While Im at it, Someone please tell me how one "drives" a herd of Kudu to a waterhole?
While Im at it, Someone please tell me how one "drives" a herd of Kudu to a waterhole?
Not possible, and if achieved a minimum 30% gratuity should be graciously offered... :) Trying to incorporate the two threads Jerome, you owe me a high 5!!!!! :)
My best always.
Some observations from my 23 years in the industry in Colorado, Mexico, and Alaska guiding sheep hunters and other hunters.
1. Tips should never be expected but as Jaco says, they do help an operator keep good help who could likely make more money in a different industry with year-around work. My guides guide for the love of hunting, often at great personal sacrifice to their own futures, promotions at their other jobs, and families. Cash is best for these folks as they can't repair the wife's car with a hunting knife that they probably have a dozen of anyway. We outfit/guide in trophy qulaity areas and we already usually have better gear and optics than our hunters. This may not be the case in all of Africa or North America.
2. I have received monetary tips ranging from $0 to $3500 and I never had a problem with a low tip for good service, especially from folks of lesser income that saved and saved for the hunt. The low tips I have received were from hunters that had great trips but either did not know what to tip or they could not afford to tip more. I am always thankful no matter the case. Either way it all evens out in the course of a guiding career.
3. I am often asked by clients how much they should tip their guides and I never suggest anything more than average and I usually suggest something a little below average as I am uncomfortable with the final decision. The decision should be made by the client depending upon service received and ability to tip.
4. If the operator/outfitter guides you, he is to be tipped like any other guide. If he does not guide, then do not tip him.
5. Europeans and all of us need to adjust to the culture where we hunt, not live. Trips, food, and goods are generally more expensive in Europe and the businesses and governments pay higher wages and benefits overall to service workers and that is why tipping is not as common but they are just paying it in a different way. And while on the subject, I find it short-sighted that some Europeans think U.S. and African service workers should enjoy higher wages and more social programs. Well, if we in the U.S. did not have to pay to cover most of the cost of defending Western Europe after WWII and all throughout the Cold War, maybe we would have more money in our government for other things too. Not to mention the high price that many U.S. families paid in blood and lives lost to free Western Europe, as evidenced in the U.S. military cemetaries where I have extended family buried. Yes, you may have guessed that I don't have much understanding or patience for European criticisim of the U.S. government, business sector, and military after we came to their defense more than once. Some European countries helped us win and keep our independence in the late 1700's and early 1800's and likewise that also should not be over-looked. Europeans are amongst our closest allies and each government/country has their own reasons for doing things a certain way and all should be respected when in another country.
6. Don't worry so much about tipping. Don't let it affect your trip. As a guide or client, I never think about it until the end of a hunt and then it is always appreciated if offered. I never make guiding decisions on a hunt with tipping in the back of my mind. Just tip what you feel good about with your financial situation and within the norms for the area you are hunting.
7. A positive mental attitude on the trip and a good time shared with your guide is the best tip of all and is definitely appreciated no matter what kind of monetary tip you leave. :)
the tipping scenario with the different attitude of europeans is that we tip on how good the service was, so it can be a bit of a sliding scale. what i myself dont like about the usa is the presumption that you have to tip regardless of service, or what was performed for you. if i am in a bar i am not going to tip the barman every time he walks a few steps to the fridge and back and presents me with a beer, i will on every 3 or 4 if he is polite etc. i have had crap or non existent service apart from the delivery of the food with no follow up between, why should i tip. our main business is a hotel so i know about service etc, and maybe this makes me more critical as our service we provide is of a very high standard, but if you are in the hospitality trade their is no excuse for providing crap service, its all down to training, and then the staff by providing a great service instead of what they can be bothered doing will be tipped better. regards mike
I very much agree with what
spike.t says here.
To the contrary, I am fully aware of WWI and WWII history and of the sacrifices of all the European countries. I am not foolish. I know that Americans did not liberate Europe alone and that Europe had already suffered huge loses before the U.S. got fully in. Who doesn't know and acknowledge this? But it is a fact that in WWII alone, the U.S. lost about 500,000 servicemen and women in Europe, Africa and Asia - not on our soil. This was the second time in Europe. I think and hope that the European countries that the U.S. helped would come to NA to help us if needed. Thankfully for us all, we have not had to find out.
