Tipping

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Jun 6th, 2005, 09:03 PM
  #1
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Tipping

My husband and I are going to Tanzania at the end of June, 2005. The in country travel agent suggested tipping the driver/guide $25 - $30/day. Is this reasonable? What have you done? What is the standard?
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Jun 6th, 2005, 09:23 PM
  #2
 
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Dear Suoma,

In my opinion, this seems way too high. I am from Australia, so not really a tipping country, but when I am gameviewing, I would tip the ranger US$10 per day for both myself and a niece. This is in a vehicle that could have others in it, sometimes just us two and sometimes up to four other guests. I often give an additonal amount of up to US$50 if I have been happy with him, and I usually am. It also varies how many hours a day he is with you, but in June where I go the ranger is with us from about 7am to when I go to bed with maybe a 1 to 2 hour break after lunch. But he is one of many, porters/general lodge staff/staff at meals/staff looking after my room - it is very difficult for me especially as I like now to tip additionally to faces I see each day as well as the general fund for the many faces that I do not see!

Kaye
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Jun 7th, 2005, 05:15 AM
  #3
 
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Not sure if Tanzania is that much different from Botswana and South Africa, but that also seems high to me. Everything that I have read (and also the advice given by our travel agent) says to tip about $5-10/day for the guide and about $5 a day for the staff at the camp (more if they did a good job). That's the standard I'm going to go with. If I'm wrong, someone please let me know before next week when we leave.
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Jun 7th, 2005, 08:27 AM
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Suoma: I agree with the others that $25-$30 a day is way too high. Both in Kenya and Tanzania, we were advised $5.00 a day, and we all just gave one sum total at the end of our trip, adding extra because our guide was beyond excellent. We were 5 in our Tanzania group, and about 16 in our Kenya group. If it is just you and your husband on a private safari, I have no experience with that, but my instinct goes with the others who have posted their opinion. Tanzania was awesome, esp the Ngorongoro Crater. Have a wonderful trip.
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Jun 7th, 2005, 10:01 AM
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We were on a private safari in Kenya (I believe Tanzania is pretty much the same) and tipped approx. $20 per day to our driver/guide and $10 per day as a pooled gratuity to camp/lodge staff. That's for the two of us (not per person). We also tipped a few members of the camp/lodge staff individually. We've haven't done a group safari in a shared vehicle, so don't know what would be the norm in that case.
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Jun 7th, 2005, 11:45 AM
  #6
 
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I would say that $5 to $10 per person per day is a good point from which to start when tipping a guide.

If the guide delivers a reasonable service, you shouldn't feel bad about sticking with this.

If he delivers something special, you may like to tip more, we often take enough to double all recommended tips should we wish to, but don't feel pressured to do so.

In practice we usually experience some guides where we give a fairly standard tip and others where we are sooo delighted that we'll double or triple.

Just do what feels right for you.
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Jun 7th, 2005, 04:13 PM
  #7
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Thanks to all of you. We greatly appreciate your input. We're looking forward to a great trip.
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Jun 10th, 2005, 12:56 PM
  #8
 
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Well, "we" are certainly richer than they are. I was amazed at just how hard everyone worked for me (little old me) on my safari in Tanzania. It was embarassing! Tipping does not, of course, rectify global economic injustices. However, your guide, driver, waiters and other staff at the lodges, etc., deserve recognition for all that they do to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable safari.

A thorny issue, and now back to the subject at hand:

suoma, I wish you a wonderful time. $20-$30/day for 2 people to a driver/guide sounds reasonable to me.
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Jun 10th, 2005, 06:38 PM
  #9
 
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From Wilderness Safaris:

GRATUITY SCHEDULE
The following is the suggested gratuity schedule only and is subject to service standards:
Guides- US$10.00 per person per day
General Camp Staff- US$5.00 per person per day
Mekoro Polers- US$5.00 per person per day
Specialist Guides (if applicable) - US$10.00 per person per day

This was listed under their factsheet for Vumbura Plains.

However, there were different tip suggestions listed for Chitabe:

GRATUITY SCHEDULE
The following is the suggested gratuity schedule only and is subject to service standards:
Guides - US$5.00 per person per day
General Camp Staff - US$5.00 per person per day
Specialist Guides (if applicable) - US$10.00 per person per day

The only difference is that the suggested tip for the guides at Vumbura Plains is $10 per person per day, while at Chitabe, it is only $5 per person per day for the guide.

Does this mean that one should expect the very best guides at the 6-paw camps? I think that is a reasonable expectation.
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Jun 13th, 2005, 02:45 PM
  #10
 
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This is a thorny issue and complicated issue. My $0.02:

In order for wildlife parks to be a viable alternative to other possible uses of that land, then the people who live near the parks must reap an economic benefit. Tipping is the ONLY way that you are certain the money is going right into the pockets of the people who actually worked for you on your trip.

Yes, $25-$30 per day is a lot of money, and does sound like too much, but don't skimp on these guys either. How much is an extra couple hundred bucks compared to the total cost of your trip?
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Jun 13th, 2005, 04:00 PM
  #11
 
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I wholeheartedly agree, Nelson. We just went to the bank to get our money for the trip (we leave Thursday night!) and I made sure we had plenty for tips. I want to be able to show my appreciation for a job well done and have NEVER skimped on tips (unless the person did a horrible job). Made sure we had smaller bills so we are not trying to scrounge for change for a $50.
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Jun 13th, 2005, 04:09 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
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To clarify (and so I don't look crazy!), I was responding to a post that has been deleted, wherein the poster said something a bit offensive about tipping.

jcasale and suoma, please have a great time on your respective adventures.
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