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Tips and Guide - Tipping in Tanzania Safari

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Tipping in Tanzania 

‘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.

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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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