tipping for guides/trackers/staff

Apr 14th, 2008, 09:28 AM
Posts: n/a
tipping for guides/trackers/staff

this is a topic wihich is always a bit delicate.
whenever i do a safari i run in to people who feel uneasy when it comes to tipping.
normaly one tips the guide/tracker seperately plus the camp staff.
quite recently tipping the chef seperately became fashionable.

would be very interested in your tipping habits.

thanks for posting.

snithack: pls ignore my posting. thx!
Apr 14th, 2008, 06:41 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
Never heard of tipping the chef -but, if i went to places that were focussed on flambe', cook in front of you like in NYC or LA - then i guess it applies.

PS:I won't go to places like that in the bush.
HariS is offline  
Apr 14th, 2008, 06:43 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
Don't they have a staff pool? In the CCA india camp, they tell you specifically not to tip any of the staff induvidually- including the guide. I found it strange in comparison to Africa, but, who am i to question their policy.
HariS is offline  
Apr 14th, 2008, 08:22 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
Wasn't specific : By cook in front of you - i meant rolling sushi, stir fry in a wok in front of you. And acqueise to accomodate the latest fads in eating i.e., Atkins or the Abs diets etc etc etc.,
HariS is offline  
Apr 15th, 2008, 01:30 AM
Posts: n/a
thank you very much for your thoughts!

regarding the chef's tipping:
we experienced it several times within the last 12 month:
one camp in zam clearly suggested tipping guide/tracker/chef individually and staff tipping: tip box.

on another occasion the chef appeared when we left and stood with the guide and i suppose it was because of his expectancies regarding tip.

tipping tracker/guide and staff seperately is common practise in africa but now the chef.....and who is going to follow next?

of course they also had a staff pool.

have no problem with the tipping policy guide/tracker + staff/staff pool.
but like the idea that all tip goes equally to all staff members including guide/tracker. to me it's fair.

by the way: they were all bush camps with decent but not fancy food.
Apr 15th, 2008, 01:32 AM
Posts: n/a
should post what we tip in camps:

guide and tracker 20$ pppd
staff 20US$ pppd

would really like to know whether that is okay or too little....
Apr 15th, 2008, 01:58 AM
Posts: n/a
Surely you tip based on service received if it is good pay lots if it is poor pay nothing.
Apr 15th, 2008, 06:04 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
Ok. I haven't seen this at any camps or lodges - but, if the camp suggested tipping the chef - i would have no problems with doing so!
HariS is offline  
Apr 15th, 2008, 08:20 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 28
In general i have an issue with tipping - particularly the modern concept of tipping where a tip is practically required. I much prefer to have service workers paid an appropriate wage so that if and when I tip it is an indication of satisfaction and not an attempt to make up for inadequacies built into the system. I don't want to tip someone for doing their job. The higher priced the "spread" the less inclined I am to tip as, in my opinion, above average service is part of what is included in the price.

I have no problem with pooled tips for general staff as the overall experience in camp, cleanliness, etc. - generally require a team effort. However, I would always want to tip my guide & tracker seperately as they are providing a different type of service.
lilbschaps is offline  
Apr 15th, 2008, 08:50 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 7,391
I've only tipped the chef once. It was my birthday at Luangwa River Lodge and as it was my second visit there, Simon remembered my favorites-grilled lamb and butternut squash soup and that is what he cooked me for my birthday celebration. Best birthday ever!
matnikstym is offline  
Apr 15th, 2008, 10:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,400
pippa, you said:
"should post what we tip in camps:
guide and tracker 20$ pppd
staff 20US$ pppd"

Forgive me, I am new to the safari thing. Are the guide and tracker one in the same or are they two different people?

So if you are a couple you would tip $40 to the guide per day? For a week, $280? And another $280 to the staff? And if the tracker is another person, another $280?

