How much to tip guides and appropriate clothing

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Sep 16th, 2015, 04:08 AM
  #1
gvc
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How much to tip guides and appropriate clothing

Looking for help on tipping. We are taking a 16 day tour with guide/driver (one person) and am wondering what is the appropriate tip for him and for local guides that have been set up?

In addition, want to ensure that we dress appropriately - tips for both men and women.

With thanks,

Geoff
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Sep 16th, 2015, 09:36 AM
  #2
 
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The tour operator I was with last year recommended $7-10 per day for a guide and $3-5 per day for a driver.

Local guides $2-5 per day and Serengeti camp staff $10 per day to be divided among the staff.

These prices are all per person of course.

My clothing worked out pretty well. Wore quick dry pants and shirts with a tank top layer under shirt. I took a light weight fleece which I wore many times- especially in AM. Most of my clothes were green, grey, beige.
Mostly wore sandals - like Keens.

Most camps or resorts have a clothes washing service so don't take too much. I was allowed 1 duffle bag.

I did take a couple of nicer things for evening dinners and was glad I did - like a long skirt and a T- shirt. Not fancy. In the evening people wore a variety of wear- many women had a nice scarf to dress things up a bit.

There was a lot of info on what colors not to wear but I really saw lots of people wearing just about everything.
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Sep 17th, 2015, 02:48 PM
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Geoff -

I tip $20 per person per night to the ranger, $15 pppn to the driver, $10 pppn to staff. If I can afford to fly to Africa I can afford to be generous. I tip more more if it's not many people or your guide is terrific or goes above and beyond your expectations.

As for clothing, take less. Most camps do laundry or you can do a little in the sink. I take enough for three days and make sure everything mixes and matches. I don't wear beige - I don't like it - so I choose greys and muted greens. If you are not doing bush walks, it doesn't matter much, but I am more comfortable in muted safari colors. I take, and wear one of these outfit on the plane, 3 t's, 2 lightweight pants (so they dry), 1 shorts, 2 long sleeved t's, a sweater and heavyish fleece jacket - depending on the season. Layers. Comfortable bras, socks and underwear - some women prefer a sports bra due to the bumpy roads. Some prefer quick dry fabrics, I like cotton. Shoes are usually 1 trail shoes for walks and I have discovered very lightweight GoWalk by Skechers - very comfy, almost cute. Sandals if I want them and I never go anywhere without my travel slippers. I take a long t shirt for pj's - but whatever is comfy. No jewelry, no fancy stuff. Just "beige" and easy to wash. I usually travel during the chilly season, so at dinner most people only see my jacket. Take a nice shirt, scarf, other, if you will be more comfortable being a little dressed up for dinner. I can fit all of it, plus toiletries, binoculars and everything else, in a carry-on.

Have fun!

"They tell us elephants never forget, what they don't tell us is that we never forget our first elephant." - Bill Murray
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Sep 22nd, 2015, 12:32 PM
  #4
gvc
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Thanks for the tips - very helpful. It seems there is a large range for the tipping.

Cheers

Geoff
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Sep 23rd, 2015, 06:45 AM
  #5
 
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If you're working with a safari planner, have them check on the availability of laundry where you're staying. I've been to 9 different camps/lodges on two different safaris now, and only one offered laundry. I'm always baffled when I read how readily available others say it is!
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Sep 23rd, 2015, 07:49 AM
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Am I being really thick, or is there no indication in this question of what country this is in or whether it's even a safari? The reference to dressing appropriately made me think it was somewhere like Morocco or Egypt, somewhere there might be cultural sensitivity to dress. If it is a safari, I've needed anything from down jackets and woolly hats (Botswana in June) to not even needing a fleece (Selous in January). There's a massive variation in weather across Africa, it would help if you said what country and what time of year.
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Sep 23rd, 2015, 08:57 AM
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Good point stokeygirl. I was in Kenya and Tanzania. Tipping guidelines could be different in different countries
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Sep 24th, 2015, 02:22 PM
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Hey amyb - do the Porini camps offer laundry???
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Sep 24th, 2015, 04:11 PM
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KathBC, they did not when I was there, but that was 18 months ago now. Given their eco-friendly footprint, I'd be surprised to learn if they'd changed. I'd still ask with whomever I'm booking if I was going now. I knew ahead of time and just planned accordingly. I've learned not to need fresh outer clothes every day of my safaris!
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Sep 25th, 2015, 12:31 PM
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Thanks amyb - I've been looking at a 4 plus 3 stay with them in the Mara next year and am used to laundry being done every few days so less clothing can be taken.
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Sep 25th, 2015, 06:00 PM
  #11
 
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I don't always use laundry services. Since I have to wash smalls by hand anyway, I just hand wash everything. It only takes a few minutes and they dry quickly.

I don't believe that tipping on safari depends on the location. It depends on each individual and what each is comfortable with. I have been to very high end and very affordable lodges in four different countries - I tip the same at each. I always tip extra for great service. A lot of workers depend on those tips to support their families. I wouldn't think of undertipping at a restaurant when I go out to eat near home. Why would I choose not to be generous with people who are with me for much more time and make much more effort to make me comfortable?
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Sep 29th, 2015, 05:54 AM
  #12
 
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Porini camps don't do laundry, but they provide laundry flakes and lots of clothesline and clips.. we were able to do our own laundry easily at all their wonderful camps..
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Sep 29th, 2015, 06:45 PM
  #13
 
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Good to know numbat83 - thanks and sorry to have taken over this thread.

Back to tipping everyone!
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