Tips for Guides on Safari

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Jun 11th, 2005, 06:05 AM
  #1
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Tips for Guides on Safari

What are appropriate tips for guides and camp staff on a 10-day safari in Tanzania? We are on a private tour for 2 people.
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Jun 11th, 2005, 06:13 AM
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Your tour operator/ agent should provide you with guidelines but, to give you a general idea, most people leave at least US$5-10 per guest per day for the guides and work out their tip to other staff dependend on what they have done for the guests, but usually at least US$5 per guest per day for the staff tip box.

It's a good idea to check how that tip box is divided (so that you can tip individuals who have been particularly helpful if you find out that the tips are not divided equally across all staff).

If you experience particularly good service, of course, it's common to tip more than the suggested amounts.

There's a thread only 14 positions below yours in the list (as I write this). You'll find lots of advice just by typing "tipping" into the search box at the top of the page.
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Jun 11th, 2005, 06:14 AM
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We were on a private safari in Kenya (I believe tipping standards are similar) and tipped approx $20 per day to our driver/guide and $10 per day as a pooled gratuity for the camp staff. These amounts are for both of us not per person. We also tipped some of the camp staff individually when we felt that it was warranted. Hope this helps.
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Jun 12th, 2005, 03:04 PM
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sandi
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Most tour operators will provide you with information on "suggested tipping" as well, you will find this information at most lodges/camps. That said, the numbers mentioned above are in the range used.

We just returned and at most of our camps were introduced to the entire staff - those who were front of the house and those from the back. This way we knew who was receiving the "staff" tips; apparently no one was not included.

While some camps/lodges have a locked "tip box" into which you place your tip, in the instances we experienced, the funds were given directly to the "senior" staff person. We found this most agreeable. And, of course, if someone has been particularly helpful, an extra amout directly, is also acceptable.
 
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Jun 14th, 2005, 06:38 AM
  #5
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Thanks - this is helpful.
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Jun 14th, 2005, 07:21 AM
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The guidelines mentioned in this and other threads list the amount in US$. Is there any reason to give the tip in US$ rather than in the equivalent local currency?
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Jun 14th, 2005, 10:20 AM
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Hi:

There are merits for both local currency & US currency and it really comes down to where the tip payment will be spent.

If the receipient is likely to spend the money local then they would prefer local currency (as the exchange of US $$ to local currency wouldn't be good for them). But if the receipent is likely to spend the money outside the country then they would prefer US currency (as their exchange from local to US $$ wouldn't be good).

So for our safari, for the bigger $$ tips (driver guide for multiple days) we tipped in US currency (as usable for forgien transactions by him, such as his childrens education outside Kenya) but for the small tips (porters, waiters) we used local currency (as easier for them to buy local products than US $$).

BTW - I took the 'recommended' tip in US $$ for the driver guide with me on the trip, but he was absoutely amazing so I bumped the recommended tip by 25% (which I paid in local currency).

Z
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Jun 14th, 2005, 10:35 AM
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rizzuto,
We tipped all of the camp staff in local currency and only our driver/guide in USD. I listed all amounts in USD for simplicity, but no, there isn't any reason why you shouldn't tip in the local currency equivalent. As TravelMaster pointed out, it may be easier for the recipient to get local currency than USD and have to deal with exchanging small amounts.
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Jun 14th, 2005, 02:37 PM
  #9
sandi
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Local currency vs USD.

In Tanzania, only USD were desired (and specifically recommended prior our departure) and that is what we used. Apparently, no one has any problem exchanging USD and getting a good conversion rate. I don't even know what Tanzanian currency looks like.

In Kenya, however, Kenyan schillings or USD can be used for staff tips as you wish; USD preferred by guide/drivers.
 
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Jun 14th, 2005, 04:19 PM
  #10
 
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Depending on where you are going, it is my understanding that sometimes (for example - Zimbabwe) "hard" currency is preferred - ie. US$ or Euros.
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