Your Kilimanjaro trek is made possible by a large support crew that consists of guides, cooks and porters. The latter is a group who carry all equipment, your luggage, and set up camp each day, leaving you with one focus in mind – reaching the summit. Portering is extremely hard work, yet these porters are a highly mistreated group by the majority of trekking companies – paid unfairly, fed and clothed inadequately, cheated out of their tips and overloaded with luggage.
At Pristine Trails we strongly value the porters and the entire mountain crew, remaining committed to their fair treatment through our partnership with the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP). KPAP is an initiative of the International Mountain Explorers Connection (IMEC) which recognizes climbing companies with responsible treatment practices. Along with the other KPAP partner companies, we are leading the way within the industry to improve the welfare of all porters on the mountain.
WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
The porters are the lifeblood of your trek. Pristine Trails porters not only carry your luggage, but they go the extra mile to make your trek as comfortable and fun as possible. These are low-income, local men (and a few women) who work tirelessly to give you an experience of a lifetime just so they can put food on their tables. It’s important to treat them as fellow human beings and do your part in ensuring their welfare.
WHAT EXACTLY ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF TREKKING WITH A KPAP PARTNER?
KPAP advocates for porter welfare; look at them as a third unbiased party. It is easy for companies to claim they treat their crew well, but there are so many practices that occur out of sight of you as a trekker. These claims are often false, and you as a client are not able to know for sure. However, our partnership with KPAP requires an investigative porter climb on every single Pristine Trails trek, to observe and report on various parameters on which our partnership is predicated. These parameters include:
– Payment of fair wages as determined by National Park authority
– Distributed tips from clients transparently and in a timely manner
– Carry a maximum of 20 kg
– Provided with adequate shelters
– Fed three meals per day
– Provision of sufficient clothing
DOES THIS MEAN OUR PRICES ARE HIGHER THAN OTHER COMPANIES?
The short answer is yes. Our trek prices are higher than many companies that are not KPAP partners. BUT Pristine Trails offers high quality treks at a reasonable and competitive price. Our prices reflect payment of all park fees and taxes, fair wages to your entire crew, provision of tasty and nutritious meals, first-rate gear and the highest safety standards, in addition to giving you an unforgettable experience. Much of our crew has been with Pristine Trails for years, a testament to our focus on their well-being. We believe quality and fairness are worth paying for, AND you should be able to have the experience of a lifetime without breaking the bank.