Although not mandatory, tipping is an admirable way to share your satisfaction with your guide and varied staff service you will receive while in Mount Kenya. Your tips not only help boost the confidence of those in the service industry, but also allow you to give back to the communities on an individual basis.
As with most tipping, there are no specific rules in Mount Kenya, but these guidelines may help you determine the appropriate amounts in certain situations. For ease of tipping, you should carry a quantity of one-dollar bills with you for smaller tips.
- Please remember that tips are always discretionary (optional). Guidelines are provided for guidance only.
- Ensure that you tip in proportion to your appreciation of the service you have received and in accordance with what you can afford.
- Typically, expect to tip between 8-12% of what you paid up front for a trek (to be divided between the team. The budget is around $100 – $150 (depending on the length of trek) per person to be distributed amongst the entire trek crew.
- It can be difficult judging how much to tip each team member, so most people pool their tip together as a group and present the tip to the chief guide at the gate when leaving the national park.
The guide will then divide between the team. This method is preferred as it allows the guide to reward those who have worked hardest behind the scenes (not just what you as clients have seen), If you prefer to tip individually, then expect to tip the cook twice what you’d tip the porter and the guide 1.5x to 2x what you’d tip your cook.
The Tipping Procedure
Regarding the tipping – in general most reputable companies suggest the following per day:
- Porters – $ 8 per day/porter
- Cook – $ $12 per day/ cook
- Chief guide & Assistant guides – $20 per day/ guide
To avoid confusion and safe guard the well-being of our mountain crew, we recommend the following:
For groups of more than two, they work out $250 – $300 per person. For one or two people the recommended tips are $300 per person as the tips for the guide, assistant guide and the cook remain the same regardless of group size.
When and who do you give your tip?
On the evening of the last day on the mountain, your lead guide will present the group with an envelope in which you can place your decided amount of tips. Once you have decided on how much you would like to give.
It is a common procedure for the group to put together their tips to form a “pot” which will be presented to the crew. On the morning of your last breakfast on the mountain the lead guide will gather all the crew together and will perform a fair well song for you.
This is a prime moment for group members to come together and have the spokesperson say a few words of appreciation followed by handing the tip envelope to your lead guide who will translate your speech into ki-swahili for the rest of the crew. The lead guide will distribute the tips accordingly once the ceremony is over.
Things to avoid while Tipping
When you give Tips, do not show generosity. Just keep it natural and friendly being thankful for their caring services if you are highly satisfied.
If you are thinking of leaving back any of your trek gears for needy trek staffs, make sure that they are not worn out or damaged. Avoid giving torn and old clothes or boots to the staff. This might turn out to be a humiliating prize to the receiving person.
Simply ask them to advise how you can dispose off such goods if you are willing to get rid of such damaged gears.
While the above suggestions work just as an overview about tipping, it’s not mandatory to stick with the same compulsorily. The amount of the tip and the way of tipping may vary depending on the level of your satisfaction and the standard of services rendered by the staff.
It’s also not necessary that the guide always needs to be tipped higher than the porter. If you find that it’s actually your porter who has helped you a lot in any circumstances, feel free to switch up. In case of any confusion or any queries on the mind, just sign up and get in touch directly with our travel expert.
Many people have strong views about tipping. Some consider it an optional act of kindness to express appreciation for good service, an additional expense over what they have already paid.