Tailormade Africa is a proud and active partner with KPAP, the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project, who strive to protect porters working conditions including wages, food provision, accommodation and weight carried. Climbing Kilimanjaro with any tour operator or climb team that are not regulated by KPAP should not be allowed (but does) and we have specifically chosen our climb team partners, The African Walking Company for their unwavering approach to the welfare of their porters.
The African Walking Company has been a leading pioneer in staff welfare and is a full member of the Kilimanjaro Porter Assistant Project which provides guidelines that must be fulfilled before membership is granted. These include paying a good salary immediately after the trip and ensuring that porters have adequate clothing and food whilst on the mountain.
The main issue here is the subject of how much the porters are paid. On a budget trek, a porter will probably get US$5 or US$10 from the operator and be working mainly for tips, which will typically be between US$25 to US$40 per porter. The porters are forced to beg and hassle for their tips. They simply cannot afford to go off the mountain and back to their families with no money.
This leads to some pretty distasteful scenes towards the end of some treks. Obviously, the possibility of theft is also much higher under these circumstances as the trekkers are carrying more cash and especially since these porters are generally only casual staff picked up at the gate at the start of the trek.
We think that despite the poor local conditions for most manual labourers in Tanzania this is not the correct way to treat human beings and not the kind of environment that most people would wish to trek the mountain. We, therefore support The African Walking Company in paying their porters above the minimum amount recommended by the Kilimanjaro Porter Assistance Project and have a structured, sensible guideline for tipping. Most importantly this creates a much more dignified and less stressful livelihood for the porters.
The mistreatment of porters can be a troubling challenge in the climbing industry. We are an approved Partner company with the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project – KPAP – and the International Mountain Explorers Connection – IMEC – Partner for Responsible Travel Program.
We voluntarily participate with KPAP’s monitoring activities and allow KPAP to evaluate the treatment of our porters on all of our climbs. By climbing with us you can be assured that your porters are well taken care of.
KPAP also helps to improve the working conditions of porters by:
Please consider that in making your choice of mountain operator, in a way, you are significantly responsible for the welfare of the staff on your trek. By trekking with The African Walking Company and Tailormade Africa you can travel safely in the knowledge that you are positively supporting local people rather than being embroiled in this kind of abuse.
Please consider supporting KPAP by making a financial contribution to enable them to continue with their Partner for Responsible Travel Program and free services for porters. To make a donation, please visit https://kiliporters.org/donate-now/