Tipping

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Aug 1st, 2014, 09:05 AM
  #1
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Tipping

We are going to Kenya and Rwanda mid August. I want to know:
On a flying safari transfers to and from the camp do you tip the driver individually or are the included in the general camp staff tipping?
Can a credit card be used for the camp staff tipping?
On a private game drive do you tip at the end of the day or at the end of the entire stay?
As a side note-
Are there any concerns about GI upset with any of the food at the camps?
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Aug 1st, 2014, 09:43 AM
  #2
TC
 
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We have never tipped seperately the driver who does transfers from air strip to camp -- although most of the time that is your guide, so then he would be tipped at the end of the stay.

We have never used a credit card for tips. They should be in cash.

Usually tipping is done at the end of a stay unless for some reason you may not have the same guide throughout your stay.

I figure out all my tips at home before we depart. I put the cash in small envelopes - one for each guide and one for each camp staff for each camp we use. The cash inside is calculated based on the number of days we stay in each place. I mark each envelope with the camp name and the words "guide or staff". These I put inside a larger envelope for safe keeping. It can be locked in a safe or put in the camp management safe if your tent has none. We take extra cash for unforseen tips -- such as the polers in our mokoros in Botswana or the bellman at our hotel in Jo'burg.

Personally, have never had GI problems, but always carry Cipro or Azythromiacine along in case. Have had to hand it out to others many times. Take some along.
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Aug 1st, 2014, 10:15 AM
  #3
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Thanks for your reply. What rate range per day for the staff and guide have you seen?
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Aug 1st, 2014, 10:19 AM
  #4
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Kathy, I can't speak for others, but we (one couple) tipped $25 per day to our guide and $10 per day in the camp staff envelope. We gave our mokoro polers $10 each time they took us out.
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Aug 1st, 2014, 07:57 PM
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For my upcoming Kenya safari, the recommended tip (per person per day) is $10 for guides, $10 for camp staff, and (if used) $5 for trackers. Some camps do use trackers in addition to the driver/guide. You can tip at the end of your stay. There will probably be a box in camp for the staff tips. The only driver you might tip would be any driver you use Nairobi, such as for airport transport.
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Aug 2nd, 2014, 08:17 AM
  #6
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We just came back from our first safari. We followed similar guidelines for tipping as above. We did stay in one place that allowed you to put the tip on your credit card, but you would want to determine that before you left. This allowed us to cut down on the cash we were bringing.

Regarding GI upset - it can happen anytime, anywhere. My husband had a GI problem for the entire second half of the trip. He took his cipro for 2-3 days but didn't help. When he came home found out he had a bacterial infection that required a full 8 days of cipro. On our last night there I had a bad reaction to something - up all night vomiting, but then the next morning all done, but felt very weak, but recovered quickly. We were staying at very nice, luxury camps so just be prepared. We were also traveling with our two kids and a family friend. Everyone had one day where they weren't feeling 100% but no one else got as sick.

BTW, this did not stop us from enjoying our trip, nor stop us from planning another safari in the future!!
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Aug 2nd, 2014, 10:49 AM
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Cipro - bacterial or viral? How does one figure out when in the midst of nowhere 'which' kind? You can't. But bacterial should be it. The reason your doc should provide enough tabs for the worst situation rather than only minimum # of tabs... ask and don't just accept what the doc offers.

If any tabs left over, save in dark cool place just in case of another Anthrax attack... seriously as this is what is offered if there is one. And always mark left over meds 'what it's for.'

Tipping - much the same as those indicated above; figure out what total amount I need for each person/staff, place in envelopes and then easy enough to distribute. I always have extra $$ in case .... never leave myself short.
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Aug 3rd, 2014, 04:39 AM
  #8
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It is highly unlikely that a GI problem while traveling will be viral. That is why the docs use a broad-spectrum antibiotic like Cipro. We always have 10 days worth (that's ten days with for me and tens days worth for hubby), but one should only use it until the symptoms quit. Over use of antibiotics has its own set of problems -- not the least of which is a yeast infection or oral thrush. As for keeping the leftovers. They have a pretty short shelf life. If you're using old meds, they may not work when you need them the most.
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Aug 3rd, 2014, 07:23 AM
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And this discussion is the reason why super bugs are developing!! Don't be so casual about taking antibiotics! Please educate yourselves when they are prescribed.

