- Tipping Guidelines
- What equipment and clothing will I need for the climb?
- When is the best time of year to climb Kilimanjaro?
Tanzania has a strong culture of tipping for services provided. Tipping is expected after climbs, safaris, other guided services, and at tourist accommodations. Tanzanians are not shy about asking for things, so it is not uncommon for someone to directly request a tip. Still, the amount and timing of a tip is at your discretion, so feel free to decline if the situation is not right for you.
What currency should I use for my tip?
Tips can be given in U.S. dollars or Tanzanian shillings. We cannot accept euros, other currency, nor travelers checks.
HOTELS / LODGES / CAMPS:
Most lodges have a tip box at the reception desk. We recommend contributing $5-20 for each day of your stay. Tips are shared among the whole staff, so individual tipping of waiters, bartenders, bellhops, etc. is not necessary.
At restaurants, leaving a tip for a waiter is not a regular custom in Tanzania, though you may consider leaving a small amount that rounds out a bill (to the nearest thousand shillings, about 3-5%). Your server will be very grateful. This does not apply in dining areas at lodges where you are staying, as the tip box covers tips for the wait staff.
Why should I tip? Tipping is a traditional practice after all Kilimanjaro climbs and a way of showing satisfaction for your climb and crew. The appreciation of good service helps ensure continued good service for those who follow you. As with any tipping situation, if the service was of particularly high quality, we encourage you to give generously; if the service did not meet your expectations, adjust the tip accordingly. Please note that all SENE crew are paid a fair living wage so that no one relies on tips as their only source of income. However, tips provide valuable additional financial assistance to the crew and invaluable interpersonal benefits to all.
How much should I tip? We recommend 10-15% of your climb cost (approximately $300-500) per climber.
How much in tips do the crew receive? Tips are combined and distributed (proportionally, based on level of responsibility) among the climb crew and the staff at the Mbahe cottages. On average, the trip leader/head guide receives approximately $25-35/day, assistant guide(s) and head cook receive $20-25/day; assistant cook(s) and crew with special duties receive $8-12/day; and porters receive $5-10/day. The staff at Mbahe also receive tips from this pool to show appreciation for their important role in the complete climb experience.
We find that combining all tips from the climbers into a tip pool and then distributed among the climb crew in relative proportion to their salary creates a simple and equitable method of tip distribution. This also recognizes the true team effort required on a climb and does not favor the more outgoing and personable crew who become climber favorites over those shy crew whose quiet contributions are equally important to the team.
How do I know the tips are completely and fairly distributed? For transparency and to ensure trust among both climbers and crew we document the tip collection and distribution with sheets for Tips Given and Tips Received. At the conclusion of the climb, as tips are collected by Simon or a SENE manager, each climber writes his/her name, amount given, and signature on the Tips Given sheet as evidence of their tip. As tips are distributed, each guide and crew member sign the sheet next to their name and amount received on the Tips Received sheet as evidence of receipt of his fair share of the tips. The total amounts on Tips Given and Tips Receivedwill be equal. These sheets are always available for all climbers and crew to review and check. In addition, KPAP regularly monitors tips received by porters to ensure fairness.
When do I give my tip?
At the conclusion of the climb at either the celebratory luncheon at Mweka or at the Mbahe cottages, depending on where your climb finishes. If you have stored cash at our office for safekeeping, it will be returned to you at that time.
SAFARI / ECO-ADVENTURE:
Each group up to a maximum of seven people on a wildlife safari will share one vehicle with a driver/naturalist. Standard camping safaris also include a camp cook and other crew (if a large group).
How much do I tip?
We recommend the following group tips for safari:
Driver/Naturalist: $25-50 per day per vehicle
Cook: $15-$20 per day per vehicle (camping safari)
Camping Crew: $5-10 per day per vehicle (camping safari)
When do I give my tip?
You may distribute tips at the conclusion of your safari to your safari team.