The Nale Moru (Rongai) route offers the advantage of attempting the climb in relative seclusion compared to the more crowded Marangu and Machame routes.
- On Kilimanjaro, we have built a number of standards into our mountain services.
- All cooking is on gas or kerosene stoves (rather than firewood) and all rubbish is carried off the mountain.
- Hot washing water in bowls is provided to avoid polluting the streams.
- Porter welfare is another important part of our staff policy.
The most obvious and visible responsible tourism action on this trip is the treatment of our porters. We ensure that the porters on our trips are provided with the proper shelter, clothing and food required on the mountain. They have access to the same medical kit as clients, and in case of a need to descend due to illness they will still be paid for the trip. In case of illness incurred directly as a result of their work, we also assist with any necessary hospital treatment. We pay the recommended wages directly after the trip which can often be an issue with budget operators. We also run the porter education project, along side our local operator, which provides our porters with the opportunity to learn or improve their English from beginners through to an advanced level. For many of our porters this is a second chance at schooling that many will have had to for go the first time around due to a variety of reasons. These 8 week classes also include HIV awareness, accountability and general money management. The overall aim of the project is to give our porters the best training possible in order for them to progress and become Guides on Kili or to work as teaching assistants in local schools. We are also members of Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project.
The local Kilimanjaro tax goes towards preserving the parks and other local smaller parks in the area. As an optional activity clients can on the last day (depending on flights) go for a village walk, where the entrance fees and guide payment go directly into the Marangu community. The payment for entering the Serengeti also goes a long way to helping the other smaller parks in Tanzania.
We have worked with The African Walking Company for several years and have built up a long standing relationship. This operator is also committed to responsible travel issues and all of their staff are local people. All the leaders on our trips are locals, who have been extensively trained by us in several areas including language, briefing, client handling, flora and fauna, geology and first aid which is regularly refreshed. All the accommodation on this trip is also locally owned and employ local staff. Local produce is used extensively.
We always provide responsible tourism advice to our clients including information regarding porter treatment, the sensitive topic of tipping and responsible behaviour on the mountain (for example no litter, care with soap in the few streams, no use of firewood). The small group sizes of no more than 16 limit the strain on natural resources and on the porters, guides and Safari parks.
We also have an optional village walk that explores Marangu for half a day. This village is a fascinating mixture of small but fertile coffee and banana farms, friendly Chagga people, and some beautiful scenery with waterfalls and magnificent views. Part of the revenue from these walks goes directly to a locally managed project that aims to improve the poor facilities in local schools.
In our UK Office we have worked to reduce our carbon footprint through a reduction of energy use and energy conservation measures. We also actively reduce the waste produced by having active reduction and recycling policies in place. We run annual staff workshops on Responsible Tourism. Carbon balancing - Global warming is a reality and to help you make a difference by reducing the carbon dioxide that is produced when you travel we offer a chance to carbon balance your flights. We encourage all our clients to do this and do so for all our staff travel. Go on do your bit!