THE BACKBONE OF YOUR CLIMB
You'll quickly come to realize that your porters are truly the backbone of your climb. These dedicated individuals carry all your gear for a safe and successful trek, and will even carry you down in a stretcher if you become sick or injured and cannot walk.
Hiking ahead of your group, they set up camp before you arrive, giving your chef time to prepare hot meals for you soon after your arrival. As you approach your camp for the night, you'll notice that your stand-up/walk-in tent has been set up with precision and care, neat, warm and cozy, with a comfortable mattress and your duffel ready to be unpacked.
You'll quickly come to realize that the Tusker Trail climbing crew is not just a team, they are a family. Decades of experience and a fierce loyalty to the Tusker family have forged a tightly knit bond among the crew members. And as you journey to the summit, you'll find that these seasoned veterans become more than just guides and porters, they become friends..
EDDIE FRANK TALKS ABOUT THE PORTERS ...
"We have been supporting the porters because for a long time, because historically they have not been treated well by many of the climbing companies. By teaming up with KPAP since their inception, our collaboration with them has helped improve the care of all porters who work on the Kilimanjaro.”
IN THE COMMUNITY
We understand that our success is inextricably linked to the well-being of the communities in which we operate. In fact, we spend 60% of our total revenue in Moshi Tanzania. This is in addition to the thousands of people in Moshi that benefit from our spend in the hotels, shops and local markets. Tusker also financially supports the MSANDAKA SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF.
Throughout the climbing year Tusker employs:
- 2,275 Porters
- 11 Professional Guides
- 14 Moshi-based Operations crew
"As an operator that has been leading climbers to the summit for years, I can say that among the handful of organizations purporting to be working on behalf of Kilimanjaro porters, Tusker recognizes only one, and that is KPAP."
TUSKER TRAIL & KPAP
KPAP is the Kilimanjaro Porter Assistance Project. Its mission is to improve working conditions of the porters of Kilimanjaro by promoting socially responsible Kilimanjaro climbs. Eddie Frank, Tusker’s founding guide, has been a huge supporter of KPAP and its mission since it opened up a number of years ago.
KPAP Program Manager Speaks...
KAREN VALENTI, PM - KPAP: "Only 20% of the companies climbing Kilimanjaro adhere to our guidelines for proper porter treatment. Our goal is to educate the public so they can make an informed decision in choosing a conscientious company. Eddie Frank has always been a financial supporter of the International Mountain Explorers Connection. Since my being associated with KPAP, he took on the role of adviser. Eddie has also designed and sponsored our original website. It makes perfect sense that he supports KPAP because he has always been 100% dedicated to making sure porters get paid well and are treated fairly. He also brings the knowledge and experience he has gained over the years from doing business and offering adventure trips in Tanzania."
Without porters, no one would be climbing to Kilimanjaro’s summit. When someone says “I climbed Kilimanjaro” remember that they could never have done it without the porters and guides on the mountain.
Your porter crew, as with your guides, have many decades of summits under their belts and each one of our crew is fully equipped and supported during their climbs. The health of every team member, as with our climbers, is paramount. Every person on a Tusker climb, which include our clients and our crew, receives a twice daily medical check-up. Since our early climbs almost five decades ago we’ve been at the forefront of maintaining and improving the climbing standards for our crew and have been an advisor to KPAP since their inception.
- Wages: Porters are paid a premium wage well above the porter union standard.
- Porters receive their wages if they get sick or injured on a climb: Even if a porter has to descend prematurely.
- Prompt payment: Salaries are always paid immediately at the end of a climb, instead of numerous days afterwards.
- Tipping transparency: All tipping is 100% transparent so each crew member is assured their tips are distributed as soon as they descend from their climb.
- Porter load limits: Equipment and gear loads are always under the legal limit of 20kg, excluding their personal gear.
- Medical expenses: If a crewmember gets ill or injured on a climb, Tusker covers their medical and rehabilitation costs.
- All-weather tents: 4-season heavy duty tents are provided.
- Dedicated chef & kitchen: All porters receive nutritious meals 3 times a day, prepared by a dedicated chef - to fuel them up the mountain.
- Well rested: Their sleeping accommodations are warm, dry and comfortable, ensuring a good night’s rest.
- Proper equipment: Porters are equipped with essential climbing gear for every season.
- Medical monitoring: Sick or injured porters receive the same medical care and evacuation protocols as do our clients.
Tusker Trail is deeply involved in the local community. Tusker Trail’s goal of helping less fortunate citizens reaches way beyond our guides and porters.
One of the projects that Tusker is actively involved in supporting is the MSANDAKA DEAF SCHOOL, which is a boarding school for children who have effectively been orphaned because of their handicap. There are currently over 70 kids of all ages in the school. Many years ago, Tusker was one of the early supporters of the Amani Children’s Home in its formative years. Since then, Amani has grown, and has had a positive impact on the community by providing a haven for orphaned kids.
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