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The dreaded tip question!

Calgary, Canada
posts: 1,075
reviews: 86
The dreaded tip question!

Seriously, seems like people are reluctant to say the exact amount they tipped their crew. This includes Kilimanjaro hikes, safaris, taxis, and so on. The more I research, the more I realize tipping will put a dent into our already expensive 3 week trip!

Now I know amount is a vague measurement; based on how many crew members are helping, length of stay, yada yada…..BUT PLEASE, people throw out some #'s for me (not $/per person/per day figures). I need to know a basic ballpark # people have forked out on their trip.

- 6 day Machame hike

- 4 day safari hike (same company

- Cab within Zanzibar from airport to Nungwi


Phila, PA
posts: 197
reviews: 2
1. Re: The dreaded tip question!

You may get scolded and told to use the search bar, haha. I was toldly sicken by what our company and guide asked for in tips on my last trip. We had three drivers and 14 people in the group. They asked each person to tip $10 a day to each guide. That $140 a day to each guide. Needless to say I am not going with that company again. This is my tipping plan which is adjustable based on service but I needed to start somewhere to figure out how much cash to bring. On the climb $110 for guide $80 for assistant guide $60 for each porter. On safari 14 days $250.

Calgary, Canada
posts: 1,075
reviews: 86
2. Re: The dreaded tip question!

Yeah, I've read a million times people tip $10 per this and $5 per that per day, and so forth (means very little to me when I have no idea how many will be leading me, and what each do)….but on average, I want to see a total….soooo was it $300 for the hike?…$400…etc.

Did the search function many times….just curious what peoples TOTALS were on their trip.

Nashville, Tennessee
posts: 2,187
reviews: 165
3. Re: The dreaded tip question!

We have to know how many people in your group to figure how many porters and guides and the such. That is why the amounts are given the way they are. If there are 2 of you, then you may only have a guide, assistant guide and 4 porters. For bigger groups, you will have more porters. Same on Safari. If one car and a small group then a smaller amount than of 2 or 3 cars. Are you staying in lodges or established camps on safari? They will also get tips above your guide tips. Are you camping on safari? If so, then a cook may be separate from your guide. Unless a really small group or participation camping. No one can give you the exact numbers relevant to your group without more information.

You might want to re-calculate that amount. Depending on the size of your group you may have 6-8 porters. Plus a guide and assistant guide. So plan on $600+ for the hike and then another $200-300 for the safari. Plus, on safari if you are going to be staying at lodges or established camps, you will need separate tips for the staff there (total tip for communal tip box: $20-25 USD a day you are there).

That is why the totals are irrelevant unless same size group and lodges verses camps verses camping.

The hike will tip more than a safari. For your plan, estimate $1000 USD total in tips. $600 for the hike, $200 for the safari guide and $200 for the individual lodges, camps and cab/porters/bellboys/luggage and the such.including Zanzibar.

I could adjust that estimate based on more information.

posts: 1,640
reviews: 4
4. Re: The dreaded tip question!

$200 for a 4 day safari???-very high. I paid $200 for an 11 day safari to the guide, plus $100 to the camps. This was a solo safari. I don't know about the Kili mess with so many people involved in your assistance.

Edited: 1:40 pm, December 28, 2013
posts: 13,988
5. Re: The dreaded tip question!

Can't comment on the kili trek, but that $200 for a 4/day safari is way off base for even a solo traveler.

Assuming you wanted to be generous for the safari segment and tipping as if you were 2/pax traveling, and I'm quite generous... max would be $20/pp/day = $80. And for lodge/camp staff, assuming 1/nt each (2nts maybe in the Serengeti), between $7-10/day = $40.


Americans tend to be more generous than others who aren't 'into tipping' - I'm with sciguy25 - be realistic.

Let's see what others have to say about tipping on the Kili trek.

Nashville, Tennessee
posts: 2,187
reviews: 165
6. Re: The dreaded tip question!

I assumed a 4 person group. Also, it said hiking safari- that is different. I assumed a cook and guide. So, I stand by my $200 for 4 days for 4 people for a guide and cook. About $5-10 per person per day for guide and half that much for cook. I made assumptions based on the limited information. That is the assumption I made for 4 people trekking kili as well. Probably a guide, assistant guide and 8 porters. Maybe another cook as well.

I tip about $10-15 per day for camp/lodge per tent or room. Two tents/rooms for 4 people. 4 nights. $80-100. Tips on Zanzibar as well. Plus a cab both ways. Plus the hotel in Zanzibar (if going, I am assuming some place to stay).

I don't think I am being unrealistic based on my assumptions. If my assumptions are wrong, then it would change, but the OP was too vague, hence my comments.

Calgary, Canada
posts: 1,075
reviews: 86
7. Re: The dreaded tip question!

Stephen….like my message said…I want to know TOTALS regardless of their details!…not what I can find on every tour website. You basically stated everything I knew…prices change with size of group, quality…YADA YADA! I know I won't be tipping $600 for hike though lol, regardless how many people they think need to help me up the hill. I was hoping $300ish for my wife and I each.

Maybe I will re-word this….folks, please share with me "your" total cost in tips on your trip.

ps..my safari is 2 nights in a tent, one in a lodge (just my wife and I).


Edited: 8:38 pm, December 28, 2013
Calgary, Canada
posts: 1,075
reviews: 86
8. Re: The dreaded tip question!

Though it was nice to see a few totals from Stephen and sciguy:) Thanks for those.

posts: 2,056
reviews: 47
9. Re: The dreaded tip question!

Ok well you asked for the total tips we paid on our trip - so here it is - $413. This was for 10 day safari and 3.5weeks in Moshi with no Kilimanjaro hike. Not sure that is much help without any more details.

Edited: 3:52 am, December 29, 2013
Abu Dhabi, United...
posts: 4
reviews: 22
10. Re: The dreaded tip question!

We just came back two days ago from our safari in Tanzania. We had gone for an 8 day safari tour and were a party of 5.

We had originally thought of paying $250 but in the end gave $300 to the driver, which included pickup and drop off at Kilimanjaro Airport. We increased the tip because he was truly a phenomenal driver, very safe and very knowledgeable about the places and how to look for animals. We had three sightings of Cheetas, one while they were hunting, and two of those times he saw them first and all the other cars followed us to the place later. He played a huge role in making this a very memorable trip for all of us.

Other tips were approximately 10% of the bill, so for example if the breakfast was $60 the tip was $6 for the waiter.

Hope this helps.

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