Tipping Guide

Discussion in 'Safari Planning Guide' started by AfricaHunting.com, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    In a lot of ways I totally agree with you Sestoppelman. In todays world everything is expected and not earned.
     
  2. firehuntfish

    firehuntfish AH Veteran

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    I cannot go along with including the tips in the price of anything. Tips are supposed to be optional depending on the level of service whether its a meal or a hunt. If one feels everything went well then tip according to that and your wallet thickness. If things did not go so well, tip according to that. I too include a certain level of tip money in my budget and how much of that I use is my choice depending on the aforementioned.

    Sestoppelman, I agree, and I'm glad you mentioned this... If the client gives up their choice of who and how much to tip, they are also giving up a great deal of control. I'm a firm believer that if a worker, staff member, employee or whatever has an incentive to work for, they are much more likely to put forth the maximum effort all of the time. This is true in any business whether the incevtive is a gratuity, a bonus, a merit raise, or whatever.

    That being said, I would never expect to have to give a bad or no tip because of poor service. I would speak to the PH and the outfitter at the first sign of trouble, not at the end of the trip... But again, if you do your research, check references, and ask questions beforehand, you will rarely if ever, find yourself in that position...
     
  3. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    firehuntfish,

    Did you read my hunt report on my recent June Zim trip? All the research and good feedback in the world cannot always ensure a succesful hunt.
     
  4. Xpraetor

    Xpraetor AH Senior Member

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    I too had a similar experience as Wildcat. I'm won't go into detail, but suffice to say the sentiment is the same. The Gentlemen bestowed upon me a non-monetary "gift" which I to this day hold in deep regard. In addition to being one of my most personally revered hunts.

    I still guide today in addition to consulting. I have accepted "gifts", but they are not solicited nor discussed at anytime prior to or after the hunt. If the client brings up the topic the answer is "there is no policy, there is no need to "tip". If they choose to it is at there discretion." We have a simple view point, "tip" is replaced by "gift", I feel it adds more value to the gesture. I have a very simple view regarding "Guiding" or hunting in general- depending on what is on the agenda- success is 50 percent knowing the quarry, doing your homework, environmental/weather conditions and the aptitude of the hunter/client; the other 50 percent is LUCK, i.e. being in the right place at the right time. The latter being more so due to today's hunting pressures, I don't feel it warrants added compensation. I will go so far as to say that Jerome's advise regarding attitude and respect will do more than a "tip".

    The fees charged by an outfitter should compensate for overhead with an acceptable profit margin. The reason NA hunts cost "so much" is because it cost "so much" to do business. Businesses succeed by having personnel with good character, moreover compensating them adequately is how you keep them. A philosophy to live by is "investment in your employees is an investment in your business". One member eluded to the challenge(s) of being in rural/remote areas, it cost more, plain & simple. Although the overall cost on commodities (cost of living) maybe cheaper out there, that is offset by the added cost to ship/transport said commodities to the camp(s). Unlike past years the biggest cost now are salary(s), fuel & insurance.

    Regarding salary if an PH in Africa is making $70K-$80K/yr. (I don't know the accuracy of this I am going by what I read in a previous post) Then I am a pitiful under achiever, they are making well over what guides in my region make. Of course the limiting factor for NA Guides are hunting seasons and marginal game quotas. As an outfitter to survive we offer fishing charters (in SE Louisiana) to Black Bear hunts (in NW Arkansas) and everything in between.

    No, I have not been to Africa, but someday I plan to. When that opportunity materializes the decision to "tip" and the level will be determined by the experience and professionalism. If it feels like a shake down I will most certainly abstain.

    In Jerome's article he offers a gauge, by no means a requirement. Clients come from all walks of life- Laborer making an hourly wage to the CEO making million dollar bonuses. My interpretation is clients should tip what you feel is appropriate and what they are able. If the recipient is dis-satisfied, than they are the lesser for it.

    I know this is long winded, but I feel this topic has the potential to detract from those in the industry/market. Reputable outfitters will most likely agree.

