I too just returned from my first hunt in South Africa and it turned out that I was glad that the tipping was at the end of the hunt. I had emailed the outfitter that I would be hunting with and ask him if he could give me an idea as to what I should tip after reading this article. He emailed me back and said that the average tip is $500.00 for the PH $100.00 for each tracker and $100.00 for the staff to be divided between them. And that was within a few dollars of what this article had said but not to leave myself short I put some extra money in my wallet and I’m glad I did the service was even better then I could have expected. Imagine riding down a mountain trail in the back of your scouting vehicle while the trackers walked down the mountain in front of the truck rolling large rocks out of the way and putting rocks in pot holes to insure you got an easy ride and then when at the bottom of the mountain they would run half way back up to get your animal so you could get good pictures on level ground. And the staff, well you never left the table hungry and at the lounge you would have to tell them no more because when you took your last swallow they would be waiting there with another drink for you. And your PH and his trusty-tracking dog would work their butt off for you. Needless to say average wasn’t good enough this article is a good guideline but the hunt not the animals taken and the people making your dream come true should determine the tip I gave my PH $800.00 and each tracker and staff $200.00 and wish I had put more in my wallet. GOOD LUCK on your hunt
I have stressed about tipping in the past. I now have a new attitude towards tipping.
Tipping/gratuities allows me to take part in a free market, non regulated activity. The people working (or not working) towards a greater reward for their services, have a chance to see proportionate rewards for the quality of their work. We have seen what "union" attitudes about equal pay for the same job title have done to work ethics in our own countries and especially in places like Greece and France. We also are allowed to see the product, in this case service by our guides, trackers and camp staff before we decide how much, if anything we want to pay.
I use a rough formula when tipping, wether in hunting camp or a restaurant.
Inadiquite service gets nothing
Accepable service receives an average tip (10% in restaurants, $400 $500 for my PH)
Exceptional service is rewarded propotionatly more.
This attitude that I have taken has helped me to feel justified in my actions. Before I had this attitude, I would always wonder if I was being cheap or overly generous. I was finding myself resentful of the whole process and it was giving me a negative feeling on experiences that I was, at times, paying out alot of money for. Now that I have accepted that tipping allows me to take part in a finacial system that I know works, I feel much better about the whole system.
I realise that not everyone believes in the capitalist system, but I do.
Mike...............I think that sums up my feelings about the whole issue very well. I know that staff look to tips to supplement their income and for many of us this is well understood. The bottom line though is really just as you have stated. I don't see how anyone can find fault with your approach to this.
Hello! New to the forum. Does anybody have an opinion on how tipping should be applied if the hunt has multiple persons hunting 2x1?
For example, if 2 people were hunting 2x1, according to the first initial post it would seem that in could be interpreted that the tip would be double the guideline? Obviously, there are personal choices/evaluations to be made. However, although the PH does have more to deal with for 2 persons, I am not in the belief that it requires 2X the appropriate tip. Thoughts?
Hi there, I am looking at hunting with an outfitter who only hunts other peoples concessions. We would be hunting in three different places, using there trackers, skinners, and other staff. How would you recommend I handle the tips at each of these places.
Thanks for any suggestions.
The chances are you will only visit each concession once, so have some of the local currency available,and take it with you, to give to the trackers. Make sure to give it to them yourself, dont give it to your PH to give to them. It means more to them coming from you. I will assume that you will be hunting South Africa, so a 100 Rands per day per tracker is about the going rate.There should only be 1 tracker extra that will accommodate you per concession, other than your Ph's full time tracker. Hope you enjoy your hunt. Just drop a message if you have any other questions.
Thanks for the advise Marius.
I never hunted in Africa but when I read this topic I wondered about the deviding of the tips. First I think it is very strange to tip the PH as he often is the owner of the hunt and if I drink a beer in a pub I tip the bar tender but never the owner of the bar...
Second I would tip the hunting staff, the accomodation staff and driver. If they did a good job and were friendly and helpfull that is.
And I think cash tips are better then shirts or knives because if they get those everytime a hunter is staying they should have a lot of them already ;)
I agree with you on the shirts and knifes they are great gifts but should not be given as a tip, as for the tipping of the owner if it turns out that he is your PH and he works hard to make your hunt a dream come true and a hunt of a life time then he to deserves a tip for the hard work he put out. Check with the outfit that you will be hunting with and find out what there tipping Policy is, I know with the outfit I went out with you didn't give the trackers tips to the PH but they didn't want you to give it straight to the trackers either you showed it to them then put it in a envelope seal the envelope and have them sign across the flap to insure it was not opened and at the end of the month all of their tips would be given to them at one time, this helped to prevent any unscheduled vacations.
