Trekking guides and senior staff

The majority of our trek leaders have worked their way up from being a porter at some stage. Thus, more than anybody else, they understand the plights and challenges porters often face. All of our leaders are trained in porter welfare and fair treatment and are informed of the issues by watching an International Porter Protection Group (IPPG) documentary. Trek leaders are under clear instruction to:

• Respect and treat porters in a dignified way

• Give porters the same priority they give to passengers should they fall sick

• Never load porters with baggage beyond the stipulated weight limit

• Give porters the opportunity to enhance their language skills by enabling interaction with passengers

• Pay them the exact wage allocated in the tour budget

• Allow them to receive tips directly from passengers

• Stern action will be taken against any trek leader who fails to adhere to Intrepid’s policies regarding porter treatment and welfare

Respecting the wellbeing of our porters

The Intrepid Group believes in responsible travel and is committed to ensuring respectful and fair working conditions for all trekking porters and leaders. Out there on the wild trails of Africa, South America, Papua New Guinea and the Himalayas, they look after us. So in turn, we look after them.

We’ve partnered up with local mountaineering organisations and are working with them to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all our porters. In our key climbing areas of Nepal and Tanzania, we work with the International Mountain Explorers Connection (IMEC). This US-based not-for-profit organisation promotes responsible and sustainable connections between travellers and locals in developing mountain regions around the world. In Peru, our counterparts run a highly regulated operation, in which porters are registered each year with the local government and required to provide a medical certificate.

Recruitment of porters

All of our chosen porters are 18-55 years of age, physically healthy and active and have a transparent background (we check their background with the recommending person to ascertain their trustworthiness).   Once selected, porters are trained in the many duties they will carry out on the trails, such as packing and safely handling their loads, setting up tents and maintaining trekking gear.

Intrepid pays all porters, cooks and guides a wage in compliance with legal requirements. In addition, we provide porters with allowances for meals, transport and insurance often well beyond government regulations.

Medical care of porters

Intrepid provides medical insurance to porters for the duration of each trek. If they need to make a medical insurance claim, our staff will assist them with all the required paperwork. Intrepid covers the upfront medical expenses and follows up the claim with the insurance company.

Education and training

The IMEC’s Porter Assistance Project seeks to improve the working conditions of porters by:

  • Providing a stockpile of technical clothing that is required when trekking in high altitude conditions.  This includes water and wind resistant jackets and pants, gloves, base layers, socks, hats, sunglasses and proper footwear. This equipment is also available for mountain crew and tour operators to borrow
  • Offering English language, First Aid, HIV/AIDS Awareness and Money Management classes in order to motivate and empower porters
  • Educating tourists about acceptable standards of porter treatment

Out on the trail

Our porters are given access to tents or provided with sleeping quarters, sleeping bags, mats and cooking equipment. The maximum weight a porter can carry varies depending on the trek and region. Intrepid strictly enforces this weight limit and includes a personal allowance for items such as sleeping bag and clothes. At the pre-tour briefing, our leaders ask passengers to pack only what is necessary for the trek in order to make things easier for their porters. Each porter and his load are weighed at the start of the trail.

Porters and passengers are introduced to each other at the beginning of the hike. As our leaders will explain, when recruiting porters we give priority to those from local regions and disadvantaged communities. This is in keeping with Intrepid’s responsible travel policies. As such, many haven’t had access to an adequate education and their language skills are often limited. The best way for them to learn is to have as much practice on the job as possible. Many of our porters will eventually become trek leaders, so we ask you to support them by interacting as much as possible. After you work through any initial shyness and get to know each other, you’re likely to learn as much from them as they will from you. Just imagine their stories!

Pay it forward

If at the completion of your trek you’ve found the services of your porter invaluable, we recommend you tip them. If you’re unsure how much to give, please refer to your trip notes or speak to your leader. They’ll be able to recommend an appropriate amount given the region. Additionally, if you have any good quality gear that you never want to see again after your time in the mountains, feel free to pass it on to your porter so they can use it on their next trek.

Popular walks and treks

All our walking and trekking trips

8 Days From 2888

To hike Kilimanjaro is to conquer the highest peak in Africa. Travel up the mighty Mt...

5 Days From 580

Travel to Chiang Mai and trek through northern Thailand to discover hilltribe culture,...

15 Days From 6050

Trek through South America's Patagonia region on an overland trip to Chile and...

15 Days From 1829

Go trekking in Nepal on an adventure that takes you to Mt Everest Base Camp. Explore...

16 Days From 1515

Embark on a 16-day Annapurna trekking experience in Nepal. Cross the Himalayas and...

31 Days From 3475

Journey out from Kathmandu to the rugged Himalaya. Follow the footsteps of Hillary up...

8 Days From 1632

Travel to Peru and retrace the steps of the Inca, Peru's fascinating ancient...

11 Days From 2165

Experience trekking in the Himalayas with an experienced guide and explore the...

7 Days From 1248

Travel to Peru to discover the Inca, Peru's ancient civilisation. Trek or train to...

15 Days From 5424

Travel to Africa and visit the Serengeti and Kilimanjaro. From Nairobi in Kenya to the...

15 Days From 5016

Travel to Africa and visit the Serengeti and Kilimanjaro. From Nairobi in Kenya to the...

22 Days From 7695

This comprehensive New Zealand tour captures the best of both the North and South...

4 Days From 505

Trekking in Chiang Mai, explore Thailand's lush jungle areas, go rafting on the Mae...

7 Days From 548

Trek to the summit of Mt Toubkal, North Africa’s highest peak, on this Moroccan...

5 Days From 410

Trek through Vietnam's mountainous region in the north-west to experience hiltribe...

9 Days From 1872

From cool Boston to the White Mountain National Forest, where the the trails of...