    In my signature/message is a Latin phrase I learned in high school and I feel it holds true here-

    Animus facit nobilem - One's spirit makes them noble (loosely translated)
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011
  5. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Extremely well put!!
     
  6. nsok

    nsok AH Veteran

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    ...And when your budget is so tight that at the end of the safari you have to decide to tip or hunt another animal? I know is a extreme case, but possible...
     
  7. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    If it is that tight maybe you should not be there.

    A very good DG PH in Zimbabwe that hunts 220 days per year may make that much, they would be on the high end. The are also gone from home for long periods and furnish a very expensive land cruiser for that price.


    Where are you fishing out of? I run a 27' Whaler out of Burns Point in central LA. (no charter, personal only)
     
  8. Xpraetor

    Xpraetor AH Senior Member

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    Mike70560,
    We're based out of Belle Chasse, but we launch out of Venice & Lafitte. We're rigged/geared for running the flats & intercoastal, (white, specks, reds, drum, etc...). We sub-out for the rigs & past the shelf. Downsized after Katrina, lost the main float in that one. I handle the game, they have another guide who focuses on the fish.

    27' Whaler, you ain't no sometimer. Season has been good, despite everything. Now this thread is worth reading for sure with two LA'nians posting.

    I understand the PH is providing the wheels and I don't know about other operations, but our guides prefer to provide the gear, (i.e. truck, boat), for Arkansas hunts I provide the pack horses, truck, trailer & pack gear. Time was I used what the outfitter had, "been there done that" never again. I know what I have will work, when it counts.


    One thing though, your statement to nosk is a bit harsh. I don't think it should matter if the client has extra for a gift/tip. I would prefer he book the hunt, as opposed to not. Sometimes clients have to save a long time for a hunt and 10-15% is hard to make up. The success of my year is based on how many hunts are booked not the number or amount of a "tip". I'll gladly give it up to get the booking.

    Don't take offense not trying to antagonise, just giving my view. I have read many of your posts and you strike me as being logical and level headed and I agree with the majority of what you post, and hell you're from Louisiana and the better 1/2 to boot.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011
  9. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    This thread started in 2008 and is still going strong. There are many opinions/theories/approaches about tipping. I have been to Africa four times and each time the PH did not want to talk about his tip. They hunted because they loved it and it showed. Most were concerned about the tracker and staff's tips more than their own. If I would have to guess the average Zim Ph makes about 40-50K a year. The very good ones up to the 70K range. It was me that posted (nearly two years ago) the numbers you referenced (70-80K). IMO it is not a lot of money to be a away from home for weeks on end. I just emailed a buddy in Zim, he is home after hunting 62 straight days, prior to that he had three days off and hunted 30 days straight (15 with me). To me $100.00 tip per day to the PH for these types of hunts is reasonable. In South Africa I am sure it is different. Tanzania is probably higher now (I was there in 2008) as it is priced out of the range of most people including me.

    The answer to "nosk" was a little short. But I believe if you cannot do it right maybe wait a year. On a 7 day plains game hunt in SA I would think total tips would be in the $6-800 range. That should be in your budget. Camp staff who basically work for tips should not suffer. And again I think in terms of Zim and Tanzania as that is where I have experience.

    I was responsible for a fabrication company on Engineers Rd about 10 years ago and had local guys running it. I would ride down to Venice in the evenings to watch the boats come in to Venice marina and Cypress Cove, but have not been there since Katrina. We keep threatening a tuna trip out to Mars.......

    I am from Louisiana, if you live North of I-10 you would be from North Louisiana, darn near a yankee
     
  10. Xpraetor

    Xpraetor AH Senior Member

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    Hahahahaha!! or lol. Okay I'll take that one. It is a another world up here, but I was born in N.O. and split time between B.C. & Mi-City. I moved when I married, met her in college. Couldn't get along with those N.O. girls. You sound like my family, I'm starting to feel like a man without a home.

