Safari Tipping Guide
Tipping on Safari: Our guide to FAQs on tipping on holiday in Africa.
If you travel with a reputable safari company and stay in small, smart safari camps and lodges, the staff you meet throughout your trip will be paid a living wage. There is no need to tip out of a feeling of charity; tip if you get outstanding service, which we’d like to think you will on a trip we’ve helped you plan.
Please also note that these suggestions are simply that. We’ve been asked many times to give some ideas of how much to tip so people aren’t either stingy or ridiculously over the top. Our thoughts won’t always agree with the information some of the lodge teams might give you, but here goes:
US dollars tend to be used by those on safari throughout Africa, with the exception of South Africa and Namibia. Take low value denominations of $5 or $10 if you can.
Try and avoid $100 bills or notes older that 2006 as both of these can be problematic.
Tipping in camps and lodges
In safari camps and lodges you’ll normally find a gratuity box and anything put in this will be distributed to all members of the general camp staff from the chefs to the laundry attendants. We suggest something around $10-20 per person per day (so $20-$40 if you’re a couple). For ease, you may wish to ‘prepare’ tips in separate envelopes for each camp and then put this into the gratuity box at the end of your stay.
Tipping your safari guide
On safari this is US$15-20 per person per day, handed directly to the guide at the end of your stay.
Family and large group tipping
Generally, you tip less per person, so a family of five could expect to pay around US$50 to the camp staff and US$60 to the guide in total per day.
Beach lodges and hotels holiday tips
Tipping is rarely expected when staying on the beach, and should only be done as a reward for good service. Beach lodges sometimes have a communal staff gratuity box, which will be distributed to all members of staff including those behind the scenes.
Kilimanjaro climb tips
Again it is worth stressing that all of the climb teams we use for Kilimanjaro are paid a fair wage for every trip and also get training, uniform and health insurance. Typically the tip is passed to the head guide and this is distributed back at the offices. The guides and porters we use are always complimented on their efforts to ensure people are comfortable and safe, and we suggest budgeting US$300-US$350 for a luxury climb on the Machame Route (our most popular).
Gorilla tracking tips
If your holiday includes gorilla tracking please also allow an extra US$30 per guest per day to include US$15 to the head guide, US$10 for any back up guide and US$5 (per group) to each tracker.
Porters are available on most gorilla tracks and we suggest taking one to carry your backpack and assist when the going gets steeper or slippery. They’re not paid a wage and it’s an additional way for the community to earn money from gorilla conservation. The porters are generally paid US$15 each per track and we suggest a tip of US$5.
Chimp tracking tips
If your holiday includes chimp tracking please also allow an extra US$20 per guest per day to include US$10 to the head guide, US$5 to the tracker and US$5 to the national parks scout.
Cultural Experiences/Dances tips
Drummers or dancers may come to your camp or lodge. This is an optional activity but if you attend, we do recommend that you tip US$5 to US$10 per person.