Tipping Guide

Discussion in 'Safari Planning Guide' started by AfricaHunting.com, Dec 1, 2008.

  1. Philip Glass

    Philip Glass AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2015
    Messages:
    2,523
    Video/Photo:
    59
    Likes Received:
    3,748
    Location:
    Texas
    Member of:
    NRA, Life SCI, Life DSC, Life EWA
    Hunted:
    RSA, Namibia, Kyrgyzstan, Austria, Australia, Zimbabwe, Texas
    Mark,
    Total up what the entire Safari cost is both day rate and trophy fees and multiply by 10% for a really good total tip. You can decide how to distribute but this is a guide to go by. If things don't go well you can work it back a few %. Everyone should know if you buy a donated hunt and have a good time you should tip very well. It's only fair since they gave away the hunt. Have a great time.
    Regards,
    Philip
     
    BWH, Mark Urbanczyk and thi9elsp like this.

  2. jeff

    jeff AH Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,248
    Video/Photo:
    21
    Likes Received:
    1,676
    Location:
    Salmon Idaho
    Member of:
    sci P&Y
    Hunted:
    Namibia, South Africa in Kwazu Natal, Limpopo, Eastern Cape , Northwest Province, USA Ariz, Nev, Mont, Ida, Ore, Cal, Mich,Wash, AlasKa
    Tipping in some instances has gotten out of hand, it's expected and not a tip but really a hidden fee! Some outfitters pay their PHs and staff too little and the tips are actually what they're working for. I would prefer that good wages be paid to start with as part of the day fees and the tip is just that, a tip for appreciation and good service. So on your safari if the fees are too cheap you should take that into consideration!
     
    Paul Homsy likes this.

  3. dobber

    dobber AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2013
    Messages:
    415
    Video/Photo:
    25
    Likes Received:
    660
    saw this in a bar one day and about summed it up
    To
    Insure
    Prompt
    Service
     
    sgt_zim likes this.

  4. Mark Urbanczyk

    Mark Urbanczyk AH Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2017
    Messages:
    45
    Video/Photo:
    10
    Likes Received:
    34
    I've also been told to tip camp staff in Rand as it easier for them. Is this true in everyone's experience or are US dollars the norm?
     

  5. RolandtheHeadless

    RolandtheHeadless AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2015
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    186
    In South Africa, our outfitter said it was fine to tip staff in US dollars. He converted it to rand for them.

    In Zambia, our outfitter wanted us to tip staff no more than peanuts. Staff were kind of sullen and unfriendly throughout our stay, though service was flawless. I managed to slip the tracker sixty bucks. He was ecstatic, though the PH/outfitter was not happy. He was not adverse to taking a tip of his own though.
     
    Dr Ray, BWH and Baarma like this.

  6. Doc Lightning

    Doc Lightning AH Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2017
    Messages:
    25
    Video/Photo:
    3
    Likes Received:
    10
    Jerome: this subject was first addressed in 2008. Any different thoughts from anybody for May 2017? I am planning on a South African plains game
    hunt in July.
     

  7. Doc Lightning

    Doc Lightning AH Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2017
    Messages:
    25
    Video/Photo:
    3
    Likes Received:
    10
    And thanks to everyone for the varied comments. Very helpful.
     

  8. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com AH ENABLER FOUNDER AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Messages:
    10,583
    Video/Photo:
    5,557
    Likes Received:
    4,676
    Nothing has changed since I first posted this article however I would suggest reading through the entire thread :eek: as a lot of good insight was brought by members.


    Here is my tip! :S 2 Cents: To make sure that your tip actually goes to the person it was intended to I would recommend giving your tip directly to the person yourself.
     
    thi9elsp likes this.

  9. geoff rath

    geoff rath AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2017
    Messages:
    408
    Likes Received:
    317
    When I hunted south Africa, I made the mistake of taking most of my funds in the form of a debit card; we sorted things out, but for me: a lesson learned. I also took several good hunting/skinning type knives, and other bits and pieces.
    I did not bring one knife home, and the cleaning kit (full length rod) as well as my "good" belt also stayed there; all were welcomed with big grins, and a slap on the back.
    My main mistake, and a BIG one, was to leave both my reading and distance/sunglasses back in Australia. My shooting was much less than par, but all animals shot were collected/recovered. I'm still upset about that side of it; won't happen again.
     