    For the best though, I'm the midway point between the Arkansas camp & B.C. camp. Arkansas camp is located in the Ozarks outside of Jasper (Deer, Black Bear, Quail, limited Elk) and "redneck" (haha) camp is in West Carroll Parish (Dove, Deer, hogs).

    I'm in the thin air, but still "whistling dixie" :whistling::whistling::whistling::whistling:
     
  11. Xpraetor

    Xpraetor AH Senior Member

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    Engineers? That's a "hop skip & a jump" depending on how far down. I agree watching the boats come in is a pretty awsome scene. If you know the right person you can get some great deals too. Venice is good, some still struggling after the BP spill. I was down there this past week to help out with a group that was in and the reds & specks were thick. Don't have any credible scuttle, but you should go out word is everyone's doing good.

    Off topic I know...
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011
  12. Xpraetor

    Xpraetor AH Senior Member

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    Thank you sestoppelman.
     
  13. firehuntfish

    firehuntfish AH Veteran

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    Your an active guide?

    I still guide today in addition to consulting. I have accepted "gifts", but they are not solicited nor discussed at anytime prior to or after the hunt. If the client brings up the topic the answer is "there is no policy, there is no need to "tip". If they choose to it is at there discretion." We have a simple view point, "tip" is replaced by "gift", I feel it adds more value to the gesture. I have a very simple view regarding "Guiding" or hunting in general- depending on what is on the agenda- success is 50 percent knowing the quarry, doing your homework, environmental/weather conditions and the aptitude of the hunter/client; the other 50 percent is LUCK, i.e. being in the right place at the right time. The latter being more so due to today's hunting pressures, I don't feel it warrants added compensation. I will go so far as to say that Jerome's advise regarding attitude and respect will do more than a "tip".

    With al due respect to the gentleman making these statemnents, If you are a working hunting or fishing guide here in the US, and you don't like clients leaving you a gratuity, then you, my friend, are the in the vast minority of fishing and hunting guides that I know...Again, maybe it's different where you reside, but my success for my clients is 90 percent dilligence, experience, and determination, and hustle. 10 percent may be luck, weather, whatever... Clients pay me to produce for them in any conditions any time of year...When fishing is tough, we go out of our way to make sure the client has an enjoyable experience in spite of slow fishing. We do whatever it takes to make a day of it, and we do it with a smile...That's the extra effort and attitude that justifies any tip the client may choose to leave for myself or the crew.
    .

    No, I have not been to Africa, but someday I plan to. When that opportunity materializes the decision to "tip" and the level will be determined by the experience and professionalism. If it feels like a shake down I will most certainly abstain.

    Please don't think that African hunting outfitters are in the business of "shaking down" clients for tips. I don't know how that implication started in this post, but nothing could be further from the truth. If there are any African outfitters that practice that in their camps then they are representative of the very few disreputable businessmen that exist in any trade anywhere in the world. There are scores of very reputable South African safari operators represented here. Most of them have something in regards to their policy on tipping on their website. Again, it's for informational purposes to inform the client that tips are welcome but not necessary. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. It's an up-front disclosure to the client iforming them of what is and is not included.

    The fact of the matter is simple...Gratuities are customary and welcomed by most guides all over the world. Most of these guides work very hard regardless, but they look forward to the gratuity as a supplement to thier income. If you can't afford to budget for a gratuity, or you feel it is unjustified for whatever personal reasons, my recommendation would be to stay home or take your business to an outfitter like yourself....

    I'm not sure why some of you out their have such a distaste with the custom of tipping. Maybe I am missing something and you can educate me??
     
  14. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I agree! Xpraetor, posted a great post!
     
  15. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I tip at restaurants...about 20 percent is everything went fine...it goes down 10 percent is I had to wait a long time, order got messed up...etc. I realize the waiters...etc. are not being paid much...especially where I live and they need the money to justify going to work everyday. Do I like tipping? Not really. Maybe it's because I have worked jobs where there is no bonuses or profit sharing, it was a hourly wage ....the money you make was by your own sweat and labor. I've made the public works utility I work for a lot of money over the years. And it never bothered me too much that they got the better end of the deal....because if I could have started my own business, I would expect to make more money....because all of responsibilites and liabilities would be on my end.

