First time to South Africa… Tipping guidelines

Discussion in 'Before & After the Hunt' started by johnnyblues, Apr 30, 2014.

  1. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH Enthusiast

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    Gentleman, next year I will be taking my first African safari. Can anyone give me some guidelines on the proper amount for tipping the Ph and staff. Also is it improper to tip in their currency? Much appreciated.
     
  2. wswat

    wswat AH Member

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    Jerome has a great tipping guide listed in the article section. It was a great help for us with our trips. Of coarse tipping is different in every situation. I felt that for the PH American money was just fine and when tipping the other staff it was best to give them South African Rands since it was more work for them to exchange money and they never get a good exchange rate.
     
  3. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Hello johnnyblues,

    I do not know what the industry standard is but I tip 10% of the whole cost I paid to the Safari company, not counting my air fares, any before and after hotel bills, etc) in US Travelers Checks.
    Then over and above that, I like to give special gifts to special people like the trackers, skinners, etc.
    Wrist watches, binoculars (Used/Tasco, etc), battery lamps that clip onto a baseball cap, soccer ball, wrist rocket sling shot, T-Shirts/socks/tennis shoes (new, in the package).
    For the Laundry Crew, Kitchen Staff and such: fancy scarves (wall-Mart, etc), lapel pins of parrots, or other tropical animals, earrings, necklaces, etc.

    Regarding the extra gifts, beware that if you give one staff member a necklace and another a scarf, there will be an argument so, make your choice of gifts to be the same if you can.

    Same for the trackers and such.

    I usually give the PH a bit extra money or whatever I think he can use, within reason.

    Cheers,
    Velo Dog.
     
  4. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Need to clarify perhaps;

    In other words, if my entire bill, (presented to me, at the end of my safari), say for instance is $10,000., then after looking it over and paying it, I next hand a $1,000. Traveler's Check, made out to the Safari Company, into the hand of the person who had handed my bill to me.

    After that, I have someone round-up the support staff and I personally hand out the other items mentioned previously.
    This has worked well for me but, perhaps it is because I have only hunted with small family owned outfits and the Book Keeper / Accountant / Billing Clerk is usually the PHs wife or mom, whatever.

    The last 3 trips I have taken to Africa, (over about a 9 year span), were with the same safari company / PH / Tracker, general staff, etc.
    Therefore, I believe the help is relatively happy with the cash flow there, probably to include the boss dolling out their cash tips, a little at a time.
    He has asked that clients not shower staff with cash money or, half of them disappear for a few days to the village brothels and liquor stores.
    Makes things sticky when the next wave of clients arrive and there is a shortage of camp staff because half of them are on a 3 or 4 day bender, 20 km away.

    Work out those details, way before boarding the plane for Africa.
    Likely not all outfits do things the way I described.

    Safe Travels / Good Hunting,
    Velo Dog.
     
  5. Red Leg

    Red Leg SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I typically do $100 a day for the PH and whatever he suggests for the staff. I normally bring cash for tips - lots of foreign banks no longer accept travelers' checks - and all PHs are fine with US dollars.
     
  6. Grady

    Grady AH Veteran

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    In addition to the planned tips, on my safari I took over about 20 Cigars. After each animal (6 total), I gave one to the tracker and another to the skinner. I was also about to hand out a few to others. They seems to truly enjoy them during the hunt. It was a realitively inexpensive way to say thanks.
     

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