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Tipping your safari driver and guide

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Chicago, Illinois
posts: 62
reviews: 40
Tipping your safari driver and guide

I was wondering what the average tip is per day, per person for your driver and tracker while staying at at game camp.

117 replies to this topic
Aarhus, Denmark
posts: 2
reviews: 2
11. Re: Tipping your safari driver and guide

Dave could you perhaps add a little hands on advise to us scandinavian people, not used to tipping in our daily lifes at home, on how best to hand over the tip to Ranger/tracker.

If you stay 3 or 4 nights, goint on 2 daily drives with ranger/tracker, do you reccomend tipping at the end of the game drive on the first day, to get the best possible experience in the comming days. Tipping each day after game drives, or tipping the ranger/tracker after last morning drive on departure day?.

Also, are envolopes reccomended, instead of giving cash bills directly, in order to be a little more discrete, to avoid perhaps putting other participants on the drive in embarrassment, if they decide on a different tipping approach.

Thanks in advance.

Washington DC...
posts: 2,848
reviews: 10
12. Re: Tipping your safari driver and guide

It is very likely you will have the same driver/tracker for your entire stay and it is then customary to tip after your last drive. Often your accommodation will have envelopes (if not you can ask for some at the camp office) and you can write a short thank you note to include with the tip.

Phoenix, Arizona
Destination Expert
for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
posts: 7,007
reviews: 44
13. Re: Tipping your safari driver and guide

steveb is right - that the lodges now almost all have envelopes for guests to use when tipping. From the "Just in Case" department, I suggest to my clients that they bring along some inexpensive 'Thank-you' cards (in Danish? "Mange Tak" - they will understand it)).

I do it - and I write a real note for whomever I am giving it to. Something that says honestly what I appreciate about what I experienced with them.

Jacqui's wage numbers explain why these workers hope for tips. R5000 per month for 6 weeks on, 2 weeks off would equal about $200 USD per week for those 6 weeks he or she worked. Less than £130 per week. The top number, R8000 per month - That's $325 per week. For 6 weeks of long hours, 7 days a week.

Los Angeles...
posts: 231
reviews: 3
14. Re: Tipping your safari driver and guide

Gosh, I was just going to post a similar question, we will be at Arathusa 2 nights and Simbavati River Lodge 2 nights.

The little guide that the travel agent gave suggests R120 per couple per day for the ranger/guide and R60 for the tracker/staff, I like the idea of tipping the tracker equal or closer to the guide, but this amount now seems awfully low!

Perhaps our lodges are less upmarket than some others? Please suggest a reasonable amount to give, thanks.

Washington DC...
posts: 2,848
reviews: 10
15. Re: Tipping your safari driver and guide

I'd be inclined to go more R160-175, if not the R200 recommended by Dave, even for less up-scale properties. Of course, I'm assuming good guiding and tracking. If service way beyond what you'd expect you could do a bit more---totally up to you.

See also: tripadvisor.com/Travel-g293740-c85698/South-…

Edited: 3:49 pm, October 01, 2012
Kruger National...
posts: 1,258
reviews: 38
16. Re: Tipping your safari driver and guide

I've just seen in our local employment guide, an advert for a ranger at R2500 pay per month - $298 US a month! Hence the tipping factor..

Los Angeles...
posts: 231
reviews: 3
17. Re: Tipping your safari driver and guide

Wow, that is NOT very much for someone with that level of expertise. Out of curiosity, are they given room and board for free at the lodge?

Kruger National...
posts: 1,258
reviews: 38
18. Re: Tipping your safari driver and guide

Gigi, at times they are, however it is not near what the actual guests stay in.

Rangers usually stay in what we call 'Wendy houses' - wooden/tin houses that usually have space for a bed, cupboard, and a little extra room. Their ablutions are either shared with the staff, or if they are lucky they get their own. Most of the time they eat with the guests, as does the tracker (usually). I am unsure about the rest of the staff.

It is very, very rare that a ranger will get 'great' accommodation at their workplace. The ranger/guard quarters at our reserve are about 4x4m but that is quite small. Standard large ones are around 5x5m.

The only place that I know of that has a good 'staff village' are the one of the Singita lodges :-)

So to answer your question, yes they get board and food :-) (in my experience - though I have seen advertisements where this is not included.

All the best,

Jacqui

*owner* Lodge Trackers

Los Angeles...
posts: 231
reviews: 3
19. Re: Tipping your safari driver and guide

I suppose the rewards of their profession makes up for it!

Aarhus, Denmark
posts: 2
reviews: 2
20. Re: Tipping your safari driver and guide

Dave, Steveb and the rest of you.

Thanks a lot for your helpfull input and suggestions. Also regarding the amount to tip. And I agree with those who suggest to try to narrow the gap between the tip given to Rangers compared to Guides. I will try to keep that in mind when going next year.

And Dave, your suggestion to bring small thank-you cards is a great idea. Makes it easy to write a small personilized thank you message as well.

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