I tip more than most - $20 per person per night ($40/couple) in local currency and I round up when doing the conversions. $10 pppn for staff and trackers. Sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on the service. I also bring thank you cards and write a personalized note for each. Local currency is available at ATMs at the airport upon arrival. Some camps prefer USD or Euros - ask before you go or have enough for either.

My husband takes a Pepto pill every morning and evening to prevent minor stomach upset any time we leave our area. He is very sensitive to water changes. We also travel to Southern Africa in winter, so with the wonderful progress they have made in malaria prevention, we avoid taking the anti-malarials that tend to give us some GI issues. Look into it yourself for the specific area and time you are traveling - don't take my word for it on a travel board. If you are concerned about food (it's not really the food, but the water used and hand-washing by the kitchen staff) don't eat anything raw and avoid ice cubes. Again, check into water quality for where and when you are going.

Have fun (and talk to your dr about the antibiotics! The advice here is inaccurate).
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Aug 3rd, 2014, 08:34 AM
  #10
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Just curious....what specifically is "inaccurate" about the advice here? Does that include your advice? It seems every posts mentions talking to a doctor. How is that inaccurate?
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Aug 3rd, 2014, 09:43 AM
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TC - where in your Aug 3 8:39 post does it mention talking to a doctor? Lots of medical advice in there (much of which is wrong, along with others) with no mention of talking to a doctor. Antibiotics misuse is a great concern. Please use with caution and use AS DIRECTED BY A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL.
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Aug 3rd, 2014, 01:18 PM
  #12
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Any experience with the effectiveness of Dukarol?
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Aug 3rd, 2014, 01:50 PM
  #13
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When do you you tip the guide, at the need of the day or end of your stay? Also, what about the days you are leaving and not doing a game drive, do you tip the person taking you to the air field?
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Aug 3rd, 2014, 02:29 PM
  #14
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@Christabir: You continue to say, "much of which is wrong" or "inaccurate", without giving any indication of what or how. Perhaps you read something broad about overuse of antibiotics and have taken that information out of context. Since the only way to get Cipro or Azithromyacin is from a medical professional, we are using it as directed by our doctor. On the occassions that I have helped out other travelers in desperate need, it has been with the utmost caution and the passing on of one pill to relieve severe diarrhea in danger of causing dehydration. I do urge travelers (as I have here) to take antibiotics with them so that it has been acquired from their own doctor. You may find the following reading of interest.

Some of the primary concerns of overuse of antibiotics leading to the threat of so-called "superbugs" are:

(1) taking antibiotics when one has a viral illness.

From the CDC: "Over 90% of acute upper respiratory infections, including sinusitis, are caused by viruses, in which case, antibiotics will not help. Additionally, over 95% of acute bronchitis cases are due to viruses."

(2) overuse of antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers

From the CDC: "To date, studies have shown that there is no added health benefit for consumers (this does not include professionals in the healthcare setting) using soaps containing antibacterial ingredients compared with using plain soap. A link between antibacterial chemicals used in personal cleaning products and bacterial resistance has been shown in vitro studies."

(3) dosing the food supply chain with antibiotics.

From the World Health Organization:
"Antibiotic resistance is also a food safety problem: antibiotic use in food animals –for treatment, disease prevention or growth promotion – allows resistant bacteria and resistance genes to spread from food animals to humans through the food-chain."

(4) over-prescribing of antibiotics in hospital settings.

From the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
"Many hospitals across the United States overuse or misuse antibiotics, which fuels the growth of drug-resistant bacteria. Doctors in some hospitals prescribe three times more antibiotics than doctors in the same departments at other medical centers."

http://consumer.healthday.com/infect...dc-685478.html

"Travelers Diarrhea -- Treatments and Drugs"
By Mayo Clinic Staff

"If you don't seem to be improving quickly, you can turn to several medications to help relieve symptoms."

"Anti-motility agents. These agents(Imodium A-D, Lomotil, Lonox) — provide prompt but temporary relief.."

"Bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol). This over-the-counter medication can decrease the frequency and shorten the duration of your illness."

"Antibiotics. Before you leave for your trip, talk to your doctor about appropriate medications to take with you so that you don't have to buy diarrhea medications while traveling."


