Tipping Guide

A more simplified approach (the meme below), as favored by discriminating PHs everywhere... ;) Perhaps some of our sponsor outfitter/PHs can give us an idea of how many clients choose to tip in this fashion.

For what it's worth, this was the single biggest unknown for me, when I went to Africa the first time - even after reading much of this thread. I still felt clueless. I discussed the matter at great length with my PH, though he largely treated those discussions like I was trying to hand him a venomous snake. In the end I believe I tipped him well, and I have never had a moment's regret about what I gave. I feel like I was treated that well and it was certainly earned. Ditto my second trip. I know Don (PH, 2nd trip) thought I was generous; I still feel like I should have given him a bit more. Heck, my wildebeest alone was worth the tip I gave for the whole trip.

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@HankBuck
Wages in the USA are shit compared to Australia.
As a disability worker ten years ago I was in $40/ hr. Abother worker went to the USA with his wife and the same job at the same time was paying $14.50/hr.
That's why Australia is in trouble in my opinion as everyone wants big money. That equals big prices for housing and general living
Bob

Samething is happening here in the US unskilled workers think they need the same pay as highly skilled and educated workers. Politicians wanting votes are giving in to these unskilled, minimally educated people continuing our inflation.
 
My 2025 buffalo & PG hunt = $15,000 U.S , my buddy says bring $4000 in cash for camp staff , trackers, ph ect
sounds steep ? We are splitting a camp & ph

That's high my opinion also. More on the $1500 range hunting 2 on one. One on one $2000
 
When it comes to tipping in RSA, you need to ask whether to tip cook(s), skinner(s), laundress(es), maid(s) in Rand or USD, generally the PH and tracker are paid in USD.

For staff that can easily exchange USD to Rand it probably won't be a problem paying in either USD or Rand. For staff that has difficulty in exchanging USD to Rand it would be easier to tip in Rand.

If I had a really good hunt and the concession rep did a good job of getting us on an animal and participated in recovering my animal and I feel he or they are worthy of a tip; I always ask my PH, "Is X amount of Rand wouldbe okay to tip for his/their efforts?". On one particular concession we hunted on my first safari the PH told me not to worry about tipping the 2 concession reps as he tipped them after our hunt(s). The PHs generally know which concession rep(s) take an impromptual vacation from the concession when they receive a tip.

If you are overnighting in Jo'berg, you might (I recommend you) to have some Rand to pay for meals, drinks, any "knickknacks" you want. Otherwise you see the cashier breakout a calculator and estimate (in good faith (usually)) your change in Rand.
 
My 2025 buffalo & PG hunt = $15,000 U.S , my buddy says bring $4000 in cash for camp staff , trackers, ph ect
sounds steep ? We are splitting a camp & ph

Craig Boddington a famous author in one of his articles suggests 10% of value of the trophy fees. (in that level about, if you are happy with everything)
 
As an outfitter I naturally get asked this question a lot, “What’s a good tip? ”. It’s always a little awkward because it’s essentially a conversation about a gift and you don’t want to offend someone who’s not from a tipping culture. You also don’t want to be seen to undersell your staff who have received good tips in the past.

My answer is that we pay our staff well and tipping isn’t a pre requisite but if they tell me that they’d like to tip and how much I can help them decide how to split it between the PH, tracker and camp staff. They often ask what the average tip is and I tell them $100 per hunting day for the PH, $25 for the tracker/skinner and $25 divide between the lodge staff (normally two). That honestly is the average, I’ve seen more given, sometimes less.

Don’t sweat it and don’t let it detract from your safari. If a tip was expected, outfitters would build it into their prices (how many would actually dispense it though). If you hunt with a quality outfit, you’ll more than likely be with quality people who will understand that not everyone can afford to tip a lot if at all and it’s not a reflection on their efforts. Good outfitters hammer this point home to their staff all the time, they have to.
 
Craig Boddington a famous author in one of his articles suggests 10% of value of the trophy fees. (in that level about, if you are happy with everything)
I find that highly unusual he would write that advice unless for a specific situation. By that advice you would tip a PH and staff on a relatively easy standard plains game hunt on a farm considerably more than a hard tracking buffalo hunt in a wilderness area.
 