    Bonedoc likes this.

  10. Paul Homsy

    Paul Homsy AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2017
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    69

    Excellent post, I agree with everything you said except that I like to tip everyone personally. I've been in business long enough and so has my family in several different countries and seen enough situations where I know it's important to give directly. I grew up with parents who, after I left home, when I visited them wanted me to tip the domestic staff personally..."It's better received". The notion that " if you don't trust that your PH/Outfitter is trustworthy to distribute the tips fairly, then you have chosen the wrong outfitter" should never be part of any equation. I don't have a crystal ball, I can't tell ahead of time what someone's character truly is and if someone asks me to trust them to play bank for the rest of the staff I flat out refuse and frankly don't give a flying fan what their reaction is. The reasons are twofold: 1) A direct gesture is more appreciated and is a sign of respect. 2) I've been there and the money was not, I later learned, distributed. Although it would seem to me that in Africa, this, if it ever happened would be rather the oddity considering how luxurious and involved with a large number of staff and longer hunting seasons, living quarters are compared to our rough out, at times nomadic, hunting camps in North America where one can still spend tens of thousands depending on what game is hunted. The good outfitters I met asked me to tip individually which I appreciated. If someone was no longer in camp and I felt totally comfortable I left the tip with the outfitter for that person and was thanked later at base camp, in town or on the phone specifically. i.e; "thank you for the $xxx" there was no doubt of any kind. Most reputable outfitters ask that the hunters pay the staff directly when possible.

    I also firmly believe that most P.Hs and outfitters are honest and that nowhere in the world are 100 % of the people honest all of the time and that their character only surfaces in the middle or at the end of a transaction. The bigger the transaction the more revealing. The bigger the players, the better their understanding, the less room for excesses allowed. In hunting, I eliminate any possibility by handling things in person. I also believe in tipping generously following the guidelines of the P.H. and I agree that in most instances tips add a lot to the general income and as you suggest very appropriately, they should be figured out in the total cost of the hunt ahead of time or not go on the hunt. I've always tipped at the end of any trip, short or long, even without firing a single round. In business, fees and commissions tend to diminish in percentage with the size of a transaction. Someone mentioned a $100,000.00 hunt where a 10% tip seemed excessive. It's a personal call but I tend to agree. To me it would depend on the element of risk and danger in the hunting field. Hunting some type of game is not a stroll in the park. I've been there on my own often and I know good P.Hs work really hard. It's a risk and reward proposition as most of the time in life in general.

    That being said, some cultures do not tip well, resent tipping, don't know how to feel about a tip or are simply tight even though they may be loaded and try to explain why they are against tipping and have no appreciation of the people who assist them. I've observed it first hand and they always seem to come from the same places. Americans, which I am, can be and usually are very good tippers. We appreciate a job well done. I've also seen large, generous tips, in Egypt and the Middle East which have similar "tip" cultures than Africa. Lastly, excessive tips can be ridiculous and also hurt the group that follows. Everything in good measure is better which is why it is essential to listen closely to a P.H's views on the subject. I am one of those who feels that tipping poorly can be denigrating a sincere effort even if there is no trophy to show for. I did a lot of mountain and ice climbing and in Tibet they say : "The journey is the destination". Enjoy the journey, the destination may be different than you have imagined. Hunting trips in particular represent a long journey of preparation for a few days. Look at the glass as being "half full" and the experience is generally worth it. Not that I haven't looked at "half empty" glasses but these were filled in short order with other good memories. Tips are an expression of appreciation that should be expressed.
     
    Kento! and jeff like this.

  11. Paul Homsy

    Paul Homsy AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2017
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    69

    Excellent information, thank you !
     