May you have healthy, happy travels.
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Aug 3rd, 2014, 02:32 PM
  #15
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Kathy...I figure the number of days that we will be on game drives with our guide and tip him at the end of the stay. Sometimes your guide will drive you to the airfield, sometimes he will have already been assigned to someone else. We don't tip the driver if it is not our guide as I would consider them to be a part of the camp staff, therefore taken care of with that envelope. Having said that, there is no real wrong way to do this. As long as you tip and thank them, it is all appreciated.
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Aug 4th, 2014, 09:44 AM
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I've been on two safaris and tipped differently depending on the circumstances. In Tanzania, we had the same guide (who also drove) the entire time. The four of us pooled our tip and gave it to him our last night when he ate with us. We tipped far more than the suggested amount that the tour operator recommended, as it seemed so little for what he did (we were in agreement on this).

In Kenya, I had three different guide/driver combinations in three different camps. As I was on my own, it was up to me to come up with the tip amount. I DID tip both guide and driver, as I was instructed by my tour operator, and also left a group "camp employee" tip in the universal tip box as well. I tipped each either when I left the camp or was transported to the airstrip to move on. As I had three different guiding experiences, I tipped differently depending on the service I felt I got. It was all absolutely wonderful, but at my last camp the driver and guide really went above and beyond and gave me sightings I believe will be hard to top anywhere, so I really gave more to both driver and guide there. The suggested tip of $10 per day per person is ridiculously small considering what the cost of your trip already is. For that reason, I'd leave wiggle room in your budget to "splurge" tip when the occasion calls for it.

Re: the camp food: I was never concerned about what I ate at any camp; it was all similar to what I can eat in any American restaurant at home and fresh and well-prepared. The camps have a vested interest in you remaining healthy and not saying you got food poisoning at their camps in your Trip Advisor reviews! However, I did get squeamish when we did a village visit and were offered beans and rice prepared by locals. I did not partake for fear of catching something there. I was completely healthy on both trips.
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Aug 6th, 2014, 02:16 AM
  #17
 
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I've never tipped the driver picking up at an airstrip as it's usually your guide and you can tip at the end of the trip. I've never seen anyone tip within the camp with a credit card - you'd need to check with the camp manager. Usually there is a box in the common area to leave tips for camp staff.

Re food - it's very good and generally safe, HOWEVER, your body will encounter bacteria you are not used to regardless of how cautious you are about what you eat. Drink only bottled or filtered water provided by the camps. Be sure you bring Cipro or Azithromycin for traveller's diarrhea. I've needed it every time I've been to Africa - usually toward the end of a 2 week trip ;-)
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Aug 6th, 2014, 05:19 AM
  #18
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Cateyes, That has been exactly what our doctors tell us each time we go to Africa...or Thailand or China. He says, "it's not a matter of IF you get TD, it's a matter of WHEN". Better safe than sorry. These antibiotics are inexpensive. I would much rather carry them along and not need them, than end up in dire straights in the middle of nowhere without them. Dehydration from diarrhea is a very serious medical condition.
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Aug 6th, 2014, 06:58 AM
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TC - it's general misuse of antibiotics that is the problem, and you continue to say overuse. If you are given an rx for an infection, take all of them - stopping when the "symptoms end" creates super bugs. Stop telling people to save antibiotics for next time. Yes, Americans use too many antibiotics, but we also misuse the ones we should be taking making the antibiotics less effective. Just be more careful when telling people about cipro for GI issues - it's one of the few instances that you can just take them until the symptoms stop. But someone reading this will think that we are overusing antibiotics and, "well I'm feeling better, I'll just stop taking these because I read somewhere that I should". It's very dangerous for all of us. And it's the misinformation out there that makes it dangerous.
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Aug 6th, 2014, 09:51 AM
  #20
TC
 
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"Stop telling people to save antibiotics for next time."

Excuse me.....I did NOT tell anyone to save them for next time. You really should read more carefully.

TC on Aug 3, 14 at 7:39am
......As for keeping the leftovers. They have a pretty short shelf life. If you're using old meds, they may not work when you need them the most.

I'm still confused by what you "think" I'm doing or saying that is wrong. If someone reading this is going to get the wrong idea about overusing or misusing antibiotics....well, isn't it you that brought that up? Everyone else just said, see your doctor and take some along in case you need them.
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