14 Days From 5450

Travel from Chile to Argentina through the Patagonia region, stopping at Santiago,...

11 Days From 2247

Visit South America and cycle in Peru. Visit Lima, Cusco, the Sacred Valley and...

8 Days From 1955

Pump up the octane on this active Croatia adventure. Enjoy hiking, mountain biking,...

8 Days From 1677

Travel to Jordan and tour Amman, Madaba and the inspiring landscape of Wadi Rum. Trek...

19 Days From 2370

Take the ultimate trek. Walk in the Himalayas surrounded by some of the most incredible...

15 Days From 1515

Explore Tamang villages of Briddim and Gatlang, experience an overnight homestay and...

14 Days From 3184

Travel to South America and visit Peru on a family adventure through Lima,...

8 Days From 2355

Mountains, forests and beaches – soak up the spectacular scenery of Italy’s Amalfi...

8 Days From 2450

Walk into a world that's a play of colourful houses and blue sea as you amble between...

8 Days From 2971

Pamper the appetite and treat the senses on this exquisite journey through Italy’s Lake...

7 Days From 2990

Embark on a South Africa expedition in northern Kruger National Park, hiking the...

14 Days From 3920

Go trekking in Madagascar, an island like no other. Travel from Antananarivo to Ifaty,...

10 Days From 1945

Soak up the laid-back lifestyle of Australia's West Coast. From isolated beaches and...

9 Days From 4660

Travel to Tanzania and embark on an ascent of mighty Mt Kilimanjaro along the Machame...

8 Days From 4070

Approach Mt Kilimanjaro from the north for the opportunity to see amazing mountainside...

11 Days From 4275

Hike to Ardoukoba Volcano, see whale sharks, join a nomad camel trek to Lac Assal and...

5 Days From 1280

Travel to Nepal and visit Kathmandu before venturing out into the Nepalese countryside...

16 Days From 6955

Travel to Africa and visit the Serengeti and Kilimanjaro. From Nairobi in Kenya to the...

2 Days From 450

Travel to Kangaroo Island and enjoy natural stunning sceneries, myriad wildlife...

13 Days From 2347

Hike ancient Inca pathways that journey through the stunning Andes on this challenging,...

8 Days From 3850

Travel to Argentina and trek the legendary landscapes of Patagonia (Laguna de los Tres,...

5 Days From 480

Travel to Nepal and hike the Annapurnas. Travel from Pokhara to Tanting, trekking to...

16 Days From 1760

Go trekking in Nepal on an adventure that takes you around the Annapurna Circuit. From...

10 Days From 4830

Visit South America and travel to Patagonia to experience the 'W' Trek in Torres del...

11 Days From 3574

Experience a journey of epic proportions. Hike one of the most challenging and...

4 Days From 495

Travel to Nepal and visit Kathmandu for a spectacular Himalayan experience. Trek from...

10 Days From 1029

Experience the boundlessly welcoming and friendly nature of the ethnic hill tribe...

10 Days From 3473

Adventure through the Andes to Aconcagua base camp via Mendoza. Tour local wineries and...

Trip Name Days From AUD
Kilimanjaro: Marangu Route

8

2888

Hilltribe Experience

5

580

Patagonia Wilderness

15

6050

Everest Base Camp Trek

15

1829

Annapurna Base Camp Trek

16

1515

Everest Base Camp & Annapurna Circuit Trek

31

3475

Inca Trail

8

1632

Nepal Family Holiday with Teenagers

11

2165

Inca Trail Express

7

1248

Kilimanjaro & Serengeti Adventure

15

5424

Serengeti & Kilimanjaro

15

5016

New Zealand Adventure Northbound

22

7695

Chiang Mai Adventure

4

505

Mount Toubkal Trek

7

548

Sapa Adventure

5

410

Trekking the Appalachian Trail

9

1872

Highlights & Gems of Patagonia

14

5450

Cycle Peru with Inca Trail (Machu Picchu & the Sacred Valley)

11

2247

Croatia: Hike, Bike & Kayak

8

1955

Trek Jordan

8

1677

Everest Base Camp & Gokyo Lakes Trek

19

2370

Tamang Heritage & Langtang Valley Trek

15

1515

Inca Trail Family Holiday with teenagers

14

3184

Amalfi Coast: Hike, Boat & Kayak

8

2355

Cinque Terre: Hike, Bike & Kayak

8

2450

Italian Lakes: Hike, Bike & Kayak

8

2971

South Africa: Kruger Walking Safari

7

2990

Madagascar: Hike & Bike

14

3920

Broome to Perth Overland

10

1945

Kilimanjaro: Machame Route

9

4660

Kilimanjaro: Rongai Route

8

4070

Djibouti's Footsteps of the Afar

11

4275

Everest Teahouse Trek

5

1280

Safari to Kilimanjaro - Machame Route

16

6955

Kangaroo Island Adventure

2

450

Choquequirao trek to Machu Picchu

13

2347

Highlights of Patagonia

8

3850

Annapurna Homestay Trek

5

480

Annapurna Circuit Trek

16

1760

Patagonia Trekking

10

4830

The Kokoda Track

11

3574

Kathmandu Valley Trek

4

495

Northern Vietnam Adventure

10

1029

Argentina Expedition: Aconcagua Base & Mt Bonete

10

3473

May 05, 2019

How to be a responsible traveller in Antarctica


You might think the highest, driest, coldest and most remote continent in the...

May 02, 2019

Murky waters: the ethics of big ship cruising


These big cruise liners invariably market their ships as an escape from reality,...

Apr 24, 2019

3 reasons why you shouldn’t drink Luwak coffee...


There's a whole lot more to this "poo coffee" than meets the eye.

See our other responsible travel policies