Why The Porters Are The Real Heroes on Kilimanjaro


The above gallery is in dedication to the tireless work and inspiring attitudes of the Porters on Mount Kilimanjaro.

Just a few pictures and some short words, but I felt it had to be said. Climbing Kilimanjaro was the first time I had gone with a guided company providing expeditionary support. Kilimanjaro National Park not only requires this, but I was also shooting a promo of the climb for the expedition company, Miyar Adventures.

This was my first experience having other people carry my things, cook my meals, set my tents, all of that. Knowing how difficult mountaineering is to do on your own, taking responsibility of yourself and your equipment to survive as you push higher and higher, I have the utmost respect and admiration for these guys who so bravely and strongly provide world-class climbing support far beyond any expectations.

The Porters would leave camp after us once they had packed everything up, and still arrive at the next camp before us and have everything set and ready to go. Food on the fire. They’re not only carrying the expedition gear, like tents, sleeping pads, cooking equipment, food, fuel, water, and even a portable toilet, but they’re also hauling up the majority of your extra clothing and gear in addition to all of their own!

As tired as you may feel after long days of climbing to each camp, just keep in mind that they worked harder, and are still working harder as they cook, set, serve, and clean. They go to bed later and wake up earlier. Some of the Porters were climbing to 16,000 feet in jeans, sneakers, and cotton shirts!

All that being said, in my opinion, the Porters are the real heroes of Mount Kilimanjaro. So if or when you head out to Tanzania to stand atop “The Roof of Africa,” please keep things in perspective. Understand and appreciate your Porters for who they are, what they do, and whether they enjoy their climbing work or not, why they do it. And be sure to tip generously 🙂

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Jonathan Ronzio
Jonathan Ronzio

Founder & Host

Founder, Explore Inspired | CMO, Trainual | Co-Host of The Stokecast Podcast | Mountain Athlete | Award-Winning Adventure Filmmaker | Keynote Speaker

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