  12. Paul Homsy

    Paul Homsy AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2017
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    69

    Terminator,

    Someone brought up Germany where tips are included in the bill. The same holds true in France, 15%. Anything left over as a tip is appreciated but not mandatory.

    In the U.S. waiters work for base, very low salaries, often minimum wage and tips make up the largest part of their income, although some restaurants do now include a tip percentage in the bill in the U.S they are still few and far between and in larger cities mostly. In general we have a completely different system as you state and it is "apples to oranges". It's best to know the customs of the different countries when traveling and in hunting it seems the staff on a hunting safari is paid similarly to our waiters and waitresses in the U.S. where the tip is a very important part of their total earnings.

    Some question why is base income so low for trackers and staff...Well, why is it that our waiters and waitresses have such a low base pay ? On which, alone there is no way they could make a comfortable living. I don't have the exact answer but what comes to mind are the substantial costs associated to run both businesses. We don't subsidize our restaurants in the U.S. Nor to the best of my knowledge are hunting camps in Africa subsidized.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017

  13. fourfive8

    fourfive8 AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2017
    Messages:
    708
    Video/Photo:
    75
    Likes Received:
    873
    Hunted:
    USA, South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana
    If I ever have a brain burp and travel to Europe, specifically Germany or France, I need to remind myself of this. Well said firehuntfish- "For those of you who originate from countries where tipping service staff is not customary, that is all well and good.. I will respect that, and refrian from tipping as well when I visit your countries. However, whether you agree with the practice or not, there are many countries where tipping is customary and expected for workers providing exceptional service. If that concept is a problem for you, maybe you should consider patronizing a different destination. When I am a visitor in a foreign country, I go out of my way to learn and practice the accepted customs of that culure. I do not judge or try to enforce my beliefs when I am the visitor. If you are uncomfortable with the customs, politics or social structure of the place you are visiting, then leave and don't go back...When in Rome….

    My biggest regret on most of my trips to Africa is that I have not been able to give a better tip and that I may have inadvertently left someone out. My tipping has averaged 20-25% across the board. I really find it hard to believe that most of the (fill in the blank country ____ ) hunters who hunt in Africa are blinded by culture and have no clue about the basic economics of the situation or basic lifestyles of all those people they see living there including the people serving them when on safari?? Let's see- $450 per day (plains game hunt) for vehicle or vehicles, food, booze, PH, tracker or trackers, packer, skinner, game scout, chef, server or servers, camp maintenance staff, laundry staff (where do those washed, pressed, folded clothes come from every day?) wood cutter/hauler, fire keeper, plus set trophy fees for hunt area cost of lease or ownership or special use fees/taxes plus maintenance and management 365 days/year (where all the animals live), hunt area patrol 365 days/year… and so on and so forth. Really, no idea about the economics of all that while hiding behind "difference of culture"? I'm not a guide nor in a business which will ever rely on business from certain countries in Europe so I don't have to hide my thoughts on the subject. There is a difference between cultural ignorance and cultural arrogance :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
    Paul Homsy and Kento! like this.

  14. Desert Dog

    Desert Dog AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Messages:
    247
    Video/Photo:
    16
    Likes Received:
    385
    I love it. Very wise words and a great outlook for any traveler going anywhere. I was in Australia last month, and it was very hard to resist tipping waiters, cab drivers, and fishing guides.

    Africa is a little harder though, almost a play-it-by ear thing. I personally like the idea of distributing tips to staff myself, but did not fully adhere to that on my trip last year. I tipped the PH, driver, and tracker personally. BUT, I was asked to please NOT tip the skinners and camp staff directly. The outfitter had experienced numerous times where the skinners and staff received large tips from American clients, went on a partying spree down in Thabazimbi with the money, and failed to return to assist the next group of clients coming in to hunt. Because of this, the outfitter preferred to pay them a good wage and save the tips for distribution at the end of the hunting season. I did buy the skinners a couple cartons of cigarettes, because they were rolling their own with leaves and newspaper! Most PHs like US dollars and staff gets the local currency, unless in Zim where I guess everybody gets US dollars!
     
    Capt_Oscar, cem rona ergin and Kento! like this.

