All of our high altitude trekking tours use local porters – as we believe this arrangement benefits both parties. Local guides’ and porters’ knowledge of the mountains is invaluable, as well as their experience of local culture and traditions. Think of them as travelling companions, rather than people who are simply there to carry your bags. Ask them how to say things in the local language, share stories about where you are from and perhaps offer to send them photos once you are able to get some printed. Finally, income from your trek will often provide for the extended family of your porter – thus supporting huge number of people in the surrounding region.
While some of our operators have signed up to organisations such as KPAP, others have their own projects in these trekking regions, working to provide education and support for local communities. Following the Nepal earthquake, many porters and their families lost their homes as well as friends and family members; responsible tour companies raised funds, helped in the rebuilding process and ensured that the porters continued to have jobs.
For this reason, we always encourage trekkers to hire porters or Sherpas, even if you think you may be able to carry your own backpacks, as it creates jobs in regions which often have few employment opportunities. But they must be paid fairly and treated well in order for this exchange to work.
• For more specific information on each location, see our guides to climbing Kilimanjaro
, trekking in Nepal
and walking the Inca Trail
• See about our stance
on people in tourism.