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tipping

Mumbai (Bombay...
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132 posts
24 reviews
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tipping

what is the tipping etiquette ? Should I give the guide 'an advance tip' right upfront on the first day itself, say 50% of the total tip ?

Auckland, New...
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399 posts
96 reviews
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1. Re: tipping

We carried lots of $US1 notes and tipped all and sundry. With regard to our driver / guide we were told that the rate was $US7 - 10 per day per person and thats what we did

Isle of Man, United...
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2. Re: tipping

Another much over used Topic.

I would certainly not advance tip. Let him earn it or otherwise. and do not feel obliged to tip if he is lacklustre (Sadly there are one or two but not many.) Tipping is earned as a form of gratitude and not to make up for being underpaid, although you may get that sob story from some.

As to the amount that is very emotive. I use the guideline $10/15 per carload not per person. Six people at $7 per day for ten days is $420, a huge sum to most folks out there.

Measure it how you like, based on his efforts, but around $100 is more than enough for a normal length Safari whether there are one or six pax. In fact I would suggest a weekly sum of $100 would seem about right for longer trips anyway. Thanks. You have just solved one of my own dilemmas for longer trips.

Edited: 14 May 2011, 10:40
Findlay, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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12,484 posts
8 reviews
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3. Re: tipping

Everyone should tip according to what they feel is "earned". There is no obligation to tip, although some may feel that way. And you need to keep it in context with the area, IMO.

What is the context? A starting professor at a university may receive 500,000 Tsh (at 1,500 Tsh = $1) per month, those with advanced degrees might get 1,000,000 Tsh / Month. And these are the best paying jobs there. A primary or secondary school teacher might earn from 100,000 - 200,000 Tsh / month. Common labor might earn approximately 125,000 per month, contracted labor might get 5,000 - 10,000 Tsh per day. When I had a farm there I could easily get all the workers I needed (I would fill a truck with workers) for 1,000 Tsh / day and provide them with meals, this was about ten years ago so the cost would have doubled or tripled now. In addition, those who live in Dar es Salaam and Arusha have a higher cost of living; however, most guides do not live in these places; they may say they live in Arusha because that's the area, but they actually live in one of the surrounding close-by villages where the living costs are less.

Major costs for a person in Tanzania are school fees and most families work hard to find school fees. You can send a child to primary school for about 50,000 - 100,000 Tsh per year. Secondary school will incur tuition fees and these will be about 500,000 - 1,500,000 Tsh per year if it is a boarding school, for a non-boarding school it might be 250,000 - 500,000 Tsh. A year's tuition at the University of Dodoma costs 1,000,000 Tsh not including room and board.

So with that in mind, what would a fair tip be. Well $5 to $10 per day for the vehicle would certainly be fair and if it were a long safari then I would probably limit it to about $100 total. That $100 would be 150,000 Tsh which I know a lot of people work all moth for. There are some others who feel a lot more than this is fair, but that is left to personal judgement IMO. There are also others, and some safari operators who play to this, who feel that they should tip as though they are paying for the driver/guides wages because the safari operator did not provide a fair wage; I have never felt that I should take on the safari operator's responsibility.

But in the end you have to ask yourself, did they earn a tip. I have been known to walk away from a travel guide when they were a dud and leave no tip, and I feel no remorse at all. Why would one feel compelled to compensate poor behavior; not me.

chicago, IL
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113 posts
6 reviews
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4. Re: tipping

We are leaving in July for a 10 day safari with our 3 grown children. We were advised that our driver/guide should be tipped $10 - $12 per day per person. If that's the case I would owe our driver $600. Is that correct? Since I hear ATM's aren't the most reliable does that mean I have to carry all that cash on me til the end of our trip? Of course we'll need more cash for bar bills and trinkets...am I to carry $1000 cash on my person?

Saint Paul...
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Serengeti National Park
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1,812 posts
5 reviews
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5. Re: tipping

Naw, this is probably too much. I think those guidelines sound more appropriate for 2 people in a car - and a little on the high side. Mfuwe usually recommends that you think of a tip in terms of 'per vehicle' not 'per car'. I think he's probably right. (Yes, I can admit it, hard as it may be.)

How's this for a rough idea of mid-range tipping:

# people / $ per vehicle per day

1 / $9-12

2 / $12-15

3 / $15-16

4 / $17-18

5 / $19-20

6 / $21-25

(I am thinking about changing my recommendations to something that looks something like this. Comments welcome.)

Saint Paul...
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Serengeti National Park
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1,812 posts
5 reviews
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6. Re: tipping

Above where I said 'per car' in my first paragraph, I meant to say 'per person'. As in, I agree that 'per person' is probably not the best or most effective way of thinking about tipping.

Isle of Man, United...
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340 reviews
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7. Re: tipping

Brian. Probably you were so overcome with agreeing with me you got too excited. LoL

Back to moandoz. Using that guidline you are correct in saying $600. That is crazy in my opinion. That is the problem with the pro person guideline. You end up paying the guy 6 months salary for ten days work.

Karl and Brian are swinging to my per car figure. The driver is not working any harder with six in the car or two. So why pay him extra just because there are more of you?

So with your ten day Safari this would set you back $100/$120. Not a small sum and still a good tip in a country where a secondary school each gets that for a month.

Good luck.

Midwest
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2,237 posts
95 reviews
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8. Re: tipping

As a side note, when I first started looking up operators oneUS based company had 2 guides. A main guide in the lead truck that gave evening talks, and a 2nd one who was the driver for your 4x4. Guidlines were, if my memory serves, $15/pppd for the leader, another $10/pppd and then another $5 or so for the camp

My guideline for the operator I went with is above Brians worksheet but just a few dollars more per car per day, and I have no problem providing that guideline as long as my driver/guide provides good service

Edited: 17 May 2011, 22:55
Isle of Man, United...
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37,001 posts
340 reviews
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9. Re: tipping

I am guessing that your trucks contained a mixed tour group? Rules do get bent for those sort of trips but you still end up over tipping. 12 in the group at $25 per day for 12 days is $3,600. I will come and drive for you for that! And pay my own airfare out. And I'll throw in an evening talk too with a personal appearance by Mzee Gingrich.

Edited: 17 May 2011, 23:30
nyc
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14,532 posts
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10. Re: tipping

Even with $1,000 for your family, just split it up between wifey and yourself (or is it the other way? ). I often travel with that amount and it's never been an issue. Of course, I don't keep it all in the same place, and it doesn't take up all that much room... a small envelope holds it, on the bottom of my bag, some in pocket, some left in hotel/lodge/camp safe.... .