Yes the UK and other European countries helped with the Cold War but make no mistake, our country spent a far larger portion of our GDP in the effort than any other country. It is not even close. It is no coincidence that our people sacrificed trillions of tax dollars on this effort that could have been spent on other things for our people. Europeans I have spoken to have not even considered this issue in this context about our economy and social structure versus theirs in the Cold War. Europeans were able to keep a larger percentage of their GDP for domestic spending throughout the Cold War. This allowed them to more quickly recover from WWII and spend more money on their own citizens while the U.S. largely defended the continent and world from the Soviet Union trying to spread Communism. Now, Europe is having hard financial times because they can no longer support the weight of these social programs. The U.S. is following suit because we have spent too much on defense and we are also following the ill-fated social program trap which in many ways hurts productivity, incentives, and self-reliance.
You are correct that it did take the U.S. far too long to get fully into WWII. This is because the American public had formed an Isolationist view after losing so many servicemen in WWI largely in Europe. However, even without Pearl Harbor, the U.S. was very close to getting fully into the war and ultimately would have joined the UK to start repeling the Nazis without Pearl Harbor. You can look back to speeches from Roosevelt about the changing attitude well before Pearl Harbor. Why do you think the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor? It was because the U.S. was cutting off their supply of oil and helping the Chinese. We already had Army Air Force pilots flying in the UK and over France in your planes. The U.S. also had pilots leading missions in China to help the Chinese repel the Japanese from China. Look it up. We also were losing dozens of freighter and cargo ships monthly that were carrying war supplies to Europe to German U-Boat attacks in the Atlantic.
My point in my original post was that when you go to another country, you have to adjust to the local customs (tipping being one) to a large degree. Just putting your foot down and refusing is not going to change it. The Norwegian hunter criticizing our job pay structures without examining underlying reasons is not fair. Same for Europeans in Africa. Much of Africa is still developing and Europe has not had to experience that for centuries.
Nobody should tip for bad service or average service on any continent or in any culture.
hi scott glad to see you know your history. i suppose i was fishing to see how much you knew, as with respect unfortunately a large percentage of your countrymen dont, and seem to think different. i am with you on the social things as it is screwing the uk with social payments to any person arriving from the eu deprived countries . they turn up and get housing, medical and are paid cash for benefits without working and making any contributions to the economy. if they do work they send most of the money back to their country of origin. we arent part of the EU in jersey , but the faster the uk gets out of the eu the better its a black hole and they are wanting another couple of billion from the uk just now as they are running out of money!!! a waste of space like the UN.. i know about africa as i have a reserve in zambia. i tip for the service i receive on the same basis whatever country i am in, so it could be zero or a lot more than 10 to 15 percent if the service is very good, as i said up to the person to be good, and that is in any job where you are providing a service and are hoping for a tip. cheers.
Scott CWO, I am not at all ungrateful to what you Americans did and sacrificed during the WW II and the cold war. On the contrary.
USA specially helped us a lot with the Marshall aid after the war.
When it comes to the job pay structure. I think it is totally wrong to pay employees so poorly for a full time job that they totally depend on tipping to make ends meet.
No underlying reasons can justify that in my opinion.
I am very aware that many people around in the world are paid less for a full time job than they need to make ends meet, but that still wrong. No matter where in the world it is.
Tipping should be a bonus for great service, and it is totally wrong in my opinion when tipping is expected and almost mandatory. And there I see that we agree :)
I am very happy that Norway is not a part of EU and I hope that we will stop being a part of Schengen too.
Thanks for appreciating the U.S. role in the World Wars and Cold War. Many Europeans seem to have forgotten and treat Americans very rude when we visit. My mother is full Norwegian and visited Norway for a month a few years ago and the Norwegians were very nice to her and her sisiters. Wish I could say the same for some of our family's visits to other countries.
