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Tipping for a private vehicle

Ottawa, Canada
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48 posts
8 reviews
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Tipping for a private vehicle

I have a tipping suggestion from my tour operator. It says: ranger R 150 ($15 USD) per couple per day and tracker R 110 ($11 USD) per couple per day.

But how do you normally tip if you have a private vehicle for yourself? One couple amount, two couples amount, full car amount?

Naracoorte
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2,861 posts
16 reviews
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11. Re: Tipping for a private vehicle

US$50 per day for a tip! I nearly fell off the lounge.

Tempe, Arizona
Destination Expert
for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
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58 reviews
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12. Re: Tipping for a private vehicle

OK... I get the message.

What is the reasonable tip for exclusive use of a Land Rover, Ranger & Tracker? For being able to set your own schedule each day and have 100% of their attention?

Cape Town
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13. Re: Tipping for a private vehicle

I agree that Dave gave a straightforward answer to the OPs original question. But other points have since been brought up - also by the OP.

To add - why on earth should a Ranger or Tracker expect an "average days tips" every day , whatever he /she does? These is not then tips this is a SALARY and as such should be paid by the lodge and not the guests - and included in the lodges profit and loss statement and, if needed, prices adjusted accordingly. The only reason that most of these individuals prefer tips is that they are hardly ever FULLY declared for Tax. And the lodges also prefer it that way as they also pay less tax. Hence the great majority of South African taxpayers, who could never in their whole lives afford to go to one of these R20,000 per cou[ple per night bling lodges, subsidise those tiny number who do these jobs and the, often foreign, corporations that own the lodges.

There are millions more individuals in this country, and all over the world, who put many years of their lives into hard and ardous training and have much more responsible and difficult jobs than someone driving a few guests around a game reserve. Yet these others do magnificent jobs serving other people, are not well paid but don't expect "tips" as a "reward" for doing their jobs well. Do you tip nurses and other hospital staff, train or bus drivers, police or your kid's teachers?

The whole tipping culture for a tiny number of jobs is archaic and should have been left behind years ago - as it has in many countries such as Australia, New Zealand and much of Asia.

Edited: 13 March 2014, 11:55
Cape Town
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14. Re: Tipping for a private vehicle

Dave To your last question. It is the LODGE that is providing the "exclusive use of a Land Rover, Ranger & Tracker? For being able to set your own schedule each day and have 100% of their attention?"

And the guest is already paying a massive extra amount to the lodge for this "privilege". Maybe you could remind us how much in a place like Londolozi? Surely it is the lodges responsibility to make up the so called "tips"?

london
Destination Expert
for Zambia, Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park
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5,132 posts
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15. Re: Tipping for a private vehicle

Is it really a problem that guides don't get paid enough? And when I say, "don't get paid enough", I mean by South African standards, not compared to US or European salaries? How do they get paid compared to, say, national park staff?

If it is a problem, then why is it a problem? As pointed out above by several posters, the kind of lodges charging the prices they do should be able to pay their staff well, so why don't they? Er, maybe because the staff get tips on top..... So those suggesting massive tips should ask themselves whether they are solving the problem, or whether they've caused it in the first place, and whether by suggesting increasingly larger amounts they are just perpetuating the problem and making it worse.

$50 a day is ridiculous, private vehicle or not. What if a guest gets allocated a private vehicle by luck? Are they still supposed to make up the tips for the whole vehicle?

My top tip for anyone is- don't discuss tips. Just tip what you think is reasonable and what you can afford and don't discuss it with other people. My pet hate is getting cornered by other guests at safari camps and being asked how much they should tip, or asking me how much I tip. I am getting progressively ruder in my responses to this!! If a tip is given, it should be a gesture of appreciation, and not a dictated amount.

Tempe, Arizona
Destination Expert
for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
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58 reviews
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16. Re: Tipping for a private vehicle

Stokeygirl - I wish I had thought of your suggestion myself - "My top tip for anyone is- don't discuss tips."..

As for thinking that lodges will be putting an end to the culture of tipping by raising salaries for the staff, that cow is out of the barn, as we say where I grew up. Ain't gonna happen. Final word from me - In my years of working in this business, I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of clients who had a private vehicle. And still have a couple of fingers left over. One was a family with 4 children. Another I remember was a guy with lots of $$. It's really not all that common. The 'relevant experience' I mentioned was with the Rangers. We talk a lot about everything, including tipping.

Ottawa, Canada
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48 posts
8 reviews
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17. Re: Tipping for a private vehicle

I think it would be nice not to convert a topic into "Do we need to tip guides?". I do believe in tipping. And technically a lot of professions that involve heavy interaction with customers are paid with the assumption that the biggest part of income will come trough tipping. It motivates people work harder better than when you just pay them a fixed amount.

And yes we pay lodge a lot but it does not mean that this price covers big salaries for guides. There are a lot of other costs.

So for me there is no question to tip or not to tip. But living in Canada I don't know South African reality at all so I am trying to find out at least approximate amounts. The more people would suggest the easier it will be calculate an average suggestion :) So I an VERY thankful for those who wrote amounts here or using private message. I appreciate it a LOT!

Hazyview, South...
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3,799 posts
18 reviews
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18. Re: Tipping for a private vehicle

Again me, putting things into perspective.

The suggestion was something around the R850.00 per day. Now put that into perspective to a Lodge/B&B outside the private reserves, that charges app. R1,500.00 for B&B per night for 2 people.

The owners had to spend millions for the set up, spend many thousands for the running, many thousands for maintenance, many thousands for staff and other cost.

Do you really believe that tipping someone more than 50% of that B&B rate a day for a job the person is paid for doing already is justified in comparison to someone who invested millions and pays many thousands of rand for the running?

I fail to see any relation or perspective. I rest my case!

Klaus

-Owner Abangane-

Hazyview

Edited: 13 March 2014, 15:14
Ottawa, Canada
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48 posts
8 reviews
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19. Re: Tipping for a private vehicle

Klaus, will you be able to suggest your amounts, it will be very helpful.

For starting point, I will stay at Kirkman and at Forest Phinda. I think the rate for both $400 USD per person per day (with 30% discount for long stay). A private car is $450 per day. And I would like my guide to spend longer hours in the bush not just normal safari drives. And I requested to have a senior ranger (I was promised that I will have it) rather than a ranger. What will be a good tip based on SA standards and what will be a great tip?

Hazyview, South...
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18 reviews
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20. Re: Tipping for a private vehicle

Ganna, sorry, but these amounts are so out of our league that I will refrain from recommending tip amounts.

We South Africans unfortunately do not see these places from the inside. I just know that ridiculous amounts are recommended by mainly US travel agents and are seen as normal by US (and surrounding) travellers.

I can tell you what I would give (and a I will get stoned for it), R200 for the ranger and R100 for the tracker. If you request extras, you need to pay for extras.

Klaus

-Owner Abangane-

Hazyview