I have a (not so) hypothetical question. Let's say you tip the PH $100 a day. You have 3 trackers/skinners in camp who communally skin the game. Lets say the outfitter suggests to tip the skinners $100 a day split 3 ways. So if there are 3 hunters in camp and everyone tips the same, the skinners are making the same as the PH. Does not seem fair to the PH.
 
I have a (not so) hypothetical question. Let's say you tip the PH $100 a day. You have 3 trackers/skinners in camp who communally skin the game. Lets say the outfitter suggests to tip the skinners $100 a day split 3 ways. So if there are 3 hunters in camp and everyone tips the same, the skinners are making the same as the PH. Does not seem fair to the PH.
I can’t say I’ve ever considered allocating $100 per day to skinners especially on a farm hunt, maybe $10 per day. Even in concession area camps, where you usually have exclusive use of the camp, the standard to staff is usually $100-$150/per day divided between all 10 or so staff based on job duties. The tracker that comes along hunting with you each day gets more from me than the skinner that stays in camp. The other hunters are responsible for tipping their tracker not you. I’d adjust the tip based on situation if it’s a camp with multiple hunters. A tip shouldn’t be an additional payment. It’s a gratuity for those individuals who added to YOUR hunt.
 
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I have a (not so) hypothetical question. Let's say you tip the PH $100 a day. You have 3 trackers/skinners in camp who communally skin the game. Lets say the outfitter suggests to tip the skinners $100 a day split 3 ways. So if there are 3 hunters in camp and everyone tips the same, the skinners are making the same as the PH. Does not seem fair to the PH.

For a PG only hunt, and it depends on the PG I am hunting, I generally start out at a mean amount of $50.00USD tip for the PH and $25.00 USD tip for the tracker per day for the normal PG like impala, blesbok, warthog, and springbok.

For the bigger and harder PG like eland, gemsbok, bushpig, bushbuck, and baboon. I generally start out a mean of $75.00USD tip for the PH and $35.00USD tip for the tracker.

The "mean" tip amounts are my starting point. When I shoot an above average animal, or it has been a hard hunt to get a specific species I increase that days daily tip. If I shoot a mediocre animal or the hunt wasn't much of a hunt then I decrease that days daily mean.

I always have an opportunity animals lists....it's Africa....always expect the unexpected. When I get an opportunity animal and it's a really nice animal, or the animal wasn't really expected to be seen I increase the tip, maybe double that days daily tip for both PH and tracker.

If we are doing a lot of "joy riding", multiple days spent looking over the same herd of less than the quality animal that I expect, or see ear tags/notches, my daily mean tip is significantly decreased or zeroed. I'm in Africa to hunt! To enjoy the scenery after my hunts.

Lodge Staff tips: are the same regardless if it is a; PG only hunt, DG and PG hunt, or a DG only hunt.

Skinner(s): R20 - R30 per animal for the normal PG, R40 - R50 for the larger PG, and for animals I intend to full body mount, and if the skinners were needed to help recover my animal.

Cook, laundress, maid: this one is tricky and complicated because it may be 1 or more people.

If one person does it all my mean daily tip is R20 - R50 per day.

If 2 people are involved and they are both equally performing, assisting each other my mean daily tip is R20 - R30 per day, per per staff member.

The variations for mean daily tip is dependent on meals served, time spent at/in the lodge:

Breakfast:most of the time we serve ourselves, PH and I just have coffee, juice, maybe cereal, and toast for bearkfast.

Lunch maybe packed, or roadside stop, or at the lodge.

Dinner maybe roadside stop, make our own sandwiches back at the lodge, or we get back to the lodge in time for dinner.

If we can't get out to hunt due to weather and the cook waits on us with snacks and such, I increase the daily rate because of the extra attention.

Where USD is preferred over Rand I do a check on the exchange rate and round to the nearest USD.

Should I spend a lot of time hunting with my tracker his mean daily tip rate is increased or decreased using the same standards that I use to increase or decrease the PHs mean daily tip rate.

For a DG plus PG hunt: I separate my mean daily tip rate for the PH and tracker. Doubling the mean daily rate when we are hunting DG. Keeping the same mean daily tip rate as mentioned earlier when we are hunting PG.

