Kirawira valet, guidance please!

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Mar 25th, 2006, 10:13 AM
  #1
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Kirawira valet, guidance please!

In looking at our itinerary for Tanzania, I see that the Kirawira Camp has a valet for each room. Yikes!! The thought makes my DH and I a bit uncomfortable. What, exactly, are the duties of the valet? We aren't accustomed to being "served", and don't know how to respond (other than, of course, being gracious, polite, and appreciative). I would certainly appreciate advice as to specifically what is expected of us with regard to our behavior and tipping. I figure that being mentally prepared ahead of time will make the experience enjoyable rather than awkward.
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Mar 25th, 2006, 10:37 AM
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There was a thread about butlers, but I haven't seen anything about valets. Please, whatever you do, do not slap your valet with your opera gloves no matter how slow he is at getting your clothes ironed.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34764410

More seriously, usually there is a camp tip box. I don't think you tip your valet separately, but others (Sandi?) are far better qualified to answer such questions than I.

When do you leave?
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Mar 25th, 2006, 12:15 PM
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The valet isn't much different than the butler. Though the inference is more in line with taking care of your clothing... unpacking, ironing, laundering, etc. Unless you feel this is absolutely necessary, you don't have to use the service. However, they are also available as a "room attendent" or "butler" - they'll bring cocktails if you wish to have them at your tent rather than at the public space; or if you want something to eat.

As to tipping, if you do use the services of this individual, over and above what you would consider regular attention, you can feel free to tip them personally.
 
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Mar 26th, 2006, 07:28 AM
  #4
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Leely and sandi - thanks for your response. On tipping, what is typical amount one would leave in the tip box? This will be our first time to Africa and we have so many questions.

Leely, we still have lots of time before our Africa trip. It is in the beginning of September. Fortunately we have a trip to Germany coming up to help keep us distracted, otherwise, I don't know what I'd do with my excitement. Time would pass too slowly!
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Mar 26th, 2006, 10:48 AM
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nevermind:
Our Nomad camp info indicated $10pppd--we tended to "round up" (and sometimes tipped individuals in addition).
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Mar 26th, 2006, 01:07 PM
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Thanks, bat. I'm always nervous about tipping! The more I know the more comfortable I'll be.

I certainly don't want to make any faux pas in front of the valet! Thank goodness Leely warned me about misuse of my opera gloves.
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Mar 26th, 2006, 01:36 PM
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I find it better to bring my own valet
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Mar 26th, 2006, 07:09 PM
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napamatt, are you saying that you bring your valet in addition to your butler?
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Mar 27th, 2006, 06:46 AM
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of course, doesn't everyone?
then, maybe not!

nevermind - don't worry about faux pas.
 
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Mar 27th, 2006, 12:21 PM
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Actually I owuld like to take the whole staff (or rather they would like to come) but I simply can't justify the third footman and the three under-gardeners
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Mar 27th, 2006, 06:19 PM
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napamatt -- Why you would want to take your entire staff is beyond me. A safari is a vacation. Personally I wouldn't want all the responsibility of managing the entire staff when I'm supposed to be relaxing...
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Mar 27th, 2006, 07:39 PM
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Regarding tipping:
The $10.00 pppd in the tip box is for the camp staff only isn't it? Then how much additional for the guide/driver/tracker? And is that usually just one person in the vehicle? If that involves 2 people---driver and guide/tracker---how much for each? Sorry for all the tipping questions, but this is also our first safari and want to do what is correct in regard to tipping.
Thanks...
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Mar 27th, 2006, 08:49 PM
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Nevermind

You have much to learn....the DW is responsible for managing the staff ;-)
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Mar 28th, 2006, 04:33 AM
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tigerpaw -

There are many threads on this board re tipping while on safari. Doing a search here will bring them up for you.
 
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Mar 28th, 2006, 06:07 AM
  #15
bat
 
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tigerpaw:
The Nomad instructions gave $10pppd for the staff and $10pppd for the guide as a suggestion. ATR said the same for the guide. We used that as our base and gave more because we were really pleased. Plus, when you think about the work that they do, what we are paying for accommodations, etc it did not seem like much. For example, at the Nomad camp there were about 9 staff so I was giving each of them about $1 a day at the $10pppd rate. Some places elsewhere in the world add a 10% (or more) service charge--these pppd rates were well below that. So we always rounded up.
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Mar 28th, 2006, 07:05 AM
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napamatt -- oh, nooo... I've learned my lessons well. I am the DW and want no part of the staff responsibilities whilst on holiday.

Thanks to all for the advice. I can now go on safari with an idea of how much $$ to bring and feeling confident that my needs will be tended to without bringing the staff...
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Mar 29th, 2006, 10:48 AM
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napamatt, you are SO old fashioned! In the olden days, the DW managed the staff. In modern times, she HIRES someone to manage the staff for her.
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Mar 29th, 2006, 04:26 PM
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sshh..I'm trying to keep the household budget down
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