A letter from Earth’s Edge MD, James McManus
Dear Kilimanjaro Trekker,
I want to bring you up to speed on a significant, and really exciting, policy change that I am introducing on our Kilimanjaro treks this season.
Since 2011, Earth’s Edge has run well over 100 expeditions on Kilimanjaro. I have personally led many of them, and it’s a mountain I’m extremely passionate about. Throughout that period we have consistently delivered a world-leading product for our amazing clients. We have a perfect safety record, excellent equipment, and quality food. We have been able to deliver this primarily due to the fantastic work of our Tanzanian guides, porters and cooks, who are the backbone of our entire operation. In return, we provide some of the best pay and conditions for our teams.
We also run a number of amazing programs to help develop our staff, which results in them being able to provide more income for their families, with a big focus being on educating their children. An example of these projects is our Porter Scholarship Programme, where we fund guide training for our best porters. We are also very passionate about empowering women and as a result, we employ more women on Kilimanjaro than any other company in the world.
But it’s not enough, and I want to do more. I want to invest even more than we already do in the local communities we do business in. I want to use Earth’s Edge as a force for good and be a beacon for other travel companies to follow.
With that in mind, we want to bring our Tanzanian Expedition Leaders to the next level and give them the opportunity to lead our Kilimanjaro expeditions independently.
Walter, Goodluck, Rashidi and Fred have been working with us since 2015. They each have over 200 successful ascents on Kilimanjaro, are excellent at their jobs and know the mountain like the back of their hand. We feel that by continuing to send international expedition leaders on the mountain we are holding our Tanzanian expedition leaders back in their development. Instead, we want to promote and truly empower them. Earlier this year, they each led expeditions for Earth’s Edge with the support of one of our Irish expedition leaders and the feedback was extremely positive.
From a sustainability perspective, this exciting change will also have a huge impact. It will allow us to increase the pay for our Tanzanian expedition leaders by 100%. This will have a truly transformative impact on their lives. More significantly, with the money we are saving from not buying an international flight for our international expedition leaders, and not having to buy them a permit for the mountain, we are able to reinvest that money and pay each and every one of our staff in Tanzania at least the living wage. Living wage is above minimum wage and enough money to maintain a normal standard of living.
While sustainability is a huge passion of mine, and everyone at Earth’s Edge, I want you to know that your safety and well-being is still my number one priority. Our clients are, and will always be, the lifeblood of the company.
I also want to reassure you that we will still send an expedition doctor on all of our trips, as we know this is one of the key reasons why our clients put their trust in Earth’s Edge.
Thank you for supporting us in this exciting next phase for Earth’s Edge Tanzania!