Contributors to this thread:
I saw this on a website and was curious as to what you folks think about this wording. I'm not trying to be cheap but I also want to make sure that I take care of both sides. I'm assuming that for the PH I would do the 10 to 15% of the initial safari cost plus cost of animals shot. Is that correct? Any advice is appreciated, thanks!
Wow that's an interesting pricing structure. While its been a decade since I hunted in Africa it did get me thinking about the maths. Assuming a 10 day hunt @ $400/ day and another $6000 in trophy fees makes a $10,000 hunt. You'll be paying $2400 in camp worker tips and another $1500 in guide tips. That's 39% in tips on the total hunt costs. Might need to ask what you're paying for in the daily rate. If this is the reality of hunting in southern Africa these days then I'll have to save more money or stay at home and hunt locally. Will definitely be interested in what others with more recent experience think.
I’m with Sittingbull, my first thought was what did the original cost of the trip cover? Then again I have no plans for an African hunt so for those that do, tip away!
I just had this same talk with My HO , after we got back started going over the number and with the tip stucture the PHs, ended up making more than the HO on the hunt,
Thanks for all the input so far. Anyone else?
I think the bigger question should be: how many hunters per “hunting vehicle”? If it is 1 hunter/vehicle, then Sittingbull is correct. If it is 2 or 4/vehicle then the cost would be much less.
I have no idea since I have never gone to Africa or done any research on it.
Please read the words, " Although this is solely at the client's discretion......"
There are nothing more than suggested tip amount found on the bottom of a bill in a restaurant or a bar. It is not a requirement, it is a suggestion. I think were are dealing with the "spirit of the law" and not the "letter of the law" in this matter.
Think you are making a mountain out of a mole hill.
I’ve been on three African safaris, he last one four years ago. All were about 10 days. I tipped the ph about $1500 each time. He made recommendations for camp help, trackers and skinners. As I recall, the total for that group was under $500.
I'm in the wrong business.
I personally like to handle tipping on a personal one on one situation. This gives you the opprotunity to show your thanks in a personal way and show your appreciation. Not a fan of a "tip pool".
The word that has come to be known as "tip" is actually an abbreviation for "To Insure Promptness". If the service is good, "tip" accordingly. If not....
If you don't tip according to their wishes, which in this case I think is excessive, what are they going to do? Unless you are going back there they will say some bad things about you. In the end, it's all up to you.
Sorry I have to go against the grain here. Seems to me that youd have to have more balls then brains to suggest those amounts as "sugestions".
Tip what you think is fair and fly home
Thx for all the input, it is appreciated.
I just returned from a safari in Namibia. A general rule of thumb seems to be 10% of the total cost of your time in camp. Most of that tip should go to the professional hunter. Split the amount appropriately if you had more than one professional hunter guide (I had three different ones during my trip). My outfitter preferred for me to give him the tip for staff and let him distribute it. Reasons given: (1) Hunters are often unaware of the "unseen" help like skinners, trackers, general camp helpers, etc. Outfitter can ensure that all the help gets something, not just the ones that you see each day. Downside is that you have to rely on the outfitter living up to his word on properly distributing the tip money. (2) If you hand money to some helpers but overlook others it can lead to jealousy among staff. I was told that they talk a lot amongst themselves and often brag of tips received.
Here's what I did. I gave modest tips to my black professional hunter, trackers, skinners, maid, and kitchen staff and then left more tip money with the outfitter to distribute. I let the staff know that I was also leaving money with the outfitter to distribute and that they could expect to receive more at the end of the hunting season when the outfitter distributed tips. This way staff knew that I was taking care of them and that their efforts were/would be rewarded. I then gave the outfitter cash and asked him to distribute it to staff.
Tips make up a significant part of the pay for staff and guides. These people don't have much so please don't stiff them with no tip unless the service was really bad. If you are unwilling to tip for good service you should stay at home.
I've kept it simple on my hunts, whether it is in Africa or elsewhere. I also generally ignore tipping suggestions. The PH/sheep guide/elk guide/tarpon guide gets $150/day. Most are happy with this. Tracker - $175 or so for entire hunt. Skinner - $100 for entire hunt. Maids, cooks, etc. - $10/day.
Here is what I have done on 5 hunts...right or wrong...who cares...but these are for 10 day plains game hunts. $500 for my PH $100 for my tracker $100 for my skinner $100 for the camp cook $100 for the cleaning staff. I also bring along 2 or 3 of those little Cabelas multi tools to give out to my tracker and skinner at the start of the safari...just a gesture to show your thanks ahead of time and gain their trust and respect. But...that's just me. I will say that I have stayed in touch with ALL of my PH's and hunted with the same outfit more than once so obviously I didn't piss off anyone too bad.
This is always an interesting question. As many have said it's about tipping for the services you were given. I have been to SA five times, Namibia once and New Zealand twice. I usually use these guidelines and so far I think the outfitters, PHs, and staff have been pleased. I typically don't tip the outfitter unless he is my PH/Guide for the hunt. I usually take the outfitter a personal gift or something like a nice pair of Leather Gloves with a wildlife image on it or something as a thank you for doing my booking. The PH is the main person you spend time with and is your guide. I usually target 10% of the day fees for the hunt which ballpark is $400/day x 10 hunt is $4000, so 10% is $400. If they do a good job usually double it to 20%, so $800. If I was really pleased I add a little more in usually in and around the $1000 mark. Then you have skinners and trackers. I usually go somewhere in the $150 to $250 each. For the camp staff (cook, cleaning lady(s), server) I usually go somewhere in the $75 to $100 each as this can add up. I also usually take something along that is light weight (have to watch the baggage weight limits) but is a personal touch for my PH. This year I took a nice leather set with a wallet, suitcase name tag and money clip. It was well received. I also sometimes leave something I have that they don't with them or maybe need like a range finder (I bring two, one for backup). As several have said tip what you feel is fair and you will be good. I did think the copied guidelines above were a little on the steep side. That would have been $2400 for a 10 day hunt. I just came back from a 14 day safari and my total tips were $1900 plus some gifts I brought over so say $2000 and I thought I covered them quite well. Their guidance puts you at $3360 for 14 days which I think is high personally. In the end, it is up to you but I would tip something as their pay structure is based with a tip factor built in and they work hard for you. I usually try to tip directly so they know I appreciated their services. Especially the PHs. I have had outfitters who prefer me to give the staff tip to them to distribute. If I do that I let the staff know what I tipped for them and let the outfitter know I've told them the amounts so they are obligated to follow through just to be sure it gets to them or it leaves the outfitter with a problem explaining why they didn't distribute the tip to them. I do believe the outfitters who prefer this approach are trying to manage other problems and do typically distribute the tip to their people as you directed, just in the timing that minimizes problems with their hunting operation.
Thanks for the input fellas. Leaving in 2 weeks for 1st guided hint and this info helps tremendously.
We got some clarification from Outfitter, so all is good.
The last place I went the PH recommended $3400 for tips on a 7 day hunt...
Please share if you can; what was your outfitter's clarification?
$140/day for camp and trackers and 10% to 15% of total trophy fees for PH.
When I went to SA....I tipped my PH $1000, my tracker $300, skinner, cooks and room cleaners $100 each. Total $1600 for a seven day hunt.
Just remember the tip is for doing there job well. It is not for paying there wages and if the outfitter does not pay enough to bad. I did 10 a day for tracker and 10 for skinner, cleaning lady 5 a day. The Ph I did 50 a day on a 10 day hunt. I base it on what I make also and I am not about to tip someone more then I make in a week but try and be fair as I can. Like I said this is extra to there pay not you job to pay there staff like some like to do.