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TANZANIA SAFARI TIPS

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How, who and how much should we tip on safari in Tanzania?’ That’s a common question from travellers, so we’ve put together the following guidelines. Along with the general etiquette of tipping in Tanzania, we’ve highlighted the various points to consider, which we hope will help you to avoid awkward situations.

Who to tip and when on a Tanzania safari

It’s important to know who would appreciate a tip on a safari, as there are many people working to make your trip a success. Consider:

Tipping guides
An exciting and successful safari depends mainly on your guide. For this reason, many lodges suggest tipping him/her separately, to ensure that they get a fair tip.

Tipping the ‘team’ of staff
A lot of people work behind the scenes to ensure that your trip is a success, including the chefs, the kitchen team, the maids and the housekeeping staff. To include all of these ‘back of house’ people, many camps have a ‘general staff tip box’, with the proceeds divided equally between the staff.

Do I tip the managers?
Some travellers ask if they should tip the camp’s managers. They are important, of course, but would you tip the owner of a restaurant? Generally, we don’t think so, and similarly, we wouldn’t usually recommend that you tip the manager. That said, there are exceptions to this rule, perhaps if you want to appreciate outstanding or extraordinary service.To summarise, normally in Tanzania you tip your guide separately, as you’ll spend most of the time with him or her, and the rest of the staff together. It is unusual to tip the camp manager.

When to tip

Another frequently asked question is the best time to give tips. There are three options:

• After each activity
• At the end of each day
• At the end of your stay

Best practice is always to tip just once, and always at the end of your stay at each safari lodge or camp.
Your guides won’t expect you to tip after each activity, and doing so could put pressure on them to ‘perform’ for the guest who is tipping – while probably distorting the relationship between him/her and the guests as a whole. It would certainly put your fellow guests in a very difficult position if you were offering tips this frequently, and they were not.

How to tip

The most common way how to tip in Tanzania is to use the ‘tip box’ that most camps offer. However, sometimes the box will be for all the staff, and sometimes for the staff excluding the guides; each camp has its own policy.

Some camps explain their policy in writing and leave it in their rooms. If not, ask the manager if there’s a tip box and, if so, who shares the proceeds. Then it’s up to you whether to put everything into the box, or to tip some team members individually. In most Tanzanian camps, guides, trackers and butlers are usually tipped direct, while other staff benefit from the ‘general staff tip box’. But this varies, so do ask!

It’s most common to tip in cash, ideally Tanzanian shillings or US dollars. Although some camps offer the option to tip by credit card, this depends on their accounting practices and their ability to process cards. Tipping by card isn’t the norm in Tanzania, and it can make it difficult to direct your tips to specific members of staff.

For travellers willing to think ahead, it can work well to bring a small supply of envelopes, perhaps with a card inside on which a ‘thank you’ could be written. Then towards the end of your stay, you can address the envelopes for the individuals or groups of staff whom you wish to tip, put the appropriate amount into each, and either hand them out or put them into the general tip box.

How much to tip

Private safari or group safari

Private Safari Guide: $10 Per Person Per Day
Airport Transfer Guide: $10 Per Transfer Per Person

Mountain: Private/group climb

Mountain Guide: $25 per day / per Group
Mountain Chef: $15 per day / Per Chef / Per Group
Mountain Porter: $8 per day / Per Porter / Per Group
Summit Porter: $10 per day / Per Summit Porter / Per Group
Transfer Driver: $20 per Transfer / per group

Hotel staff

Tip Box: $10 to $20 per guest per day.
The amounts we suggest here are only a rough guide based on the average tip each safari-goer usually gives. Tipping is a personal gesture of generosity, so there is no obligation to tip.

Conclusion: It’s not a tipping safari

Tipping while on safari is marginal compared to the actual cost of a safari. Like every other service industry, try to tip your service providers with an extra 10-15% of your actual safari cost.
The quality of service rendered by us will always meet your expectations, and we will always ensure that you receive the best.

Enjoy a meal at the Rock in Zanzibar

The Rock is a quaint restaurant built upon a bed of stone on the ocean floor on Michamvi’s Pingwe Beach. In low tide, you can walk up the stairs and into this small boutique of incredible flavours and aromas, but during high tide it becomes its own island, and a boat must bring you to its doors – hence its nickname, Tidal Island.