I must disagree with you on the jobs/pay situation. Nobody and no government owes someone a good living. Both my wife and I worked our way through college at a restaurant. I started as a lowly dishwasher. She started as a waitress making $2.01 per hour plus tips. She was a very good waitress. She made great money as a waitress compared to me as a dishwasher to start. However, it the U.S. there is ALWAYS opportunity if you work hard. This is the incentive to get out of low paying jobs that will not fully support making a decent living. I think it is wrong to start someone at a decent living wage in a menial job. Starting someone with a good wage reduces their incentive to work hard and move up to higher paying better jobs. Within two weeks of trying to be the best dishwasher, I was promoted to a cook. Later, to a kitchen supervisor. Then the owner asked me to work full-time and go to school part-time so he could promote me to the Food Production Mgr (Kitchen Mgr). He paid for my part-time college tuition until I graduated college. He owned five restaurants. By the time my wife and I left his company, he was semi-retired and I was the Regional Mgr and my wife was the Office Mgr. I started with this company at $3.35 per hour and left at $50k per year in just nine years. $50K per year was good money in 1995 when I quit. Stories like this are completely possible in the U.S. and this is why so many people from under-developed countries want to come here. Do not feel sorry for most poor Americans living in the inner cities. They have made poor choices and continue to make poor choices. Nobody will starve or freeze to death in this country. People can always get free food and shelter here. This is a problem because it takes away the incentive to work and better yourself. Before Roosevelt started all our social programs after the Great Depression, you worked or starved. Now, we have went too far with the social safety net. I have no problem helping the physically or mentally disabled but most of the rest of the people on public assistance programs just want to eat, sleep, breed, and exist because they CAN without working hard. They raise their out-of-wedlock childeren and the cycle repeats. So, I do not think every job deserves good living wage pay. It is getting harder and harder to find good workers in the U.S. that do not feel entitled. If you are a good worker here, you can be successful but you must earn it. I started my outfitting company in 1991 with only $1000 seed money and asked my employer if I could take eight weeks off unpaid from the restaurants each fall. He reluctantly agreed and this allowed me to slowly start my own business with only 5 hunters my first fall season. By 1994, I was turning down hunters because I was booked full. I quit the restaurants in May of 1995 to expand my business to more species and seasons. I am nobody special. This can be done in the U.S. I started working a couple nights per week after school and on weekends beginning in the 8th grade (13 years-old). My parents instilled a good work ethic in me.
I do not begrudge my employer paying the low, entry-level wages. I was happy for the job and the chance to move up. It allowed him to open more restaurants and employ more people. That is how our economy works.
Good luck on your hunts,
This is all great stuff! However, being new to this forum and heading to Africa for the first time, and having missed the session at SCI about tipping, I have to ask the question - is this advice still current?
Before you answer, let me get to the real question. Before booking my hunt, among my many questions, I asked the outfitter, about tipping. Here is his answer:
"Tips usually are for a 10 day hunt for Hunting guide US$ 1000 + and tracker US$300 + and house staff US$400 + that is usually what we get ONLY if you had the time of your life but you will!!"
At that time we were talking about a 10 day, 8 animal, plains game hunt in Namibia, with my wife along as a non-hunter for a total package of $8,900 inclusive. If I apply Jerome's formula and feel generous, I come up with $630 for the PH, $100 for the tracker, $50 for the camp staff. That total is $780. That is a big difference from the outfitter's suggestion which amounts to $1,700.
In North America, I generally figure 10% for my guide. Camp staff is usually not in the picture. If there is a camp with staff, then a small amount for them. However, Africa is a different world. I would love to hear the advice that you guys can offer.
For what it's worth, I wish that service providers whether in restaurants or outfitters would pay their staff a fair wage and advertise a true cost to their clients.
Morally it's up to you. I think Jerome's suggestion are more practical.
And I feel the same way about costs.
You know fellas, we're all over the map here...
I suppose the only thing I will rely on in this trip is to "Go with my gut"
Last trip over I had a very bad experience - staff and trackers were given a good tip, PH got zip. It was all he deserved for what he did.(didn't) do. Everyone else gave outragous tips - that were given as a "rule of thumb" Despite the problems encountered. Certainly I will tip, but the amounts are my decision, not some formula or "Suggestion"
I think Jeromes is very close as a rule of thumb for me 10% of the cost of the hunt for the PH $10-$15 a day for each tracker and Driver and for a 10 day hunt $150 for the staff to be shared and thats based on service given not animals taken then you go up from there as you feel they deserve.
I get a pocket full of ones. Actually an envelope.
Much easier to spend and they do not attract attention or danger for the staff.
A $100 bill is about useless. This mistake has been made in some camps with very sad consequences to the staff member. (assault & robbery)
That's the opposite of what I have found in China and Mongolia. There, people will be happy to take US dollars but don't want bills smaller than $50. I was told that's because the larger denominations are harder to counterfeit. Perhaps the proximity to N. Korea (notorious for counterfeiting US bills) plays a part in this.