FOR a DG hunt only: I double my mean daily tip rate and adjust it using the same parameters as mentioned earlier for the PH, tracker, and skinner(s).

Skinners are usually tipped per animal that is actually skinned not per day. Unless they are part of a bush camp and perform other camp duties.

I have even tipped the taxidermist and members of his staff for doing such great work on my mounts, hides, and "feet".

Tips are not a guarantee. Tips are just a monetary way to show one's appreciation to those that go above one's expectations of service.
 
I have been a guide and an Outfitter here in Alberta. I have also been a client on a Plains Game hunt in the Eastern Cape with an excellent PH and tracker. This hunt was 2x1, with myself and my girlfriend being the hunters. Tipping is very subjective, and can be a touchy subject. On hunts up to around the 5K mark or so, a 10% tip is not unheard of. I have been the recipient of just such a tip....I have also received nothing after working my butt off, lol. Once the hunt starts to get expensive (10K, plus), then I think the percentage should, (could ? ) be ratcheted back so as not to be too onerous for the hunter, and to avoid over-tipping, which I know some African Outfitters have a concern with. We hunted for 12 days, and the cost was in the neighbourhood of 15K. We tipped the PH about 1200 CDN, the tracker about 250 CDN, and about another 250 CDN spread amongst the camp staff. The PH portion was about 7-8%, which seemed to be fair taking into account what I have seen and experienced. I did talk to the Outfitter and he said that we were free to tip whatever we wanted. I also realize that hunting Dangerous Game adds another level of consideration to the tipping question. I would think that the PH would be the biggest part of your tip, in the area of $100/day, when large, nasty critters are involved? The rest of the staff would get tips with much reduced $$ amounts, and small gifts like knives, etc. I have great tips, like 1K US for a 10 day moose hunt, to not-so-great tips, like a half can of Mint flavoured Hot Chocolate....lol. True story. Anyway, these are just my thoughts on the subject, and they are not meant to insult or degrade anyone. Cheers.
To hopefully help here with just me this last week I hunted my elephant for 7 days. I tipped my PH $1,000 plus gave a $600 set of hearing aids/sound suppressors, each of three trackers $200 each, the lodge manager $100, two government game scouts $100 each and the remaining staff/cook $260 in total. Just me
 
After 66 pages on tipping it is totally clear as mud with no prospect of getting better.
With all other possible difficulties attached to international travel and shipping firearms and ammo this is the one part of an African hunt that would keep it from happening for me.
 
After 66 pages on tipping it is totally clear as mud with no prospect of getting better.
With all other possible difficulties attached to international travel and shipping firearms and ammo this is the one part of an African hunt that would keep it from happening for me.
If you need something more clear it’s as simple as sending an outfitter an email and asking what are standard tips for staff and generally ignoring the 66 pages. If tipping keeps someone from considering Africa they were looking for an excuse to not go.
 
After 66 pages on tipping it is totally clear as mud with no prospect of getting better.
With all other possible difficulties attached to international travel and shipping firearms and ammo this is the one part of an African hunt that would keep it from happening for me.
Actually if you weed out all the sidetracked post along with the duplicate ones that just say the same thing along with the arguments about tipping vs not tipping this thread would only be 2 pages long.
 
After 66 pages on tipping it is totally clear as mud with no prospect of getting better.
With all other possible difficulties attached to international travel and shipping firearms and ammo this is the one part of an African hunt that would keep it from happening for me.
For my last week hunting my elephant for 7 days I did the following:
Trackers: $200 each
PH: $1,000 plus hearing aids costing $600.
Lodge Manager: $100
Staff of four: $200
Just me
 
For my last week hunting my elephant for 7 days I did the following:
Trackers: $200 each
PH: $1,000 plus hearing aids costing $600.
Lodge Manager: $100
Staff of four: $200
Just me
"hearing aids costing $600"? You should've taken off your rifle's muzzle brake and screwed on a thread protector? Just saying. LOL
 
"hearing aids costing $600"? You should've taken off your rifle's muzzle brake and screwed on a thread protector? Just saying. LOL
lol!!! They are the best. They have three hearing levels, no shrill noise and cut off muzzle blast instantly. My PH had lost most of his hearing so he was glad to get these
 

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