  15. Martin Pieters Safaris

    Martin Pieters Safaris SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Veteran

    Joined:
    May 21, 2014
    Messages:
    232
    Video/Photo:
    297
    Likes Received:
    455
    Location:
    Zimbabwe
    Member of:
    ZPHGA,SOAZ,SCI, ZTA
    Hunted:
    Most countries
    Tipping, gratuity, ‘greasing the guide’ or whatever you choose to call it, is one of the most difficult decisions guided hunters have to make when an outfitted hunt is considered. Most hunters have never been on a guided hunt and have no idea what the protocol is. Hunters must remember that they are in the care of experienced professional guides whose skill and knowledge will most likely determine the success of their hunt. Tips are not an absolute necessity, but they are always greatly appreciated. The verbal acknowledgement of your efforts is just as important to a professional hunter as a monetary one, but it must be remembered that this is his way of paying the bills, not just a hobby which he does for fun. The main fact is that cash tips at the end of the hunt are a very important part of the professional guides’ income. Most professional guides around the world consider it an insult to be offered a handshake at the end of the hunt, after putting in their best effort for their client. Being a professional he will shake your hand, congratulate on your trophy, thank you for hunting him with you and send you on your plane with a smile on his face. Truth be told, his last thought of you will be very much different to yours of him, if you slighted him at the end of the hunt. Professional hunters’ earning potential is limited to a few months of the year, during which they must make enough money to see themselves and their families through the rest of the year. They also share the same emotions as the rest of us, including disappointment. Your guide’s tip should be based on his effort and your overall enjoyment of your hunting experience with Martin Pieters Safaris. You should not reward bad service and lack of effort in the bush anymore than you should in a restaurant. If your safari was a well run and enjoyable experience and you wish to reward that with a gratuity please consult the sidebar for some guidelines. You should consider the degree of difficulty in securing your trophy. Professional hunters, especially those who hunt dangerous game, face serious injury and possibly death as a regular part of their job. This should surely count for something. Also remember that the guide is not usually the outfitter. Most professional hunters, who choose this as a career, enjoy the animals that they hunt, the country that they operate in, and in most cases, the clients with whom they join in a mutual adventure. Good ones are a lot of fun to be with, know their region, know their game, and are honest in their dealings and have the ability to make al hunters feel confident during the hunt, no matter what their level of hunting experience. They will always give a good effort and your satisfaction will always be the number one goal. True recognition of his effort is genuinely appreciated. The determining factor should be your honest feeling for the guide, as well as your financial situation in deciding what to give as a tip. SIDEBARS Gear in Place of Cash Sometimes a client may want to tip his guide with a piece of gear, instead of cash. A quality piece of gear will be a much appreciated gesture, although cash is preferable in most cases. If you decide to do this make sure that the item is of better quality than your guide already owns, not something you simply have no use for and are trying to get rid of. If you think of something he may need but don’t have with you tell him to expect something in the mail, and make sure you follow through as soon as you get home. This act of etiquette will be much appreciated. Camp Staff The staffs in most African camps are quite large when compared to North American hunts. Tipping them can be a bit tricky as there are usually trackers, skinners, kitchen staff, tent boys, laundry staff, and general workers that make up the staff body. Consulting your guide or camp manager on what would be appropriate for the staff is usually the best idea. Another option is to tip the staff through your guide, and allow him to tip the staff according to their pecking order. Remember that although you may not see each person that is working to make your experience unforgettable, you would certainly miss their services should they take a day off. Don’t forget about these folks. Trackers A tracker holds without a doubt the most important staff position on most safaris. You will be with them all day, every day, and will form bonds and pleasant memories together. The best option is to ask your professional hunter his thoughts at the end of the hunt and he will give you an idea of what might be appropriate. It is customary to tip the trackers personally, away from the other staff. It should be preceded by a word of thanks and a handshake. Even if you do not speak the lingo, your P.H. can translate, but the trackers will know what you are saying and appreciate you all the more for it. Game Scout Here in Zimbabwe, a government game scout will accompany you on your hunt each day. He is there legally to observe and to make sure that all the rules are obeyed. Some simply observe the hunt and do little else. But there a great many who become a very important part of the team by getting involved in the hunt, by tracking, changing flats, recovering game etc. Martin Pieters Safaris very much appreciates you tipping your game scout at the end of the hunt if you get a hard working one. His job is dangerous, and his pay checks pitifully small in relation. Remember him if he worked hard for you. Your PH Professional hunters and their staff usually work a lot harder than the average waiter who earn a 10%-15% tip, and earn far less. Remember this before your final handshake at the end of your next hunt.

