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 would like to think you will on a trip we’ve helped you plan.

Please also note that these suggestions are simply that. We have been asked many times to give some ideas of how much to tip so people are not either stingy or ridiculously over the top. Our thoughts will not always agree with the information some of the lodge teams might give you, but here goes:

What currency?

US dollars tend to be used by Many Travelers on safari throughout Africa. Take low-value denominations of $5 or $10 if you can.

Try to avoid $100 bills, notes older than 2009 or even those whose faces are worn out or rather torn as both of these can be problematic. In other words, bring smaller bills of not later than year 2009, and are new, without ink, and or tears.

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 are 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$10-20 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 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 backup 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.


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