepted. In certain places, such as Masai villages, cash will be the only acceptable method of payment for souvenirs etc. Travelers should not rely on travelers’ cheques, as these are not accepted in Tanzania. US Dollars are always the best currency to carry and it is
important that the bank notes you bring have been printed after the year 2006, as older notes are often not accepted.
Spending Money during Your Trip
Each traveler has different spending habits and therefore different cash requirements when on safari, to cover items such as drinks and souvenirs. You should bring the necessary amount of cash in US Dollars to cover your expected needs. Don’t forget to
budget an amount in cash to cover tips (see ‘Tipping,’ below.)
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