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Tipping guidelines

Los Angeles...
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129 posts
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Tipping guidelines

Can anyone tell me if there is a tipping guideline for a Safari. I'm going on a private safari and wondered how much to tip each person that will be with me? Driver/Guide, Cook, etc.

Ann Arbor, MI
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21. Re: Tipping guidelines

Karl, or any of you, do you know if the Springlands Hotel in Moshi is a nice place?

I'm planning a trip from Detroit to Tanzania for Jan 4th - 18th, 2006. I'm going with two adult friends. We're looking at doing the 8 day/7 night Lake Manyara/Ngorngoro/Serengetti/Lake Natron safari with Zara Tanzanian Adventures (www.zaratravel.com) followed by a trip to Zanzibar for 3-4 days. The ladies would like to stay primarily in Serena or Sopa Lodges on the safari and hang out on the beach and maybe go snorkeling in Zanzibar. Are we missing the boat by not staying in or near Stonetown?

The flight is $1,440/ea from NYC

The safari is running about $2,500/ea

I'm looking at the Matemwe Beach Guesthouse in Zanzibar for 4 nights $220/ea.

Does anyone have any advice about any of this? Zara or Matemwe? Also, how much does the flight between Zanzibar from Kilimanjaro run and what airline should I use?

Thanks for any help!


Findlay, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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12,484 posts
8 reviews
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22. Re: Tipping guidelines

Scott, Since I don't know what all's included in the cost I can't comment on the cost, other then if what's included is what is normally included that's rather close to a fair price. The Zanzibar cost seems a tad pricy to me, but I don't stay at tourist's beach resorts typically. The people there know that I'm not a tourist so I stay where they do.

The only thing that you'll miss by being far away from Stone Town is that's were most of the action is located, and where most people like to go to get more of an idea of the culture of Zanzibar and some of the nightlife (tourist resorts tend to shield you from this, but make you think you're getting it.) There's gobs of restaurants and bars in Stone Town, along with other things to do to keep you occupied. I would suggest that you take in a Culture Tour and a Spice Tour while you're there, and visit the local marketplace - you'll have time and it's very inexpensive. You can pick these tours up many places in Stone Town. The hotel might get this for you, but it could probably be a lot more expensive.

In Moshi I typically stay at the Uhuru Hotel, which is operated by the Lutheran Church there. It's a comfortable hotel with a rather good restaurant (albeit as slow as most). They don't have a bar. Can't remember the non-resident rates there, but I would guess it's about $50 - $60. There's some other hotels in Moshi but I've never stayed in them.

Are you staying in Moshi before and after you go out on safari rather then in Arusha? Is there a reson for that?

For your flight, you can catch a NW or BA flight right out of Detroit Metro that goes straight into Amsterdam, then straight into JRO at Arusha. The connections in Amsterdam are very good, typically about a 3 hour layover. However the BA flights into London get you there in the am and the flights to JRO are in the evening. The typical layover in London is about 12 hours. You can probably pick up a flight from Detroit - Amsterdam - JRO for about what you're paying for the NYC flight, but you would need to check that out. Another flight option is to fly into Nairobi and then the next morning take a shuttle down to Arusha/Moshi. That's a 5 hour bus ride, or you can catch a short hop flight down to JRO. I do that when I can't get a ticket to JRO or DAR. You're pushing the high season in January and the ticket prices can be higher that time of year, so if you can lock in a good price do it now. I just looked at nwa.com and saw that the price for a ticket at that time is $2,777, but they probably haven't posted the good rates yet. The best rates are given by air consolidators. Do a google search and you'll find some.

For a flight to Zanzibar there's several options and you can get your ticket at the airport or at the Air Tanzania or Precision Air offices in Arusha near the clock tower (center of town). If I remember correctly I flew there last January for $130, one way. JRO airport is about 45 minutes from Arusha, and about the same from Moshi. They have shuttles running there provided by Precision Air and Air Tanzania. Precision Air charges you 2,000/= TSH (about $1.80 for the shuttle).

If you've got any questions you don't want to post, contact me at gingrich@tds.net. Have a good trip.

By the way, when I'm not in Tz I'm in Findlay, Ohio about 100 miles South of you.

Karl Gingrich

5 posts
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23. Re: Tipping guidelines

I have just returned from a safari and Tanzania and we were advised to tip the driver $5 per person per day. Obviously if you have received an excellent service you could give more. We gave at the end of the safari.

Saint Louis...
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24. Re: Tipping guidelines

I just returned from a private/custom 17 day safari in Kenya and Tanzania (Sept. 2005) for just 4 people. We chose a combination of rough camping, basic lodge stays and nice lodge stays at the higher elevations to stay warm. We had our own private driver, guide and cook. We tipped as follows but our driver acted as a guide on the daily game drives while our guide set up our safari and made all the reservations at the lodges prior to our arrival and made sure our accomdations were ready for us at each stop and our cook met our schedule. $30/day for the guide , $25/day for the driver/game drive guide, $8/day for our cook. This was for exceptional service from all 4 of us and based upon all their responsibilities. As a note, our driver drove us over 1,000 miles in Kenya alone from park to park and inside the parks and did an excellent job so the money spent was well worth it! As a note, our guide did ask us what we intended to tip everyone (except him) the night before our safari ended and he added his 2 cents worth which was very helpful. Be sure to tip in USD or in currency of the country you are visiting. If using USD it must be 2000 or newer and in perfect condition; no torn corners, rips, etc. as the local banks and money exchanges will not accept damanged bills. Same goes for you too. The larger the bills the better you and your guides, etc. will get a better exchange rate ($50 & $100's). And don't forget to take lots and lots of $1 new bills for tipping hotel, resturant staff, etc. We went thru $75 in one's.