The Rock experience more than satiates your physical appetite, it elevates it. While European-inspired, everything on the menu is a fusion of local ingredients (seafood, fruit and vegetables) and sultry spices – the perfect mixture of Asian and African influences. The grilled lobster served with scarab potatoes and salad is heaven’s gift to mere mortals

Swim with whale sharks on Mafia Island

Mafia Island is Tanzania’s best-kept secret. Like Zanzibar, it’s an archipelago, but it has little of the traffic that flows to Zanzibar’s Unguja Island.

Known as Whale Shark Island, it welcomes these gentle giants from October to March, offering exciting opportunities to grab your gear and hang out with them. The experience of swimming through the coral amidst smaller fish while sidling up to the world’s biggest fish is one you’ll cherish – although enormous, they’re faster than you think.

Eat your heart out at Forodhani Night Market in Zanzibar

Each day as the sun sets over the Forodhani Gardens, the frenetic pace of everyday life in Zanzibar decelerates. In its place, chefs in white jackets and top hats set up stalls to create a medley of Tanzania’s finest street food.

The tables are laden with falafel, cutlets of tandoori chicken, nyama choma (roasted meat), sizzling skewers of octopus, fish and other seafood, spicy samosas and coconut bread. Try the Zanzibar pizza, which is really an omelet of fried eggs, dough and diced veggies. Wash it down with cool sugarcane juice.

Climb Ol Doinyo Lengai, an active volcano

Ol Doinyo Lengai is an active volcano located on a continental rift zone in the Arusha region of Tanzania. Over the last century, there have been 16 eruptions with the last one recorded in 2021. Geologists stay fascinated with this volcano because it emits the coldest black lava on the planet (510°C/950°F), which forms a white rock when cooled.

Several avid mountaineers have climbed this mountain, and a few didn’t finish it because of the incredibly steep ascent, which takes about six hours. The views from the crater rim are breathtaking, however: on clear days, you can see Mt Kilimanjaro, Mt Meru and the Serengeti.

Explore the history of slavery at the Slave Market exhibit in Zanzibar

From 1698 until 1897, Zanzibar was home to one of the world’s most notorious slave markets. Tippu Tip was this region’s most scandalous and wealthiest trader of enslaved people, and his house is now a museum open to the public.

The Slave Market exhibit begins with a journey to a sculpture of chained slaves – using the original chains – created by Clara Sörnäs, with help from students at Bagamoyo College. In 1873, after the abolition of the slave trade, missionaries built the Anglican Cathedral over the original slave market. Today you can explore two of the 15 dark, dank, cramped chambers that housed slaves underground.

Indulge in a luxe stay on Thanda Island

If you have money to burn, then make your stay off the Indian Ocean coast a luxurious one. Thanda is a private island dedicated to the conservation of marine life, where you can swim with whale sharks, go deep-sea fishing or dive in the largest protected marine reserve on the Indian Ocean. Going all out? For several thousand dollars more, there’s a private helicopter to take you to the reserve, as well as a luxurious yacht for idyllic ocean delights.

Go back in time at the Olduvai Museum

Two million years ago in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, some of the first human ancestors called this region home – and after Mary Leakey’s 1959 discovery of hominid fossils captured international news, it became known to the wider world as well.

On the fringe of Olduvai Gorge (pronounced oooh-duPie), Olduvai Museum holds telltale remains of early life in East Africa, as well as outlining the area’s history. Godfrey Moita, the museum’s cultural heritage officer, will lead you on a journey filled with awe and wonder. You’ll also have a chance to see hominid footprints at least 1.6 million years old.

Spend a day with the Hadzabe people

Tanzania is home to more than 100 ethnic groups who offer cultural tours, including the widely known Maasai in the northern highlands, the Chagga in the Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Meru regions and the Hehe people of Iringa, in southern Tanzania. The Hadzabe people live on the coast of Lake Eyasi, and are one of the last hunter-gatherer people of Africa, not unlike the San of Southern Africa (although no known connection exists).

A cultural tour with the Hadzabe people includes joining them on a game hunt, a frenzied yet rewarding activity in which the men go in search of bushmeat and the women gather roots and berries. A day offers non-voyeuristic insight into daily life, rituals, beliefs and ceremonies.

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GECKO ADVENTURE TO TANZANIA

There are lots of tour operators organising trips to Tanzania. It can be hard to choose who to go with! We can assure you that when Gecko Adventure to Tanzania, you are travelling with friends. Whether you are interested in climbing Kilimanjaro, going on safari in one of many beautiful national parks, or snorkelling in Zanzibar, we’ve got you covered.

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