    Screenshot (340).png
    Please remember that the above is just a guide, and that tipping is always at the discretion of you, the client.
     

  16. jeff

    jeff AH Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,248
    Video/Photo:
    21
    Likes Received:
    1,676
    Location:
    Salmon Idaho
    Member of:
    sci P&Y
    Hunted:
    Namibia, South Africa in Kwazu Natal, Limpopo, Eastern Cape , Northwest Province, USA Ariz, Nev, Mont, Ida, Ore, Cal, Mich,Wash, AlasKa
    Martin, I appreciate your input from a outfitters point of view. The only thing that I thought was the PH should have something else for income during the off months and not just kick back and wait for next season. The rest of us can't wait months for no income nor should we, if we have a slow time we try to fill it with something else.
     

  17. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Elite

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2017
    Messages:
    1,004
    Video/Photo:
    12
    Likes Received:
    1,100
    Location:
    Sugar Land, Texas
    Member of:
    NRA, Houston Safari Club Foundation, NWTF
    Hunted:
    Texas, Louisiana
    Goodness, I'm rather taken aback at the attitude of some of you guys, thinking that you have any place to tell outfitters and owners what they *should* pay their staff just because *you* don't like tipping.

    The services offered are for the benefit of the owner of the outfit, not you. Serendipity means that the ethical things they do for themselves also benefit their customers and their employees. And if you think raising the rates for hunts means that tipping will end, or that the owners will unquestionably pay their staffs better, you're using some terribly flawed assumptions in your logic.

    Almost without exception, when I go places where tipping is expected, I get MUCH better service.

    This "living wage" nonsense is straight up Marxist thinking.
     

  18. Spooksar

    Spooksar AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Messages:
    854
    Video/Photo:
    23
    Likes Received:
    671
    Location:
    Beaverlodge Alberta
    Member of:
    SCI, Dallas Safari Club, NFA ,CSSA NRA, CCFR
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Namibia, Canada (BC, Alberta Nunavet) Texas, New Mexico
    Martin I like your break down of tips, I tip for good service and when hunting I find it’s well earned. On the other hand for restaurant employees I don’t mind tipping for good service but when they think 20-25 percent is what they should get for poor service, it’s not going to happen. That said a lot of Canadian waiters should go and see other countries and see what good service is.
     
    lcq likes this.

  19. Doc Lightning

    Doc Lightning AH Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2017
    Messages:
    25
    Video/Photo:
    3
    Likes Received:
    10
    Hunted in south Africa this past July. Read all of the tipping guide notes and responses before leaving home. At the end of the hunt, when I was prepared to
    give each assistant an envelope with a tip, I was told by the outfitter in no uncertain way that I was to leave the tip with him to distribute at the end of the
    hunting season. Apparently he had really bad experiences with trackers and skinners getting money in mid season, then going out and spending it often on
    liquor, then not showing up in a timely fashion for the next hunt. My PH was very adamant about this issue.
     
    lcq, jeff and Spooksar like this.

  20. siml

    siml AH ENABLER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2013
    Messages:
    3,463
    Video/Photo:
    143
    Likes Received:
    4,848
    Hunted:
    SOUTH AFRICA, BOTSWANA, NAMIBIA, ZIMBABWE, MOZAMBIQUE, ENGLAND, U.S.A
    @Doc Lightning, very valued point, BUT make sure each knows what he will be receiving at the end of the season.
     
    jasyblood, Spooksar and Royal27 like this.

Share This Page

 
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice