Tipping East Africa


Jun 2nd, 2004, 12:10 PM
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Join Date: May 2004
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Tipping East Africa

I have researched posts on tipping but it seems it varies a bit depending on what country you are in. What are customary tips at the lodges in Kenya and Tanzania and should I tip daily or at the end of the stay? There seems to have been much debate on the subject. Thanks!
styleoracle is offline  
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Jun 2nd, 2004, 01:26 PM
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styleoracle - Since you'll be flying between most locations, you will have different guides/drivers at each camp/lodge. In some instances there might be individual/s who handle your transfers, only, between locations.

What you've read on this board re tipping is pretty much accurate. These posts provide a guideline as to tipping, and it's always at your discretion for services provided. So whether you tip a guide $5/day or $7/day - it's up to you. Tipping is usually done at the conclusion of your stay. Hopefully at those stops where you'll be staying 3-days, you'll have the same guide each day. However, if for some reason you're not pleased with a guide anywhere, speak up and let management know and request a change.

Staff (porters, waiters, housekeeping) share tips and these too are given at the conclusion of your stay. Most all camps/lodges have a "tips" box at Reception for this purpose - at an avg of $3/day/person ($6/day as a couple).

And if someone in housekeeping goes out of their way in providing extra towels or cleaning something, you can tip this individual separately.

And don't forget the tip for your guide while in NBO and hotel staff (bellmen, housekeeping, etc)

You can use USD for this purpose in both countries - so take lots of $1s, $5s, $10s $20s.

Important - don't forget the visit to your physician or a tropical diseases specialist re inoculations and malaria preventative. Check the cdc site:


for details.

Also remember the Visas for both countries. While Kenya no longer has an office in Manhattan, and it is recommended to obtain before arrival - applications are available on the Kenya website; Tanzania still does have an office in Manhattan on E42nd Street and they can turn it around in 24-hrs. If all else fails, Visas for both countries are available upon arrival; but personally I like to have it all taken care of beforehand.

And since you will be flying to most locations, remember that you are limited to 15-Kgs (33-lbs) weight luggage, but you can have laundry done wherever you stay (except for "smalls" - your "wears") - best to have this done when you're staying at least 3-days.

It will all fall into place as the time gets closer to departure.
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Jun 2nd, 2004, 08:32 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 51
For CC Africa lodges, they also have a butler assigned to you (someone who take care of you during your stay).

When I was at CCA lodge in Namibia, I was told that the butler did not share the staff tipping box. If it is the same in E Africa, don't forget to tip your butler as well.
llee_2003 is offline  
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Jun 3rd, 2004, 03:48 AM
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Good point llee_2003, as that is the case at the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge in Tanzania. The indivudual butlers do not share in the "staff tip" box.
SusanLynne is offline  
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Jun 3rd, 2004, 06:20 AM
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Thank you!
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