Leaders in Ethical Porter Treatment Standards2018-12-02T17:53:38-07:00
Leaders in Ethical Porter Treatment Standards
A Kilimanjaro climb would not be possible without porters. They are the backbone of all Kilimanjaro expeditions, and historically they have long been exploited by the tourism industry in Tanzania!
In 2008, Nature Discovery was one of the first companies who partnered with the Kilimanjaro Porter’s Assistance Project (KPAP), and we became the driving force in changing attitudes and practices for porters on Kilimanjaro. Together with KPAP, we have changed the expectations for porters on Kili, by practicing fair working conditions, honesty and transparency. Eight years later, we are the recognized leader in creating and affecting change in revolutionizing how Kilimanjaro porters are chosen, outfitted, treated, paid and tipped.
Our commitment to practicing fair treatment for porters is a top priority, and we are recognized by KPAP as the company who pioneered these changes.
Here are the notable porter treatment practices we commit to on each trek:
We ensure that no bribes are ever paid by porters to get work. We’ve registered all our porters, and we choose them by means of a database which tracks all their work and their performance, and which chooses them in a way that fairly distributes the work. This is unique to ND, and no other company comes close to using this system.
We pay amongst the highest overall porter wages and bonuses, and go to extreme measures to ensure they receive their full salary. Overall, our porters receive one of the the highest compensation packages.
We go to excessive lengths to strictlyuphold weight limits for porter loads (20kg per porter). We carry scales on each trek to ensure that daily, loads are not exceeded, ever.
We have porter welfare officers at the start gates of every trek, to inspect porters and check their gear and ensure that our system of fair porter treatment is truly being practiced in a transparent manner.
On the mountain, we have independent ‘monitoring porters’, assigned and supervised by KPAP, to give us constant feedback on our fair practice systems.
We are the original (and still one of the few) companies who provide matching professional waterproof and windproof raingear to ALL our porters on every trek.
We provide tents with floors and closed-cell sleeping pads for porters who do not have their own. Our porter tents are meticulously designed and fabricated to the highest standards to keep them warm and dry.
We give our porters medical treatment in the event of injury, to the same standard of care as we provide paying trekkers.
We pay porters bonuses for removing waste left on the mountain by other companies.
Hearty meals are provided for our porters. Our porters receive three meals a day. Other companies sometimes only provide their porters with one meal a day.
Private vehicle transport is provided for all porters along with return transport home at the end of each trek. Most companies only hire porters who are ‘available’ at the gate.
We provide wilderness first-aid, language and environmental responsibility training for our porters. We’ve translated Leave No Trace principles into Swahili and have done training with over 600 porters on these important aspects of LNT’s outdoor ethics.
We are committed to these fair practices, and have an experienced, professional, and passionate team of managers, guides and porter welfare officers to ensure that we are ‘on it’. We are widely recognized for these efforts by everyone, including the most important segment of the population – the porters! Because of our commitment to fair practices, we’ve attracted the most reliable, friendly, honest and most dependable porters available.
Nature Discovery officially obtained the Travelife Partner award in October 2018 in recognition of our leading role and long-term efforts in sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility.
Nature Discovery were a phenomenal outfit: professional, knowledgeable and excellent fun. We climbed in a huge group to set a Guinness World Record for the highest altitude football game ever played (Equal Playing Field) but the silent heros and heroines were Nature Discovery crew. Every single individual, from the guides to the porters to the cooks to the sanitary crew made our dreams come true. If you want an ethical, professional, well managed, fun loving outfit, go with Nature Discovery!
Wow, what a great experience! The final walk up the summit ridge was a just an amazing feeling and luckily, weather conditions on the top cleared up after starting from School Hut in lightly falling snow.
Everything ran like a well-oiled machine. We just couldn’t fault it! We really liked the team approach across porters and guiding staff. I know that these things don’t just happen and you should be proud of your staff and their efforts. Would I recommend a Nature Discovery Kili trek to friends and family – absolutely! That to me is always the test after completing something like this.
Your advice as to the Shira Plateau route was spot on. Excellent to get the necessary acclimatization time in and nobody suffered from altitude sickness. Having experience that at Everest Base Camp, I was very pleased (and relieved) to come through unscathed this time.
Some specific comments:
Hire gear was great.
Food was exceptional, both as to variety, quality and quantity. Our chef, Felisiana August was superb and turned out meals of a consistently high standard. Both the menu design was excellent and we were continually surprised as our waiter Good Luck announced each evening what we were having.
Guide team: Onest Mtui is the sort of person you just trust and respect. Quietly spoken, very knowledgeable, and as we headed up the mountain on summit day with the ground covered in snow, you just knew that he was right on top of his game. Excellent man and we all really enjoyed his company.
Assistant guide William Bwenje is someone that you need to keep in mind when you are looking to promote new head guides. Both Michael and I were impressed with his depth and maturity. He anticipated problems, worked with people who needed assistance, demonstrated really good leadership qualities and has a very good grasp of English. The overall caliber of your people on our trek was just superb.
So in summary, I must compliment you and all the team on a job well done.
Nature Discovery is the best agent to secure your Kilimanjaro climbing. Guides like Sam and Philip run the strongest team, always disciplined and caring! Equipment is of highest quality, camp management is in order, incredible eating, perfect information and briefing. A top team spirit; smile on their faces, and, if needed, serious, alert, dedicated. They know the mountain and its challenges! Imagine, two lady-climbers feeling totally safe and perfectly guided by this professional team! We fully recommend Nature Discovery! It was amazing and we will never forget this wonderful journey!