    There are a lot of walks in life, different roads people have taken...I think if a company needs a certain amount of money in tips before a hunting or fishing trips starts...then is should be explained up front....and then I will add it in to the cost of the hunt...which is fine.
     
  16. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I dont think most of us have a distaste for tipping particularly. What bothers me about it is the expectation of tips as being automatic instead of reward for a job well done whether its a waitress or a tracker. Tips should be based on performance alone and not expected. Thats the point of a tip. As far as paying tips beforehand for any service? Not likely. You dont tip a waitress before the food is served do you? If you do, which way is the service likely to go, fast or slow?
     
  17. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I think what I was trying to explain....is that some companies expect tips...no matter what kind of experience you had while you stayed there. Kind of like a VAT tax? I don't like that...but I think some people expect that at the end of the day.
     
  18. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    enysse, And therein lies the problem, as you say. Its expected regardless the level of service.
     
  19. Xpraetor

    Xpraetor AH Senior Member

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    firehuntfish

    Where in my above statement does it say “I don’t like a "gratuity"”? If you read my statement carefully “I have accepted gifts” and I do. I am not a simpleton.

    It’s no secret, we have camps in southeast & northeast Louisiana and another in northwest Arkansas. Hunting pressures are heavy in those areas and the majority of the land is privately owned. My 50/50 reference is to a trophy White tail deer, it is not possible to get every client that books a 160+ B&C buck in our part Louisiana within one season. We only offer 1 trophy hunt per year the rest are 130-140+ B&C. I’ll concede I should have been more specific. Your 90/10 is referring to your preparation & diligence, I get that. I spend part of spring, all summer & the better part of the fall prepping for the upcoming season. If I were referencing duck, geese, quail, hogs, coyotes, bobcats then the ratio is 90/10 and the 10 is the client’s ability to seal the deal. Unfortunately in my experience there are times, although rare, when hunts are not successful as we want them to be. Like you we try our best not to let the client go home empty handed.

    In your statement you imply a 90/10 success rate. I commend you on your prowess; I’m sure you have many satisfied clients and get generous gratuities.

    Once again, where in my above statement do I accuse African safari outfitters of shaking down clients? It is there in black & white, I would “tip” commensurate to the overall experience. I suggest you read the entire thread, and upon doing so I’m sure it will help clarify reasons for the posts you have read on this particular page. Moreover, my statement was not a accusation, but an admonishment of what I would do in a particular situation.

    I completely agree.

    “Gratuities are customary” ? That is debatable and not part of this discussion. The key word in your statement is “supplement” (i.e. subsidy). In my case I get paid regardless of the outcome. I’m not in it for the money I do it because I love it. My gratitude I show is due to the fact that the client picked us. Anything the client gives above their fee is WELCOME, but not necessary. They still get the same treatment regardless. I/we survive on word of mouth & repeat business, so it is in our best interest to do our very best to make the trip memorable, and a good one at that. I know you see it the same, by your previous statement.

    Thank you for the endorsement any additional business is appreciated.

    I am detecting a pattern and I think we have come to the root of the problem…You have missed the point and you do not have a clear picture of this thread. The majority of the members who have posted to this thread “tip” and gladly, the disagreement is how much?.

    As for the “distaste”, that is in the attitude of those who expect it or who feel they are entitled to a “tip”. As I stated in my post our operation replaces “tip” with “gift”.

    Any Guide/PH who does his job well will no doubt get a tip/gift and that will be the case 95 percent of the time.

    True gratitude shows good character, hence the "grat-" in gratuity.

    In the post you referenced I ended it with a phrase. I feel it bears repeating -

    And yes, I am an active guide.
     
  20. nsok

    nsok AH Veteran

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    Xpraetor just would like to thank you for your comment about my question
     

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