The three founders of this adventure company drove from London to Kathmandu in 1974 on an itinerary they made up as they went along, ending with a hike up to Everest Base Camp. Believing activity holidays offer you greater insight into a country, they set up as trekking tour operators. The staff all come from adventurous backgrounds, have led dozens of trips all over the world and have collectively climbed Kilimanjaro over 100 times. Whether you want a hardcore trek or a softer experience, rest assured your guide will have the expertise to take you firmly out of your comfort zone.
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It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies in place, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
Leaders & local suppliers
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.
You may be surprised to learn that, after the Kilimanjaro Park Fees, porterage is easily the largest single ground cost element on the climb and so the temptation for unscrupulous operators to reduce this cost always exists. Treatment of local staff is one of the major differences we have identified in the operational standards offered by tour operators in Tanzania.
We pay one of the highest salaries on Kilimanjaro, and we pay immediately after the trek. We are one of the few companies who meet the National Park guidelines in this area. We ensure that the porters have sufficient food and fuel for the trek. We provide communal sleeping tents for all staff on all camping routes. Sick porters have access to the same medical box as our clients and do not lose part of their salary because of illness. These initiatives do not mean that we are 'soft' employers; indeed, we have found that it is easier to obtain high standards of service when staff are treated fairly. Our local coordinators, very much share these aims and are actively working with the management of Kilimanjaro National Park to improve visitor facilities, the treatment of local staff, and the training of local guides.
We offer 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.
TANZANIA PORTER EDUCATION PROJECT
During the long rains (April-June), the non-trekking season, we fund a project to teach English to porters and other local staff; over 800 to date. Being able to converse with clients in English is an essential skill and this successful initiative has enabled porters to become cooks, assistant guides and even chief guides. With your support our aim is to develop this programme further in the future and provide continued education to our porters during times when work is limited. These skills can also help with employment opportunities for our guides, who can also work as teachers and/or classroom assistants.
We are also working with the Kilimanjaro Guide Scholarship Foundation (KGSF). By working with KGSF we hope to enable many of our guides to further their education on a three month scholarship during the long rains. KSGF (in conjunction with Inter-Continental Training College in Arusha, Tanzania) have created a special course that can run through the rainy season. This course is applicable to guides and porters and will enable them to improve their future career prospects. See our responsible tourism page for more information or to make a tax free donation to the project/scholarship.
We operate small group tours that have a low impact on the communities we visit and we always ensure our operations do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. This allows us to stay in unique and characterful accommodation that would not have benefitted from tourism due to their limited size.