The PH is very seldom the owner. The Hunting contractor(Outfitter) is the owner. The PH works for the outfitter for a wage. In South Africa , you have to be an active Professional Hunter for 3 years,before you can apply to become an Outfitter. A Professional Hunter is not allowed to advertise and obtain his own clients, whatsoever. You have to be in possesion of an Outfitter's licence to do this. Then obviously you need your own land with facilities that needed to be inpected for quality purposes on top of that. So, the PH is the Bartender and that sense....
With regards to tipping the staff,cash is obviously very appreciated but a bonus like old hunting boots on their way out, or hunting clothing goes a long way,even for the PH , especially when it come to some good old American Camo Jackets etc.(The good stuff that we dont really get here)
Hope that explains it to you.
I guess i should have read this before i went on a 10 day safari trip this year.
The 13 man crew in our camp was given between $50 and $250 or a total of approxmately $2,000 for the group. A thank you card was put together and given to each camp member with the money at the end of the safari. PH for another $2K.
I also took 7 new knives and diamond sharpners to be passed out by the PH to who he thought should have them and then my poket knive to our truck drive when i learned that he did not get a knive.
7 new ball caps were also passed out to the camp staff.
We also left 4 pair of shoes, pants, socks and shirts plus t-shirts for the camp crew..
We left medical and first aid supplies with the camp staff.
We left 4 & 7/8 boxes of shell with the PH.
Gum, Candy, Toys were distributed to the villages on 3 trips.
Plus the camp also received extra gum, candy, playing cards.
I absoulutly agree with your responce, it seems the older I get them more people expect a tip for doing thier job, I have worked in variouse service indoustries and never recieved a tip, if you did the best job that you could, you kept your job, if you didnt you were fired. It would seem that the next logical step in this tipping process would be to also include tipping the pilot and flight attendents for getting you there. While we are at it we should tip, the police, fire and military of your home country for thier service to you.
Originally Posted by Frederik
Frederik - You're already working hard to earn my buisiness...and I bet you didn't even know it!
Originally Posted by Frederik
Your responses to several threads have all been spot on for me. Thanks.
I also would like to know this as my trip will be with my son as a 2X1. I'm not sure how to handle that when it comes time to tip. Any thought would be great.
Originally Posted by dsweber
dsweber and Bryan,
2x1 still means the same ph working maybe he has to hunt a bit harder to get both hunters their wishlist so I dont think a ph should get x2 tip on that he doesnt get paid x2 for taking out 2 clients at once neither.
A very important point is too watch out for overtipping trackers skinners and cleaning ladies dont understand that there is different cultures all around the world if you come from the US or Europe its all the same to them you come from overseas and US clients tend to tip much better than Europeans but sometimes the tip is too much and the staff expect the same from everyone who comes from overseas.
Most of the times our clients ask us for a guide and we give it to them so that after each hunt they basically get the same amount. And it does happen that one person has worked harder than the other staff and we will reward that way too if the client is so inclined.
Seattleseters, thank you no I didnt know it.
As a general rule, I would say, ask your Outfitter, or PH, and act accordingly, they know better.
It's obvious that the issue of tipping creates difficulties for a lot of hunters. I'm Australian and tipping in this country is the exception rather than the rule so it makes it even harder for me.
I've only got one African trip under my belt but I had no problems tipping the PH on that trip. He worked very hard and his attention to detail was excellent.
However, the idea that a tip is expected by some operators and there is a percentage that is considered appropriate doesn't sit well with me.
We hunted a private ranch in Namibia this summer. We discussed appropriate tip for the cleaning lady with our PH. She did great work, I never once saw her walking, she only jogged so as to not waste our time. Not my country, I don't know the culture, so I took his advice on the amount. It was less money than I would have given but you would think I gave her the keys to the world. We gave cash to one of the junior guides who worked quite well with me.
Our PH worked long and hard with my young son, treating him like he was a favorite nephew (my son actually cried when we left because "I miss my professional hunter") and I felt that giving cash to a person who had become like family was undignified. We learned that the scope on his plains game rifle wasn't so good, so we took the Swarovski off my wife's rifle and gave it to him when we left. It just seemed like a more personal way to say thank you than cash would have.
I personally think this is way over the top, but then what ever floats your boat.
Originally Posted by James.Grage
Don't get me wrong, I understand tipping is apart of the culture and pay structure and support it, but to a point.
Tnx, i assumed it was the PH that was the owner, I stand corrected.
Originally Posted by KMG Hunting Safaris