Tipping Guidelines

How much should I tip?

This is one of our most often asked questions. Tipping can be a sensitive subject because tipping guidelines vary considerably from one country to another and because it is usually a private matter guided by personal satisfaction and individual opinions. So, it’s a great question to ask before you travel anywhere.

Tipping is a standard practice in the Tanzanian tourism and service industries. Familiarizing yourself with the following guidelines will help you prepare financially for your trip and will, hopefully, prevent you from experiencing any potentially embarrassing situations.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions which aren’t answered below.

Who should I tip?

While it is always the traveler’s choice whether to tip or not, the general guideline is that if you feel you’ve received good quality or exceptional service from someone, it is appropriate to thank them by leaving a tip. A few things to consider when deciding who and how much to tip are:

*The importance of the service being rendered.

*The extent of the service performed.

*The quality of service.

Keep in mind there are some variances on tipping guidelines from one type of service to the next which you’ll find outlined below:

Safari Guide: $20 - $25 per day.

Cultural Tour Guide: $10 - $15 per day.

Chef: $15 - $20 per day.

Airport pick-up or drop-off: $3 - $5 per trip.

Safari Lodge and Hotels - A delicious and nutritious meal, a clean and safe environment, and a good night’s sleep are dependent upon a lot of people working very hard behind the scenes. Most safari lodges have a general tip box where you can leave a tip for the entire group who have made your stay a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Tips left in the general box are divided equally among the staff.

Group Tip: $10 - $15 per day

Additionally, if an individual has personally given you outstanding service or assistance, it is appropriate to show your appreciation by tipping them individually.

What about climbing tips?

Mountain climbing require a tremendous amount of support from guides, chefs, and porters. Whether you summit or not, they have put in a lot of hard work, time, and energy into making the attempt possible and they should be tipped for those efforts. The amounts below are the total to be given by the entire group not per person. The recommended tips for each are as follows:

Lead Guide: $20- $25 per day

Assistant Guide: $15 - $20 per day

Chef: $15 – $20 per day

Porters: $10 - $12 per day

The number of support staff for a climb will vary depending on the number of people in your group and the overall total weight of your gear when weighed the day you begin your climb.

Your confirmation email will indicate how many porters will be needed for your group. However, you should bring enough money to tip an additional 2-3 porters in case your group’s overall gear weight requires more than originally planned.

PLEASE NOTE: Kilimanjaro Tips are given out during a special “Kili Tipping Ceremony” which takes place on the last night of the climb after summit.

When should I tip?

It is generally considered best to tip once at the end of an event or activity. For example:

*On the morning of your departure from a camp, lodge, or hotel.

*On the last day of a multi-day safari or activity.

*At the end of a one-day safari or activity.

*At the time of a personal service such as luggage handling.

How should I tip?

Tips are most often given in Tanzanian shillings or U.S. dollars. If you are tipping in USD, please note bills older than 2009 are not accepted in Tanzania. Also, it is necessary to bring new bills because torn or worn out bills will not be accepted.

Some travelers find it helpful to have a supply of envelopes to use for tipping. This allows you to calculate tip amounts and put them into individual envelopes ahead of time. You can even include a thank you note, if you want. The envelopes allow you to discreetly pass out tips to individual people or ensure your tip goes to the correct person if given in a general tip box.

What about donations?

In addition to cash tips, some travelers chose to donate items to their safari guide or climbing support staff at the end of their trip.

This is particularly common with Kilimanjaro climbs where the staff make many summits each year resulting in gear and clothing which wear out quickly. Many of the staff work very hard to earn money for basic necessities without much left over to purchase new gear. If you decide to donate a piece of gear or an item of clothing to someone, please be sure to give it directly to that person.