Deciding how much to tip your PH and camp staff on your safari hunt is always a delicate subject. Hopefully, our African safari hunt tipping guide will help answer your questions.
We get questions from a number of hunters wondering just how much they should tip on their African safari. It seems like every country and every outfitter in Africa has slightly different guidelines and there are several different schools of thought on tipping. For this reason, I decided to build this safari hunt tipping guide to help clear up things on the subject and enable hunters to make an educated decision on how much they should tip.
Put simply, tipping is a straightforward way to encourage excellent service. Since the hunting industry is, at its most basic level, a service industry, it is customary to leave a tip and you should factor that into your budget when planning a hunt. That being said, tipping is also 100% voluntary and the amount of your tip should reflect the level and quality of service that you received during your trip.
In addition to your Professional Hunter (PH), there are a number of other people who are vital to the success of your safari. While the exact camp staff will vary depending on the hunt, you’ll typically have a tracker or two, skinner, cook, and a couple of women who clean and do laundry in camp. Just because you may not have regular contact with some of these people on your hunt does not mean their contributions are unimportant, so don’t forget to tip them.
As a general guideline, we recommend tipping your PH a percentage of the total hunt cost (trophy fees and daily rates) using a sliding scale according to the level of service you feel you received with a 3% gratuity at the low end and an 8% gratuity at the high end. $5-10 per person, per day is a good guideline for tipping camp staff, with trackers normally getting a slightly larger tip than the rest.
Keep in mind though that these are guidelines and you should not feel pressured to give a tip that you do not feel comfortable with. Additionally, you are of course welcome to tip more or less depending on the level of service that you receive and effort put forth by the staff. It is also perfectly fine to give a more generous tip a particular member of the staff if he or she really displays an especially good attitude and a willingness to go the extra mile to make sure you have a good hunt.
Since you are tipping your PH and the camp staff in recognition for their service, we recommend giving your tip directly to each person at the end of the hunt. In addition to your tip, a smile, a handshake, and a few kind words go a long way towards recognizing a person for doing a great job. Finally, it is perfectly fine to tip in either the local currency or in US Dollars.
If you have questions about our safari hunt tipping guide, please contact us and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.