Is this a standard amount? No one else has listed how much they tip and I too am wondering how it all works.
Kristina is offline  
Apr 15th, 2008, 10:56 AM
Posts: n/a
hi kristina,

there is nothing to forgive at all!
you see we do safaris till 1996 at least twice a year to eastern and southern africa and tipping is still and alsways new a topic which causes some thoughts...

yes - tracker and guide = to individuals
and yes for a couple travelling that sums up to 3 x 280US$/week.

it's a huge amount and our cash always melts like butter in the sun when we are on safari. and still one has got the feeling they might have expected more especially when it comes to high-end camps and lodges.

that is the reason i was a bit curious to learn from others how they handle the whole tipping business.
and furthermore when we travel tipping is often a topic - others are obviously as uncertain about as we are.
Apr 15th, 2008, 10:57 AM
Posts: n/a
oops - sorry: it should be "we do safaris SINCE...."
Apr 15th, 2008, 11:05 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 7,391
There is no set rate on tipping. Pippa's appears on the high side, but by all means if you can't afford that much you don't have to tip that much. I think for most people from previous threads the amount starts at around $10 pd for guide, half that for tracker and $10 per day for the staff. As I said that is the amount it starts at and depending on your experiences you can tip higher or lower.
matnikstym is offline  
Apr 15th, 2008, 11:06 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
There are dozens upon dozens of threads on this subject. Just do a search on this board.

TIPS - to insure prompt service: something one would do "prior" the service, i.e., maitre'd at restaurant so you get a good table.

What most of us are referring to is the Gratuity often interchanged with the word "tip." Gratuity is what one chooses to present for service well done. While not obligatory, it is appreciated by many in the service industry.

Whether one feels staff should be paid a proper salary to do their job has been discussed to death and probably won't be satisfied to everyone's satisfaction.

But when it comes to gratuities, it's up to you... whether it's no gratuity as it's not expected or the custom in some countries; 5% 10% or 20% on restaurant bills (in large cities worldwide); on a daily or "per stay" basis, as is found when on safari. There are all kinds of suggestions, from low to high, from tour operators or individual camps/lodges. If for properties where there are both guides and trackers, do you present the gratuity to the guide who then distributes to the tracker or to each individually? Do you put the gratuity in individual envelopes or directly into the hands of the service provider? If in an envelope, do you include a note?

Questions? Questions? And, for each there are answers. None more right or wrong than the other. It comes down to what the individual traveler feels comfortable with and the amount they choose to leave.

Read the various threads which will give an idea of the thoughts of the many who have posted... it covers something for everyone.

Gratuity for the chef kind or reminds me of the "tip jars" one finds at every Starbucks, counter service deli, dry cleaners, etc. Personally, unless I'm seated at the Chef's Table at a top restuarant, a chef prepares a special meal for me (and my companions), or does something exceptional, I don't think it's a matter of being fashionable... rather trying to be snooty, snotty!

sandi is offline  
Apr 15th, 2008, 11:17 AM
Posts: n/a
hi sandi

you mention "snooty/snotty":
not at all - it was suggested by the camp manager!

regarding search for earlier threads: doesn't function with TIPS/tipping
Apr 15th, 2008, 11:24 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 409
God forbid that tipping the chef becomes fashionable. What next, the pilot?

This whole tipping thing is becoming ridiculous and a lot of travellers worry far too much about it. As Sandi says, there are a lot of threads on this subject already.

For what it's worth, in my opinion it's a matter of personal choice.

Who's snithack?
Lynneb is offline  
Apr 15th, 2008, 11:29 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 7,391
Did some searches:
tipping- 139 threads
tip- 324 threads
tips- 548 threads

Granted some of the threads are asking for tips on travel etc. but many have the subject of "tipping, tip or tips" in the thread title.

matnikstym is offline  
Apr 15th, 2008, 11:34 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,999
I think trackers are more commonly found in certain Southern Africa safari destinations and less common in East Africa. I would also say that the amounts pippa listed are on the high side. The gratuity suggestions I've seen are more in line with what matnikstym posted. I've never tipped a chef, manager, pilot or an owner in instances where the owner does the guiding.
Patty is offline  
Apr 15th, 2008, 11:42 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,215
Can't believe it, quote pippa13 ". . . doesn't function with TIPS/tipping". Her/his keyboard can type cap letters (TIPS) after all !!!!! Good going pippa13, keep trying!!!!

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:41 PM.