No dumb questions?

May 22nd, 2008, 05:23 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 59
No dumb questions?

Planned two years ago,the time is approaching!I am off to Paris for a few days then Botswana..I have read about tipping and money,just one question...do I take a large amount of cash waiting to tip and spend at camp...no ATM at camp I am guessing,we are traveling to Kwetsana,Baines and Kings Pool,June 5-16.I dont like the idea of carrying around cash but I can if I have to,thanks for any answers.
lonestarcars is offline  
May 22nd, 2008, 05:42 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Only the ones you don't ask so you are caught at Kings Pool with only an ATM card and no $.

You may be able to leave the tip on a credit card. Just keep in mind credit card fees that can reduce the amount you give. I'd check with your agent to be sure that is still the current practice at the Botswana camps you are going to.

There are also fees associated with travelers cheques, but that is another route for guides you'll be spending several days with or for several days of camp staff service.

One strategy is to put all tips in labeled envelopes before leaving home. Don't seal them so you can make adjustments.

I find lots of $1s and $5s are helpful.

Have a wonderful trip!
atravelynn is offline  
May 22nd, 2008, 05:53 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
I wouldn't recommend the credit card tipping, especially for guides!

You are correct - No ATM's or anything close! But, you can find them at the JNB airport.
HariS is offline  
May 22nd, 2008, 06:00 PM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 59
Thank you for your replies.I did not plan cc tipping,just wondering if I had to keep up with all that cash through the trip....the ATM will limit my cash with drawal so I better just bring it with me.Are there room safes available?What do you do with your cash while in camp?
lonestarcars is offline  
May 22nd, 2008, 06:07 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
The camps you are going to will have a in-room safe. But, from my travels - in-room safes in Botswana are virtually unnecessary. It takes away the bush camp experience and makes it more hotelish!
HariS is offline  
May 22nd, 2008, 06:09 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 59
What do you do with your cash?Do you take it with you on drives?
lonestarcars is offline  
May 22nd, 2008, 06:16 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 290
Yeah, sure, take it with you... In your pocket, in your wallet, whatever... You're not likely to run into a mugger on a game drive! (Personally, I left my cash in an envelope in my duffel in my tent and never had a second thought about it...)
rickmck is offline  
May 22nd, 2008, 06:19 PM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 59
Great! Thats the answer I was looking for.
lonestarcars is offline  
May 22nd, 2008, 06:32 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
I have a money belt that I always wear. It includes my passport and credit cards too.
atravelynn is offline  
May 22nd, 2008, 06:49 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 7,391
Yes, take it with you on every drive or whenever you leave the tent. Some lodges might have safes for you to leave with the manager but if not take it with you.

I didn't do it once when going on a canoe trip and that's the time my entire bag with all cash, passport, airline tickets etc. was stolen from my tent. Though it was recovered a few days later still intact as the bag was locked, it was a huge inconvenience before it was found.
matnikstym is offline  
May 22nd, 2008, 07:12 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 875
Lonestarcars,
Like others, I take cash. It does end up being a fairly large stack of bills. In my case, it would not fit in a travel belt or wallet because I go on safari for about three weeks at a time, and to numerous camps. I have a zippered travel portfolio that I put my cash, credit cards, passport, and critical documents in. I carry that in my backpack wherever I go.

Lynn,
How big is that money belt? With all of the small bills, how do you fit everything in it?

Hari,
I agree. The safes seem so out of place in many camps, don't they? But, I'm not sure I'd be comfortable just leaving cash (or more important, my passport) just lying around. Do you carry your valuables with you or leave them in camp?
Dana_M is offline  
May 22nd, 2008, 07:26 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 290
Perhaps I should clarify my earlier comment about leaving cash in my duffel and never having a second thought about it, as my one and only trip (so far) was a mobile in remote areas of Bots + a few days at Mala Mala. At properties or venues that are not remote or that have larger numbers, it might be best to carry valuables with you...
rickmck is offline  
May 22nd, 2008, 09:22 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
Hi Dana,

I normally only carry my stuff I need for my gamedrives in the vehicle ... i.e., Camera equip, binocs, sunglasses etc., everything else is usually placed in the luggage in the tent.

HariS is offline  
May 22nd, 2008, 09:23 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
Rick,

That's exactly what I do! and what appeals to me about a tented camp in a remote location/concession
HariS is offline  
May 23rd, 2008, 08:14 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 235
Hi lonestarcars,

I just got back from Kwara & Lebala camps. Only used cash for tips - didn't put anything on a credit card. Had a lot of ones and fives but also 10s and 20s.

If you are at a camp for several days and you know the standard rate per day, once you mulitiply that rate by 3 or 4 days, you can actually use bigger bills ($10 & $20) to tip the guide, tracker and other staff. I also made sure I brought envelopes from home and divided the money in advance although I didn't seal them to allow for changes.

This may have been very foolish of me but I didn't take all the cash on the game drives but left portions of the cash in my luggage in my tent. I figured it would be safe in such remote areas; however, once I got to Livingstone, the lodge had an in-room safe and I used it.

Have a great time!!!
one2travel is offline  
May 23rd, 2008, 11:54 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 18
HariS,

Why do you say not to use a credit
card for tips (especially for the
guides)? While in So Africa 1 1/2 yrs ago, we were encouraged to use
a cc for tipping the guides and staff. And we were thankful to be
able to do this, since we had been
misinformed about the amount of tips
expected and did not have enough
cash w/ us.

Deanna
dcary is offline  
May 23rd, 2008, 01:01 PM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 59
Thank you for your replies.atravelynn,what type of money belt?My aunt goes to Church,her garden and to get her hair done,no plane trips for her.
lonestarcars is offline  
May 23rd, 2008, 01:10 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 112
How do you find out the standard rate per day?
bobbieharv is offline  
May 23rd, 2008, 01:17 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 875
Rickmck and Hari,
I've really just never thought of leaving cash in the tent. But I do leave my cell phone, spare camera, and prescription glasses in the tent, all of which would be much more difficult to replace than cash.

Matnikstym,
I'm glad you got your belongings back in tact.

Deanna,
I would not use a credit card for tips for several reasons.

1. I don't think it's anybody's business how much tip I give except the person to whom I'm giving it, and if I put it on a credit card, then management has to cash that credit card charge and give the money to the guide. If I have a really good guide, then I generally tip much higher than the daily recommendations. I would hate to see guides' salaries negatively affected because of this. I also tip different people different amounts, and I would hate to be the cause of animosity amongst staff members.

2. Since credit card companies charge fees, this could affect the amount of the tip the guide/staff member receives. I don't know if this is the case or not, but I would not like to take this chance.

3. Unless the camp has enough cash on hand to pay the guide, then I imagine it is possible the guide or staff member might not receive his/her tip immediately.

Dana_M is offline  
May 23rd, 2008, 01:45 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 18
Dana_M

Good points. Two more questions...
do you tip in USD or local currency?
And what is a reliable source
of recommended amounts to tip before
leaving home? As I said, we were
told amounts significantly under what were suggested after we arrived
at the lodge w/ no way to get extra
cash.

Deanna
dcary is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:42 AM.